President Obama joked about his administration's controversial enhanced airport security policy during his State of the Union Tuesday night.

While touting the benefits of high-speed rail, which he wants to promote through targeted spending measures, Obama joked that it could help travelers avoid airport pat-downs.

"Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car.," he said. "For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down."

The Transportation Security Administration instituted its new policies last year and many travelers and lawmakers on Capitol Hill voice protest against the policy during the holiday travel season.

The new measures includes pat-downs of some airline passengers by TSA agents if they wish to not go through full-body scanners, if they are selected to do so.

Although Obama has defended the policy as necessary to ensure airport security, his joke is at least nod to critics who believe the pat-downs are too intrusive.