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President Joe Biden made a costly trip to vote in person in Delaware because it worked best for his “heavy schedule,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
Biden employed Air Force One, two motorcades and local police protection to travel from Washington, D.C., to Delaware just to vote Tuesday, rather than filing an absentee ballot as past presidents have. Jean-Pierre attempted to explain the decision during a press gaggle with reporters Wednesday.
“Can you tell us why the president went to Wilmington yesterday to vote in the primary when he could have had an absentee ballot, or he could have voted in person early voting when he was there last weekend?” a reporter asked.
“I know there’s been a lot of interest in this. So every American, as you know, has the sacred and constitutional right to vote. The president exercised that right alongside other Delawareans last night,” Jean-Pierre responded.
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media after exiting Air Force One, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“The president has a very heavy schedule. He’s the president of the United States. It worked out best for him to vote yesterday, to vote on Tuesday. He thought it was important to exercise his constitution, the right to vote, as I just mentioned, and set an example by showing the importance of voting,” she added.
The exact cost of Biden’s trip to Delaware is unclear, but the Air Force revealed in 2014 that the average cost per flying hour (CPFH) of the Presidential Boeing 747 was $206,337. Biden took the smaller Boeing 757 version of AF1 on the trip, however, according to Bloomberg.
Estimates have claimed that the average cost of travel for a U.S. president is roughly $2,600 per minute.
The White House did not respond to a Fox News Digital inquiry seeking to clarify the cost of the trip.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden departed Washington for Delaware at roughly 6 p.m. Tuesday. They voted, hopped back on Air Force One and were flying back to Washington by 8 p.m.
President Barack Obama voted absentee in both the 2010 and 2014 Illinois Democratic primaries, and former President Donald Trump also voted absentee in the 2018 and 2020 general elections, according to Bloomberg.
Biden’s critics have harped on his frequent visits to Delaware as president, spending 170 days at his beach house there since gaining office. That is just for one of his two homes in the state. The GOP has criticized Biden’s vacation habits throughout his presidency, Tweeting last week that he had spent 40% of his term on vacation.