By Michael Clements
Many Republicans expressed disappointment at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7, contending that Biden failed to appropriately address the threat posed by communist China, the border crisis, and the economy.
Sen, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Biden’s address was full of tough talk and strong language, but ultimately his rhetoric was hollow.
“I thought it was an angry speech, I thought it was a partisan speech and I thought it was a speech disconnected from working men and women and indicated a complete unwillingness to change the course we’re on,” Cruz told The Epoch Times after the speech.
During his second State of the Union address, Biden said America was more robust and better able to defend its interests against countries such as the Chinese regime.
“We’re in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world,” Biden said.
Referring to the recent shootdown of the Chinese spy balloon that had been hovering over the continental United States for about a week, Biden said “As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.
But Republicans, who have been highly critical of the administration’s handling of the incident, particularly its delay in shooting down the balloon, were not satisfied with Biden’s characterization of the event.
“I thought it was a total failure to level with the American people about what happened last week,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told The Epoch Times after the speech.
Cruz agreed, saying the incident projected something to the rest of the world, but it was not strength.
“Sadly, the entire world is laughing at the president. A Chinese spy balloon hovered over America for about a week, and we should have shot it down the instant it entered U.S. airspace,” Cruz said.
Rep. French Hill (R-Ark) said the balloon incident was a perfect opportunity for the Biden administration to confront China with its surveillance techniques and its violations of international law, but ultimately one that was not taken up.
“I was disappointed by the president’s lack of specificity on the China strategy,” Hill told The Epoch Times.
“I think he missed an opportunity to … talk about how we could work together to … counter the most aggressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party, both domestically against their own people, as well as exporting their malign activities around the world,” he added.
Biden’s call to stop the flow of fentanyl across the Southern Border drew both jeers and applause from Republicans in the House. Since Biden took office, close to 5 million illegal immigrants and multiple tons of illicit drugs have entered the United States over the Mexican border.
“Joe Biden stands up and says he wants to secure the Southern border,” Cruz said. “That’s nothing but a laugh line because he’s spent two years undermining security at the border.”
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) criticized the president for allegedly not being more upfront about the issues at the Southern Border.
“It was disappointing that he didn’t take responsibility for his border policies,” Good told The Epoch Times.
Biden’s claims of economic success also drew criticism.
Cruz pointed out that Biden and Democrats have pushed big dollar projects, such as the so-called Build Back Better plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Bi-Partisan Safer Communities Act, all of which carry hefty price tags, Republicans say. The Texas Senator said these and other expansionary fiscal policies are the real drivers of inflation.
“He takes none of the responsibility for the trillions in spending and debt that have caused the out-of-control inflation,” the Texas senator said.
Hawley contended that Biden “deserves credit” for “the fact that working-class wages can’t keep up with inflation, that the cost of gas is unaffordable, that grocery prices are unaffordable, and working families can’t get ahead.”
“And that’s because of his policies. … He deserves to be held accountable for that,” the senator added.
Emel Akan contributed to this report.