Friday Briefing

President Biden’s State of the Union address focused on issues like the economy, immigration, abortion, prescription drug and housing costs and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Biden assailed Trump in the State of the Union

In a forceful State of the Union address last night President Biden criticized former President Donald Trump, an electoral opponent he did not mention by name, as a dire threat to democracy and stability in the world.

The speech before Congress also served as a campaign kickoff, as Biden leveraged what was expected to be one of his largest televised audiences this year to make a case that he was fit enough for another four years in office.

Biden, who often spoke in a raised voice, sparred with Republican hecklers and discussed his record and plans for the future, focusing on issues like the economy; immigration; abortion; the costs of prescription drugs and housing; and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine. (Here is a transcript.)

But the battle for democracy was a recurring theme. Biden assailed Trump, talking about how his “predecessor” seemed dangerously supportive of President Vladimir Putin of Russia and had lied that Biden stole the 2020 election, among other things.

“You can’t love your country only when you win,” Biden said.

The Response: Senator Katie Britt of Alabama delivered the Republican response. Trump responded to Biden’s address in real time on his social media site, asserting that “Putin only invaded Ukraine, because he has no respect for Biden.”

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