By Laila Kearney, CNN
In the wake of thousands protesting outside the White House, former Vice President Joe Biden opted to dine at lunch inside Washington’s Kennedy Center, appearing at a pre-planned event even though he could have just as easily opted for a bowl of soup in frigid temperatures.
“I thought it was good. I think it’s important, I have a responsibility to participate,” Biden told the pool of reporters gathered in the Oval Office early Friday as he returned to his post- White House vacation home in a Virginia county.
His wife, Jill Biden, said the former vice president wanted to continue trying to draw attention to gun violence after the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, brought anti-violence activism to the national stage.
Biden also said he traveled to the National Pastoral Center for meditation on Friday with “Congressman Steve Cohen and several other friends of ours that I’ve known.”
He also worked to stay away from the headlines surrounding President Donald Trump and the protests that have spread across the nation since 17 people were killed at a school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.
“I’m not answering any questions,” Biden said, dismissing a CNN reporter who asked about how the students can now continue their activism.
The former vice president also dismissed the idea that he’s considering a run for president in 2020, dismissing it as “the factoid of the day” and insisting he’s focusing on next year’s 25th anniversary of his appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
As the cameras rolled, it was clear Biden was taking notice that the photo being taken — he appeared to be wearing a head covering — was the one of him eating during the entire meal.
Later Friday night, Biden hosted a screening of the 1999 film “Field of Dreams,” set in Iowa during President George H.W. Bush’s term, at a local theater.