Biden assails ‘predecessor’ Trump, GOP in sharply partisan State of the Union speech

President Biden’s third State of the Union address was filled with political moments, as he chided Republican policies, proposals and repeatedly invoked and blasted his predecessor and GOP opponent for the White House in 2024, former President Donald Trump. 

Biden’s address Thursday night was criticized as resembling a campaign speech as he touched on numerous Democratic political issues and talking points that his campaign has highlighted in its re-election efforts. 

Members of the Democratic caucus in the audience even spent time chanting ‘four more years.’ 

The president began his address by calling for additional funding for Ukraine, while accusing Trump of ‘bowing down to a Russian leader,’ referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Biden invoked Trump nearly a dozen times throughout his address, but never mentioned him by name. 

The president, before declaring the traditional phrase, ‘the state of the union is strong,’ hit Trump again— this time, on Jan. 6, 2021. Biden, at campaign events this year, has focused on the Capitol riot and tied any ‘political violence’ in the country to Trump. 

‘My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth of January 6th,’ he said. ‘I will not do that. This is a moment to speak the truth and bury the lies.’

He added: ‘And here’s the simplest truth. You can’t love your country only when you win.’

Biden went on to demand lawmakers and Americans ‘join together and defend our democracy.’ 

‘Remember your oath of office to defend against all threats foreign and domestic,’ he said. 

Biden, in a swipe at Trump, added: ‘Respect free and fair elections; restore trust in our institutions; and make clear that political violence has absolutely no place in America.’ 

The president then shifted to the issue of women’s reproductive rights after the Supreme Court, in 2022, ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Biden invoked Trump on that issue as well and pointed to women voters. 

‘In its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court majority wrote, ‘Women are not without electoral or political power.’ No kidding,’ Biden said. ‘Clearly, those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America.’ 

Biden then pointed to the 2022 midterm elections, elections in 2023, and predicted victory for Democratic policies in 2024. 

‘They found out though when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again in 2024,’ Biden said. 

The president’s State of the Union address was criticized by conservative commentators as being angry and dark, as opposed to bright and forward-looking. 

But the president did, however, tout his economic policies under his administration, and say that America’s ‘comeback is building a future of American possibilities, building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down, investing in all of America and in all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot, and we leave no one behind!’ 

‘I inherited an economy that was on the brink. Now our economy is the envy of the world,’ Biden claimed, celebrating the ’15 million new jobs in just three years.’ 

Biden also discussed lowering drug costs, and strengthening Medicare. 

‘Now, I want to cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year for everyone,’ Biden announced.

As for healthcare, Biden also announced a plan for $12 billion to ‘transform women’s health research.’ 

The president also discussed an annual tax credit that he said would give Americans $400 a month for the next two years ‘as mortgage rates come down to put toward their mortgage when they buy a first home or trade up for a little more space.’

Biden also said his administration wants to eliminate title insurance fees for federally backed mortgages, while investing in and building 2 million affordable homes. 

Biden also touched on education and providing access to preschool, and stressed his desire to ensure every child ‘learns to read by third grade.’ 

He then went on to tout his student loan cancelation benefit; urge a 25% tax for billionaires; and more. 

All this before addressing the crisis at the U.S. southern border. 

Biden began that section of the speech by blasting Republicans for failing to pass his border bill. 

He invoked Trump, claiming he demanded lawmakers block the bill from passage, and claimed he needed additional ’emergency’ power from Congress to shut down the border. 

Biden was heckled by GOP lawmakers on the issue, as they urged him to acknowledge 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley, who was murdered last month, allegedly by an illegal immigrant.

Biden appeared to call Laken Riley ‘Lincoln Riley,’ but said she was ‘an innocent young woman killed by an illegal.’ 

He also said his ‘heart goes out’ to her parents, ‘having lost children myself.’ 

Meanwhile, Biden went on to address LGBTQ+ issues, urging the passage of the Equality Act.

‘My message to transgender Americans: I have your back!’ Biden said. 

A former White House speechwriter ripped the speech as an ‘utter disgrace,’ and ‘the most partisan’ in modern history.

‘Attacking his opponent directly in the first minutes of his speech is unprecedented and perhaps the most partisan start to a State of the Union address in modern memory,’ Marc Thiessen, a Fox News contributor and former speechwriter in President George W. Bush’s administration, said during the address. ‘As someone who helped write several SOTUs and who reveres this important presidential institution, I’m stunned by this address. It’s an utter disgrace.’ 

‘This man should never be allowed to take the rostrum of the House and deliver a State of the Union address again,’ he added.

Meanwhile, the president also declared that the country is ‘safer today than when I took office.’ 

At that moment, he was interrupted by a Gold Star dad, who yelled: ‘Abbey Gate, Abbey Gate’—in reference to the terrorist attack outside Kabul Airport during the botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Thirteen soldiers were killed in the attack. 

As for national security and U.S. military involvement abroad, Biden directed the U.S. military to ‘lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier’ on the Gaza coast that can ‘receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters’ as the war between Israel and Hamas rages on. 

‘No U.S. boots will be on the ground,’ Biden said, while demanding that Israel ‘allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the crossfire.’ 

Biden also stressed the need for ‘stability in the Middle East,’ and said his administration is working to contain ‘the threat posed by Iran.’ 

‘I’ve ordered strikes to degrade Houthi capabilities and defend U.S. forces in the region,’ he said. ‘As commander-in-chief, I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and military personnel.’ 

Meanwhile, the president said he wants ‘competition with China, but not conflict.’ 

‘And we’re in a stronger position to win the competition for the 21st Century against China or anyone else for that matter,’ Biden said. 

Ahead of the president’s address, many opponents and even some supporters signaled concern over his age and performance. The address came just weeks after Special Counsel Robert Hur released a damning report, not bringing any charges against Biden, but describing him as a ‘sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.’ 

Biden, seemingly addressing the issue of age, at 81, said Thursday night that in his career, he’s been told he’s ‘too young’ and ‘too old.’ 

‘Whether young or old, I’ve always known what endures. Our North Star. The very idea of America, that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives,’ Biden said. ‘We’ve never fully lived up to that idea, but we’ve never walked away from it either. And I won’t walk away from it now.’ 

Biden added: ‘My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old our ideas are.’ 

‘Hate, anger, revenge, retribution are among the oldest of ideas,’ he said. ‘But you can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back.’ 

Biden said, ‘to lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future of what America can and should be.’ 

Biden said he sees a future ‘where we defend democracy not diminish it,’ ‘restore the right to choose and protect other freedoms not take them away,’ ‘where the middle class finally has a fair shot and the wealthy finally have to pay their fair share in taxes,’ and ‘where we save the planet from the climate crisis and our country from gun violence.’ 

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