Joe Biden got a little too close to the actress at the White House. The president embraced Eva Longoria after addressing a film screening of her directional debut, ‘Flamin Hot,’ but he let his hands hover a bit long around her waist before the actress herself quickly moved to grasp them and took a step back.
Before the embrace, the oldest-ever president had awkwardly joked a moment about the age gap between him and Eva Longoria when they first met.
“We’ve known each other a long time,” Biden told the crowd. “She was 17, I was 40,” he joked to cause laughs. Going by the birthdates, Longoria would have been 7 years old when the president was 40 and according to NYPost, Biden was 50 years old when they first met. Longoria had endorsed Biden in 2020 and was a major fundraiser for former President Barack Obama.
Longoria had raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for the 44th president’s 2012 re-election campaign. Both the awkward embrace and Biden’s remark about Longoria’s age didn’t impress some on social media, slamming Biden as creepy for making such a wisecrack. “He always comes across as a creepy old man,” said one Twitter user of the president.
A comment shared by an account held by stand-up comedians and conservative political commentators the Hodgetwins, identical twin brothers Keith and Kevin Hodge, suggested that double standards were at play. “The media thinks it’s funny when Biden says it, but if [former President Donald] Trump said [it] he’d be accused of rape,” read a tweet shared by the account.
Another user commented: “Why does he think this is funny? He’s done it in other situations.” “Actress Eva Longoria barely escaped Joe Biden’s clutches,” one Twitter user said of the uneasy moment. “Biden makes [a] disturbing comment from The White House about how long he’s known Eva Longoria: ‘She was 17, I was 40.’ And then he slowly slides his hands across her body as they hug,” tweeted Newsmax columnist Mark Vargas. “And the crowd full of Democrats just laugh.”
While some critics slammed Biden for his comment, some Twitter users went along with the joke. “Congratulations to Eva Longoria on her 57th birthday,” quipped one. However, Longoria is a longtime Democrat supporter and also a co-founder of the Latino Victory Fund, which champions Latinx candidates for public office.
Longoria’s new film “Flamin’ Hot” debuted at the SXSW festival on June 9 and it tells the story of Richard Montanez, the son of a Mexican immigrant who began his career at Frito-Lay as a janitor and rose through the company’s ranks to become an executive. Montanez is credited with the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, hence the title of the film.
“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 of the movie. First Lady Jill Biden added, “This film isn’t just about Richard. It’s about everyone who has been overlooked or underestimated,” while her husband noted it was the first White House screening of a film with Hispanic characters at the center.
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times ran an article disputing most claims Montanez has made and Frito-Lay stated in May 2021 that the janitor “was not involved” in creating the spicy snack food. But the White House defended its screening of the movie and told the Associated Press it was not a documentary but meant to give Americans from different backgrounds a chance to see themselves reflected in film and celebrated by the president.
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