Explore: President Biden delivers 2023 Tell of the Union tackle


foreign We Begin tonight with breaking news just coming in whenever it happens wherever you are NBC News streaming three now how many of you were up there at least like 11. how real is this going back to.

The moon for Dateline premium subscribe now on Apple podcasts good evening we are live tonight in the middle of the action just a couple of blocks from the Capitol Building here where members of Congress are gearing up for the president's Prime Time address yeah and he's only about a mile away set.

To make that Trek here to the Capitol any moment to give his second state of the union to a divided congress with the house now controlled by Republicans team news now a presidential State of the Union live from Washington here are Hallie Jackson and Tom yamas hey I'm Hallie Jackson and I'm Tom yamas.

In just over an hour from now President Joe Biden wants to make his case to the American people that the state of our Union is strong even though polling shows more than half of the country thinks otherwise and a common theme you're going to hear tonight finish the job that is because the president wants to talk about all the progress he and.

His team have made over the last couple of years and what he wants to do next and we've got our hands on an early look at some of the speech he's set to talk covet and jobs and bipartisanship and of course the economy with job numbers down but inflation still stubbornly sticking around watch for him to talk about changes of course to the nation's gun.

Laws and police reform less than a month after the brutal death of Tyree Nichols at the hands of Memphis police on foreign policy you know the president's going to talk about that he'll hit on China after that whole spy balloon drama these last couple of days with that balloon eventually shot down over the coast of South Carolina and then of.

Course the war in Ukraine as we get closer to the one-year Mark of the Russian invasion and looming over and all the investigations that so many people are talking about especially the Republican party right now they're set to hold hearings this week on what they call the weaponization of the federal government.

The president's own son Hunter Biden and look into the administration's handling of the Border crisis coveted spending and of course those classified documents found at his DC office and private home in Delaware over the next hour you are going to see all the cameras all the angles all the correspondence with a look at how we see it live every minute.

From our control room wall we'll show that to you in just a little bit and listen we already do know some of what the president will say tonight based on excerpts released by The White House ahead of the speech to break that down let's get to Kelly O'Donnell and Kelly we know the post-pandemic economy is going to be a big Focus for the.

President that's right Hallie and The West Wing is buzzing tonight in what would be typically after business hours lots of Staff lots of reporters here and part of what people are looking at are those excerpts that have been released by The White House a few samples of what the president will talk about tonight and.

Then we expect to get right before the address Begins the full prepared text we know that it is certainly president of Biden's way to often a noodle with the script up until the last moment but here are some of the key topics as you pointed out he'll be talking about the jobs picture talking about the 12 million jobs that have been added during.

His time in office and he'll also be talking about the relationship he has with Republicans and he will be saying to them in part if he was able to work with them last time in the last Congress to get some of the bipartisan legislation through then we can do that again so that strikes us as a sort of conciliatory tone not over the top not.

Making too many promises but trying to say to a new person over his shoulder the Republican house Speaker Kevin McCarthy that he wants to work with them so some of what we'll be hearing tonight is about the economy some of it will be about what's coming next in terms of the president's plan some about the U.S place in the world but the overarching.

Message is that there is more work to do and the President says he is optimistic about what can get done Hallie or I'll pick it up Kelly O'Donnell for us at the White House Tonight Kelly thank you so much for that yeah and threading to distract from the president's speech tonight new NBC News poll numbers show half the country is not happy with the.

Way the president has handled things let's take a look you see the approval numbers here with 50 saying they disapprove and two-thirds of Americans are very uncomfortable or have some reservations about the president running in 2024 and second that documents investigation where attorney general Merrick Garland has appointed a special.

Counsel to look into it all joining us now is MSNBC host and former body Administration press secretary jensaki Jen thanks so much for joining this special time we really do appreciate it I do want to start with those poll numbers right Jen because they're pretty tough and another poll also showed that even amongst Democrats Joe Biden was.

Having a very tough time convincing his own party that he should be president again if he decides to run what do you think is going on why do you think there's a disconnect between what the White House thinks is going on and what the American people feel is happening with the bite Administration well from sitting in there Tom I think the White.

House is very well aware of what's going on which is that the plans and proposals that the president has passed that he's been advocating and talking about out there are very popular among the public people want to do something about climate change they want new roads and bridges in their communities they just don't know that Joe Biden is a part of.

It that that's the role he's played tonight is an opportunity to do exactly that but he needs to do it through a story and not a list but it is a challenge and an opportunity going into tonight Jen I mean listen you've been in the room creating these states of the Union speeches before I've covered them Tom's covered them we hear a lot about.

Presidents telling story reason trying to get messages out to the American people who are tuning in who may not normally be watching the ins and outs of Washington Politics the way that you do and I do and Tom does here so when you look about messaging right when you look at some of the stories that have broken through of course China right with all.

The balloon stuff listen the documents investigation that is a story that is broken through to the American people as well with real questions of transparency and how the White House handled this you you know what it is like to be the tip of the spear as it relates to communication right to members of the media how does that play into this.

Tonight it doesn't uh it is not a I don't believe the president is going to talk about documents or investigations nor should he and there's a lot of examples in the past tally of presidents like President Clinton who was under he was under an impeachment investigation back in 1999 he didn't talk about it at all he gave a speech on the economy he.

Talked about what he wanted to do to create more jobs for people that was a speech people loved it's an important story The handling of classified documents a lot of important reporting has been done but that it does not mean that that is the front and center issue that the people want to hear an update the American people want to hear an.

Update on from the president of the United States you know something interesting happened earlier before this speech the White House released these photos right of the president's team going over the speech that wasn't so weird but what was sort of weird to me was that he's 80 years old right he's the oldest president ever to deliver.

This speech I'll make the argument he's the most experienced politician in office right now in America but he's nervous about this speech because he knows that Republicans will come after him if he stumbles if he starts to stutter which he has overcome before in his political career my question to you is is this speech the beginning of 2024.

Do you think he wants to make sure there's no mistakes so if voters are watching they say he still has it he can run in two years you know I think Tom the 2024 uh election a re-election and I think he's given and every indication he wants to run we haven't seen any white smoke from the White House quite yet but that's what message he's sending is of.

Course in the back of his mind and I think a lot of the themes as much as it's not a political speech it should shouldn't be it's a moment for him to stand at that diocese and be president but some of the themes the contrast of I have a plan let me finish the job look over there that's chaos those are some of the themes I would expect that we.

Will continue to hear if he decides to run as well as the economic contrast that is the heart soul that's what the whole game ball game is and I think that's going to be a big chunk of the speech tonight as well that is game set match and if you were in there if you were in the room crafting the speech with the president we know he writes.

Everywhere himself I get it but if you were in there helping him to craft that what do you telling him he's got to do what's the one thing you're adding into the speech I would say make sure you are spending time connecting with the people in the first ladies box who give a symbol of what you've accomplished what your vision is cut out data points if.

You need to cut out data points because people aren't sitting around oh we're all nerds as we just acknowledge but people aren't sitting in their homes and their couches writing down data it's about how they feel how the speech makes them feel he is a good Storyteller and I would tell him stick with that cut out some of the extra jargon and data points.

Jen saki it is always good to see you I know you have a lot ahead of you tonight as well thank you very much so listen we've talked about what is at stake tonight with the president's agenda for the next couple of years he's going to talk about all the thing he wants the things he wants to get done right um applauding some of these bipartisan.

Efforts to try to do them but you know that Republicans control the house by this razor thin majority will Republicans actually work with them Tom that's the question you know who knows a thing or two about that well let's see we have an incredible panel here our man of the hour Chuck Todd moderators Meet the Press are political I feel weird in.

Your chair Chuck this is your table this is your scene this is what it's like to be that's my angle but my son is now driving my daughter drives me yeah we'll be your Uber driver tonight of course uh our chief of Chief correspondents Andrea Mitchell joins us.

It's the best expertise in Washington we're so glad to have you here for this and we want to know what are you looking for we've laid out the big themes we've laid out all the sort of esoteric stuff here but like help us watch it like you are look I'm I'm I think we all know he's going to hit certain things the question.

Is what is the emphasis so how much how much does he lean into his re-election message how familiar does that do you feel like you hear that in here um it does sound like he's trying to turn the temperature down a little bit and he and McCarthy want to do that what is how does that look tonight I'm curious does he is the Outreach genuine.

Um or does it feel like it's kind of prepared and stuff like that um and I'm curious to see if there's any theatrics like we've been used to in our politics rewards the rewards the viral moments whether we want to admit it or not and this is what our politics has become yeah and you know will will there be a moment like.

That or or not that sort of is disruptive but you know ultimately I you know I'm just really curious how well he's how what this re-election message sounds like because that's ultimately I think the one thing that she and I are probably looking forward and Andrea on that point what Chuck was talking about.

We've had those viral moments right most recently former speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up the Trump speech we had former Supreme Court shouting back we had Congressman Joe Wilson shouting you live to President Obama my question to you is can we live in an era where if you're not leaning into those viral politics you can still win I mean will.

We see a new era of bipartisanship no it's not that this house majority and I think that Kevin McCarthy really wants to reach out on certain things and not be as Extreme as the people who helped get him over the top on the 15th you know on that 15th round on that ballot but just today you had more dream Taylor green going around with a balloon tied.

To her wrist so she's going to be carrying a balloon into a chamber where is she going to be carrying it into the chamber are they going to allow that I don't think so yeah no I didn't think security wouldn't allow something like that because it's kind of a gets in the way point being she wants she would want to she.

Certainly has been out there trying to so what kind of stunt has Chuck was saying might take place because has Kevin McCarthy's caution to his caucus just today again to behave has had that carried any weight and then how will the president respond because you know I think on teleprompter he's going to be great how is he going.

To respond in the moment I think he's practiced enough and he will show his empathy you're going to see Joe from Scranton tonight that's the that's the reelection Joe Biden that you're going to try to see we've talked a little bit about and we're in the next couple of minutes here we're going to get to see our correspondents here posted up all.

Over the country and all around the world here bringing us some of that reporting that the president will be talking about but but since I have these we have these political Minds here look at the latest polling right Chuck you know this well from Monmouth here saying that the majority of the country isn't exactly buying the line that the state.

Of our Union is strong right um how and we heard you know it's so fascinating to hear from a voter in Pennsylvania a state that I know well saying something along the lines of the president's going to try to tell us that things feel good but we know how things actually feel because we're the ones doing the budget right how does he walk.

That line well by the way I'd be somebody who says we're not headed in the right direction okay and it has less to do with the net for an economic situation and more to do with our what our political situation you know point is is that I think that's the real challenge bypasses I think there's some people that don't like the direction.

We're heading in for financial reasons there's some people don't like the direction we're heading in for sort of political reasons or social or societal regions or cultural reasons and the thing is is that it's tough to speak to all of those because I think there are different reasons for why people so feel so pessimistic I do think he cannot come.

Across like hey pay no attention to what you're feeling don't look at these stats the fact of the matter is we have been through a lot as a country this has been on and by the way the economy looks like it's healing but it feels unstable in the same way you know if you broke your leg six months ago and it's healing it's healing but you're still not ready to.

Run a full Sprint and I think that we I think it's perfectly reasonable for the public to sit there and say boy okay things are economically stable right this minute but you know look what happened two years ago so he's got to sound genuine about that and you have the pressure at home you also have the pressure abroad as well before even the.

Chinese balloon we were dealing with Ukraine and Russia and there was a pivotal moment when we decided and NATO decided hey we're going to send tanks into Ukraine and that was sort of a change in this war as well so the president has his hands build when it comes to is overseas no absolutely he's not going to talk about the balloon.

Tonight I've been told my reporting is that he is going to talk about China sure talk about the new bases in the Philippines not talk about the fact that the Pentagon says Floyd Austin's phone call was not accepted by the Chinese defense minister after the shootown and to not respond to the Republican criticism about how he handled the.

Balloon the balloon will not be part of this but talk about the importance of sovereignty not violating sovereignty both on the obviously China but Ukraine and Russia and there's going to be a lot of that because Ambassador Makarova is going to be in the gallery and this could be a real push to try to get Ukraine funding I'm doing the Chuck Todd.

Hang on a second to stay where you are Andrew Mitchell Chuck Todd thank you both very much a lot more ahead stay with us the president based a citadel of democracy the president speaking to a new and more divided Congress.

Different ideas chaos and catastrophe Direct in the state of our economy is strong all as we approach the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a new challenge emerges from China back at home it's police reform taking.

Center Stage how can we make some progress hanging over it all that classified documents investigation there's nothing there I have no regrets all of it as the president tees up what's expected to be a 2024 presidential run the state of the union is strong because you the American people are strong from NBC News Now a.

Presidential State of the Union live from Washington here are Hallie Jackson and Tom yamas foreign hey there I'm Holly Jackson and I'm Tom yamas and we are officially less than an hour away from President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address that's happening just down the street from where we are in this studio we say.

Steps away we literally mean we are just steps away from the action and we have an early look at what you can expect to hear from President Biden with the tone really optimistic he hopes saying that after covet and January 6th our democracy is unbowed and unbroken on the economy nodding to folks who he says have been left behind or treated like.

They're invisible yeah and on working with Republicans saying fighting for the sake of fighting Power for the sake of power Conflict for the sake of conflict gets us nowhere so until the big speech we've got our control room output up here you can see all the feeds that are coming into our news when we will be watching and refreshing our emails to.

Bring you the latest updates in real time like it is there's a lot of stuff happening look we've got a ton of things we got a ton of moving Parts you're going to be watching it right along with this right along with our exceptional NBC News team from the White House to the hill overseas in Ukraine the experts here at home on the economy and we'll.

Get an inside take on those chamber vibes from folks who have been in the room and who know it well yeah we'll also be joined by our amazing panel of political journalists and our strategists who will tell us what's at stake for both parties tonight so let's get to Peter Alexander who is on the North Lawn of the White House for us.

Peter we've heard of the president's going to say about the economy tell us more about what you are hearing as you are working your sources right up until the last minute because we know the president is working on that speech right up to the last minute yeah that's exactly right Hallie and Tom good evening to both of you the president.

Does face a challenge tonight and that really is to bridge that gap between those strong economic numbers the lowest unemployment we've seen in 50 years inflation that's still too high but is slowly easing and the sense of among Americans that they're not satisfied with the direction of the country and that they aren't feeling those economic.

Gains right now the White House feels strongly that his policies are popular the but the most Americans don't know that they even exist or that he's the one responsible for them so watch him lean in to his record of achievements on topics like infrastructure a bipartisan bill that was passed to help build roads and bridges and tunnels in communities.

Also on the topics that are so important to Americans like manufacturing with the semiconductors now being produced here in the United States improving health care for those American veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits and as a part of what was called the inflation reduction act he'll try to put it in real terms and talk about how that helps.

