WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is shrugging off criticism that he skipped a weekend campaign event in Iowa attended by most of the 2020 Democratic presidential field, saying family obligations were more important.

Speaking at a fundraiser Monday in Washington, Biden said, “I got criticism from one of my competitors because I didn’t show up in Iowa to speak for five minutes with 19 people.”

He appeared to be referencing a dig by businessman Andrew Yang, who had knocked Biden for not appearing in Cedar Rapids.

Biden said his granddaughter Maisy was graduating from high school and Saturday was his daughter Ashley’s 38th birthday. He added: “I would skip the damn inauguration for that.”

Biden plans to travel to Iowa on Tuesday, when President Donald Trump will also be visiting.

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