WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – President Joe Biden offered few surprises Tuesday evening in his annual State of the Union address, summarizing his conventional left-wing economic and social priorities while downplaying his party’s role in the COVID-19 response and provoking Republican anger by accusing his opponents of wanting to end Social Security.
“As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs, more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years,” Biden declared early in his speech. “Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much. Today, COVID no longer controls our lives.”
“While the virus is not gone, thanks to the resilience of the American people, we have broken COVID’s grip on us,” the president said when he returned to the topic later. “COVID deaths are down nearly 90%. We’ve saved millions of lives and opened our country back up. And soon we’ll end the public health emergency.”
He called for remembering those who died from COVID since early 2020 and said America “still need[s] to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments” but made no mention of his party’s support for lockdowns or that his administration only announced an end to the emergency declaration after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives declared it would move to end it immediately.
Biden also attempted to blame the “spike in violent crime in 2020” on the “scars” left by COVID, when in fact it was largely rooted in anti-police discontent driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, which Biden has supported, and doubled down on Tuesday by promoting the false narrative that black Americans are disproportionately likely to face excessive lethal force by police.
While on the subject, he declared that “we all want … our children to come home safely,” and affirmed “equal protection under the law” as “the covenant we have with each other in America.” Near the end, he noted that America is “built on an idea” that “all of us, every one of us, is created equal in the image of God.”
Yet he defined “protect all the people’s rights and freedoms” to mean that “Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose” abortion.
“The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy,” Biden said. “But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans. Make no mistake; if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it.”
He followed the pro-abortion remarks by urging Congress to “also pass the bipartisan Equality Act to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.” That bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include “sex,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” among expressly recognized “non-discrimination” categories in “public accommodations.”
Conservatives argue that it would not merely protect homosexual or gender-confused Americans from actual harm but rather force religious adoption agencies to place children in same-sex homes; force the likes of photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex “weddings”; force employers and businesses to accommodate cross-dressing and sex-change treatments regardless of their own values or policies; and force women and girls to share sleeping quarters, showers, changing areas, restrooms, and sex-specific athletic competitions with gender-confused males.
The biggest of the evening’s few spontaneous moments came when the president claimed that “some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years. That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away.” The chamber erupted in boos from Republicans, forcing Biden to stop his prepared remarks.
Biden at first tried to defend the statement, telling “anybody who doubts it” to “contact my office, I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.” When that failed to quell the unrest, Biden attempted to downplay the accusation, admitting “I don’t think it’s a majority of you, I don’t even think it’s a significant … ” before being interrupted. Eventually, he conceded that “as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right?”
Democrats have recently seized on individual GOP lawmakers floating Social Security changes as a means of addressing the nation’s fiscal problems, but GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said “none of that is true” as far as the caucus adopting any plans to do so.
Biden’s job approval currently sits at 44.2 percent according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average. A newly released poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that only 37 percent of Democrats want him to seek a second term.