Address climate change but also helps lower prescription costs for Americans as the President we are told will say jobs are coming back and pride is coming back but the takeaway really tonight is that Joe Biden has your back at least in the eyes of the White House here's how he cast what he hopes to accomplish I want to talk to the American people.

And let them know the State of Affairs what's going on and why what I'm looking forward to working on from this point on what we've done and just have a conversation with American people that conversation will continue even after tonight a White House official tonight telling me that 2023 the Year we're in right now will be the year of.

Implementation Hallie and Tom to make sure that Americans really feel the impact of what the White House uses its critical accomplishments over the first two years yeah and Peter as you know there is somewhat of a disconnect between what the White House wants people to think about what the president has done and what people are actually.

Thinking we have that the approval rating from Gallup and according to Gallup currently around 41 for some historical perspective how does that compare to other presidents heading into a state of the union after the first midterms well let's put those numbers up on the screen for you right now the latest NBC News poll had Joe Biden's.

Approval rating at about 45 the Gallup poll which is consistent across these numbers has them even lower about 41 right now that's ahead of where Donald Trump was at this time but it's certainly behind Barack Obama George W bush Bill Clinton George H.W bush only Ronald Reagan it turns out at this time after his first midterm was uh roughly.

Below that as well so it is a challenge challenge for the president and what's also striking and I was just on the road in North Carolina Tom and Halley over the last several days is that this in some ways is a kind of unofficial kickoff for President Biden's 2024 campaign one of his challenges tonight is try to convince those Democrats that.

He is all set for another four years to be their nominee in 2024 with a new poll our poll showing that 62 percent of Americans as you've noted are either not feeling it basically they have strong reservations or they are very uncomfortable with the idea of him running again you know it's so interesting Peter if listen.

It's 55 minutes before the president shows up for that State of the Union so we are in it right we're close to it but at nine o'clock Eastern you know what's going to happen millions of people are going to watch who haven't watched a single political speech maybe in the last year right which is totally fine by the way 38 million people watch the.

President's speech last year that is three times the number of people who watch game six of the World Series it's not as many as you watch the Super Bowl you know but it's a huge audio audience for the president Peter and a huge audience who isn't normally maybe plugged into like all of the ins and outs here it's an opportunity for him to.

Set that tone for the next couple of years if he does decide for render to run for re-election yeah I think that's right and this is a word that we're hearing for the White House repeatedly the word opportunity they view this as an opportunity to communicate directly to the American people without the filter of cable TV or the local news.

That they get their information from this is a chance for the president to speak to those Americans directly and then he hits the road Wisconsin Florida over the next couple days to try to drive his message home okay Peter Alexander for us at the White House Peter we thank you for that we want to shift our Focus over to the.

Republicans who are now in charge of the house Garrett hake is outside the house floor in Statuary Hall for us and Garrett GOP leadership was already pushing back on the president's speech earlier today let's take a look tonight in his State of the Union Joe Biden must answer for his failed leadership.

No amount of spin this evening will change the reality so many Americans are facing they are worse off now than they were two years ago that is a fact luckily the state of our Union is struggling under the weight of President Biden's far left extremist agenda that is hurting families across this country all right and congresswoman Marjorie.

Taylor green was seen mockingly carrying a prop balloon on the hill today what are you hearing on the Republican side of the aisle tonight because it's interesting Garrett we heard representative McCarthy earlier and it didn't seem like he was striking the tone as some of his members he wasn't down with the balloon Vibes earlier.

Today you know what I mean well look McCarthy wants to project Republicans as the adults in the room here for these upcoming discussions about the debt ceiling he wants to make sure that his party looks reasonable that doesn't necessarily include Marjorie Taylor green who is something of a professional troll within the Republican conference.

As for the other criticisms you've heard Republicans level against the president more broadly and a lead-up to this speech the things that you heard from Steve scalise they're trying to paint Biden as kind of a far left operative Republicans have been trying over the last two years have not been as successful at least in terms of what we.

See in the polling but going after Biden's stewardship of the economy has proven to be successful for Republicans so too has been trying to paint him as weak on foreign policy you saw during the Afghanistan pull out and you've seen it over the last week or so with the Fallout from this Chinese balloon I think that's part of the reason you've.

Seen such an aggressive posture on that issue from House Republicans they're going to really lean into that issue with the president they want to see him be stronger on China be a sort of a more strong leader in foreign policy in general they see that as an opening to differentiate the house Republican majority from this Democratic president.

It's Gary I know you have to go you have to go sit in the actual chamber itself you're going to have that headset you're going to have your binoculars you're going to be looking at the Optics kind of in the room and the Dynamics there and it's going to be really interesting because who shows up is in many ways indicative of what policy points the.

President and will want ahead right and the way that Republicans are going to want to kind of rebut whatever the president's going to say I'm thinking Tom of a family who you've talked to the parents for example the mom and stepfather of Tyree Nichols who will be invited as a guest to the Presidents uh the hero from one of those deadly.

Shootings in California will be a guest of the first lady here who else to be looking for Garrett in the next couple of minutes as we'll start to see those images of the chamber beginning to fill yeah look I mean you mentioned perhaps two of the most important ones because they relate to policy goals that this president has he has called for an.

Assault weapons ban he has called for more restrictions on the purchase of firearms now it's probably not going to get those he's called for police Reform Bill that the you know the last Congress passed uh when the Democratic controlled house failed to pass in the Senate he's probably not going to get that the other big guest that I'm going to be looking.

At tonight is the ambassador from Ukraine uh policy around Ukraine is going to be I think one of the defining issues of how this Congress and this President get along I was watching the last state of the union speech today as research in preparation for this one and it's so striking to go back and look at that tape where every member who was in.

The chamber was wearing the Ukrainian flag you had even Republicans standing up and giving a standing ovation for the Ukrainian people who were just then beginning their defensive war against Russia the policy has changed the partisanship has changed Republicans are kind of starting to dig in against additional funding for Ukraine at least.

Funding without strings attached how the president you know focuses the country on that issue to maintain what has been bipartisan support going forward will be very interesting to watch the presence of the Ukrainian Ambassador uh kind of a key uh totem if you will for the president as he tries to make that point that the American people are in this.

Fight with the Ukrainian people all right Garrett Hague for us here we appreciate all that reporting we will see you many times but of course the next 50 minutes or so the economy as we know is going to be a talking point for the president and based on a new poll in some ways he could be giving folks what they want yeah that pulls from Pew take.

A look 75 percent of Americans say the number one priority for both the president and Congress this year should be strengthening the economy we saw that come out today on the heels of a stronger than expected jobs report last week kind of a rocket ship honestly between expectations and what we actually ended up seeing with the.

Unemployment rate down to 3.4 its lowest number in something like five decades yeah so despite all that our latest NBC News poll finds a majority of Americans 61 percent disapprove of the president's handling of the economy and with that we want to bring in our friend Andrew Ross Sorkin co-anchor of cnbc's Squawk Box he joins me now Andrew there's a clear.

Disconnect here right there are some good economic data the market today actually finished on the up and up which is always great yeah but Andrew on our show top story we've also done stories about people smuggling eggs from Mexico because the price of eggs are so expensive so when you talk to people they're saying listen I see the stats I.

I watch the NBC I don't feel it in in the supermarket and that is the opportunity and the challenge for the president this evening you know a gallon of milk the average price is now about four dollars and twenty cents that's what people feel at the supermarket when he talks about unemployment being at 3.4 when we talk.

About it being at 50-year lows uh you know the last time we were at unemployment like this was 1969 can he make that stat feel real can he make people understand what it felt like not today but actually what it felt like two years ago you're going to hear him talk about creating 12 million jobs he's gonna he's gonna use that line and he's.

Going to say I created 12 million jobs which is more jobs than any other president not just in the past two years but in four years time that's just but that's a statistic and the question is how can how can you describe this in a way that actually makes people feel it again at the same time that people are seeing headlines constantly about to lay.

Off some alike from so many different companies around the country I mean May of 1969 wouldn't get back by The Beatles was the top song in America that's the last time we saw the jobs numbers where they are now you know what I mean that's part of the key thing of this we also heard just today from the Fed chair who kind of gave some good news with an.

Asterisk with a caveat that hey things seem to be maybe on the right track except we will probably still have to have some interest rate hikes it adds to what you and Tom are talking about here the idea that it is not a super crystal clear picture for folks who are feeling it in different ways okay well and that is the complication and when you.

Juxtapose what chairman Powell uh from the FED said this afternoon uh literally just miles away from where the president's going to be tonight yes you said things were getting better but inflation is still high and in fact if you really sort of looked at what he was saying he is going to be raising rates and possibly continue to raise rates in.

A way that I'm not sure some economists and that the market necessarily wants longer terms so in a way the president is competing with his Fed chair you know Andrew we haven't really talked about the r word recession a lot we were talking about it a lot towards the end of 2022 soft landing hard Landing I don't want to get there that's too.

Technical that's for the CNBC audience but but where do you think we stand I mean do you think that we that a recession is imminent good look I think that a recession is actually not imminent and I think that's a that's a very good thing because if you go back and look six months ago the conversation around where we would be now was the r.

Word I think the bigger question and again it's how the president portrays the economy today things are are directionally in the right place no question the real question is come this summer going into the fall you talk to a lot of the CEOs the big banks in America and they say that you start to look at the cash balances of Americans and.

They're starting to get lower and lower more people using their credit cards than before so that again clouds the picture but we'll see how the president describes it all and how successful it is and articulating uh frankly the true success that he actually has had uh over the last two years Andrew great to have an expert reporter analyzed all of it.

Like you here with us tonight good to see you thanks and last year you may remember the State of the Union took place just days after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine at the time President Biden was quick to highlight his administration's commitment to do something since then the U.S has committed more than 29.

Billion dollars in security Aid which includes dozens of Highly sought after M1 Abrams Tanks which was a game changer in the aid program and think about where we are right now right we are getting closer now to the one-year Mark of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the president we're learning exclusively here at NBC News according to multiple.

Sources familiar with his visit is expected to visit Poland later this month let's bring in our NBC News Chief Warrant correspondent Richard Engel who is joining us now to talk more about this and Richard you know this well you know this war and it has been horrific thousands of deaths millions of people who have had to leave their homes and.

Here we are with Russia now getting ready for a new offensive here talk about how important it is for people in Ukraine to see President Biden's Dan and in front of members of Congress and stand in front of the American people and say hey we are with you still well this war isn't over this country still is incredibly vulnerable to.

Russian attacks the Russian attacks happen all day long every single day and a new Russian offensive as you say is not only anticipated it is already beginning Russia is intensifying its attacks along the front lines out here in eastern Ukraine and without the support of the United States without the support of this Administration Ukraine.

Would not have been able to fight this long and would not be able to sustain this fight and what's important for the ukrainians to hear tonight and I think a lot of them are are going to be not listening in real time but we'll be following it and certainly the Ukrainian government will be following it is the way that President Biden is expected to.

Frame this conflict he's supposed he's expected to frame it is in in a larger broader context in a fight between a fight for democracy a fight between free Nations and a fight between Authority Nations and that is exactly how the ukrainians see it they don't see themselves as fighting a regional war with their old neighbor Russia they see.

Themselves as part of a global struggle to to stop expansionist Russia this is the the biggest land grab uh in in Europe since World War II we have a a country moving across the border with its conventional forces with the with the goal of toppling another country and ukrainians say uh and expect the President Biden to say that this is a.

Threat not just to Ukraine not just a an issue out here in the Far Eastern edges of Europe but that this is a a crisis for World stability and that is an important message that they believe the president needs to convey the American people who might be losing interest uh in this war don't want to pay for this war want to think of it as a problem.

Over there over here in this case uh but but it's important to understand the The Wider historic uh sequences yeah Richard I was watching your report earlier tonight and you were in a town in Ukraine that was pretty much surrounded by by Russian forces Russian militia if you will and I was thinking about those tanks and what type of Defense those.

Tanks would bring once they get to Ukraine the U.S Germany other NATO Nations have promised these tanks it's gonna take a while will that be ultimately a game changer and and how long will it take for those tanks to actually get on the ground the tanks over time will be a game changer but the town I was in earlier.

Today is a town called bakmud uh it is not far from here it is further uh further east than I am right now and uh it is surrounded by Uh Russian forces Russian mercenaries on three sides they have already pushed into the town and they are trying to to conquer uh this town with brute force and hoping to reverse a lot of Russian setbacks the.

Town itself isn't particularly strategic but the Russians are putting all of their might in order to take bakmud as a as a symbol that Russia can have success in Ukraine that these Russian mercenaries can fight differently according to different rules of engagement with particular brutality and can force the ukrainians back despite.

New weapons that are coming so ukrainians are deeply appreciative of the tax they're deeply appreciative of all the weapon systems that have been sent to this country and promised uh to this country but the one thing they will tell you is uh they've had some frustration because the weapons have been coming in batches yes the batches.

Have been getting bigger uh thankfully for for Ukraine they would say the batches have been coming uh with with some regularity but they would like uh a lot more weapons to come uh in clusters and a lot more weapon to come soon because they say this piecemeal approach is very difficult uh one Ukrainian described it to me the like this they.

Said well for trying to build a house you just keep bringing one tool and then another tool and then another tool the house never really gets done and you're always scrambling so if they want they want more weapons they would like them in in much larger clusters so that they can use them more quickly on the battlefield and not have to wait them.

Wait for them to be doled out one at a time months uh with months uh separating them yeah and that has been that has been the message from the ukrainians from the get-go thank you for the aid thank you for weapons we need them right now in fact we needed them yesterday Richard Engel and his team we've done incredible reporting over the last year.

Rachel we thank you for being part of this special always good to see you Virginia always good to see too what we have going on here with the control room wall up right these are the live shots coming in now let me tell you folks okay the pool cameras are not up yet in the room right so you're seeing like I think that's the.

White House there maybe one of the chefs that you're seeing stat Hall I think we know that the so-called pool right the group of reporters that travels with the president and who will be driving way way way behind him on the way up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol have gathered which means we expect to see the president get on the road shortly.

Can I just say this is going to get a lot more interesting in about 10 minutes when we see more cameras more shots more stuff happening um and there it is the action's about to start that's right we will be right back stay with us foreign.

Legal filing today and I want to cut through some of the weedsy stuff but let's just like get to the point they have started to go on the pack act if you're like Kelly stop speaking Washington East this bill would basically give Health Care to Veterans who have exposed to these toxic chemicals because Scott and try to make.

This is not DC as possible The increased sort of anger that we've seen now in politics I saw you searching for I think your microphone Daniel you can do it on the slide live TV man it's okay We Begin top story with that breaking news this is just in a lot of stories to get to what do people need most right now in.

