President Biden Needed To Pivot — But Chose Not To

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding President Biden’s State of the Union Address:


“Last night, President Biden gave a State of the Union address that might have worked okay for a popular administration that had been successfully tackling America’s problems and earning high marks.

“But that is not the reality in which we live.

“Democrats spent the last 12 months making major, painful policy errors. The public overwhelmingly disapproves. President Biden didn’t need to stay the course and rehash a scattered wish list. He needed to make a dramatic pivot. But he chose not to.


“The President first discussed Ukraine. Everybody agrees with the sentiments President Biden expressed. But sentiments are not enough.

“The President articulated no meaningful new steps and no specific plan. He made no explicit commitment to keep flowing weapons, intelligence, and advanced capabilities into Ukraine as long as Ukrainians need them.

“Nor did he explain why his Administration was slow to provide lethal assistance in the first place.

“Instead, the President focused on trying to claim credit for the remarkable European and worldwide response that his Administration did not even foresee, let alone orchestrate.

“Apart from Ukraine, the President’s other remarks on our dangerous world were not just insufficient; they were basically nonexistent.

“The President spoke for over an hour but only mentioned China twice. Neither time had anything to do with national security or military modernization.

“The President only mentioned Iran one time, and it was literally by accident.

“Zero mentions of North Korea. Zero mentions of the botched Afghanistan retreat the Administration originally boasted was a ‘success.’ Our 13 servicemembers who lost their lives went completely unmentioned until Governor Reynolds took the microphone.

“And zero mentions of rebuilding the defense budget that President Biden actually tried to cut last year.


“Meanwhile, the President’s speech tried to skate by the serious kitchen-table concerns that are keeping American families up at night.

“The President talked ‘made in America,’ but keeps fighting against energy independence. Democrats want us to ‘Buy American’ but not American oil or gas.

“On President Biden’s watch we’ve set a new record for importing Russian oil and we’re begging OPEC to produce more. And his energy vision is to dump huge subsidies into supply chains that are dominated by China. Borrowing from our grandkids to Build Back Beijing.

“The President tried yet again to revive the zombie spending plans which a bipartisan majority of Senators have already killed and buried because they would make inflation even worse.

“He tried to brag about fancy technology on our southern border, as if we hadn’t just set a new record for illegal crossings on his watch.

“The President’s address was not responsive to the country’s concerns. He needed to pivot and he did not.

“CNN conducted an instant poll. As you might expect, it oversampled Democrats. Even so, the percentage who gave the President’s speech high marks was the lowest they’d seen in 15 years.

“Iowa’s hugely successful Governor, Kim Reynolds, offered the clearest possible contrast. She spoke for the working families who are suffering under Democrats’ policies. She outlined a commonsense Republican vision of stability at home, strength abroad, law and order in our streets, and sanity in our public schools.

“November is just months away. If President Biden does not correct course sharply and quickly, the American people may correct course for him.”