Headline RoundupMarch 2nd, 2022

Breaking Down Biden's State of the Union Speech

AllSides Summary

President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union address Tuesday night amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, high inflation, and low public approval ratings ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Biden concentrated on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and said his administration is banning Russia from American airspace. He said U.S. troops would not engage in a conflict with Russian forces, but would "defend every inch of the territory that is NATO territory" in Europe. Biden also said Russian President Vladimir Putin "badly miscalculated" and that "when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause war and chaos." The president entered the chamber without a mask, and said that recent pandemic progress means "Covid-19 need no longer control our lives." Biden also took a stance against 'defund the police,' saying the "answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities."

Sources across the spectrum highlighted how Biden's support for Ukraine inspired bipartisan unity in the chamber. Some coverage from left-rated outlets said Biden wasn't critical enough of certain Republicans for their role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot or their purported support of Putin. Outlets on all sides, especially on the right, highlighted how Biden mistakenly said Putin would never gain the hearts and souls of "Iranian people" instead of Ukrainian. Some coverage from right-rated sources argued that Biden wasn't emphatic enough about condemning Russia and China or addressing domestic issues like inflation and immigration.

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