This state and or law enforcement drop the ball anywhere are we headed for a recession or a recovery migrant families now stranded in Mexico what's the World Cup experience been like the civilian effort is not just about fighting it's also about healthy every night it's your news playlist top story with Tom yamas streaming weekdays.

At seven on NBC news now this is what it looks and feel the storms a bigger piece of the puzzle new numbers just out this morning good evening we begin tonight with breaking news just coming in let me give this hour with the latest developments we're coming on the air with some shake-ups big time on Capitol Hill.

How much water ultimately will be forced inland whenever it happens wherever you are NBC News streaming free now the big variable is storm surge how much water will ultimately be pushed Inland how many of you were up there at least like 11. how real is this going back to the Moon.

tonight you guys okay foreign live now the Capitol building of the United States of America and just about a mile down Pennsylvania Avenue as you take a look now at the shot inside a lot.

Of people getting ready for a big prime time speech by President Biden who is at the White House you see it there getting ready to depart we think really in the next couple of minutes here he's going to be making his way down in his motorcade a common sight to folks in Washington but taking on added importance on a night like tonight Tom.

Yeah and Halle as we look at that shot that was inside the capitol the shot of reporters on reporters on reporters everyone's getting ready to talk about every single minute of what's happening what Republicans are saying what Democrats are saying and someone who knows this process very well what it's like to be inside the chamber to be a.

Member of Congress one of our NBC News analysts former congressman from Florida Carlos corbello a good friend to NBC News and a good friend of mine Carlos on these nights I mean what what is it like are you talking to your colleagues are you talking to your constituents are you hoping to get into that front of the line so you could shake the the.

President's hand and I know you didn't have the best relationship with former president Trump but what's going on behind the scenes Tom not every member of Congress will admit it but this is a very special night for every representative and for every Senator there is a keen awareness of your relevance your significance in.

The world as you walk into that chamber the chamber is brighter than it typically is it's almost converted into a television studio and you know that not only are millions of Americans watching but millions of people throughout the entire world are watching people in foreign capitals people in embassies service members who are.

Deployed overseas everyone has their eyes on that chamber you know you're a part of History you know you're part of something special so it's a big night for all of them they just might not all admit it especially those in the opposition party well that's part of it right and Congressman you caught me sneaking the look at my phone here to.

See about any updates on on what's going down as far as the White House the president's departure his arrival at the Capitol building and you mentioned something interesting the opposition party we know that's going to be very visible with house speaker Kevin McCarthy right a republican over the president's shoulder as as part of the.

Backdrop tonight with the backdrop in front of him of a divided Congress for the first time there are a number of Investigations already look at what's happening this week alone the president will deliver that State of the Union leave the Capitol and then there's going to be a hearing on this week the so-called weaponization of government.

For example on the president's son Hunter Biden in addition to investigations on covid on border security too um Jen sake was on with us earlier and said hey we're not going to be talking about investigations or documents or any of that but Republicans will be.

That's right Holly but tonight is also an opportunity for Republicans Republicans know why they underperformed in the last election there was this perception that they were too far out of the mainstream that they were Radical that they were too tied to former president Trump to this populist movement that has really taken over the.

Republican party so I think McCarthy's going to do his best tonight to show that Republicans can be a constructive opposition can be a loyal opposition can be a sober opposition despite the fact that he does have a significant number of members who obviously don't care for that and just want to call attention to themselves That's The Balancing Act the.

High wire act that Kevin McCarthy has to pull off tonight he can't look like he's too accommodating or supportive of anything President Biden says but at the same time he's aware of those Centrist voters who decide elections and he has to show them that Republicans are willing to be constructive that they're willing to be partners in government to.

The Democrats in the Senate and to the White House but but Carlos do you think times have changed I mean as we await the president any moment leaving the White House I think about your time you know as a congressman you tried to be in the middle you tried for bipartisanship it was very tough for you can can politicians who don't stick to the sort.

Of extreme wings of their party still survive with elections every two years every six years and the sort of culture we have of viral politics well look uh Tom the politicians who had a more Centrist message who had a message with broader appeal did do better in the last election those politicians that were more radical were.

Punished now of course the problem that both parties have but especially a Republican party is this primary trap usually the most radical candidates are the ones who do better in primaries but then they can't win in the fall in the general election so we'll just have to wait and see I mean this is going to be continue to be tested in the coming.

Years we have an independent senator now in Kirsten Cinema who's likely going to run for re-election in Arizona it'll be interesting to watch her reactions tonight uh but yes the country's out of Crossroads are we going to elect Centrist candidates who are willing uh to work across the aisle or are we going to reward those candidates who make the.

Most radical statements and most Outlander statements and who appeal uh to uh the more radicalized voters in our country we are seeing there of course Congressman Cabello it's great to see you thank you so much we are seeing on the left side of your screen of course the doors opening a little bit of action there at the White House I want to keep.

That shut up and if we can let's pull up another shot of what's going down at the Capitol because boy the room is filling up the chamber is starting to fill you've got these members of Congress as the congressman talked about with you Tom starting to line up on those aisle seats they want that shot to shake a hand Ali Vitale is with us now keeping.

An eye on all of it and Ali there is an element of the here let's say who's sitting with who who's talking with who we saw that moment during the speaker drama where Congressman controversial freshman George Santos was all by himself it sounds like he's got more company tonight huh yeah he got a prime aisle.

Seat because of course we are watching with eagle eyes as we always do what's happening on the floor and look members show up sometimes very early to make sure that they can get a good seat along the aisle they want to be able to shake the president's hand and certainly that's what we're seeing even as Biden himself walks out of the White House to.

Begin exactly his journey here just getting in the car and uh and coming up here to see us up here on Capitol Hill yeah a smiling president and of course the first lady Joe Biden Dr Joe Biden there as well entering uh the limo as they head over to the Capitol and he looked uh he looked like he was okay.

You know there's always interesting moments where you're like Okay can is a camera gonna be able to see in through the window and you sure see it there yeah you wonder does he have this you know does he have a marker is he going to be changing the speech on the way to the Capitol Building uh some of that Intrigue that we're talking about a.

Little bit as he takes what is going to be a very quick ride down Pennsylvania Avenue and arrive at the Capitol there's a lot of Korea involved in this right timing Etc when it comes to an event like this and a lot of security too Tom you know I live here in DC there's fencing all up around the capitol now that comes up this time of year and.

There's always a security guard outside of the Hallie Jackson estate right just to make sure things are are okay there no no one's trying to get in um I do have some some important reporting though I spoke with Ben Crum today who's the attorney representing Tyree Nichols family and the parents of Tyree Nichols had dinner with the first lady at the.

White House and yeah tonight and they were um and I asked him I said I said do they understand sort of all the machinations on police reform as far as why nothing has happened and they said they do they met with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and that they were going to tell the first lady they were going to tell the members of.

Congress they met that they just want some meaning reform they don't want Tyree Nichols to have died they're sent to have died in the hands of police officers for no reason for this just to go on just like what happened after George Floyd everyone gets together everyone wants change and then things just stall I was speaking with uh.

Congressman Corey bush from Missouri today and Michael Brown senior of course the 5 father of Michael Brown Jr who was killed in 2014 in Ferguson Missouri and members will be wearing some of them pins that say 1870 a nod to the first year that a black person was killed by police and so the Highlight like there that is going to be a visual moment here.

As they look to highlight this issue as you see this is the motorcade going down a lot of cars a lot of security obviously the White House Press pool the reporters traveling with the president are in there and some folks who know that press pool well are joining us here in studio we've got Eugene Scott senior politics reporter at axios Tara palmeri.

Senior political correspondent for Puck and Annie Carney a congressional correspondent for the New York Times and Annie given that this is your beat tipping a nod to you first walk us through as we're looking at these moments here the way that you see the president incorporating what Tom is talking about as it relates to police.

Reform and these other issues that are important to him he's going there you know he wants to talk about police reform he wants to talk about abortion rights to a woman's right to choose he wants to talk about passing an assault weapons ban in addition to talking about the economy and growing on the strengths that what.

He's done so far he wants to talk about how he hasn't forgotten about these big important things he wants to do the problem is that all three of those things I just mentioned are complete non-starters in this divided Congress they you know an assault weapons ban couldn't happen in the last Congress when Democrats controlled the house and.

The Senate so I you know he has to I wouldn't say it's lip service to those things because these are planks of the democratic agenda and he can't just not talk about them but the idea those are going to you'll see Republicans sitting with their hands sitting on their hands for all that um but that's you know those are some of.

The things he wants to talk about tonight on that point Eugene how do you think the president tailors this message because he got those troubling poll numbers right even among Democrats who don't want him to run in 2024 majority of Democrats do you think he changes that and he strikes a more Progressive tone tonight well I know that he's going.

To make sure that his approach is far more bipartisan and not as divisive as perhaps he was during heading into the midterm elections when he really wanted to make sure that his party performed well I don't think we're going to see a lot of the extreme Mega Republican talk that we have heard previously because he does want to come off as being able to.

Work together with people on the other side of the aisle that's what he campaigned on in 2020 moving in 2024 he's going to say that he still believes he's the best person to bring both sides together opposed to who he might be running against we are seeing I don't know if we have the shot of it but the Senators have assembled in the Senate.

Chamber which is on the other side of the Capitol Building from the house they're sort of processing over and look at this this is a live shot here I think this is live vice president Kamala Harris it is live shaking hands with people she is somebody who really understands this building she knows it she's had to be the tie-breaking vote.

Many times before in this Congress and look at this okay talk about bipartisanship right there or as we take our first look inside the chamber tonight as we await the president um a friendly gesture some Smiles but an interesting and a different optic than we've seen when the president noted in.

His very first state of the union two years ago that for the first time he was saying the words Madame vice president and Madam speaker obviously a very different situation here with Kevin McCarthy representing the republican-controlled house as we are seeing now some of the Senators walking in they have made their way over from.

The Senate chamber I don't know if Ali Vitale is still here with us but Tara let me go to you um because you know we're seeing the Dynamics at play as the president is making his way towards the building right and you're seeing the pins that people are wearing right I see a lot of print pins in support of Ukraine um.

That's Amy Klobuchar wearing one that's obviously um support for Ukraine Aid is a central issue that uh Joe Biden is going to be fighting for and it's not surprising to see people from his own party Democrats unified behind him on that and that's something that the GOP has split on many members are not sure whether to support more aid for Ukraine.

And some like Mitch McConnell say that that's very important to protect American dominance I just want to pause it looks like uh Senator Romney and George Santos just had some words and it did not look like they were good words there uh looks like Romney told them something as they were walking by we obviously can't read lips but we can't.

Read body language it did not look like it was good and sorrentos keeps sort of looking back over at Romney love to know what he said Garrett hake is in the chamber for us right now it looks like representative Santos even though he is a pariah in the Republican party right now because of all the lies that have come out since he he won his election.

Garrett who's surrounding Santos right now because it looks like some people are standing with him well it's interesting Santos is one of the first members to get into the chamber and he's staked out a seat right there on the aisle I mean his will be one of the first faces that Joe Biden sees when he comes into the chamber a bit later on.

He's sitting with other members with whom he's kind of Allied himself in recent weeks on the on the Maga right would be the best way I could say it it's Tom Massey to his immediate left in the gray suit chip Roy who got a lot of attention during the speaker's fight is the bald gentleman uh to his left and around them are Matt Gates Anna Paulina.

Luna other members of that group of 20 who opposed uh speaker McCarthy during the speakership fight and have been a Thorne in his and in leadership side throughout their tenures in Congress Santos is not perhaps as ideologically aligned with them as he is kind of stylistically aligned with them in the sense that none of them are kind of card.

Carrying members of the traditional Republican party Santos has made common cause with many of those members he's hired staffers from that orbit and he has planted himself firmly in their midst and on that aisle I saw the tail end of that interaction uh with Mitt Romney as Romney was passing by Santos has his back to where I'm sitting and.

Could only see Santos kind of recoil and turn to his colleagues so it's almost as if to say to anybody else see what just happened there really an interesting moment and I suspect we'll have more because he's shown no interest in removing himself from the center of the action here as long as they're starting to arrive I'm sorry Garrett I didn't.

Mean to step on your pal interesting moments here though is we're just kind of calling out who we're seeing former house Speaker Nancy Pelosi there and now current uh House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries really representative and you saw the former speaker with steady Hoyer as well of sort of the old generation the former generation and the newer.

Generation of leadership inside the Democratic party you see in the blue jacket there Senator Elizabeth Warren you see Rick Scott I mean a lot of people are walking in here we've seen Mitch McConnell chatting with Republican leadership on the Senate side as well and noticed Tim Scott too a senator who knows a thing or two about what it is.

Like to deliver a response to tonight's speech right a state of the union response as he did a couple of years ago we know that Sarah Huckabee Sanders the governor of Arkansas will be delivering the response Garrett tonight after the president speaks and boy based on what we've seen so so far she is expected to lean into some of these culture War.

Issues that Republicans in this room in this chamber have been talking about now for for a couple of years Garrett if you're still with us language response that we're going to hear from foreign forgive me there guys so I was just going to make the point that it's not just Sanders the other official response.

From the Republican party is Juan siskamani who's a freshman member from Arizona who's going to deliver the Spanish language response the only thing that those two responses based on the excerpts we've seen have in common is they're both going to be delivered by 40 year old members who are considered up and comers within the party CIS Kimani.

Is going to lean into very much his personal story an optimistic uh appraisal of what the Republican Party means and what it should look like Sarah Huckabee Sanders remarks at least what we've seen from the excerpts leaned very hard into culture War issues talking about a crazy left talking about fighting back against woke policies.

Really a sharp elbowed response to the current president's speech that's going to Echo a lot of the former president's rhetoric in a way that I think is surprising at least when you consider the last two people to give those responses as you pointed out Tim Scott two years ago Kim Reynolds there uh then newly elected Republican governor of.

Iowa last year um try to hit a more mainstream audience I don't think that's what we're going to get from Sarah Huckabee Sanders but you know her selection was was sort of widely praised in Republican circles as somebody who's a future leader of the party who can show a party that is.

Younger uh that might appeal to some of the females Suburban voters that turned away from the party in the Trump years we'll see the combination of message and messenger Works following President Biden's speech with that and what we see we have something of a Sharp elbowed speech there from Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Eugene as we were all watching here.

We also saw Senator Cinema walk in she's sort of hard to miss tonight um and we we also saw people who maybe the future of the Republican party people like Senator Tim Scott people like Senator Rick Scott who may take on the former president on the Republican side senior point Senator Josh Senator Josh Hawley right there walking in as.

