President Biden gave his second State of the Union address that acted as a soft launch for his 2024 presidential bid Tuesday night, earning cheers from Democrats for his calls to ban “assault weapons” and codify Roe v. Wade and jeers from Republicans on the border and Social Security.
Here are the top five moments from the speech.
Chaos briefly erupted in the House chamber after Biden repeated an old Democratic talking point that has long been debunked by fact-checkers.
“Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” Biden claimed.
“I’m not saying it’s a majority,” he continued as Republicanscongressional members began to protest. “Anybody who doubts it, contact my office, I’ll give you a copy. I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.”
“Liar!” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., shouted.
Biden backtracked saying, “I’m not saying it’s a majority of you. I don’t even think it’s even a significant – but it’s being proposed by individuals. I’m politely not naming them, but it’s being proposed by some of you.”
Some Republicans have supported designating all federal programs under the stricter scrutiny of discretionary spending, so that Congress must approve each program on an annual basis. While the designation would mean Medicare and Social Security could face cuts, Republicans have repeatedly said they don’t want to eliminate the programs.
Even left-leaning outlets have said Biden’s characterizations of the GOP’s plans for Social Security and Medicare is misleading.
2. McCarthy shushes
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy shushed hecklers in his own party when they interrupted Biden’s tribute to a fentanyl victim.
McCarthy could be seen mouthing, “Shush,” after a member yelled, “It’s coming from China,” and another shouted, “It’s your fault.”
McCarthy could be seen trying to quiet members of his party again when some of them shouted about securing the border when the president was talking about immigration reform.
3. ‘12 million new jobs’
Biden repeated the misleading claim about the number of total jobs he’s “created” since he took office in 2021.
“Two years ago, our economy was reeling,” the president said. “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.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, the economy under Biden has only added 2.7 million overall jobs, because the rest had been lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. ‘Ban assault weapons now’
Biden renewed his call to ban so-called “assault weapons” during his address, garnering a standing ovation from his party and head shaking from the other side.
“Ban assault weapons now. Ban them now, once and for all,” he said.
The president made the declaration after talking about the gunman who allegedly used a handgun to kill 11 people celebrating the Lunar New Year at a ballroom near Los Angeles.
The gun was reportedly a semi-automatic pistol with a magazine larger than 10 rounds.
Biden did not elaborate on what type of firearm classified as an “assault weapon.”
5. The kiss
First lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff shared a kiss ahead of Biden’s speech.
The moment immediately went viral on Twitter.
Biden opened his speech with a gaffe, incorrectly calling Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer the “minority leader.”
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Vice President Kamala Harris were spotted chatting and laughing in a friendly exchange before the president’s speech.
Four Supreme Court justices — Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch — opted against attending the speech.