Biden says he was unsurprised some Republicans heckled him during State of the Union

President Biden
Annabelle Gordon
President Biden gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

President Biden on Wednesday said he was unsurprised by the jeers and boos from some Republican lawmakers during the State of the Union.

Biden, in an interview with PBS NewsHour, was asked if he was expecting the vocal reaction he received from Republicans during his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.

“From the folks who did it I was,” Biden said. “The vast majority of Republicans weren’t that way. But, you know, there’s still a significant element of what I call the MAGA Republicans … and, you know, I kind of anticipated it.”

Biden noted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and many other Republicans in attendance were “gracious.”

“I spent most of my career with the Congress and members of the Congress. I know the place well,” Biden said. “I know the system well. And I always feel comfortable when I’m up on the Hill. For real.”

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!”

McCarthy 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.

Biden at times seemed to enjoy the impromptu exchanges with lawmakers in the chamber on Tuesday.

When some in the GOP protested his claim that they wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare, Biden urged them to call his office and he would show them the proof. And when his pledge to protect those programs received bipartisan applause, he ad-libbed that there was unanimous support for leaving Social Security and Medicare untouched in upcoming spending talks.

Tags Biden Marjorie Taylor Greene

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