Well uh as well some of our new newer Senators uh the Republican party right now how aligned do you think they are with the former president I mean they all still want his base but at the same time it seems like they want to try something different well I think it depends on which chamber you're talking about right we know that uh the Senate.

Is uh filled it's it appears at least with far more lawmakers willing to be compromising and working with people on the other sides of the aisle and I think when you saw a number of Senators uh entering uh the room they seemed much more willing to greet people uh from their chamber on the other side of the aisle than we have seen maybe from the.

House a a group that uh Republic of Republicans are having their hard time of their own even getting on the same page with people within their own party but I think one thing that's worth paying attention to is so many of these uh responses to the president's speech just like in previous years seem to be tapping into demographics that the GOP.

Knows they need to perform better with Hispanic voters Women Voters people in the suburbs when they've had Tim Scott there was an appeal to improve their standing with black voters because I think the GOP knows as they I have been reminded after the 2022 midterms is that if they are going to be victorious they cannot rely solely on their base and the.

More hard right Trump supporting uh voters in this country they're really going to have to make some emeralds into some other demographics Tara you have your pulse on the campaigns usually as we watch Senator Sanders do we expect anything from from Bernie Sanders in 2024 do we expect any sort of hijinks or or stealing anyone's Thunder or causing.

Trouble no I that will we expect anyone legitimate to run against uh Joe Biden and also the fact that he's moved the primary to South Carolina would make it almost impossible for someone like Bernie Sanders to make an entrance and in that case anyone who was going to challenge Joe Biden would probably make an entrance in New Hampshire that seems.

Unlikely obviously Marian Williamson is talking about challenging but that's not going to go anywhere um I have to agree with you Gene I mean it's going to be interesting to see when the GOP stands in unison and applauds to things that Joe Biden is saying do they agree you know that a Billionaire's tax needs to be implemented probably not.

Right are they going to clap when he talks about reinforcing Medicare and Social Security and this is something that's divided in the party so they may be looking to their own uh leader Kevin McCarthy for cues on when to clap and when to stand but the parties really divided I mean a big part of the reason they even have a majority right now is.

Because of moderate Democrats in New York are they going to stand um are they going to be sitting on their hands with the rest of the party so I think it's gonna be interesting to see how Republicans react to some things that are just universally popular or popular with parts through Republican party and not with others if you did a.

Double take because you just thought you saw Bono in the chamber you're correct he's there he's there as an invited guest of the president and first lady and we've heard from the president on his way in he was asked by members of the pool who were traveling with him how he's feeling he's feeling good no surprise there and when asked the State.

Of the Union what he believes it is he responded great shape getting better which feels like an encapsulation in four words of the theme he is going to try to lay out tonight I want to bring in now two of our strategists here on either side of the aisle on the Democratic side Maria Theresa Kumar who is joining us now tonight for our.

Special coverage and Brendan Buck of course Republican strategist NBC News analyst as well it's great to see both of you and Brennan I will start with you only because you have had to staff speakers who have had to sit in the State of the Union chamber as the president has delivered the speech talk about uh what this moment is like for.

Somebody like Kevin McCarthy who you know well yeah I think it's a big meal for Kevin McCarthy it's something that I think he's been waiting for seven years now to become speaker and stand here and have this this opportunity uh when you're actually up there though I think the biggest thing you want to do is sort of.

Blend in and not draw attention to yourselves uh Paul Ryan said you know the biggest thing he wanted to do is just drill a hole in the back of the president's head just staring so deeply into it and John Boehner actually tried to get uh then Vice President Joe Biden to agree that they weren't going to.

Stand up and clap very often so um I think he's trying to play it cool but I know this is a big moment for Kevin McCarthy he's long-sawed himself as as a top leader on the national stage and I think this is probably a he feels like it's a moment for himself Maria if you could if you could advise President Biden tonight.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give him brag he has been able to create close to 12 million jobs coming out of pandemic making sure not only that it's focused on our infrastructure bringing back jobs to America but focusing on National Security type of infrastructure building.

And I think that's incredibly important and I also would like he should also remind the American people that he didn't do it alone when he became present he promised that he was going to do it in a bipartisan Manner and he's done it for the most part in recognizing that while it has not been easy he's been able to accomplish the majority of.

The things that he had he needed to do and to remind the people that the biggest obstruction between he and passing the debt ceiling is going to be McCarthy I hate to rip myself away but I have to do it because I gotta run upstairs for a special coverage over on NBC News uh the network side anchored of course by.

Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie I will see you there in just a couple of minutes um continue the fun I feel like leaving the dinner party right isn't feeling good and you're just leaving as the motorcade has arrived to the Capitol so we're following some breaking news as we're just moments away from the State.

Of the Union Address we will say bye to Hallie for now we'll see you in about five minutes probably sooner than that as we continue to look on the chamber here uh Tara I was talking to you earlier about the campaign in 2024 and and as we look at uh house Speaker McCarthy and Kamala Harris there was a report in the New York Times that.

Democrats are really concerned about the vice president and about her role within the Democratic party if something were to happen with President Biden if she were to run that she basically has had two years and it's still unclear of sort of the lane she's chosen as she's been able to Define her role as vice president absolutely I think because of.

Joe Biden's age they are a package deal probably unlike any other presidential ticket before um I think people are looking at her probably more critically in some cases because of her race and gender but also there's a feeling that you know Joe Biden will be 89 years old at the or 86 years old I'm sorry at the end of his.

Term and her health and and her uh stature and prominence in the administration is a big deal when will her allies want to know when will she have the opportunity to stand up and take on you know an agenda item that's passable not voting rights which seems impossible or you know migration um immigration which has been a really.

Difficult issue so they they really want an opportunity for her to shine they've said you know some people have said that given the opportunities she is with but at the end of the day it's a package deal and he needs to you know Elevate his vice president as he runs for reelection and I think you know all eyes are on her tonight she'll be doing what.

She's supposed to doing clapping and supporting him at all times but the next two years are about showing that the two of them are a strong unit and and together Carolina Annie and just real quick with you what are you hearing from from your sources on Capitol Hill about all of this and and whether Joe Biden will run.

In 2024 and if the party's behind him that a lot of people are looking at this speech as a precursor to his announcement which is going to come in the spring um and that you don't change out your running mate if you look if you look strong I mean that's a sign of major weakness so.

This is really kind of the kickoff of his real of his expected reelection campaign I think is one way to view this speech tonight yeah he's gonna have the biggest audience he's had in years people are going to be tuning to hear what he has to say and possibly what his argument is for 2024 with that I do want to bring in our reporter Ali Vitale.

Who's got some new reporting on the campaign and possibly what to expect in the next two years Ali the president yeah Tom of course as we're waiting for Biden to make his own decision there are machinations happening on the Democratic side of people just trying to keep their options open because we're watching Republicans start to amass a pretty.

Sizable field at least next week officially we'll see Nikki Haley jump in become Trump's first official challenger but then we're also going to see Senator Tim Scott go on a listening tour through the all-important states of Iowa and New Hampshire others are going to be out there on the circuit Florida Governor Ron DeSantis widely seen as the top.

Challenger to Trump is going to be going to key Red State Republican party events specifically in Alabama and Texas over the course of the next few weeks he's got to tell which is that he's got a book coming out at the end of February and so all of us I think know that that's usually a sign of someone who's trying to make their National.

Aspirations known at least in Page by Page form so we'll certainly be looking to read that but really what Biden's decision right now is in all of the sources that I talked to about this regularly say is the Dow downside to him just publicly weighing this decision even though the assumption is that he will run again the downside is that if.

For some reason he decides he won't it freezes everyone else in place until then there are several people in his cabinet I know we often talk about vice president Kamala Harris I wrote about her in my book as someone who could make history and certainly has already made history with her place here but there are others including Pete butterjudge.

And then several senators and governors who have aspirations in the presidential space and can't make any moves as long as Biden is still squarely at the center of all of this and so he is really the linchpin as most presidents are as incumbents to this 2024 cycle but I think one of the other things that I'll be looking for in this chamber is.

McCarthy this morning warned his members the mics are hot the cameras are on which is effectively a way of saying hey he's trying to project that he is a rational voice here especially going into these debt ceiling negotiations he and Biden have done a lot to try to establish that they respect each other that they will be the adults in the room.

McCarthy warning his conference like that is really saying I don't want any distractions here so watching him with vice president Kamala Harris you can tell there's a there's a kind of friendliness there but it's a bit awkward and stilted but watching McCarthy closely here I think is going to be really important because Brendan.

Is right he's wanted this moment in the spotlight for so long but at the same time he's got the job of hurting cats with a very Wily conference here our Ali Vitale for us as we watch the chamber almost completely full at this point Andrea Mitchell our chief White House correspondent and our chief of Chief correspondence as I said earlier.

Andrea you know you know you know the Biden as well you know Joe Biden well and you've covered a lot of presidents do you think the president has what it takes now to get two more years done in the White House push whatever he he has left through the legislative session and then from there run for president again in a traditional format not like what we.

Had in 2020 which was sort of abbreviated and you could campaign from home and over Zoom I think it's I think it's gonna be very challenging and I think a lot of Democrats had that concern but with the recent legislative victories in the last part of this year this past year I think that he has got this momentum going in.

The voters still are concerned about it we know that from the polls and a lot of people think that the age is a factor but who else would there be who it doesn't seem as though there are any challenges as we've been pointing out and I think what he has to do tonight is to project that he is one of them that he is you know the guy who understands.

Their problems he can brag he can talk about how inflation is receiving gas prices are down there is hope that recession is receding as a most likely possibility although it's always a possibility and he can talk about the foreign policy achievements and of course not try to talk about the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Which was one of the more devastating things that's happened to him during this term he will not discuss the balloon that he's not what he's going to talk about he won't engage in the criticism he's going to go so high if you will above the balloon issue will he discuss China do we expect him to talk yeah he'll talk about the importance of.

The relationship they are you know going to try to reschedule that meeting as I told you earlier the Chinese would not accept a call from our defense secretary which is the kind of freeze they put on our relationship they wouldn't accept calls or meetings with the defense counterparts after the Pelosi visit to Taiwan and now we also have the.

Possibility the likelihood that Kevin McCarthy is going to go to Taiwan and recreate that problem but you have to look at this the big picture is Bill Clinton and Joe Biden had similar poll readings although Biden is lower on the economy they were both at 45. Bill Clinton at this time in his presidency and then he won re-election in 96 he.

Positioned himself in the middle of the party he talked about in the next year of his State of Union the era of big government is over memorably and uh with the distress of some of his cabinet members who I was speaking to on the floor of the of the convention and we're not happy at all they was talking about welfare cuts and you know Midnight.

Basketball and small boar issues but Bill Clinton did and then won and Ronald Reagan was at a very low point in his presidency 35 percent in this at this stage in his first term and he won by a landslide just two years later yeah uh Eugene we were just seeing there the the second gentleman and and the other members.

Uh we have the Supreme Court Justices now about to enter the chamber um as the entire chamber starts uh in Applause we see the Chief Justice leading all of them in as they walk one by one of course in the robes.

To bring for Kavanaugh there Tony Barrett kataji Brown Jackson um you know Eugene I was gonna ask you about about the guest tonight that the first lady is going to have we spoke about Tyree Nichols as parents we also have uh Brandon Sai he was the hero in Monterey Park as well the issues of.

Policing the issues of gun reform are going to be on hand for this speech how important and does the president have enough time to pass real reform when it comes to those both those issues well he doesn't considering who is in Congress right now but what we uh have noted multiple times about this night is that it is a precursor to 2024 and what the.

President is going to do is try to communicate to the American public the issues that he would prioritize if he ran again which we know he will do but if he's successful and so police reform has to stay there uh taxing billionaires has to say their ideas even like expanding the child tax credit and letting voters know the voters who he's.

Popular with who still do view him pretty uh highly that this is what he can move forward if they give him another chance but also if they elect lawmakers in the Senate and in the house that support his agenda as well you know Annie as we look at the Supreme Court Justices you can't help but think about what happened right over the last couple.

Years with Roe versus Wade and how that sort of changed this country and and affected the midterms and and Democrats have told their constituents they're going to fight to protect women's rights but it's going to be tough yeah I mean that was a blow to Republicans too I mean the backlash over the overturning of Roe you know I've.

Talked a lot to representative Nancy mace she's a quote-unquote moderate uh Republican who's saying we need to be nicer to women here comes the first yeah right now um you know the Republican probably had party has a problem with um you know voters thinking that they are not are not on board with how far.

The Supreme Court went on Route it's always strange to see Supreme Court Justices on this night in this chamber on a completely partisan night when they have to sit there and be non-partisan and Annie as we look here we just saw uh Paul Pelosi the husband of a former speaker Nancy Pelosi shaking hands uh he of course was the victim of an attack by.

Somebody who did not seem stable we that that video was pretty shocking I'm gonna I'm gonna pause here because I think they may start with a prayer or um they're going to begin actually let's listen in Mr Speaker the president's cabinet all right so we see the members of the president's.

Cabinet as they come in and again I I gotta say Tara I mean I mean people we see Anthony blink and of course Secretary of State um Secretary of Defense right behind him um both sides cheering on seems like there there is you know bipartisan uh I don't know if it's happiness but but at least people are being cordial tonight.

Yeah yeah I like it I mean it's hard to tell if it's half the chamber cheering or um but you know there's a certain decorum and I think there's an excitement in the room um it's interesting you know I guess we'll figure out who the designated Survivor is we just found out it was.

Actually we found that designated Survivor is Marty Walsh which is incredibly interesting since he's decided to leave the cabinet um but I I don't know if that's an honor I'm sure it is but uh he served his time he's gonna move on to the NHL so hockey getting out of out of Paul maybe I could make a joke or getting out of my.

Bloodsport into another but but he uh he doesn't need to survive I'm sorry Terry keep going yeah I was just going to say that I mean it's interesting too as we kind of wait to hear what Biden will do he hasn't announced his re-elect officially even though our sources obviously tell us that he's planning to run again but then you see you know.

People with a judge walking in there and secretary Transportation secretary Transportation very popular member of the cabinet um and he's pulling ahead of Biden in New Hampshire polls uh UNH recently had him um pulling ahead of Biden and you've got a sense he's ready to run if you if he were to be asked or if the opportunity was there oh yeah.

Because he ran already in 2020 so what but why wouldn't he also be you know eager to run again if the opportunity were to arise um you know you see secretary raimondo who recently said that you know at some point she could see herself running for president as well I mean these this is sort of the in Waiting of the democratic.

Bench right now yeah and fighting through and Eugene real interest interestingly enough a lot of people were thought to have gonna left the cat leave the cabinet before this but a lot of people have stayed on do we do we know why well I think the thought has been uh from the White House that uh this Administration got at some key.

