(WASHINGTON) — The two men who seem likely, at this point, to face each other in a presidential election rematch next November spent their Sundays in different parts of the country doing the same thing: marking Thanksgiving with service members.
President Joe Biden headed to Virginia on Sunday afternoon for a screening of the upcoming musical film Wonka and to host a Friendsgiving — both events for service members and families.
The president and first lady Jill Biden spoke before the film screening at a Naval facility in Norfolk, with Jill Biden thanking the families and mentioning her late stepson Beau Biden’s own service in the National Guard, according to reporters traveling with the Bidens.
Later Sunday, the president and first lady attended a Friendsgiving dinner with troops and their relatives at the Norfolk Naval Station.
Speaking there, Jill Biden mourned the just-announced death of former first lady Rosalynn Carter.
“I’m sorry to lead this off with a sad announcement that former first lady Rosalynn Carter has just passed,” Jill Biden said. “She was well known for her efforts on mental health and caregiving and women’s rights. So I hope that during the holidays, you’ll consider saying [you’ll] include the Carter family in your prayers.”
The Friendsgiving dinner is part of the first lady’s longtime initiative to support service members, called Joining Forces.
While celebrating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Joe Biden was not too far from other headlines. As he arrived to the Navy base, a reporter shouted out to ask about ongoing work to reach a deal to free many of the 200-plus hostages believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, amid the Israel-Hamas war in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack.
“Mr. President when will more hostages get out?” the reporter asked.
According to the press pool with the president, he responded, “I’m not in a position to tell you that. … I want to make sure they’re out, and then I’ll tell you.”
While traveling on Sunday, Joe Biden ignored — or did not hear — another shouted question about the youth vote in the wake of new polling indicating younger voters have soured on him a year out from the election.
Across the country, former President Donald Trump was officially endorsed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and then doubled down on border security in uncharacteristically short on-stage remarks near the Texas border on Sunday.
Introduced by Abbott just after the governor endorsed him, Trump spoke for just 10 minutes — much shorter than his typical campaign remarks, which are usually at least an hour long, at times even going for nearly two hours.
He spent longer time serving meals to service members earlier in the day, shaking hands and taking pictures with nearly 200 Texas National Guard soldiers, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and other officials that will be stationed on the border during Thanksgiving.
Trump and Abbott served food for more than 30 minutes inside the Texas Department of Public Safety hangar at the South Texas International Airport in Edinburg.
Afterward, both Trump and Abbott spoke briefly inside the hangar, thanking service members, and then they came out to the tarmac for their remarks.
Trump, polls show, remains the clear front-runner in the once-crowded Republican presidential primary, despite his ongoing controversies and legal troubles.
He is charged in four separate criminal cases but denies all wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.
On Sunday, he swiped at Biden, claiming the president doesn’t spend enough time in Texas, which Trump suggested was part of the Biden administration’s failures at the border.
Biden, for his part, has increasingly focused on Trump by name as his campaign appears to be sharpening its focus for a likely repeat of the 2020 race.
Last week, he condemned Trump for calling political enemies “vermin” whom Trump would “root out.”
Some historians said that rhetoric had clear parallels with infamous dictators of the past like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Trump’s campaign adamantly denied this.
ABC News’ Tia Humphries contributed to this report.
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