Biden wraps up State of the Union address: Full coverage and analysis

White House officials are thrilled with the off-script back and forth between President Joe Biden and Republicans.

“I couldn’t have written a better time,” an official said.

More than substantial back and forth, official notes how he seemed to animate Biden in real time

“He draws his energy from his audience,” the manager said. This isn’t a new take on how Biden works — his advisers constantly talk about how he finds his energy engaging with people

But seeing him perform during the speech, on the biggest prime-time stage of the year, was a moment White House officials are basking in right now.

A bit of context: The president was talking about the national debt – a debt that he said took “200 years to build up,” but grew by 25% under the last administration.

“These are the facts, check them out,” Biden said, as the boos and chatter began in the bedroom. “Check it out!” he continued on the ruckus.

Democrats cheered while Republicans fell silent. But when the president accused some Republicans of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare, protests erupted again. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green appeared to stand up and shout, “You’re lying.”

The White House has repeatedly accused Republicans of wanting to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but McCarthy has explicitly said recently that those cuts were out of the question.

The president said he was “happy to see” the reaction, adding: “I like the conversion”.


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