Israel, Laken Riley feature in Biden’s Teach of the Union speech

Israel, Laken Riley feature in Biden's State of the Union speech
© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the Teach of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 7, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Trevor Hunnicutt, Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Thursday attacked extinct President Donald Trump’s imaginative and prescient for The United States, criticized Israel and used to be challenged on immigration in his remaining Teach of the Union speech sooner than the two males face off in the November U.S. election.

Listed below are some takeaways from the Teach of the Union address on Thursday.


Biden issued a difficult directive to Israel’s leaders, telling them now to no longer extend humanitarian lend a hand to Palestinians for political capabilities.

“To the management of Israel I pronounce this: Humanitarian aid can not be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip,” Biden mentioned. “Preserving and saving innocent lives has to be a precedence. As we build a query to to the long slump, the handiest staunch technique to this scenario is a two-order solution.”

Biden has faced rising stress from fellow Democrats over his lend a hand for Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Palestinian Hamas militants.

“I’ve been working non-cease to place a appropriate away ceasefire that would remaining for six weeks,” he mentioned, reiterating U.S. policy nevertheless utilizing the observe “ceasefire” that his administration as soon as shied a ways off from.


Goaded by Trump-allied Republican U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Biden went off script to address the case of Laken Riley, a 22-one year-primitive nursing scholar from the U.S. order of Georgia, who used to be allegedly murdered remaining month by an undocumented immigrant who had been released on parole.

Republicans, who blame Biden and his administration’s border policies for the deaths of Individuals killed by illegal migrants, contain seized on Riley’s loss of life as a logo of Democrats’ failure.

“Or no longer it is about Laken Riley,” shouted Greene in the course of the speech, interrupting Biden as he talked in regards to the border. “Instruct her title!”

Biden picked up a button Greene thrust into his hand as he walked to the rostrum, and repeated Riley’s title, announcing she used to be an innocent girl killed by “an illegal.” He mentioned thousands are killed by “appropriate” U.S. residents sooner than sending his tips to Riley’s household.


One observe missing from the speech used to be “Bidenomics,” the White Home’s old slogan for his financial agenda that used to be the centerpiece of a inaccurate-nation tour remaining one year.

Democrats working for space of business in congressional races contain carried out with out the phrase and senior Democrats were encouraging the White Home to ditch the clutch-all slogan and focal point as an different on particular puny print, be pleased mark caps on prescription pills, data on job development and unemployment figures.

It seemed Biden took their advice.


Biden used levity to jab at his Republican opponents.

He greeted Greene’s donning of a Trump campaign hat on the Home floor with a face of mock shock sooner than turning away.

Acting to head off script, the president ribbed Republicans for having fun with, and taking credit rating for, Biden-backed federal investments that they voted in opposition to. “If any of you don’t need that money to your districts, appropriate let me know,” he mentioned to laughs from Democrats.

He moreover cracked a silly sage about Republicans being end to Russia, while speaking about how costly prescription pills are in The United States when put next to assorted international locations.

“Any of you will want to procure in Air Force One with me and soar to Toronto, Berlin, Moscow? I imply, excuse me – and, neatly, even Moscow, potentially.” He mentioned pills there could well be a ways more cost effective than in the US.

And he hinted at a profane comment he as soon as made on a hot mic in regards to the 2010 healthcare reform law passed when he used to be vice president. “The Cheap Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is unruffled a truly mountainous deal,” Biden mentioned, omitting the well-liked expletive.


A visibly annoyed Republican Home Speaker Mike Johnson sat in the motivate of Biden’s left shoulder at some point of the one-hour, eight-minute speech. Or no longer it is the aged seat for the speaker of the Home – who is 2d-in-line to the presidency after the vice president – and made the Louisiana Republican’s expressions highly visible to television viewers.

“Folks are announcing that I made silly facial expressions. I attempted to clutch a poker face,” Johnson knowledgeable reporters. “Nonetheless it used to be very difficult. I disagreed so vehemently with a lot of what he mentioned.”

Johnson’s reactions were more subdued than those of extinct Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who at the dwell of then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 address took her copy of the textual remark material and ostentatiously ripped it in two.


By a variety of the speech, the 81-one year-primitive president’s supply used to be stuffed with life and forceful adequate to exceed even some Democrats’ expectations. He spoke for over an hour.

“Trump and the Republicans contain spent months going after Biden’s vitality and stamina and in front of the complete nation, Biden giving them an absolute and neatly deserved scolding,” mentioned Democratic strategist Eric Koch.

The hashtag “yelling” trended on X, the extinct Twitter, in postings about his speech, and his itsy-bitsy cough gave the impact to become more continual in direction of the dwell of his supply.

“In my career, I’ve been knowledgeable I was too younger,” he mentioned, to laughter, in conjunction with “and I’ve been knowledgeable I’m too primitive.”

Whether younger or primitive, he has continuously known The United States’s “North Star,” he mentioned – the American theory that “we’re all created equal.”

Some folk contain primitive tips, he mentioned, in an apparent nod at Trump. “Hate, enrage, revenge, retribution, are the oldest of tips,” he mentioned.

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