Vice President Joe Biden’s hotel tab for his recent one-night stay in Mexico City — where he struck an apologetic tone for the “heated rhetoric” voiced on the campaign trail by certain Republicans — cost taxpayers more than $500,000 according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Biden attended the annual economic summit with Mexican leaders on February 25 and stayed at the luxury InterContinental Presidente Hotel with a large entourage.
Biden led a delegation attending the summit that included Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
The trip called for 260 hotel rooms and meeting spaces, according to a State Department contract. The total hotel tab was $538,528.65.
The government said the trip costs were justified due to security concerns and last-minute planning.
“In addition to supporting a large delegation within a short time frame, last minute and frequent changes of itineraries for supporting personnel often result in significant changes in how Posts work with the vendors,” the State Department said. “With the exception of a few trips, contracts are not permitted to be signed until the Department of State (Post) has written confirmation from all supporting agencies, which enables collection of funds from said agencies in the event of cancellation.”
While in Mexico City, Biden felt the need to apologize for comments made by Republicans about Mexican immigrants on the campaign trail.
“I almost feel obliged to apologize for some of what my political colleagues said,” Biden said alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. “It’s a heated campaign season and I just want you to know, Mr. President, that the most heated rhetoric you’ve heard from competitors for the nomination for president is not who we are as the American people. It is not the view that is the view of the majority of the American people. It’s the exact opposite. It’s the opposite view.”
American taxpayers are no doubt grateful that the vice president straightened that out for them.