Biden becomes just fourth president to have given both SOTU rebuttal and joint address
President Biden on Wednesday night made his first address to a joint session of Congress. He also made history as the fourth president in history to deliver both a congressional address as president and a State of the Union party response.
Only three other presidents have done the same: Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, noted CSPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman.
Joe Biden becomes fourth politician to deliver both a Presidential address to Congress and, in a previous job, their party’s response to a SOTU (other three: Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush) …
April 28, 2021 … January 25, 1983 pic.twitter.com/wwrXlyKVIu
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) April 29, 2021
Then-Senator Biden delivered the Democratic responses to Republican President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union addresses in 1983 1984. Biden served as a senator for six terms representing Delaware before becoming vice president under former President Obama in 2009.
The tradition of the party response dates back to 1966, notes the Fairfield Sun Times.
Gerald Ford, president from 1974 to 1977, gave three State of the Union address during his presidency. As a Michigan representative, Ford delivered three Republican party responses to the addresses made by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson between 1966 and 1968, according to the House of Representatives website.
In 1985, then-Gov. Bill Clinton (D-Ark.) spoke on behalf of the Democrats after President Reagan’s address.
George H.W. Bush, at the time a Republican congressman, was among the those who offered a rebuttal to Democratic former President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.
This year’s opposition speech will be delivered by Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.