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In his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Biden delivered tough talk against Russia, hailed a retiring Supreme Court justice, and was the subject of boos and jeers from Republicans. Here are the top five moments from the speech. 1. Biden’s introductionA smiling Biden walked into the House chamber, shaking hands with dozens of maskless lawmakers amid the traditional awkwardly long applause that lasted his entire walk to the podium. BIDEN SAYS ZELENSKYY ‘INSPIRES THE WORLD’ AMID BRUTAL RUSSIAN WAR ON UKRAINEThe chamber was not as packed as it had been before the pandemic. There were approximately 600-700 people in attendance, in contrast to the 1,600 or so it can accommodate for a State of the Union address.
President Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Win McNamee, Pool via AP)But Tuesday’s speech saw far more people in attendance than the approximately 200 that witnessed Biden’s joint session address to Congress in 2021. And the event looked like a presidential speech of great pomp and circumstance. It looked like the State of the Union. “Last year COVID-19 kept us apart,” Biden said to begin his speech. “This year we’re finally together again.”2. United on UkraineLawmakers on both sides of the aisle were wearing Ukraine flag ribbons, waving Ukrainian flags and giving the president standing ovations for his comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Americans, Biden boomed, have an “unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.””Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over,” Biden said. “Instead, he met with… a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined. He met the Ukrainian people and President Zelenskyy.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., wears a Ukrainian flag in his pocket in the chamber of the House of Representatives before the State of the Union address by President Biden to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington..
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova, who was visibly emotional at the display of support, joined first lady Jill Biden in the balcony of the House chamber.Biden made clear that the U.S. will defend “every inch” of NATO territory should Russia try to expand beyond Ukraine, and he touted the sanctions the West is leveling against Russia. “Putin is now more isolated from the world than he has ever been,” Biden said to applause. STATE OF THE UNION, CONGRESS OVERWHELMINGLY ESCHEWS MASKS AFTER CDC CHANGES GUIDANCE”Clearly it was world leader-like that he is. He helped galvanize NATO and bring them together,” U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said of Biden’s tone on Russia. “That was very emotional for me as well,” Lee said of the scene with Marakova and the show of support for Ukraine in the chamber. “I felt that emotion tonight, and I felt that the president felt the emotion, had a respect for President Zelinskyy, and will stand by his side on the behalf of the American people.” 3. Domestic agenda acrimonyBiden also exposed some of the significant fault lines in U.S. politics around domestic and economic policy. That was clear when he touted Democrats’ coronavirus stimulus bill from last year. “Unlike the $2 trillion tax cut passed in the previous administration, that benefited the top 1% of Americans, the American Rescue Plan …. ,” Biden said, before being interrupted by boos from Republicans in the audience. As Biden paused and the Republicans booed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., jumped out of his seat enthusiastically, apparently ready to lead a standing ovation. The president regrouped and finished his sentence.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
” … The American Rescue Plan helped working people and left no one behind,” Biden said to Democrat cheers. “And it worked.”VICTORIA SPARTZ, UKRAINE NATIVE, DELIVERS TEARFUL PLEA TO BIDEN: DON’T ‘EMBARRASS’ US 4. Bashful Breyer”Tonight I’d like to honor someone who dedicated his life to serve this country,” Biden said. “Justice Breyer, an Army veteran, constitutional scholar, retiring justice of the United States Supreme Court.”Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, now with all the eyes in the chamber on him, put his hand on his chest as the president recognized him. “Justice Breyer, thank you for your service. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Biden said. “I mean it.” Biden told Breyer to get up, and the justice did so shyly. He put his hand on his chest again, then jokingly put both over his face, smiling widely the whole time.
Stephen Breyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, center, reacts as President Biden honors Breyer during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
(Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images)5. 13 of themRep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., caused the most controversy of the State of the Union – and it was not because she was wearing an outfit that said “Drill Baby Drill.” BOEBERT WEARS ‘DRILL BABY DRILL’ OUTFIT TO SOTU, YELLS AT BIDEN OVER 13 TROOPS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN PULLOUTBiden was speaking of helping soldiers who came home sick from Iraq and Afghanistan because of toxic burn pits and the cancers that would one day put them in a “flag-draped coffin.”Boebert yelled at Biden from the audience: “You put them in, 13 of them,” in reference to the 13 flag-draped coffins that came home from Afghanistan after the deadly and chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan over the summer.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., left, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., right, scream “Build the Wall” as President Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.
(Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)”I think that whenever you do that, regardless of who’s doing it, directed at which president, which party, probably not the right thing to do,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told Fox News about Boebert’s comment. “Boorish, rude, absolutely disgraceful. There is a First Amendment but there is also decorum and respect for the commander in chief and president of the United States,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said of the comments.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., arrives to Tuesday’s State of the Union address by President Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Her outfit says “Drill Baby Drill” on the back.
(Getty Images)”He’s making very sacred comments, very personal comments. And to interject at that moment, it only reflects on the boorish and insensitive and incompetent response of whoever chose to say it,” she added. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBoebert was drowned out by boos from Democrats and many Republicans in the chamber appeared to think her comment was in poor taste, based on their reactions. Bonus moments U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., chose to sit on the Republican side of the aisle during the State of the Union. U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, asked Manchin if they could sit together and Manchin agreed. Manchin said the reason for the move was, “showing the whole world we’re together in standing behind Ukraine.”Biden got a standing ovation from members on both sides of the aisle for saying children need to be in schools and don’t need masks anymore.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Kelly Phares, Marisa Schultz and Jason Donner contributed to this report.
Biden’s State of the Union speech: Top 5 moments
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