President Joe Biden will spend Thanksgiving at the Nantucket house of private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, the White House confirmed Tuesday night, a move some conservatives criticized as American consumers may face an all-time high bill for Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden touched down in Nantucket Tuesday night to spend the holiday week with extended family, planning to “stay at the home of their friend, David Rubenstein, as they have done previously,” the White House told reporters (the news was first reported by Nantucket Magazine).
Rubenstein spent time as a White House official under President Jimmy Carter before entering private equity. He co-founded the Carlyle Group in the 1980s, and now serves as its non-executive co-chairman.
An American Farm Bureau Federation survey found last week the average cost of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 people reached an all-time high of $53.31 this year, up 14% from 2020, based on shopper pricing data collected nationwide. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released similar data last week finding the cost of a selected bundle of Thanksgiving staples rose only 5%, primarily because it found a smaller increase in whole turkey prices. A three-decade high in inflation, driven partly by supply chain issues, has caused prices at American grocery stores to rise — especially the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday about the message Biden is sending by traveling to a billionaire’s home amid the “most expensive Thanksgiving ever,” referencing the Farm Bureau survey. Psaki responded by first nearly directly quoting the less drastic USDA report, saying a 20-pound turkey will cost only $1 more this year than in 2020, before clarifying “any increase in prices is something the president is concerned about.” Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee joined Doocy in criticizing the president, tweeting Tuesday, “Joe Biden is enjoying his Thanksgiving at a billionaire’s home in Nantucket. Regular America? Enjoy the expensive gas and groceries!”