Joe Biden Opens With Ice Cream Jokes Before Addressing Nashville Shooting
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks while hosting the Small Business Administration's Women's Business Summit in the East Room of the White House on March 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. Biden touted his administration's accomplishments in job growth and the SBA's support for women-owned small businesses. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden addressed the Nashville school shooting from the White House on Monday, quickly turning the tragedy into a push for tighter gun control — but first he opened with a joke about ice cream.

Biden, who was speaking to an East Room full of female business owners, began his remarks by joking that he had only joined them because he’d heard there was going to be ice cream.

“My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband. And I eat Jeni’s ice cream — chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” he said. “By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not.”


Just moments later, Biden pivoted to the Covenant School shooting — which left at least six dead, including three children — and immediately called for an assault weapons ban.


“It’s sick,” Biden said. “It’s heartbreaking. A family’s worst nightmare.”

“We have to do more to stop gun violence; it’s ripping our communities apart — ripping the soul of this nation,” Biden continued.

“And we have to do more to protect our schools, so they aren’t turned into prisons,” he added, noting that the shooter in this particular instance had been armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a pistol and calling on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.


Later, however, Biden eventually drifted back to the topic of ice cream after recognizing that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream was participating in the female-owned business event.

“…and by the way, it is splendid,” Biden said, adding, “If I were allowed to take you upstairs, you got a whole freezer full of Jeni’s chocolate chip ice cream … You know it’s pretty dull when you’ve been in public life as long as I have and you’re known for two things: chocolate chip ice cream and Ray-Bans sunglasses, but what the hell?”

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