Headline RoundupMarch 8th, 2024

Recapping Biden’s 2024 State of the Union

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Joe Biden frequently contrasted himself with his “predecessor” in a wide-ranging State of the Union Address on Thursday. Watch it here.

The Details: While news coverage generally focused on a handful of quotes, Biden discussed a wide range of issues, including NATO, January 6th, IVF, abortion, the economy, infrastructure legislation, unions, healthcare, taxes, housing costs, education, unauthorized immigration, voting rights, gun regulations, Ukraine, Israel, and China.

‘My Predecessor’: While Biden struck an optimistic tone about the country, he frequently contrasted himself with his “predecessor” — whom he did not name — characterizing him as “bowing down to a Russian leader” and “playing politics” with a bipartisan border security bill. On abortion, Biden said, “Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom,” adding, “My God, what freedoms will you take away next?” 

Key Quotes: Biden also addressed a nursing student who had been murdered by a man who was in the country illegally, breaking with usual liberal language by saying, “How many thousands of people have been killed by illegals?” Biden brushed over LGBTQ+ issues, denouncing banning books and telling transgender Americans, “I have your back.” At multiple points, Democrats in the room chanted, “Four More Years,” contributing to a perception by some that Biden’s speech was “nakedly partisan.”

How the Media Covered It: As might be expected, coverage often aligned with different partisan attitudes, with the left highlighting Biden's optimism and the right highlighting his critics. For instance, Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) highlighted an apparent gaffe in which Biden invited Congress to fly with him to Moscow to compare prescription drug prices.

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