Biden celebrates ‘no ballot stuffing’ at Thanksgiving turkey pardon ceremony
President Biden said there was no evidence of election fraud — or “fowl play” — as he took part in the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon ceremony at the White House.
“The votes are in. They’ve been counted and verified. There’s no ballot stuffing,” Biden cracked — in an apparent dig at former President Trump’s false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election — as he prepared to pardon the turkeys in the gobble-filled tradition on the South Lawn on Monday.
“The only red wave this season’s gonna be if a German Shepherd, Commander, knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table,” Biden said of his dog to cheers from the crowd.
Biden, sporting a pair of aviator sunglasses, called the event to pardon the turkeys — two of them this year, named Chocolate and Chip — a “wonderful Thanksgiving tradition.”
Commander, who was watching the ceremony from the Truman Balcony of the White House along with two of Biden’s young grandchildren, barked intermittently throughout the proceedings.
“I was worried if he came down here with all of you, he’d just do nothing but kiss you and lick you. But he may go after the turkeys, so I kept them up there,” Biden said of the 2-year-old pup.
Chocolate, the 46-pound pardoned turkey, and Chip, which was named as the backup, were raised at a North Carolina ranch. The pair will live out their lives at North Carolina State University following their pardon, Biden said.
This year marked the 75th anniversary of the pardon — officially dubbed the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by the White House — which is typically hosted in the Rose Garden, but was held this year on the South Lawn.
Biden also made a pitch for flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the ceremony.
“Think about the scientists and researchers, doctors and nurses, keeping us safe through the pandemic,” Biden said.
“Two years ago, we couldn’t even safely have Thanksgiving with large, family gatherings. Now we can. That’s progress, and let’s keep going,” he added.
“We have new COVID vaccine updates to deal with, new variants or to protect you and your loved ones,” the president said as he urged the ongoing immunization campaign.
“This winter can be much happier than recent holiday seasons,” he added, “but you have to do your part.”