Legislation pass these first two years and these next two years are going to be spent trying to implement them and so having a team that is stable and consistent and knows the vision of the White House will increase the likelihood of this being carried out uh while this certainly has been somewhat record-setting I think people are also.

Comparing this stability to the Trump Administration where we saw people leaving at much higher rates coming in and out yes and that was not the norm uh even though it was very common and so it'll be interesting to see not only how long will these cabinet members remain but who could some of the new individuals be that could replace those.

Who are who leave Eugene Annie uh Tara Brendan uh Marie I see you guys over there as well thank you so much for all of your Insight tonight we want to thank all of our panelists and reporters throughout the night our special coverage continues right now with an NBC News special report I'm Tom yamas thank you so much for watching this part.

Tonight President Biden and the state of our Union the president facing a republican-controlled house for the first time as he lays out the challenges facing the country Americans under pressure with inflation taking a big bite and fears a recession is looming internationally tensions Rising with China over that spy balloon and with.

Russia over the war in Ukraine here at home policing in America in the spotlight once again after the beating death of Tyree Nichols and the president's approval rating underwater as he gets closer to announcing a re-election bid the stakes higher than ever as the president tries to lay out his case that the state of our Union is.

Strong from NBC News President Biden's State of the Union live from Washington here are Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie good evening everyone I'm Lester Holt here along with Savannah Guthrie just moments from now President Joe Biden will enter the house chamber to give the State of the Union Address it comes with.

The president getting closer to launching a re-election bid tonight could be the president's best chance to make his case to the nation that he deserves the second term but he is facing major obstacles inflation looming house investigations and big fears about the direction the country is headed in both home and abroad any moment now we.

Expect the Sergeant at Arms to announce the president's arrival we have our full NBC News team here with us in studio Kristen Welker Chuck Todd Hallie Jackson as well as correspondent spread out around the world so let's get it started we'll have NBC senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett hake lead us off he's in the house chamber we're already.

Seeing the dignitaries arrive members of the Supreme Court Garrett give us a lay of the land well Savannah would President Biden arrives in the chamber in a minute here he's going to see a very different chamber than in his previous speech teaches before Congress first of all this chamber is packed there are no longer any covid-19.

Restrictions in place no masking no social distancing no requirements for testing which means unlike his previous two addresses to the nation every seat will be filled we are at standard room only at capacity it could be a lively room too because many of those seats are filled with this new Republican House Majority when the president comes in.

Through that Center door he's going to see the house Speaker Kevin McCarthy directly in front of him now McCarthy and Biden have both praised each other so far they have said they have worked well together so far but McCarthy's members have been opening investigation after investigation into Biden Administration and into the president.

Himself they have been authored in his side in many ways including an investigation or hearing just today on the border crisis there's really only one area of major agreement that they've even discussed and that's the idea of confronting China more strongly which has taken a back seat after the issue with the balloon over the last couple of.

Weeks so it could be a difficult room for President Biden the good news though speaker McCarthy warned his members this morning not to cause any kind of scene that the lights are on the cameras and mics are hot he does not want to see any distractions today and President Biden about to enter the house chamber let's listen to the announcement for the house.

Sergeant arms president making its way into the chamber is being greeted all smiles right now we'll see what it looks like at the end but uh president on time and we normally about.

10 minutes of what you're seeing right now greetings before we expect him to take the podium and begin his remarks a lot of pressing of the flesh often in history of certain members of Congress wait saved those seats want to get that face time with the president as Garrett mentioned this is a different chamber he's facing the first time he'll address.

Divided government as president of the United States members of the cabinet are there members of the Supreme Court and we'll see some of those officials as the president makes his way to the podium we want to turn to Peter Alexander our White House correspondent who has been talking to officials about what we can expect from this state of the union hi.

Peter Savannah good evening to you we just heard from the president as he left the White House a matter of moments ago he was asked by reporters what is the state of the union he said it's in great shape and getting better but fundamentally that is his challenge tonight to try to bridge the gap between what has been strong economic news the.

Lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years inflation still too high but certainly easing right now and the satisfaction the dissatisfaction with the direction of the country from most Americans right now who feel like the economy is not working for them the White House believes that its policies the presence accomplishments are popular.

But the Americans don't even know exactly what they are they hope he can communicate that directly to Americans tonight with a takeaway being that Joe Biden has your back he will say jobs are coming back and pride is coming back watch him use 2023 in the one in the words of one White House official tonight as the year of implementation to.

Try to put all of those efforts into effect I've been struck by reading the excerpts ahead of tonight's speech this looks like the president's going to try to sort of lower the temperature tonight effectively staying away from those attacks on Maga Republicans instead saying that there was no reason that we can't work together on some of the.

Topics they hope to get done those bipartisan issues like opioid addiction and combating cancer of course for this President the stakes are very high right now not just for his administration in this term but for his presidential future this in many ways is The Unofficial kickoff to 2024 where among other things his job tonight will be to.

Try to convince Democrats that he's prepared for another four years and it's not of course Peter not just domestic issues but tonight's State of the Union comes about Rising tensions with China over that spy balloon Andrea Mitchell is NBC's Chief Washington and chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Andrea some revisions to the president's speech we.

Understand regarding China indeed I'm told the president is expected to talk about the importance of the Strategic relationship with China and standing up for sovereignty but he is not going to talk about China's Bible lunar defend himself against Republican criticism like today's from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell that the.

Country learned on President Biden's watch he said the state of our Union is apparently under Chinese surveillance from our own Skies the president will mention the defense secretary Austin was just in the Philippines to expand U.S bases there as a deterrent to China and the Pentagon says China's defense minister refused a call from Austin.

After the shoot down as the president speaks to Congress the Navy and Coast Guard are continuing tonight the round-the-clock search for debris in the waters of South Carolina and for the first time a Chinese balloon by the way this is not the first time that a balloon from China has crossed into U.S airspace they've just discovered it had.

Happened three times under President Trump and once previously under President Biden but never before for this duration and it was not known until now and NBC News is reporting tonight the administration is working to declassify how China sent balloons to spy on dozens of other countries as well Lester and we saw the president just a.

Moment ago with members of The Joint Chiefs offering a salute to Chairman uh Millie and now the president making his way to greet Kevin McCarthy the new speaker of the house who will be looking over his shoulder and Chuck Todd reading the themes of this speech this idea of Unfinished.

Business this reads like the beginning of a 2024 campaign for this President well it should I mean this is an opportunity that he's going to have not many opportunities you get 30 million people even supposedly fewer than before 30 million nowhere else you're going to get 39 so he ought to be starting to test out his re-election.

Things an instinct honor to present to you the president of the United States Mr Speaker for but they've all but said he's running it look it you would assume that how he's going to talk about what he did.

In those first two years if it's all about implementation well that sounds like a real Act Mr Speaker Madam vice president our first lady and second gentleman good to see you guys up there members of Congress by the way chief justice I may need a court order she gets to go to the.

The game tomorrow next week I have to stay home gotta work something out here members of the cabinet leaders of our military chief justice associate Justice and retired Justice Supreme Court and to you my fellow Americans you know I start tonight by congratulating 118th Congress and the.

New Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy speaker I don't want to ruin your reputation but I look forward to working with you foreign I want to congratulate the new leader of the House Democrats the first African-American minority leader in history Hakeem Jeffrey he won in spite of the fact I campaigned.

For him congratulations the longest serving leader in the history of the United States Senate Mitch McConnell where are you Mitch and congratulations to Chuck Schumer another uh you know another term is was Senate minority leader uh you know I.

Think you uh only this time you have a slightly bigger majority Mr leader you're the majority leader about that much bigger well I tell you what I want to give special recognition to someone who I think is going to be considered the greatest speaker in the history of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi.

Folks the story of America is a story of progress and resilience of always moving forward of never ever giving up there's a story unique among all nations we're the only country that has emerged from every crisis we've ever entered stronger than we got into it look folks that's what we're doing again.

Two years ago the economy was Reeling I stand here tonight after we've created with the help of many people in this room 12 million new jobs more jobs created in two years than any president's created in four years because of you all because of the American people two years ago.

And two years ago covet had shut down our businesses were closed our schools were robbed of so much and today covert no longer controls Our Lives and two years ago democracy faced his greatest threats of the Civil War and today though bruised our democracy remains unbowed and Unbroken foreign.

We're ready in the next chapter in The Great American story a story of progress and resilience when world leaders asked me to Define America and they do believe it or not exciting to find it in one word and I mean this possibilities we don't think anything is beyond our capacity everything is a possibility.

You know we're often told that Democrats and Republicans can't work together but over the past two years we've proved the cynics and naysayers wrong yes we disagreed plenty and yes there were times when Democrats went alone but time and again Democrats and Republicans came together came together to defend us stronger and safer Europe.

It came together to pass one in the Gen one in a generation once in a generation infrastructure law Building Bridges connecting our nation and our people we came together to pass the most significant law ever helping victims expose the toxic burn pits and in fact foreign in fact I signed over 300.

Bipartisan pieces of legislation since becoming president from reauthorizing the violence guns women act the Electoral count Reform Act the respect for Marriage Act it protects the right to marry the person you love and to my Republican friends if we could work together the last Congress there's no reason we can't work together and find.

Consensus on important things in this Congress as well I think folks you all are as formed as I am but I think the people sent us a clear message fighting for the sake of fighting power for the sake of power Conflict for the sake of conflict gets us nowhere.

That's always been my vision of our country and I know it's many viewers to restore the soul of this nation to rebuild the backbone of America America's middle class and to unite the country we've been sent here to finish the job in my view for decades the middle class has been.

Hollowed out in more than and not know one Administration but for a long time too many good paying manufacturing jobs move overseas factories closed down once thriving cities and towns that many of you represent became Shadows of what they used to be along the way something else we lost Pride our sense of self-worth.

I ran for president to fundamentally changed things to make sure our economy works for everyone so we can all feel that pride in what we do to build an economy from the bottom up in the middle out not from the top down because when the middle class does well the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very.

Well we all do well I know a lot of you always kidding me for always quoting my dad but my dad used to say Joey and job's about a lot more than a paycheck because he really would say this it's about a lot more than a paycheck it's about your dignity it's about respect it's about being able.

To look your kid in the eye and say honey it's going to be okay and mean it folks so let's look at the results we're not finished yet by any stretch of the imagination but unemployment rate is at 3.4 percent a 50-year low record Premier record unemployment.

Near record unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers we've already created your help eight hundred thousand good paying manufacturing jobs the fastest growth in 40 years thank you and where is it written where is it written that America can't lead the world in manufacturing I don't.

Know where that's written for too many decades we imported projects and exported jobs now thanks to what you've all done we're exporting American products and creating American jobs inflation has been a global problem because the pandemic disrupted our supply chains and Putin's unfair and.

Brutal war in Ukraine disrupted energy supplies as well as Food Supplies blocking all that grain in Ukraine but we're a better position than any country on Earth right now but we have more to do but here at home inflation is coming down here at home gas prices are down a dollar fifty from their Peak.

Food inflation is coming down not fast enough but coming down inflation has fallen every month for the last six months or take-home pay has gone up additionally over the last two years a record 10 million Americans apply to start new businesses 10 million and by the way every time.

Every time someone starts a small business as an act of Hope and Madam vice president I want to thank you for leading that effort to ensure the small businesses have access to Capital and the historic laws reenact it that are going to just come into being standing here last year I shared with.

You a story of American genius and possibilities semiconductors small computer chips the size of a fingerprint that power everything from cell phones to Automobiles and so much more these chips were invented in America let's get that straight they were.

Invented in America we used to make 40 percent of the world's chips in the last several decades we lost our Edge we're down to only producing 10 percent we all saw what happened during the pandemic when chip factories shut down overseas today's automobiles need 3 000.

Chips each of those automobiles but American automobiles couldn't make enough cars because there weren't enough chips car prices went up people got laid off so did everything from refrigerators to cell phones we can never let that happen again that's why that's why we came together to pass the.

Bipartisan chips and science Act folks I know I've been criticized for saying this but I'm not changing my view we're going to make sure the supply chain for America begins in America the supply chain begins in America we've already created.

800 000 new manufacturing jobs without this law before the law get kicks in with this new law we're going to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country I mean all across the country throughout not just the coast but through the middle of the country as well that's going to come from companies that have announced more than 300.

Billion dollars in investment in American manufacturing over the next few years outside of Columbus Ohio Intel is building semiconductor factories on a thousand acres literally a Field of Dreams it's going to create 10 000 jobs that one investment seven thousand construction jobs.

Three thousand jobs in those factories once they're finished they call them factories jobs paying an average of a hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year and many do not require a college degree because we work together these jobs where people don't have to leave home to.

Search for opportunity it's just getting started think about the new homes the small businesses the big the medium-sized businesses so much more that's going to be needed to support those 3000 those 3 000 permanent jobs and the factors that are going to be built.

Talk to Mayors and governors Democrats and Republicans and they'll tell you what this means for their communities we're seeing these Field of Dreams transform into the heartland but to maintain the strongest economy in the world we need the best infrastructure in the world and folks.

As you all know we used to be number one in the world in infrastructure we've sunk to 13th in the world the United States of America 13th in the world and infrastructure modern infrastructure but now we're coming back because we came together and passed a bipartisan infrastructure law the largest investment infrastructure.

Since President Eisenhower's interstate highway system foreign we funded over 20 000 projects including major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland projects are going to put thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways our bridges our railroads our tunnels ports airports clean water.

High-speed internet all across America Urban rural tribal and folks were just getting started we're just getting started and I mean you sincerely I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law and my Republican friends who voted against it as well.

But I'm still I I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well but don't worry I promised I'd be a president for all Americans we'll fund these projects and I'll see you at the groundbreaking look this law.

This law will further unite all of America projects like Brent spent bridge in Kentucky over the Ohio river built 60 years ago badly needed repairs one of the nation's most congested Freight routes carrying two billion dollars worth of freight every single day across the Ohio River and folks I've been talking about fixing.

It for decades but we're really finally going to get it done I went there last month with Democrats and Republicans and from both states to deliver a commitment of 1.6 billion dollars for this project while I was there I met a young woman named Sarah who's here tonight I don't know where Sarah is.

The chef in the Box I don't know Sarah how are you well Sarah for 30 years for 30 years I learned she told me she'd been a proud member of the Iron Workers Local 44 known as known as the Cowboys in the sky the folks who built.

Built Cincinnati skyline Sarah said she can't wait to be 10 stories above the Ohio River Building that new bridge God bless her that's pride and that's we're also building we're building back Pride look we're also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes in America 400.

000 school and Child Care Centers so every child in America every child American drink the water instead of having permanent damage to their brain look we're making sure that every community every community in America has access to.

