What’s happening: President Joe Biden is facing a lot of pressure a year before 2024, especially as new polls show that most Democrat voters don’t want him to seek a second term. He positively portrayed the current state of America during the address but also included misleading digs into his Republican opponents.
The economy: Biden argued that the trillions of dollars in financial spending he pushed through helped America recover from the pandemic. He cited the low unemployment rate and easing inflation. (Inflation is down to 6.5 percent from June’s high of 9.1 percent but still up from 1.4 percent when Biden was inaugurated.)
China: Though Biden didn’t make China a core topic and instead focused on domestic issues, he did mention the recent spy balloon saga. “I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world. But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.”
Misleading claims: Biden claimed his administration created 12 million new jobs, but that number is highly inflated when accounting for the jobs lost because of lockdowns and vaccine mandates that his administration continued to enforce. He also reiterated that Americans are taking home more money despite inflation, which isn’t true. One of the last statements that caused an uproar in the audience was Biden claiming that Republicans wanted to get rid of Medicare and Social Security.
The bipartisan play: Though Biden’s administration has been highly progressive—he has made significant efforts to keep child sex changes legal, force K-12 schools to create trans-friendly bathrooms, and keep critical race theory in the federal government and has pushed for a global vaccine passport, among other things—Biden portrayed himself as a bipartisan, moderate candidate.