Biden assails Trump, Republicans in fiery State of the Union speech

Biden assails Trump, Republicans in fiery State of the Union speech

• Accuses his predecessor of threatening democracy, kowtowing to Russia
• Warns Israel against using aid to Gaza as a bargaining chip

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Thursday laid out his case for re-election in a fiery State of the Union speech that accused Donald Trump of threatening democracy, kowtowing to Russia and torpedoing a bill to tackle US immigration woes.

In a 68-minute address to Cong­ress, Biden, a Democrat, drew sharp contrasts with his Republican rival and gamely challenged Trump’s supporters in the chamber during a speech that was watched as much for the 81-year-old president’s performance as it was for his policy proposals.

Biden charged Trump with burying the truth about the Jan 6, 2021, Capitol assault, bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin and blocking a bill to tighten restrictions at the US border with Mexico.

On the Middle East, the president said he had been working for an immediate ceasefire to last six weeks between Hamas and Israel, and he warned Israel against using aid to Gaza as a bargaining chip.

The greater thrust of his remarks focused on Trump, though Biden did not mention him by name. Biden opened by declaring democracy under threat at home and abroad and criticising Trump for inviting Putin to invade Nato nations if they did not spend more on defence.

“Now my predecessor, a former Rep­ublican president, tells Putin, quo­te, ‘Do whatever you want’,” Bid­en said. “I think it’s outrageous, it’s dangerous and it’s unacceptable.” Biden, who pressed Congress to provide additional funding to Ukraine for its war with Russia, also had a message for Putin: “We will not walk away.”


Trump, in a response on his Truth Social platform, responded with criticism of Biden. “He said I bowed down to the Russian Leader. He gave them everything, including Ukraine,” he said.

The speech gave Biden, who is suffering from low approval ratings, a chance to speak directly to millions of American television viewers about his vision for another four-year term.

Biden assails Trump, Republicans

Biden accused Trump and Republicans of trying to rewrite history about the Jan 6, 2021, Capitol riot by the former president’s supporters seeking to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory.

“My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about January 6. I will not do that,” Biden said.

He knocked Republicans for seeking to roll back healthcare provisions under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and driving up deficits, and jibed them for taking money from legislation they had opposed.

Biden sought to cool anger among many Democrats over his support for Israel’s offensive in Gaza. He announced that the US military will build a port on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast to receive humanitarian assistance by sea.

“To the leadership of Israel I say this: Humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.