Affordable high-speed internet no parent should have to drive by McDonald's parking lot to help them do their farm work online or their kids which many thousands were doing across the country and when we do these projects and again I get criticized this is why I make no excuses for it we're going to buy American we're going to buy America.

Folks and it's totally totally consistent with International Trade rules buy America has been the law since 1933 but for too long past administrations Democrat and Republican have fought to get around it not anymore tonight I'm announcing new standards.

Required all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America made in America I mean it Lumber glass drywall fiber optic cable and I might watch American roads Bridges American highways are going to be made.

With American Products as well folks my economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten so many of you listen to me tonight I know you feel it so many of you felt like you've just simply been forgotten made the economic upheaval of the past.

Four decades too many people have been left behind and treated like they're invisible maybe that's you watching from home remember the jobs that went away you remember them don't you Folks at home remember them you wonder whether the path even exists anymore for your children to get ahead without.

Having to move away well that's why I get that that's why we're building an economy where no one's left behind jobs are coming back pride is coming back because choices we made in the last several years you know.

This is my view of blue collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives at home for example too many of you lay in bed at night like my dad did staring at the ceiling wondering wouldn't God names happens if your spouse gets cancer.

Or your child gets deadly ill or something happens to you what are you going to gain money to pay for those medical bills are you gonna have to sell the house or try to get a second mortgage on it I get it I get it with inflation reduction act that I signed into law we're taking on powerful interest to.

Bring health care costs down so you can sleep better at night with more security you know we pay more for prescription drugs than any nation in the world let me say it again we pay more for prescription drugs than any major Nation on Earth for example.

One in 10 Americans has diabetes many of you in this chamber do and then the audience but every day Millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can literally stay alive instant's been around for over 100 years the guy invented didn't even patent him because he wanted to be available for.

Everyone it cost to drug companies roughly ten dollars a vial to make that insulin packaging it all you may get up to thirteen dollars but big Pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars four to five hundred dollars a month making record profits.

Not anymore foreign things that we did are only now coming to fruition we said we were doing this and we said we passed the law to do it but people didn't know because the law didn't take effect until January 1 of this year.

We capped the cost of insulin at 35 a month for seniors on Medicaid I'm sure you're getting the same calls I'm getting look there are millions of other Americans who do not or are not on Medicare including 200 000 young people with type 1 diabetes and these needless.

Insulin to stay alive finished the job this time let's cap the cost of instance for everybody at 35 dollars folks big Farmer's still going to do very well I promise you all I promise you they're going to do very well this also this law also caps and won't.

Go into effect on the 2025 the costs out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum of two thousand dollars a year you don't have to pay more than two thousand dollars no matter how much your drug costs are because you know why you all know it many of you like many of my family have cancer you know the drugs can range from.

10 11 14 15 000 for the Cancer drugs the drug prices rise faster than inflation drug companies are going to have to pay Medicare back the difference or finally I'm finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices bringing down bringing down prescription drug costs.

Doesn't just save seniors money it cuts the federal deficit by billions of dollars by hundreds of billions of dollars or drugs purchased by Medicare to make keep their commitment to the seniors well guess what instead of paying four or five hundred bucks a month you're paying 15. that's a.

Lot of savings for the federal government and by the way why wouldn't we want that now some members here are threatening and I know it's not an official party position so I'm not I'm going to exaggerate but certainly to repeal the inflation reduction Act.

As my coach that's okay that's fair as my football coach used to say lots of luck on your senior year make no mistake if you try anything to raise the cost of producing jobs I will veto it look I'm pleased to say the more Americans.

Helpful to have health insurance now than ever in history a record 16 million people are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act and thanks thanks for the large sign last year saving millions of saving 800 a year on their premiums and by the way that law was written and the benefit expires in 2025.

So my plea to some of you at least in this audience let's finish the job and make these savings permanent bad coverage on Medicaid look the inflation reduction Act is also the most significant investment ever in climate change ever.

Lower utility bill trading American jobs leading the world to a clean energy future I visited the devastating aftermath of record floods droughts storms and wildfires from Arizona New Mexico to all the way up to the Canadian border more Timber has been burned as I've observed from helicopters than the.

Entire state of Missouri and we don't have global warming not a problem in addition to emergency recovery from Puerto Rico to Florida to Idaho we're rebuilding for the long term new electric grids that are able to weather major storms and not prevent those forest fires roads and water.

System will stand the next big flood clean energy to cup pollution and create jobs and communities often left behind we're going to build 500 000 electric vehicle charging stations installed that'll cross the country by tens of thousands of IBEW workers and we're helping families save more than a.

Thousand dollars a year with tax credits to purchase electric vehicles in efficient an efficient appliances energy efficient appliances historic conservation efforts to be responsible stewards of our land let's face reality the climate crisis doesn't care if you're in a red or blue state.

It's an existential threat we have an obligation not to ourselves but our children our grandchildren to confront it I'm proud of how the how America at last is stepping up to the challenge we're still going to need oil and gas for a while but guess what.

No they do foreign but there's so much more to do we got to finish the job we pay for these investments in our future by finally making the wealthiest and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share just begin well I'm a capitalist.

I'm a capitalist but pay your fair share I think a lot of you at home a lot of you at home agree with me and many people that you know the tax system is not fair it is not fair look look the idea that in 2020.

55 of the largest corporations in America the fortune 500. made 40 billion dollars in profits and paid zero in federal taxes zero folks simply not fair but now because of the law I signed billion dollar companies have to pay a minimum of 15 percent God loved them.

15 percent that's less than a nurse case and I need to be crystal clear I said at the very beginning under my plans as long as I'm president nobody earning less than four hundred thousand dollars will pay an additional penny in taxes nobody not one penny so let's finish the job there's more to.

Do we have to reward work not just wealth passed my proposal for the billionaire minimum tax you know there's a thousand billionaires in America it's up from about 600 in the beginning of the term oh billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than the school teacher or.

Firefighter I mean it think about it I mean look I know you aren't enthusiastic about that but think about it think about it have you noticed Big Oil just reported as profits record profits last year they made.

200 billion dollars in the midst of a global energy crisis I think it's outrageous why they invested too little of that profit increased domestic production and when I talked to a couple of them they say we're afraid you're going to shut down all the oil wells and all the oil refineries anyway so why should we.

Invest in them I said we're going to need oil for at least another decade and that's going to exceed and beyond that we're going to need it production if they had in fact invested in the production to keep gas prices down instead they use the record profits to buy back their own stock.

Rewarding to CEOs and shareholders corporations ought to do the right thing that's why I propose we quadruple the tax on corporate stock BuyBacks and encourage long long-term Investments they'll still make considerable profit let's finish the job and close the loophole to allow very wealthy to avoid paying their taxes instead of cutting.

The number of orders for wealthy taxpayers I just signed a law to reduce the deficit by 114 billion dollars by cracking down on Wealthy tax cheats that's been fiscally responsible in the last two years my Administration has cut the deficit by more than 1.7 trillion dollars.

The largest deficit reduction in American history under the previous administration the American deficit went up four years in a row because those record deficits no president added more to the national debt in 94 years than my predecessor.

Nearly 25 percent of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one Administration alone the last one better facts check it out check it out how did Congress respond to that debt they did the right thing they left to.

The debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis they paid American bills to prevent an economic disaster of the country so tonight I'm asking the Congress to follow suit let's commit here tonight to the full-fated credit of the United States of America will never ever be questioned.

So my many some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage I get it unless I agree to their economic plans all of you at home should know what those plans are instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share some Republicans some Republicans want Medicare and Social.

Security Sunset I'm not saying it's a majority let me give you anybody who doubts it contact my office I'll give you a copy I'll give you a copy of The Proposal that means Congress doesn't vote well I'm glad to see you now I tell you I enjoy conversion you know it means if if Congress doesn't.

Keep the programs the way they are they'd go away other Republicans say I'm not saying it's a majority of you I don't even think it's even a significant but it's being proposed by individuals I'm not politely not naming them but it's being proposed by some of you look folks.

The idea is that we're not going to be we're not going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don't respond folks so folks as we all apparently agree Social Security Medicare is off the off the books now right.

All right we got unanimity Social Security Medicare or Lifeline for millions of seniors Americans have to pay into them from the very first paycheck they started so tonight let's all agree and apparently we are let's stand up for seniors foreign.

Will not cut Social Security we will not cut Medicare those benefits belong to the American people they earned it and if anyone tries to cut Social Security which apparently no one's going to do and if anyone tries to strike care I'll stop them I'll veto it.

And look I'm not going to allow them to take away be taken away not today not tomorrow not ever but apparently it's not going to be a problem next month when I offered my fiscal plan I asked my Republican friends to lay down their plan as well I really mean it let's sit down together.

And discuss our mutual plans together let's do that I can tell you the plan I'm going to show is going to cut the deficit by another two trillion dollars and I won't cut a single bit of Medicare or self-security in fact we're going to.

Extend the Medicare trust fund at least two decades because that's going to be the next argument how do we make keep it solvent right well we'll not raise tax anyone make it under 400 Grand but we'll pay for it the way we talked about by making sure that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share look.

Look good deal they're not just taking advantage of the tax code they're taking advantage you the American Consumer here's my message to all of you out there I have your back we're already preventing Americans from receiving surprise medical bills stopping one billion dollar surprise.

Bills per month so far we're protecting seniors life savings by cracking down in nursing homes that commit fraud endanger patient safety prescribe drugs that are not needed millions of Americans can now save thousands of dollars because they can finally get a hearing aid over the.

Counter without a prescription look look capitalism without competition is not capitalism it's extortion is exploitation last year I cracked down with the help of many of you on foreign shipping.

Companies that were making you pay higher prices for every good company in the country I signed a bipartisan Bill to cut shipping costs by 90 percent helping American farmers businessmen and consumers let's finish the job pass the bipartisan legislation of strength and strengthen and Trust enforcement and forbid and prevent big.

Online platforms giving their own products an unfair advantage thank you my Administration has also taking on junk fees those hidden surcharges too many companies use to make you pay more for example we're making Airlines show you the full ticket price up front refund your money if your flight is.

Canceled or delayed we reduce exorbitant Bank overdrafts by Saving consumers more than one billion dollars a year for cutting credit card late fees by 75 percent from thirty dollars to eight dollars look junk fees.

May not matter to the very wealthy but they matter to most other folks in homes like the one I grew up in like many of you did they add up to hundreds of dollars a month they make it harder for you to pay your bills and afford that family trip I know how unfair it feels when a.

Company over charges you and gets away with it not anymore we've written a bill to stop it all it's called the junk fee prevention Act we're going to ban surprise Resort fees that hotels charge on your bill those fees can cost up to 90 a night at hotels that aren't even resorts we the idea.

I did charge you you if you decide to switch another provider give me a break we can stop service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all the fees up front and will prohibit Airlines from charging 50 round trip for family just to be able.

To sit together baggies fees are bad enough Airlines kick your child like a piece of baggage being played for suckers it's a pass pass the Jump Street prevention act so companies stop ripping us off.

For too long workers have been getting stiffed but not anymore we're getting we're beginning to restore the Dignity of work for example I I should have known this but I didn't until two years ago 30 million workers have to sign non-compete agreements.

For the jobs they take 30 million so a cashier at a burger place can't walk across town and take the same job at another burger place and make a few bucks more the chest changed but they just changed it because we exposed it that was part of the deal guys look it up but not anymore.

We're Banning those agreements so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they're worth and I must tell you this is bound to get a response from my friends on my left with the right I'm so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing pass the pro Act.

Because business had a right workers have a right to form a union let's guarantee all workers have a living wage let's make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days paid family medical leave.

store the full child tax credit which gave tens of millions of parents a breeding room and cut child poverty in half to the lowest level in history and by the way we do all these things we increase productivity we increase economic growth so let's finish the job and get more families access to.

Affordable quality housing let's get seniors who want to stay in their homes the care they need to do so let's get more breathing room to millions of family caregivers looking after their loved ones past my plan so we get seniors and people with disabilities the home care and services in need.

And support the workers who are doing God's Gods if these plans are fully paid for and we can afford to do them restoring the Dignity of work means making education an affordable ticket to the middle class you know when we made public education 12 years of it Universal in the last.

Century we made the best educated best paid we became the best educated best paid nation in the world the rest of us caught up it's caught up Jill my wife who teaches full-time has an expression I hope I get it right kid any nation that out educates us is going.

To out-compete us Any Nation out education can now compete us folks we all know 12 years of education is not enough to win the economic competition of 21st century you want to have the best educated Workforce let's finish the job by providing access to preschool for three and four years old.

Studies show that children to go to preschool are nearly 50 percent more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a two or four year degree no matter their background they came from let's give Public School teachers a raise we're making progress by reducing student debt increasing Pell.

Grants for working in Middle Class families let's finish the job and connect students to career opportunities starting in high school provide access to two years of Community College the best career training in America in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree that's all for every American a path to.

A good creation whether they go to college or not folks folks in the midst of the kova crisis when schools were closed and we were shutting down everything let's recognize how far we came in the fight against the pandemic itself while the virus is not gone thanks to.

The resilience of the American people and the Ingenuity of Medicine we broken the cover grip on us covered deaths were down by 90 percent we've saved millions of lives and opened up our country we opened our country back up and soon we'll end the public health emergency.

But that's called a public health emergency but we'll remember the toll and pain that's never going to go away more than a million Americans lost their lives of covet a million families grieving children an orphaned Empty Chairs the dining room table.

Constantly reminding you and she used to sit there remembering them we remain vigilant we still need to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments so Congress needs to fund these efforts and keep America safe.

And as we emerge from this crisis stronger we're also got to double down on Prosecuting criminals who stole relief money meant to keep workers in small businesses thank you before I came to office you remember during that campaign the big issue was.

About inspector generals who would protect taxpayers dollars and were sidelined they were fired many people said we don't need them and fraud became rampant last year I told you the Watchdogs are back since then since then we've recovered.

Billions of taxpayers dollars now let's triple the anti-fraud strike force going after these criminals double the statute of limitations on these crimes and crack down on identity fraud by criminal syndicates stealing billions of dollars billions of dollars from the American people and the data shows.

After every dollar we put in the fighting fraud the taxiers get back at least 10 times as much it matters it matters look cover left his scars like the spike in violent crime in 2020. the first year of the pandemic we have an obligation to make sure all.

People are safe Public Safety depends on public trust as all of us know but too often that trust is violated join us tonight are the parents of Tyree Nichols welcome I had to bury Tyree last week.

As many of you personally know there's no words to describe the heartache or brief of losing a child but imagine if you lost that child at the hands of the law imagine having to worry whether your son or daughter came home from walking down the.

