Joe Biden delivered his first major speech to Congress in a 65-minute address that focused heavily on the growing threat of China abroad and his plans for a recovering America at home.
While remaining largely on script and stutter-free, the president seemed to stumble any time the topic shifted to Xi Jinping and the threat China posed to the world in the 21st Century.
In the most fact-checked claim of the night, Biden said he has travelled 17,000 miles with the leader of the Communist Party.
“He’s deadly earnest, of becoming the most significant consequential nation in the world, he and others, autocrats, think that others can’t compete in the 21st Century, because it takes too long to get consensus,” Biden says.
While returning to China multiple times, he mentioned Russia, North Korea and Iran in passing despite the recent SolarWinds cyber-attack attributed to the Kremlin.
After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, Biden said White Supremacy was not the ‘most lethal’ terrorist threat to the homeland; not Al Qaeda or ISIS in Africa and the Middle East.
Watch: Millionaire Mitt Romney refuses to applaud Biden’s plans for taxing rich
“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 per cent of Americans to just begin to pay their fair share,” Biden said. “Just their fair share.”
Cut to Romney…
The Senator from Utah, who is reportedly worth $250m from his career at private equity firm Bain Capital, refused to get to his feet or to clap when the president addressed the subjects during his speech to the joint session of Congress.
Graeme Massie has the story.
Three key takeaways from Biden’s address to Congress
And if you have neither the time nor interest in reading the speech in full, the AP has put together a helpful report on several key takeaways. They include the president’s focus on strengthening the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic and a full-throated endorsement of government as a public good.
The 3 major takeaways from Biden’s address to Congress
President Joe Biden is using his first address before a joint session of Congress to make the case that his administration has made progress during the first 100 days he’s been in office, confronting the public health and economic maelstrom caused by the coronavirus pandemic
Read the full speech for yourself
Clocking in at just over an hour, Biden’s speech hit on a number of key themes, from jobs to infrastructure to curbing gun violence.
We’ve posted the full speech transcript for your reading pleasure:
Millionaire Mitt Romney not keen on raising taxes
Sen Mitt Romney, who made hundreds of millions of dollars working for the private equity firm Bain, did not appear too enthusiastic over Biden’s proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 per cent of Americans to just begin to pay their fair share,” Biden said. To which Mitt said, essentially, thanks but no thanks.
Graeme Massie has more here:
GOP Rep Boebert apparently had better things to do
My colleague Oliver O’Connell checks in on Republican firebrand Rep Lauren Boebert, whose primary political position seems to be protecting America’s arsenal of guns.
‘Rebuilding a nation’: Biden calls on America to embrace sweeping plans to reshape US
Joe Biden made a direct appeal to a primetime audience to sell his “once in a generation” agenda, one that could reshape American life through a vast expansion of federal safety nets and a renewed workforce, primed for a nation at the brink of the climate crisis and emerging from the economic fallout from a global pandemic.
In his first address to a joint session of Congress on the eve of his 100th day in office, the president addressed “crisis and opportunity, about rebuilding a nation, revitalizing our democracy, and winning the future of our nation” following the deaths of thousands of Americans from the coronavirus and a previous administration that sowed chaos, capped by a deadly assault in the building where Mr Biden delivered his remarks.
Alex Woodward has the full wrap of the speech.
Biden calls on America to embrace sweeping plans to reshape US
President Joe Biden made a direct appeal to a primetime audience to sell his “once in a generation” agenda, one that could reshape American life through a vast expansion of federal safety nets and a renewed workforce, primed for a nation at the brink of the climate crisis and emerging from the economic fallout from a global pandemic.
White House chief of staff points to CBS poll showing high marks for Biden speech
No huge surprise here: White House chief of staff Ronald Klain highlighted a CBS News poll showing positive marks for the president’s speech. Mr Klain shared the CBS poll and asked Americans what they thought of the speech. RIP your mentions, Mr Klain.
He did say ‘boring’…
Ted Cruz may have self-fulfilled his own prophecy.
The Senator from Texas previewed Biden’s speech as “boring but radical”, and looks like he just acknowledged he passed out during the president’s inaugural address to Congress.
BREAKING: Tim Scott insists US is not racist in response to Biden speech
Leading the Republican response to Joe Biden’s address to Congress, Senator Tim Scott – the GOP’s only Black senator – insisted that the US is not a racist country after describing discrimination he experienced.
He said he has been pulled over while driving “for no reason,” followed in stores while shopping, and has been called an “Uncle Tom” and the n-word, including by liberals.
“I know firsthand our healing is not finished,” he said in remarks immediately following the president’s speech. “America is not a racist country.”
Alex Woodward has the GOP’s response.
Joe Biden-Liz Cheney fist bump after president’s speech to Congress
The Republican is facing challenges from her own party in her home state after voting to impeach Donald Trump.
She still has friends among the opposition party, with the Democrat president giving her a fist bump after his speech.