Biden warns of threats to democracy at home and abroad in State of the Union address

President Joe Biden delivers the annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber in the U.S. Capital building on March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C.
President Joe Biden delivers the annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber in the U.S. Capital building on March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C. | Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden delivered his third State of the Union address Thursday night, which detractors derided as an overtly political and angry broadside against his presumed opponent, former President Donald Trump, and those who support him.

Biden, who showed up to the House chamber late, opened his speech by invoking Hitler and the Civil War to illustrate the gravity of the threat he claimed faces democracy both at home and abroad.

"Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today," he said. "What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time."

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Biden issued harsh words for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of "sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond," and assured his audience that his territorial ambitions do not stop at Ukraine.

Biden quickly pivoted from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to domestic concerns such as the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, suggesting those who question the 2020 presidential election and seek to restrict abortion rights exhibit a similar threat. He repeatedly referenced Trump without naming him, referring to him as his "predecessor."

"My predecessor — and some of you here — seek to bury the truth about January 6 — I will not do that," Biden said. "This is a moment to speak the truth and to bury the lies. Here's a simple truth: you can't love your country only when you win."

Biden then slammed the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, taking the Lord's name in vain as he appeared to threaten the attending justices who sat silently as those around them stood and applauded.

"Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom," he said. "My God, what freedoms will you take away next?"

"Clearly, those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America," Biden said. "They found out though when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again, in 2024."

Biden introduced his guest Kate Cox, a mother he claimed had to flee Texas to obtain an abortion for a baby with a fatal condition known as trisomy 18. He also pledged to "restore Roe v. Wade" if American voters provide him a Democrat-controlled Congress.

Biden's comments against the Supreme Court prompted backlash from Republican members such as Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who tweeted, "It's disgusting that Joe Biden threatened the Supreme Court for upholding the Constitution at the State of the Union. Joe Biden is a disgrace, a clear threat to democracy, and unfit for office."

Biden also faced live heckling from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., when he got to the issue of illegal immigration and the border crisis approximately 40 minutes into his address.

Greene was decked out with a MAGA hat and T-shirt emblazoned with "Say her name," in reference to Laken Riley, the 22-year-old Christian nursing student at Augusta University who was murdered by an illegal immigrant while jogging on the campus of the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens.

Biden, who repeatedly responded to the hecklers in the audience, botched Riley's name as he replied to Greene, calling her Lincoln Riley and acknowledging she was "killed by an illegal" before asking, "How many thousands are being killed by legals?"

Biden also boasted of his accomplishments regarding infrastructure and manufacturing and urged Congress to give more money to Ukraine, strengthen migration laws and lower drug prices. He also urged his listeners to remember that he entered office amid a pandemic and flagging economy.

Biden's speech was panned by Republicans such as House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who was visibly irritated at various moments as he sat behind the president, rolling his eyes and shaking his head.

"[Biden] tried to suggest that we're in great shape and the state of the union is strong," he told Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity. "We all know that's not true. The state of the Union is in decline in every measurable category — on the world stage, our sovereignty, our safety, our economy. Everybody knows it."

"Gaslighting the American people is not going to work," he added.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the speech "astonishing" and likened it to "an exceptionally bad campaign speech."

"Joe Biden was angry, he was bitter, he was screaming the entire night," Cruz said. "He was radical and extreme."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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