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“Wake Up!” Biden Takes a Swipe at Trump While Delivering Fiery State of the Union Address

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President Joe Biden's State of the Union Speech
Source: Al Jazeera English/YouTube

President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol. It was a crucial moment for Biden, as he had a large audience to present his case for a second term. He also highlighted the differences between his vision for the country and the Republicans. 

The president is preparing for what promises to be a tough general election battle against former President Donald Trump. Despite concerns about his approval ratings and health, the 81-year-old delivered one of the most spirited and politically charged presidential speeches to Congress. He said he intended to “wake up” Congress and also took a swipe at his predecessor, Donald Trump.

In his address, President Biden mentioned “my predecessor” 13 times. He avoided using Trump’s name but clarified that he was a central figure in his speech. He accused Trump of endorsing threats to democracy both domestically and internationally.

“They will not bow down. We will not bow down. I will not bow down,” Biden said of Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion. “History is watching — just like history watched three years ago on Jan. 6,” he added. He also clapped back at Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, and used sarcasm to ridicule Republican lawmakers.

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ALSO READ: Advocates Hope for Action Over Biden’s 2023 State of the Union Speech

Also, President Biden criticized the GOP for not passing the bipartisan border bill. He mocked them, saying, “I’m sure you can all read.” This was in response to the booing he got from some members of the House. While his speech probably won’t change Republicans’ minds, the Democrats in the chamber appeared delighted with the energized speech. 

Biden centered his speech around the theme of freedom, explicitly highlighting abortion rights following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022. Democrats believe this will be a decisive issue with voters.

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“He’s the reason it was overturned and brags about it,” Biden said of Trump, who appointed the conservative majority to the court that overturned Roe. He then pointed out that some of the Republicans in the chamber he was addressing wanted to implement a national abortion ban. “My God, what other freedom would you take away?” the president said.

“Those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America. But they found out when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022 and 2023, and they will find out again in 2024. If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you: I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again,” he added.

ALSO READ: Rep Jim Banks Calls on Biden To Mention Laken Riley in State of the Union Address

Biden emphasized the post-COVID economic recovery in his speech because the economy is a primary concern for many voters. He also outlined the administration’s strategies to revamp the tax code, increase housing supply, and lower the federal budget deficit.

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Biden’s State of the Union address was a chance to contrast his approach with that of Republicans, particularly on issues like abortion rights. Although State of the Union speeches have less agenda-setting power today, they still offer a rare chance for Biden to address a broad audience.

“In my career, I’ve been told I’m too young,” said Biden, addressing his age. “And I’ve been told that I’m too old. Whether young or old, I’ve always known what endures,” Biden continued. “The very idea of America: That we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives,” he concluded.

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