Street playing in the park or just driving a car most of us in here have never had to have the talk the talk the brown and black parents have had to have with their children Bo Hunter Ashley my children I never had to have a talk with him.

I never had to tell them if a police officer pulls you over turn their interior lights on right away don't reach for your license keep your hands on the steering wheel imagine having to worry like that every single time your kid got in a car here's what tyree's mother shared with.

Me when I spoke to her when I asked her how she finds the courage to carry on and speak out the faith of God she said her son was quote a beautiful soul and something good will come of this imagine how much courage and charity that takes it's up to us to all of us.

We all want the same thing neighborhoods free of violence law enforcement of a Horseman who earned the community's trust just as every cop when they pin on that badge in the morning has a right to be able to go home at night so does everybody else out there our children.

Have a right to come home safely equal protection under the law as a covenant we have with each other in America we know police officers put their lives on the line every single night and day and we know we ask them in many cases to do too much to be counselors social.

Workers psychologists responding to drug overdoses mental health crises and so much more in one sense we asked much too much of them I know most cops and their families are good decent honorable people the vast majority if they risk.

And they risk their lives every time they put that shield on but what happened to Tyree in Memphis happens too often you have to do better give law enforcement the real training they need hold them to higher standards help them succeed in keeping us safe.

We also need more first respondents and professionals to address the growing mental health substance abuse challenges more resources reduced violent crime and gun crimes more Community intervention programs more investment in housing education and job training all this can help prevent violence in the first place.

When police officers or police departments violate the public Trust they must be held accountable with the support with the support of the families of victims civil rights groups and law enforcement I signed an executive order for all federal officers.

Banning chokeholds restricting no knock warrants another key elements of the George Floyd Act let's commit ourselves to make the words of Tyler's mom true something good must come from this something good and all of us all of us.

folks it's difficult but it's simple all of us in the chain in this chamber we need to rise to this moment we can't turn away let's do what we know in our hearts we need to do let's come together to finish the job on police reform.

Do something do something that was The Plea of parents who lost their children you volunteer I met with every one of them do something about gun violence thank God thank God we did passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades.

That includes things like that the majority of responsible gun owners already support enhanced background checks for 18 to 21 years old red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people are a danger to themselves and others but we know our work is not done join us tonight is Brandon say a 26 year.

Old hero Brandon put his college dreams on hold to beat his mom's side his mom's side when she was dying from cancer foreign Brandon now works at the dance studio started by his grandparents two weeks ago there are no Lunar New Year celebrations.

You heard the studio door closed you saw a man standing there pointing semi-automatic pistol atom he thought he was going to die but he thought about the people inside and that instant he found the courage to act and wrestle the semi-automatic pistol away from the gunman who had already killed 11 people in another.

Dance Studio 11. he saved lives it's time we do the same band assault weapons now once and for all I love the fight to do that in 1994. I mean in 10 years that ban was law mass shootings went down after we let it.

Expire in the Republican Administration mass shootings tripled let's finish the job and ban these assault weapons and let's also come together on immigration make it a bipartisan issue once again we know we now have a record number of personnel working to secure the Border arresting 8 000 human Smugglers seizing.

Over 23 000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months we've launched a new border plan last month unlawful migration from Cuba Haiti Nicaragua and Venezuela has come down 97 as a consequence of that but American Border problems won't be fixed until Congress Acts if we don't pass my comprehensive.

Immigration reform at least past my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the Border and a pathway to citizenship for dreamers those on temporary status Farm Workers essential workers here in the people's house it's our duty to protect all the.

People's rights and freedoms Congress must restore the right and Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe v Wade and protect your way give everyone a cost away the vice president and I are doing everything.

Exact access to reproductive health care we Safeguard patient safety but already more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans make no mistake about it if Congress passes a national ban I will veto it quality act ensure LPG lgbtq Americans especially transgender young people can.

Live with safety and dignity our strength our strength is not just the example of our power but the power of our example let's remember the world's watching I spoke in this chamber one year ago just days after Vladimir Putin Unleashed his brutal attack against Ukraine a murderous assault evoking images of.

Death and destruction Europe suffered in World War II Putin's Invasion has been a test for the ages test for America the test for the world would we stand for the most basic of principles will we stand for sovereignty we stand for the right of people to live free of.

Charity will we stand for the defense of democracy for such defense matters to us because it keeps peace and prevents Open Season I would be aggressive and threatens our prosperity one year later we know the answer yes we would and we.

Did we did together we did what America always does at our best we LED we United NATO we built a global coalition we stood against Putin's aggression we stood with Ukrainian people to deny we're once again joined by ukrainians.

Ambassador to the United States she represents not her in just our nation but the courage of her People ambassador as our ambassador is here United we're in united in our support of your country would you stand so we can all take a look at you because we're going to stand with you.

As long as it takes our nation is working for more freedom more dignity more more peace not just in Europe but everywhere before I came to office the story was about how the People's Republic of China was increasing its power and America is failing in the world.

Not anymore we made clear and I made my personal conversation which have been many with President XI that we seek competition not conflict but I will make no apologies that we're investing and to make America stronger investing in American innovation and industries will Define.

The future that China intends to be dominated investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect Advanced Technologies so they will not be used against us modernizing our military to safeguard stability and determine to deter aggression today we're the strongest position in decades to compete.

With China or anyone else in the world anywhere else in the world and I'm committed I'm committed to work with China where we 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 look let's be clear when in the competition should your nine all of us we Face serious challenges across the world but in the past two years democracies have become stronger and not weaker autocracy has grown weaker not stronger.

Name me a world leader who changed places with Xi Jinping name me one name me one America's rallying the world to meet those challenges from climate to Global Health to food insecurity to terrorism to territorial aggression allies are stepping up spending more and.

Doing more look the bridges were forming between partners in the Pacific and those in the Atlantic and those who bet against America are learning how wrong they are it's never ever been a good bet to bet against America never.

Well when I came to office most assured the bipartisanship assumed was impossible but never believed it that's why a year ago I offered a Unity agenda to the nation as I stood here we made real progress together we passed the law and make it easy for doctors to prescribe effective.

Treatments for opioid addiction we passed the gun safety law making historic investments in mental health we launched the arpa H drive for breakthrough in the fights against cancer Alzheimer's and diabetes and so much more we passed that Heath Robinson packed act.

Named after the late Iraq War veterans story about exposure to toxic burn kids I shared here last year foreign something about those burn pits but there's so much more to do we can do it together join us tonight is a father named Doug from Newton New Hampshire.

He wrote Jill my wife a letter and me as well about his courageous daughter Courtney a contagious laugh his sister's best friend her sister's best friend he shared the story all too familiar to millions of Americans and many of you in the audience.

Courtney discovered pills in high school it spiraled into addiction and eventually death from a fentanyl overdose she's just 20 years old described in the last eight years without her Doug said there's no worse pain if their families turn pain to purpose.

Working to end the stigma and change laws he told us he wants to start a journey toward American Recovery Doug we're with you fentanyl is killing more than 70 000 Americans a year you got it.

So let's launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production in the sale and trafficking with more drug detection machines inspection cargo stop pills and powder at the border working with Currys like FedEx to inspect more packages for drugs strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking.

Second let's do more mental health especially for our children when millions of young people are struggling with bullying violence trauma we're in greater access to Mental Health Care at their schools we must finally hold social media companies accountable for experimenting or doing running children for profit.

There's time to pass bipartisan registration to stop big Tech from collecting personal data on our kids and teenagers online fan targeted advertising their children and impose stricter limits on the personal data that companies collect on all of us third.

Less do more to keep this nation's ones truly sacred obligation equip those we send into Harm's Way and care for them and their families when they come home job training job placement for veterans and their spouses as they come to return to civilian life helping veterans afford the rent because no one should be.

Homeless in America especially someone who served the country Dennis mcducken Dennis McDonough is here of the VA we had a first discussion I asked him to take the job I'm glad he did we were losing up to 25 veterans a day on suicide.

Now we're losing 17 today to the silent scourge of suicide 17 veterans a day are committing suicide more than all the people being killed in the wars folks VA is doing everything they can including expanding mental health screening.

Proven programs of recruits veterans to help other veterans understand what they're going through get them the help they need we got to do more and fourth last year Jill and I reignited the cancer moonshot that I was able to start with President Obama asked me to lead.

Our Administration on this issue our goal is to cut the cancer death rates at least by 50 in the next 25 years turn more Cancers and death sentences to treatable diseases provide more support for patients and their families it's personal to so many of us so many.

Of us in this audience joining us or Morris and Candice an Irishman and a daughter of immigrants from Panama they met and fell in love in New York City and got married in the same Chapel Jill and I got married in New York City Kindred Spirits he wrote us a letter about his little.

Daughter Ava and I saw her just before I came over she was just a year old when she was diagnosed with rare kidney disease cancer after 26 blood transfusions 11 rounds of radiation eight rounds of Keno chemo one kidney removed give it a five percent survival rate he wrote how in the darkest moments he.

Thought if she goes I can't stay many of you been through that as well chilling I understand that like so many of you he read Jill's book describing our family's cancer Journey and how we tried to steal moments of Joy where we could with both for them that glimmer of Joy was the.

Half smile of their baby girl it meant everything to it they never gave up hope little Ava never gave up hope she turns four next month they just found out Davis beating the odds is on her way to make sure to cancer.

And she's watching from the White House tonight and she's not asleep already but The Lies We Can Save for the lives we can say in the lives we've lost let this be a truly American moment that rallies the country in the world together and proved that we can still do big things.

20 years ago under the leadership of President Bush and countless Advocates and champions he undertook a bipartisan effort through pepfar to transform the global fight against HIV AIDS it's been a huge success who thought big he thought large he moved I believe we can do the same thing with.

Cancer let's end cancer as we know it cure some cancers once and for all folks there's one reason why we've been able to do all of these things our democracy itself it's the most fundamental thing of all.

With democracy everything's possible without it nothing is the last few years our democracy has been threatened and attacked put at risk put to the test In This Very Room on January the 6th and then just a few months ago a non-hinged big lie a sale and Unleashed a political.

Violence the home of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives using the very same language the insurrectionists used as they stalk these halls and chanted on January 6th here tonight in this chamber is a man who Bears the scars of that brutal attack but it's as tough and as strong as.

Resilient as they get my friend Paul Pelosi Paul Stanley thank you it's such a heinous act should have never happened we must all speak out there's no place for political violence in America we have to protect the right.

To vote not suppress the fat fundamental right honor the results of our elections not subvert the will of people we have to uphold the rule of law and restore trust in our institutions of democracy we must give hate and extremism in any form no Safe Harbor must not be a partisan issue.

It's an American issue every generation American has faced a moment where they haven't been called to protect our democracy defendants stand up for it and this is our moment our fellow Americans we meet tonight at an inflection point one of those moments.

That only a few Generations ever face with the direction we now take is going to decide the course of this nation for decades to come we're not bystanders of History we're not powerless before the forces that confront us it's within our power.

Of We the People we're facing the test of our time we have to be the nation we've always been at our best optimistic hopeful forward-looking a nation that Embraces light over dark hope over fear universities stability over chaos we have to see each other not as enemies but as fellow Americans.

We're good people the only nation in the world built on an idea the only one other nations are defined by geography ethnicity but we're the only nation based on an idea.

That all of us every one of us has created equal in the image of God a nation that stands as a beacon of the world a nation in a new age of possibilities so I've come to fulfill my constitutional obligation to.

Report in the state of the union and here's my my report because the soul of this nation is strong because the backboken backbone of this nation is strong because the people of this nation are strong the state of the union is strong thank you I'm not new to this place I stand here.

Tonight having served as long as about any one of you who've ever served here but I've never been more optimistic about our future about the future America just to remember who we are we're the United States of America and there's nothing nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together God bless you all and may God protect our truth.

Thank you President Biden in a roughly hour and 15 minutes speech the state of the union is not the only voice in that chamber tonight he got some words of encouragement from the left side of the aisle and some words of criticism from the other side of the aisle tonight but seemed to at times relish mixing it up.

At other times seemed to be a little taken off guard well it was an energetic Speedy it's a boisterous crowd at times unruly but it was a spicy State of the Union a very energetic crowd Chuck Todd look I thought he was pretty disciplined I thought the messaging was disciplined I.

I just was writing this down he was very much focused on a lot of middles right the middle class the middle of the electorate the middle of the country he was really trying to sort of be his identity he likes to think of himself as Scranton Joe and I think he really delivered a speech that he believes is who he is right talking about speaking.

In American right not speaking in Washington speak spending more time on junk fees than the fight on the border spending more time on some of those on a lot of domestic issues and talking about overseas which in Washington that may be some people might say oh you should have done more on this and more on that.

But this was a case where you could tell they decided they were speaking to voters across the country they weren't they weren't speaking to pundits and they weren't speaking to foreign policy Christian Walker let me turn to you at times well first of all we came out and was was extraordinarily gracious to Republican leadership noting them.

Congratulating uh speaker McCarthy at times he seemed to have Republicans singing out of the democratic Playbook that's right so there was this really notable moment Lester to your point and you're absolutely right that I can tell you Democrats are seizing on which is when he talked about the fact that he will protect Medicare and Social.

Security and he had a back and forth with Republicans in the crowd who disagreed with him audibly when he said that some Republicans want to cut Medicare and Social Security they said no no and he said okay and I can tell you that top Democrats are texting me now and saying that they thought that was one of the strongest moments of this.

Speech because as one person said to me for anyone questioning his Lucidity he was sharp and quick with the GOP in that moment so expect them to tout this in the coming days I would say why is that significant because our latest poll shows 28 percent believe that Biden is mentally and physically healthy to be president so that was one of his.

Important goals I think tonight was to deliver a feisty strong message yeah I think the the white house hoping that he would be that vigorous Presence at this Podium tonight talking about a vigorous presence I think some of the uh the members of Congress in the audience Hallie certainly ate their Wheaties this morning have a lot to say pro and con.

And we saw moments where Kevin McCarthy the the speaker was searching some of the Republican members so what was the dynamic there which fits what he told them this morning apparently where he said hey cameras are on Mike Saran and Kristen I love how graciously you phrased how some Republicans disagreed with him in the audience he was talking.

About Medicare and Social Security they straight up called him a liar we heard representative Marjorie Taylor green say that along with other Republicans multiple times here now that is an issue and not to get in the Weeds about it but it was proposed by one Republican senator last year was immediately rejected pretty major Senate rates in.

Wisconsin well Rick Scott and his policy papers talked about the sun setting multiple Senators Mitch McConnell came out and immediately said we're not doing that even Rick Scott then distanced himself from his own proposal a couple of months later so the Dynamics there are one where the president did kind of you know get Republicans to give him a.

