Administration

Five viral moments from Biden’s State of the Union

President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday under the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Yet the address was also notable for numerous viral moments, from an audience member heckling the president to a standing ovation for a retiring Supreme Court justice. 

Here are the biggest viral moments of Biden’s speech.

Biden’s big gaffe

Biden made a noticeable slip-up during his big speech when he referred to Ukrainians as “Iranians.”
 
The gaffe occurred toward the beginning of his address as he lambasted Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching an invasion of Ukraine. Even as his praise for the Ukrainian people drew bipartisan applause, his slip of the tongue did not go unnoticed by those on social media.
 
Biden’s official transcript indicated he meant to say “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people.” Instead, he said that “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.”
 
The remarks were widely shared on Twitter, including by the House Judiciary GOP’s account, which tweeted: “The Iranians?”
 

Schumer shows his enthusiasm for Biden’s speech

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) over-enthusiastic response to Biden sent Twitter into overdrive after he started his standing ovation a little early.

“Unlike the two trillion tax cut passed in the previous administration that benefited the top one percent of Americans,” Biden started to say of his predecessor, former President Trump, during his remarks. 

The cameras cut to Schumer, who stood up alone while Biden was midsentence, clapping. He looked across the aisle with a grin, and then sat back down. 

Biden continued, saying “the American rescue plan helped rescue people and left no one behind.” 

Schumer again shot out of his chair, this time joined by many of his Democratic colleagues, who began giving Biden thunderous applause. 

Schumer’s caught-on-camera false start was widely shared on social media as Biden’s speech continued, with many calling for his awkward moment to be ‘gif’ed immediately.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), in response to the viral moment, tweeted, “all of us trying to understand the fumbles and mumbles of Joe Biden’s timing…”

Boebert heckles Biden’s speech 
 
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) repeatedly heckled President Biden during his State of the Union address and at one point yelled out that Biden put American troops in coffins, shouting, “13 of them.” 
 
Biden ignored the comment and instead continued to speak about U.S. veterans being exposed to burn pits. He mentioned his son Beau Biden, who died of cancer after serving in Iraq near burn pits.
 
Her comments were met with boos by Democrats. Many of her fellow Republicans seemingly ignored the exchange.
 
However, this wasn’t the only time Boebert interrupted him during his speech.
 
When Biden pivoted from talking about his Supreme Court nomination to immigration reform, Boebert, along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), started chanting “build the wall,” while Biden continued.
 
She later tweeted, “I’ll say it louder for the folks in the back: BUILD THE WALL!!!” 
 
Boebert, who was spotted on the phone during Biden’s address, also lambasted the president for his comments on getting Americans vaccinated.

“Why doesn’t Joe just wear a Pfizer pin instead of the flag? We should know know who he’s really working for,” Boebert tweeted.

 

 
Breyer’s last hurrah
 
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s reaction to a standing ovation from members of Congress set off a chain of comments and posts.
 
Breyer, who is set to retire from the Supreme Court this summer after 27 years on the bench, was overwhelmed by the response and intense applause. At one point he covered his face with his hands. He also put his hand over his heart and stood up. 

“Tonight, I’d like to honor someone who has dedicated his life to serving this country: Justice Breyer — an Army veteran, Constitutional scholar, retiring Justice of the United States Supreme Court,” Biden said. “Justice Breyer, thank you for your service.” 

Among the many who commented on the moment was Democratic Party strategist and former Bernie Sanders adviser Chuck Rocha, who tweeted, “Omg Justice Breyer is so damn cute with his reaction”. 

Biden makes ‘fund the police’ trend on Twitter

President Biden was met with huge cheers from members of Congress, including many Republicans, with his line on the police.

“We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to FUND the police. Fund them. Fund them,” he said as the chamber erupted in loud cheers in a rare bipartisan show of support.

He called on Congress “to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence” and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and instead repeal “the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued” during his Tuesday address.

However, while Biden was cheered on by Congress, many on Twitter engaged in heated debated over “defund the police” vs “fund the police”.

Tags Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Joe Biden Lauren Boebert Marjorie Taylor Greene Matt Gaetz Stephen Breyer Vladimir Putin
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