Every year, whoever is Speaker of the House hosts a St. Patrick’s Day lunch in the Capitol. This tradition goes all the way back to Ronald Reagan, but for the first time since 2003, the President of the United States will not be attending.
Donald Trump has officially rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s invite and declared that he won’t attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day lunch. George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton are the only other presidents to skip the lunch, but they had good reasons, like the United States being about to invade Iraq, and Clinton needing surgery, so this is the first time a U.S. President is missing this lunch on political grounds.
This St. Patrick’s Day lunch has been held annually since 1987 after former House Speaker Tip O’Neill had Ronald Reagan to the Capitol for the lunch. The House came up with the idea to ease tensions between the pair as they were both Irish-American leaders. It has since morphed into being a bipartisan event that celebrates the Irish. Trump skipping this is absolutely an insult to the Irish.
“There has never been stronger support in the Congress and in the country for the U.S.-Ireland bilateral relationship. One would think that the White House could set petty, partisan politics aside for this historic occasion,? Speaker Pelosi responded to Trump abandoning the event through her spokesman Drew Hammill.
Last year Speaker Pelosi said the lunch is ?a tradition where we dispense with our differences, whether they?re political or whether they?re competitive in any other way.? White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere blamed Speaker Pelosi for Trump rejecting her invite, “Since the Speaker has chosen to tear this Nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric, the President will not participate in moments where she so often chooses to drive discord and disunity, and will instead celebrate the rich history and strong ties between the United States and Ireland at the White House on March 12.”
Trump is a coward for not attending, plain and simple. But to be honest, Speaker Pelosi may be coming out ahead with this because there is a non zero chance that Donald Trump and/or someone in his entourage is carrying Coronavirus, as we reported on here. A lunch, with food around, is one of the last places you want to be when Trump and his team have proven they aren’t taking basic steps to protect themselves from Coronavirus.