According to recent opinion polls, President Joe Biden’s popularity has been at a record low recently, his reform agenda has stalled, and inflation is a cause for concern. Such bad conditions were for his first appeal to the state of the nation. But the war in Ukraine has united Democrats and Republicans.
Katess Brand, Tagesschau’s own correspondent, told ARD-Studio in Washington following US President Joe Biden’s speech to the nation.
Joe Biden was well prepared for the speech. In particular, he devoted 15 minutes of his hour-long speech to Ukraine, the rest to domestic policy issues. With his militant, aggressive tone toward President Vladimir Putin and his demonstration of demonstrative solidarity with Ukraine, he was able to unite Congress and gain its emotional support.
Non-partisan applause as something special in the life of the US Congress
Many deputies and senators wore something blue and yellow: stickers, handkerchiefs, scarves. The support of Ukrainians who are currently fighting has united deeply hostile Democrats and Republicans.
Biden said that the airspace over the United States is now also closed to Russian aircraft. He described Putin as an isolated dictator who miscalculated, who could win positions on the battlefield but pay a high price in the long run.
Direct aid to Ukrainians is a billion dollars, but Biden continues to exclude US involvement in hostilities. US troops will only be deployed if NATO allies attack. But then the Americans will fight for every inch.
“America First” by Biden
During Biden’s speech, there was an unusual moment when the United States suddenly shouted “USA, USA!”, Typical of the Republican election campaign of former President Donald Trump. But Biden used a few phrases that elicited unanimous support. He promised, in particular, that state money from the US budget will be used only for American products, he intends to persecute foreign companies that get rich at the expense of America, he wants cars and semiconductors to produce in the US and become independent abroad.
Similar statements have previously been made by Donald Trump. However, Biden used all his American pathos to unite, not divide, his countrymen. Towards the end of his speech, he made the right message again: the United States is the only nation in the world that has turned every crisis into an opportunity.
In fact, Americans are only worried about inflation
The threat of 7.5 percent inflation worries Americans the most. Rent, houses, products, fuel. Everything has become more expensive, they blame Biden for this.
The president has announced spending cuts: lower prescription drug prices, lower electricity bills for private consumers, acceptable support for babysitters, and free kindergarten for children aged three and four.
But for that he needs a majority in parliament, which he does not have. Therefore, Biden’s speech was full of appeals to Congress. In particular, regarding the need to clear the way for important projects, increase the minimum wage, the terms of paid childcare leave, check the buyers of weapons …
What Biden did not say
Republicans, as well as many Democrats, believe that the United States urgently needs to increase its own oil and gas production: on the one hand, to make the United States independent of Russian oil, on the other hand, to help its European partners.
Biden completely missed this topic. He announced that he would deplete oil reserves, but no more. Obviously, he does not want his climate policy to be compromised by this crisis.
Biden also ignored the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, election manipulation and the loss of faith in American democracy. Trump’s name was also not mentioned.