Biden delivers defiantly political 2024 State of the Union ahead of likely rematch with Trump: “History will be watching”

Author: Melissa Quinn, Kaia Hubbard, Caroline Linton
Published: Updated:
State of the union
President Biden delivers third State of the Union. CREDIT: CBS

President Biden on Thursday delivered his third State of the Union, taking a defiantly political tone with the gridlock in Congress and as he faces what will likely be a nasty reelection battle against former President Donald Trump.

While Mr. Biden did not mention Trump by name, he frequently chided “my predecessor,” highlighting the unusual election that is up ahead between two presidents who have had pursued extremely different agendas.

But despite House Speaker Mike Johnson’s pleas for decorum, there were still disruptions from Republicans. Mr. Biden veered off script when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said “say her name” about Laken Riley, the Georgia student who was murdered and an undocumented man is the suspect in her death. He held up a button with Riley’s name. Several other disruptors were removed from the chamber.

In a sign of the White House’s emphasis that democracy will be on the ballot in November, Mr. Biden kicked off the speech by pointing to other “unprecedented” times the State of Union was delivered, comparing the moment to Franklin Roosevelt’s speech in Jan. 1941 when “Hitler was on the march” in Europe.

“History is watching,” he said, urging Congress to “stand up” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He then transitioned into discussing the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying “history will be watching.”

Mr. Biden also highlighted passing an immigration bill and pushed ahead that Democrats are protecting reproductive rights. Among first lady Jill Biden’s guests were Latorya Beasley, an Alabama woman whose IVF treatment was halted among the state Supreme Court decision, and Kate Cox, who had to leave Texas to receive an abortion after carrying a fetus with what doctors said was a fatal condition.

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