President Biden’s sweeping State of the Union speech Tuesday night drew animated responses from his audience — including standing ovations from his Democratic supports and heckling from several Republicans.
The president touted his administration’s successes and laid out legislative goals for the year ahead, calling to ban assault weapons, urging immigration reform and saying he’ll veto any attempt at a federal abortion ban.
Many in the GOP voiced audible dissent at points throughout the speech, and political figures on both sides of the aisle weighed in with statements and tweets after Biden stepped down from the rostrum.
“Tonight’s #SOTU showed one thing: That it is time for new Republican leadership to get our Nation back to the strength and prosperity we had under the Trump-Pence Administration,” former Vice President Mike Pence (R) wrote on Twitter after the speech.
Firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said she was “seriously disappointed” in the speech and called to “make Biden’s next SOTU his last.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who yelled “liar” during the State of the Union, called Biden “weak” in a video message and mocked the president, who struggles with a stutter, for “mumbling” during the speech.
The Republican Party issued an official response through Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who gave remarks from Little Rock.
“The contrast between her speech and Biden’s couldn’t be more clear. Republicans offer a vision for a future built on freedom, not fear-mongering,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
By contrast, Democrats praised the president for what Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), McCarthy’s predecessor, called an “inspiring message of progress, hope and unity for our nation.”
“Tonight, @POTUS was at his best. He delivered a personal speech with a progressive, populist vision for our country. Americans are counting on us to deliver competition, consumer protection, and corporate accountability. Count me in,” wrote Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.).
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Biden “laid out a visionary roadmap for the future” and said Democrats are set to usher in a “new era of progress and prosperity.”
Pelosi said on CNN after the speech that Republicans “protested too much” in the chamber as the president spoke.
Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was among the lawmakers who slammed the GOP heckling, which he said “might be accepted in a third world country, but not here.”