Biden’s State of the Union: Disruption, Jeering, and Bipartisanship
President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address was a unique event due to the heckling and jeering from Republicans in the audience. But Biden was prepared for the disruption, using it to reinstate his message. He accused “some” Republicans of wanting to sunset Social Security and Medicare, and got a unanimous endorsement when they protested. He then grinned and welcomed them as “converts”.
The most significant moment of the night came when Biden mentioned some Republicans wanting to sunset Social Security and Medicare, and the GOP side of the chamber erupted in boos. Biden responded by saying he was “politely not naming them, but it’s been proposed by some individuals.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also shouted out at least nine times that Biden was a liar. Despite the intense pressure to sound pugnacious, Biden stuck to a measured tone and spoke about China as an economic competitor rather than an existential military threat. He also noted that the US is “committed to work with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world.”
Biden was also fearless when discussing the painful reality of “the talk” Black parents have with their kids about how to interact with the police. He called for “more resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training” to make Tyre Nichols’ mother’s wish “for something good to come out of this” a reality.
The poll finds that 62 percent of Americans think Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his presidency. President Biden extended an olive branch to all, citing that he has enacted over 300 bills in a bipartisan fashion since taking office. He also thanked Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure law, and teased those who voted against it but still asked to fund projects in their districts.
In Biden's first two years, the U.S. economy has seen an increase of 12.1 million jobs. In Trump's last nine months as President, the economy was able to create 12.5 million new jobs. Biden’s State of the Union speech was a preview of his soon-to-be-announced campaign for reelection and a reminder that many of the laws he signed during the first half of his term are just now being implemented.
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1. “Biden Offers Bipartisan Olive Branch During State of the Union. Republicans Slap It Away.” The Daily Beast, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-offers-bipartisan-olive-branch-during-state-of-the-union-republicans-slap-it-away
2. “Opinion: Biden plays ‘truth or dare' with GOP” CNN, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/08/opinions/highlights-lowlights-biden-sotu-roundup/index.html
3. “GOP's raucous State of the Union shows Biden faces new opposition” Business Insider, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/republican-state-of-the-union-marjorie-taylor-greene-biden-analysis-2023-2
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7. “Key takeaways: Biden boasts about his wins and lays out populist 2024 themes” NBC News, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/joe-biden/key-takeaways-biden-boasts-wins-lays-populist-2024-themes-rcna68923
8. “FactChecking the State of the Union” FactCheck.org, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.factcheck.org/2023/02/factchecking-the-state-of-the-union-4/