Joe Biden stumbled over certain passages of his speech and made a mistake by saying that Vladimir Putin “can never win the hearts and souls of the Iranian people”.

The balance sheet

Normally, the State of the Union Address provides the President with a unique opportunity to defend his record of the past year and present his plans for the coming year in front of a large audience.

Tuesday’s came at a delicate time for Joe Biden, and not just because of the war in Ukraine. According to a Washington Post /ABC News poll released last weekend, only 37% are satisfied with his performance in the White House or his handling of the economy.

This data may seem surprising, given the strong growth, low unemployment rate and the coronavirus pandemic which seems to be giving Americans a break. But they reflect a climate that could help the Republicans wrest control of both houses of Congress from the Democrats.

Joe Biden, therefore, wanted to take advantage of this first speech on the State of the Union to enhance his popularity with Americans. He notably praised his $1.9 trillion economic recovery plan enacted at the start of his presidency.

“And unlike the $2 trillion tax cut passed by the previous administration, which benefited the richest 1% of Americans, the US bailout helped workers and left no one behind. side, ”he said, which earned him some boos from the Republican benches.

“And it worked,” he insisted. It created jobs. Lots of jobs. In fact, our economy created more than 6.5 million new jobs last year, more jobs created in one year than ever before in America’s history. »

Inflation

Joe Biden, however, did not ignore one of the main causes of Americans’ dissatisfaction and pessimism, namely inflation, which robs families “of the gains they might otherwise feel”, he said. recognized.

One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poorer. I have a better plan to fight inflation. Lower your costs, not your wages. Make more cars and semiconductors in America. – President Joe Biden

In particular, he announced that the United States had worked with 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves around the world to curb rising gasoline prices at the pump.

His plan includes reducing drug costs, including insulin, and childcare costs. It also provides tax credits to double the production of wind and solar energy.

“My plan doesn’t end there. It also includes home care and long-term care. More affordable housing. And kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds,” he said.

Joe Biden has also distanced himself from the Democratic left by speaking out against the “defunding of the police”. “The answer is to provide police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities,” he said.

The answer

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds presented the Republican response to the State of the Union address, criticizing Joe Biden for both his handling of inflation and his foreign policy.

“Instead of moving America forward, it feels like President Biden and his party have sent us back in time,” she said, alluding to the high inflation rates of the 1970s.

Speaking of the Democratic President’s foreign policy, she said, “Weakness on the world stage has a cost, and the President’s approach to foreign policy has always been too little too late. »