At the White House Thursday, President Joe Biden embraced actress Eva Longoria with a signature hug and joked about their age gap when they first met.
Biden, 80, welcomed Longoria, 48, to the White House for a screening of her directorial debut “Flamin’ Hot” on the South Lawn.
Biden gropes Eva Longoria today at White House.
It's all here in slow motion.pic.twitter.com/oOpTg1yG0D
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 16, 2023
“We’ve known each other a long time. She was 17, I was 40,” Biden quipped, inaccurately. It would have been impossible to meet at those ages, as Biden was 50 when Longoria was 17 and 40 when she was seven years old.
Despite the minor slip-up, Biden praised Longoria’s movie which tells the story of a Mexican American janitor at Frito Lay who allegedly came up with the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
“When I think about tonight’s movie, I think about courage. So many of you, your ancestors left behind all that they knew to start a new life in the United States,” Biden said.
Longoria is a vocal supporter of Biden and has been since at least 2012 when she went on the campaign trail with him and then-President Barack Obama.
Biden has had a series of uncomfortable physical interactions with women and young girls, and his hug with Longoria is no exception. The video of the hug shows Biden’s hands almost grazing Longoria’s chest as they separate.
The Florida Rapid Response Team of the state’s Republican Governor and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis tweeted a video compilation of Biden’s awkward moments with women and girls earlier on Thursday.
The White House official defended the decision to screen the film, telling the Associated Press it was chosen “to give Americans from different backgrounds a chance to see themselves reflected in film and celebrated by the president.”
However, critics have pointed out that Richard Montanez — the Mexican American janitor the movie is based on — was apparently not involved in the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The Los Angeles Times investigation cites more than a dozen Frito-Lay employees and archival records that refute Montanez's claims.
Ever since Biden was elected president, his physical interactions with women and girls have been heavily criticized. Biden would do well to remember, and be more mindful of, the people he is touching — even in an embrace of a trusted old friend.
Keep your hands off our kids. pic.twitter.com/X7WqniRLO4
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) June 15, 2023