Jill Biden Jokes That Joe Needs to 'Pay Attention' During Her U.K. Speech

The president and first lady spoke to a crowd of American service-members stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the United Kingdom on Wednesday

First lady Jill Biden speaks to American service members as she and President Joe Biden visit RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England G7 Biden, Raf Mildenhall, United Kingdom - 09 Jun 2021
Jill Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock

Speaking to a crowd of American service-members stationed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden urged her husband to be mindful of her remarks, joking, "Joe, pay attention," as Joe Biden could be seen conversing with members of the crowd behind him.

"Joe and I are always excited to visit with our troops and their families," Dr. Biden said, before telling the crowd, "You know, you can sit down."

As the crowd laughed and settled into their seats, President Biden turned away from his wife and toward the military seated behind him.

"Joe, pay attention," the first lady joked, gesturing for him to turn toward her.

In response, the president jokingly saluting his wife as the crowd laughed.

Dr. Biden's speech focused on what she called one of her "top priorities:" supporting members of the military and their families - a cause she has highlighted while in the White House and during this week's U.K. trip.

"No one has more strength and grit and resilience than our military families, but you can't do this alone" she said in her speech. "We have to help you carry this weight by approving access to mental health resources, ensuring everyone can put food on the table, and supporting caregiving families and survivors."

She continued: "Our military is a community bound together by love. Love for our country, love for the men and women who serve beside you - your husbands and wives, your moms and dads - and love for the communities that you build together. And it's our obligation to match that devotion."

The first lady has made providing for military families a central focus during her husband's time in office, saying in a February speech that their well-being is "critical to our national security."

Dr. Biden knows firsthand what it's like to part of a military family: Her late stepson, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard, deploying to Iraq in 2008. (He died from brain cancer at age 46 in 2015.)

In his own remarks to the troops on Wednesday, the president said they were "the solid steel spine of America around which alliances are built and strengthened," according to Military.com.

The first couple are in the U.K. for the Group of Seven summit and met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson, later on Thursday.

The president and first lady are slated to join Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on Sunday, in a meeting that will mark the Queen's first such major engagement since husband Prince Philip died in April.

President Biden, 78, will become the 13th American leader to meet the monarch, 95, during her historic reign.

Following the G-7 summit, the president will continue with his eight-day trip (his first overseas as commander in chief), participating in NATO talks with other world leaders followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his Wednesday speech, Biden offered the crowd a preview of his conversation with Putin, saying, "I'm meeting with Putin to let him know what I want him to know. The United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities. That there are consequences for violating the sanctity of democracy."

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