Wed, 17 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

State of the Union: Biden draws election battle lines in fiery speech

Update : 08 Mar 2024, 13:38

President Joe Biden delivered a fiery State of the Union address on Thursday, taking repeated swipes at Donald Trump and covering the broad themes of his re-election campaign.

Mr Biden used the term "my predecessor" to refer to Mr Trump 13 times in a speech that lasted more than an hour.

He accused his likely election opponent of "bowing down" to Russia and criticised him over the Capitol riot.

Mr Biden also covered immigration, abortion, the economy and Gaza.

The atmosphere in the House chamber was raucous at times, with loud cheering from Democrats and heckling from some Republicans.

It was a spectacle more typical of a political convention than a State of Union address - a constitutionally mandated report that is usually heavy on pageantry and policy.

But this is an election year and the stakes for Mr Biden were high. He was feisty and confrontational as he sought to draw the battle lines for his nascent campaign.

Taking aim at Trump
Unsurprisingly, many of his barbs were aimed at Mr Trump given he is almost certain to be his opponent in November's general election.

"My predecessor failed the most basic duty any president owes the American people - the duty to care," he said in reference to Mr Trump's handling of the Covid pandemic. "That is unforgivable."

He criticised Mr Trump for his recent comments about Russia and Nato, and said that he sought to "bury the truth" about the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

He blamed him for the Supreme Court decision to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights and for blocking bipartisan immigration reforms.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, had promised to react in real time to the speech on his Truth Social platform. "Biden is on the run from his record and lying like crazy to try to escape accountability for the horrific devastation he and his party have created," he wrote.

"They continue the very policies that are causing this horror show to go," he said.

Mr Biden aggressive approach on Thursday may have been born, at least in part, out of necessity. At 81, he is the oldest president in US history and has been beset by questions about his age and mental acuity.

His approval ratings are the lowest of any modern president seeking re-election. He is in a statistical dead heat with Mr Trump, however, who also is viewed negatively by voters.

Even when Mr Biden addressed his age, he did so with a jab at Mr Trump, who at 77 is only a few years younger than him.

"I know it may not look like it, but I've been around for a while," he said. After rattling off a list of positive attributes he said defined America, he added a kicker.

"Some other people my age see a different story: an American story of resentment, revenge and retribution." BBC 


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