Joe Biden

Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Superior, Wisconsin

March 02, 2022

Q. What did you give up for Lent?

Q. Mr. President, how worried are you about——

The President's Observance of Lent

Q. What did you give up for Lent?

The President. All sweets.

Q. All sweets?

The President. And I'm—you know me, I start off with dessert.

Q. So no ice cream?

The President. No ice cream. Nothing.

Q. What about Sunday? Do you make an exception on Sunday?

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine

Q. Mr. President, how worried are you about President Zelenskiy? And do you think he should stay in Ukraine, or do you think he should try to leave?

The President. I think it's his judgement to make, and we're doing everything we can to help him.

Q. What kind of danger is he in? What——

China-U.S. Relations

Q. Have you made any other attempts to reach China or talk to them about the situation at all?

The President. Not directly yet. We're—the staff has been in contact with them.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Q. Do you support permanent U.S. military presence in Poland and other Eastern European countries now after what's happening in Ukraine?

The President. We've always been there. We've always been in all the NATO countries.

Q. I'm talking about permanent bases.

The President. No, I—that's a decision for NATO to make.

Q. Do you think they——

Q. Would you consider getting rid of vaccine mandates?

Q. Mr. President, what did you mean when you said——

The President. I'm sorry.

Sanctions Against Russia

Q. Mr. President, are you considering banning Russian oil imports?

The President. There's—nothing is off the table.

Q. Do you think that there's a——

Q. Vaccine mandates, sir?

Russia's Attack on Ukraine

Q. Do you believe Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine?

The President. We are following it very closely. It's early to say that.

Q. There are 2,000 civilians——

Pope Francis/Ukraine

Q. Pope Francis asked for prayers and fasting today for the people of Ukraine on this Ash Wednesday. Pope Francis is asking for prayers and fasting. What's your reaction to that that, sir?

The President. I think he's right. I was with the Cardinal this morning. He came over to give me ashes, and we both prayed for that, for the people of Ukraine.

Abortion Rights

Q. And last night, you continued to support Roe v. Wade. As a Catholic, why do you support abortion as a Catholic, defying church teachings?

The President. Well, I tell you what, I don't want to get in a debate with you on theology. But you know—well, anyway.

Q. But why?

The President. I'm not going to make a——

Q. Why support abortion as a pro-life——

The President. I'm not going to make a judgement for other people.

Q. If you're Catholic, why defy church teaching?

Targeting of Civilians by Russia in Ukraine

Q. Mr. President, do you believe Russia is intentionally targeting civilian areas? There are over 2,000 civilian deaths right now according to——

The President. It's clear they are.

Thank you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:23 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. In his remarks, he referred to Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, DC.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Superior, Wisconsin Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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