White House Tries to Cancel FDR, Twitter Reminds Biden He Hung Huge FDR Portrait in Oval Office
On Sunday, the White House strongly condemned 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, calling his role in creating the Japanese internment camps “shameful.” It was a strange decision by Biden to denounce Roosevelt, especially since he previously ordered that the ‘racist and xenophobic’ president’s portrait be displayed prominently in Oval Office.
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The statement, meant to commemorate the anniversary of Roosevelt’s creation of the internment camps by executive order, was shared by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Twitter.
“When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, eighty-one years ago today, it ushered in one of the most shameful periods in American history,” President Biden said. “The wrongful incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent tore families apart. Men, women, and children were forced to abandon their homes, jobs, communities, businesses, and ways of life. They were sent to inhumane concentration camps simply because of their heritage.”
“The incarceration of Japanese Americans reminds us what happens when racism, fear, and xenophobia go unchecked.”
In response to Jean-Pierre’s Tweeting of the statement, users pointed out the contradiction between Biden’s words and the reverent portrait of FDR hanging in the Oval Office.
“Umm who is this- front and center?” one commenter wrote.
Umm who is this- front and center? pic.twitter.com/gYqB0NfCim
— Nick Britton (@njbritton) February 19, 2023
According to a Washington Post profile of the Oval Office just after Joe Biden’s inauguration, the president awarded the most wall space to a gigantic portrait of FDR. Writer Annie Linskey observed in her opening lines,
“President Biden has filled the Oval Office with images of American leaders and icons, focusing the room around a massive portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt that hangs across from the Resolute Desk. It is a clear nod to a president who helped the country through significant crises, a challenge Biden now also faces.”
Biden’s affection for his predecessor must have been very short-lived.
“Hey who is that in the center stage portrait above the Oval Office fire place?” Stephen Miller of The Spectator asked.
Hey who is that in the center stage portrait above the Oval Office fire place? https://t.co/zkWLN0uIai pic.twitter.com/JqRAMqRFGh
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) February 19, 2023
“Don’t you see it’s hung in the most shameful spot?” said one of the replies.
One user noted that FDR’s portrait occupied significantly more wall space than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, “…and yet he holds FDR in higher regard than the founder of the country and the man who freed the slaves.”
…and yet he holds FDR in higher regard than the founder of the country and the man who freed the slaves. 🤔😬 pic.twitter.com/9YIeCn6gwI
— KB (@BakerKeto) February 19, 2023
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Addressing the White House Press Secretary, one commenter wrote, “So, let’s remind people that DEMOCRATS did this, and that it was upheld by a SCOTUS appointed and approved by DEMOCRATS. Oh, and that FDR’s portrait hangs in your boss’s office.”
@PressSec So, let's remind people that DEMOCRATS did this, and that it was upheld by a SCOTUS appointed and approved by DEMOCRATS. Oh, and that FDR's portrait hangs in your boss's office. https://t.co/c3mPXUPINd
— RSBUNKER (@RSBUNKER) February 19, 2023
One user shared a screenshot of a Today.com headline titled “How Joe Biden’s Oval Office decor is different from Donald Trump’s.” The subtext follows: “The 46th president is paying homage to historic figures like Franklin D. Roosevelt, César Chávez and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with his decor choices.”
During his 2020 campaign, Biden frequently invoked FDR as an example president. Biden frequently made promises to voters that he would unite the country because that was “exactly what [Roosevelt] did.”
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“This place represented a way forward … for healing,” Biden said during a campaign speech. “The years that followed, FDR would come back often to think about how to heal the nation and the world.”