Harris chides GOP for ‘theatrics’ at State of the Union

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2023, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Vice President Harris early Wednesday dismissed the frequent jeers and boos among Republican lawmakers during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address as “theatrics,” arguing President Biden’s record of bipartisanship speaks for itself.

“I think there’s a bit of what happens in that room, sadly that it’s about theatrics, but when you talk about the substantive work, I think we’ve seen some success in terms of bipartisan work,” Harris said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“The president, it’s his nature and it’s his commitment to the American people to work across the aisle,” Harris added. “That’s not going to stop, even if some people are cynical about it.”

In a separate interview early Wednesday with “CBS Mornings,” Harris said Biden was “focused on the American people as opposed to necessarily the gamesmanship that was being played in the room.”

Harris pointed to the bipartisan infrastructure law Biden signed in 2021 that has helped fund thousands of projects nationwide, as well as a bipartisan gun safety bill Biden signed last summer in the wake of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

GOP lawmakers, and House Republicans in particular, frequently shouted out and heckled Biden during his speech to a joint session of Congress late Tuesday.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) could be heard calling Biden a “liar,” along with other Republicans shouting back at the president after he asserted some in the GOP wanted to sunset Social Security and Medicare.

At a later point, cries of “secure the border” rang out. When Biden mentioned fentanyl and the border, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) yelled: “It’s your fault!”

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) maintained a neutral expression throughout the evening while seated behind Biden, and he had urged members of his caucus to be respectful prior to the speech.

But the raucous response created a split-screen Biden and his team are likely to embrace as they make the case to the public that Democrats are focused on the issues while Republicans are a party of chaos.

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