White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ducked questions on Tuesday about the Biden administration’s policy on transgender athletes in girls’ sports.
A reporter asked Jean-Pierre about remarks from Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who said, “The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls’ sports, it is the women’s issue of our time.”
The reporter asked Jean-Pierre, “Does the president agree that this is a women’s rights issue?”
Jean-Pierre claimed that the administration has “talked about this many times” and that “it’s a complicated issue, and there are a wide range of views on this.”
She said that it was “incredibly important” to Biden that transgender individuals not be discriminated against when it comes to protecting women’s sports.
“The president has granddaughters,” the reporter fired back. “Does he care that girls are allowed to compete in sports without the fear of injury? Does he think it’s fair for girls to have to compete against biological males?”
Jean-Pierre responded, “I just answered the question. It is a complicated issue. It is truly a complicated issue with a wide range of views — a wide range of views. There is no yes or no answer to this; it is complicated. There’s a rule that the Department of Education has put forward. And we’re going to let that — that process move forward.”
“And it is — again, we want to make sure that while we establish guardrails with this rule, that we also prevent discrimination, as well, against transgender kids,” she concluded. “But, again, a complicated issue with a wide range of views, and we respect that.”
.@Hillary__Vaughn: Biden "has granddaughters. Does he care…girls are allowed to compete in sports w/o fear of injury? Does he think it's fair for girls to have to compete against biological males?"
KJP: "I just answered…It is a complicated issue…with a wide-range of views" pic.twitter.com/IkRMsvIxC1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 29, 2023
Jean-Pierre’s comments were met with criticism from Republicans, who accused the administration of being soft on the issue.
“The Biden administration is refusing to protect girls’ sports,” said Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. “This is a betrayal of women and girls everywhere.”
The issue of transgender athletes in girls’ sports has become a hot-button issue in recent years. Some states have passed laws banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports, while other states have taken a more inclusive approach.