Standing ovation in this moment we did see some of these Republicans eat their Wheaties and it was almost a back and forth and I'll tell you President Biden didn't seem to hate it at some points kind of engaging with the Republicans in the audience here again we keep talking about this he kept saying look it up saying look at it his first speech in.

Front of a divided Congress it was such an interesting moment it's worth zeroing in on because here the president has set out to to set this bipartisan tone and here was the first moment where he's going to make kind of a partisan attack and he even said look it's not all Republicans they put a disclaimer on it and then he.

Said some of y'all want to cut Medicare and Social Security that's when it erupted Republicans are saying no that's a lie so on and so forth and then you know this is where I think some of those top Democrats are glad that he turned that lemon into Lemonade by saying well sounds like we all agree we're not going to touch Social Security and Medicare.

Let's listen in a little bit of what the president is saying is he works his way out anyone who was engaged with his president knows he likes to talk no he likes to hold court and uh look I think he should feel pretty good I think this is his you know there's the bar whatever you want to talk about.

Expectation bar this was the best version of Biden that we've seen in this iteration about in in this moment I thought in that sense he he did his his look he's going to have his stumbles because that's who he is it's sort of like George W bush had his things and Reagan had his things I think they've become sort of a thing almost.

Where they don't I don't think they have a negative impact Chuck you're saying he was at he was at his political Center this is his political identity bipartisan Mitch McConnell is my friend he just said it again last week even though Mitch McConnell torched him on China this morning this is where he wants to be and he thinks this is where.

Americans want him to be Reaching Across the aisle and trying to work together he thinks this is why he won he believes this is what he won this is why he's president in that moment is that's the deal he cut but the middle now there are some that are questioning whether he's always got his eye on the ball with that group of Voters but tonight I thought he.

Was speaking to that group president and speaking to members of the Supreme Court now retired members yeah if it's justices retired justices Kennedy and Briar this is who he has been for the last this is who he is this is what he campaigned on right this is the kind of president he's wanted to be for the last two years I.

Spoke with one uh Democrat who was in that room there before the speech who said he wanted to see a vigorous speech from President Biden uh and says yeah he didn't back down right after the speech that was the kind of speech they wanted to see you know Republicans I think would have wanted to hear more about uh common Republican talking points that I.

Think you will hear in the response in just a little bit including on the border and immigration this is a big issue and this is again a moment where we saw Republicans get extremely animated when the president started talking about the opioid crisis and Fentanyl and you heard Republicans push back and say it's the border and at one.

Point somebody else it's got some reaction now from NBC's senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett hake who was in the chamber for the president's speech uh clearly in a position to pick up some of the the back and forth we heard Gary yeah unless they're certainly the most interactive State of the Union I've ever covered you guys touched on on.

The remark that the president made about social security which clearly seemed to design to kind of trap Republicans into a policy position he could then work off of but there were some of those other heated exchanges with Republicans particularly On the Border as Halle was pointing out chance of secure the Border Marjorie Taylor green repeatedly.

Chanting that the president was a liar she said at one point that China is spying on us Democrats gave as good as they got here you also had that side of the chamber loudly cheering on the president kind of working a call and response Dynamic and some of this energy even began before the president came into the room there.

Was an exchange that caught my attention and a lot of eyes in the chamber when Mitt Romney was coming down the center aisle he exchanged words with George Santos The Freshman Republican Congressman who's been caught up in so much controversy Romney told Santos that he Santos should not be a member of Congress Santos uh responded to Romney.

In some degree Romney telling our Senate producer Frank Thorp and then didn't even hear what Santos said back to him but Romney kind of with that strong rebuke of Santos whom you know he has publicly rejected in the past but came face to face with when Santos was in an Isle seat so even before the president came into the room a Charged atmosphere.

Here uh for the first packed House State of the Union speech for this president to every seat filled standing room only in the Galleries and in the chamber Leicester and Garrett as you were speaking we were showing that that video of that encounter between the two men there and then his constituents some of them showing up.

On Capitol Hill today that's right protest to say we don't want him in Congress but interesting because here Mitt Romney is Senator just taking the opportunity and we're not lip readers but there's been some reporting that he said something about in being an embarrassment and it doesn't belong Mitt Romney's becoming our like um political.

Ombudsman for America these days he's sort of like not knowing that he's not he's just going to call it well he definitely gave him the death stare and I think it shows the divides not only within the chamber but within the Republican party and that is part of what speaker McCarthy is grappling with as he moves forward not just with these.

Investigations but with wanting to move some legislation forward himself I do think one of the most notable moments tonight was the moment with Tyree Nichols family when the president called for police reform when he marinated in that moment and that emotional appeal and emotional call if you talk to lawmakers on Capitol Hill they say.

Realistically not a lot of hope that some something gets done but clearly he wanted to make that a strong moment but describing that the talk that that African-American families have had to have with their children and and noting that he would never have to you know have done the same with him I will just say good going back to your point I I.

The tiny amount that he spent on the border almost felt like I mean I I get why he didn't he doesn't have a lot of doesn't have a lot to say that's going to please a lot of people so if you don't don't say that much and so he didn't say that much but if the I think the fairest criticism is going to be well he didn't have much to say it at.

The border well it's been one of the biggest arguably the biggest story of the week the balloon yeah well was reduced to essentially you know one line we made it clear of China's threats threatens our sovereignty will act to protect our country that was it but that drives with what the administration has been signaling which is and what the.

President has wanted to prioritize which is these domestic issues that's what they think the American people are focused on this speech I mean it's out I bet it was 80 domestic issues 20 percent or in foreign issues and and they want this speech to stand the test of time and be larger than any one issue that may be the story of du jour in.

Washington although clearly the the the Chinese satellite balloon that the surveillance balloon presents a a huge issue for National Security and Savannah this is where we started the conversation tonight with this disconnect this challenge that the president is facing the fact that 71 of Americans believe that the country is.

Headed in the wrong direction and what is their top concern the economy the money in their pocketbooks the fact that he's passed all of this legislation that they do not feel and so the question becomes about implementation you heard the president not to that right when he talked about well food prices are going down people are feeling it right we all.

Know how expensive eggs are getting one of the things that's so interesting to look at here too is you see the president walking through the chamber there's a lot of this that is policy and politics as we look at him setting the stage for 2024. some of it is Optics right it's the visuals that we're seeing we just showed that George Santos Mitt.

Romney moment it's what people are wearing for example and in Savannah you talk about the issues that the president wants to get across domestically like police reform did you see some of the pins that a lot of those members were wearing 1870 a reference as we talk about Tyree Nichols family being in the audience a reference to the first known.

Police killing of an unarmed free black man in this country I spoke with Michael Brown senior the father of Michael Brown Jr earlier today who's in the room there and this is something one of the many domestic issues right one of the key ones that lawmakers Democrats in the room really hope there is some progress on even in a divided Congress and.

Another opportunity that he took to strike that middle ground to the extent he could where he he said most police are good and we need to give them more resources and we ask too much of them so once again he's trying to straddle this middle ground in an increasingly polarized country well I thought he kept expectations reasonable on that of what.

Could actually get done by the way if you're looking for the re-election theme I think we know what it is or at least what the speechwriter meant it to be which is let's finish the job and you can almost picture how that is oh why does he want a second term he wants to finish the job you could tell there was any Hint it was that now.

You might argue and the way he delivered it he made it he didn't deliver that phrase which was all over the speech let's finish the job he didn't hit it probably the way the speechwriter maybe thought he would hit it but I do think if you're looking for your 2024 hint that phrase he came out he came out with the tremendous energy at a level we have.

Rarely seen him I mean the bullet Pace at the beginning I think we're all looking at the speech thinking we're going to be out here between him yeah but then he throttled it back and and 12 different references by the way at least in the written text to let's finish the job zero to Mega Republicans now when he goes out on the trail that's going to.

Change he's going to be in Wisconsin and Florida two key Battleground state so he might get a little bit feistier and a little bit less bipartisan the president is McCarthy and second chance one way away from a speaker of the house ripping up a speech yeah we are at a different and I was just going to point out that we're.

Watching President Biden slowly soak up the moment depress the flesh talk to folks as he leaves the chamber we'll stay with these shots and then we're expecting in a few moments to hear from newly elected governor of Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders who will deliver the official Republican response it's interesting about McCarthy and what.

You're just saying there Chuck because you know McCarthy and and President Biden had their first meeting at the White House last week and no one's going to say that there was Kumbaya and you know the peace pipe being smoked but the signals from both sides was sort of positive it wasn't as contentious and bitter as I think either.

One expected the same guy meaning they're the same political creature and I say this with with respect to both of them there when you think of The Stereotype backslapper the guy that pulls you over and hey can't we work this out that's who Kevin McCarthy is that too Joe Biden is like that's so now neither one of them have political bases.

That will reward them for that behavior so they both I mean you can even tell Kevin McCarthy but like was deciding I'm not going to stand up too many times and clap like you know I got to keep track also right but but I do think the two of them they may be from opposite parties but they're the same sort of type of Pop we do a lot of Tea Leaf reading and when.

They came out of that meeting both struck an optimistic no which you never know quite what to make of that in Washington however the reporting Bears out that they are really looking to work together particularly on this issue of the off the Record granted but he did repeat some things he said publicly about his.

Respect absolutely for the president and he's he level set that Vibe check pretty early on in the day right not just with that warning to his members that you will always watch but even coming out and saying you know Chucky referenced that I remember sitting here with you and Nancy Pelosi tore up that speech at the State of the Union after a former.

President Trump was done he said I'm not going to be doing that we're going to we are going to set a respectful tone now as we've said some of his members um were extremely vocal in ways that we just don't often see in these kinds of really formal settings and it was interesting to see him strike the balance right clap sometimes shush times.

And see how that went well there was that very Stark moment where it did somewhat seem to throw the president or perhaps he was just trying to hear what was said when he stated that 70 000 had been killed from Fentanyl and someone yelled out it's your fault that was a moment that was quite jarring in the championship that one took him but he.

Engaged on some of those that one the first time this happened Joe Biden was sitting where Kamala Harris was the first time we saw somebody do this at his favorite unit right Joe Wilson did this to Barack Obama and it it rattled everybody what's interesting is that like this time everybody kind of was prepared well.

You know this could happen and you can tell at least he knew it was coming and that's why I think in some of these moments he handled it really well turned it into a positive with the social security business um and you know it as someone wrote to me is British Parliament it almost kind of worked on.

Television well maybe this has been normal social media has created a lot of political Stars I think that's the world and I think that's where the preparation of this speech comes in and talking to White House officials he practiced extensively at Camp David over the weekend with his top advisors preparing.

For these moments because he's potentially on the cusp of launching his re-election bid and couldn't afford a misstep president nearing nearing the door here FaceTiming with a member of congress's friends and family that's uh there you go this is called the long goodbye it's the longest of the goodbyes there's also this.

Interesting moment that we're about to see here that's sort of fitting with the speech that we just heard he's coming up to two members two leaders of the problem solvers caucus uh Republican Brian Fitzpatrick Democrat Josh got Heimer who have staked out the aisle who are there right in the back they'll be the last faces of the presidencies as he.

Goes out the door sort of an interesting moment here as somebody who wants to be in his own way Problem Solver in the White House forgive me for wanting to eavesdrop here guys thank you very much tell Dad to take it easy but he got your.

Message by the way Jimmy Panetta son of Leon Pinette I think Panetta was a little bit critical over the weekend that regarding well we don't know what the message was regarding but who knows foreign Peter Alexander is at the White House for us and now Peter it's a road show.

President Biden's going to hit some swing States this week and start selling these plans yeah Savannah that's exactly right tomorrow he heads to Wisconsin to focus on job creation obviously Wisconsin a key Battleground ahead in 2024 then he heads to Florida on Thursday he'll focus on topics that were contentious tonight Social Security and.

Medicare and his efforts to lower prescription drug costs notably Florida the home state of two possible 2024 Challengers the former president Donald Trump and the Republican Governor there Ron DeSantis you know for anybody had real questions about Joe Biden's ability to do another four years where his ability to deliver a speech I'm struck.

By the fact that his speech tonight was longer than any of the State of the Union addresses that Barack Obama Mama gave during his eight years in office focusing you know really on bipartisanship and empathy as you've noticed jobs as well in contrast that with what we're going to hear from Sarah Huckabee Sanders just moments from now.

According to the actor if she's going to sort of criticize her attack the Democratic woke agenda in her words as we'll hear from her just momentarily all right we'll be back with the Republican response to the State of the Union in just a few minutes thank you foreign.

foreign foreign.

foreign Dateline premium subscribe now on Apple podcasts join Hoda coffee for season three of our podcast making space listen now today's biggest political stories with.

Trusted insight and expert analysis a daily look at the politics behind the headlines Meet the Press now streaming weekdays at 4pm on NBC News Now for Dateline premium subscribe now on Apple podcasts welcome back to NBC's special coverage of the president's State of the Union Address and per tradition the opposing.

Party gets to rebut what the nation has just heard from the president we're going to hear from Sarah Huckabee Sanders the newly elected governor of Arkansas opposition of course her father once held in just a few moments we do have some time to spend here with Andrew Ross Sorkin who of course covers the economy for CNBC and the New York Times.

And Andrew what an interesting moment we have in the economy where you have the Fed chair hiking interest rates eight times in the last since the last state of the union and and trying to tame inflation at the same time you have a pretty hot jobs Market unemployment at a 50-plus year low and this is the needle that policy makers and the president.

Politically they're trying to thread I was actually struck by how well the president actually thread that needle this evening making economic issues which often don't feel relatable to the American public quite relatable speaking almost as an American Consumer especially when he talked about junk fees when he talked about buy American.

Even when he talked about some of the infrastructure programs and jobs programs that he's put into effect I thought that that actually did resonate I I was also struck and I think a lot of Wall Street will be struck tomorrow morning by his comments about Big Oil and his plans to tax billionaires in particular he had a line which uh drew.

Some laughs I think for the GOP where he said oil is going to be around for for another 10 years at the same time that he was uh proposing increased taxes on stock BuyBacks when companies buy back their stock which a lot of oil companies are doing in part because they say you're not giving us enough Runway to to invest in in oil 10 years may not be.

Enough so that's something I think you're going to see a little bit of of blowback about but there were a number of comments just throughout the the night I thought this whole idea we're being we're being played by sucker for suckers uh as he talked about uh taxes and and them not being fair and I think just the way he he really he really.

Articulated and illustrated The Point um it again an issue that's often often hard uh for for the American public to appreciate and and feel I I thought he did a pretty good job well it's always a pickle and a a difficulty because Americans of course are very familiar with what the economy feels like they live it every single day.

So it's always a trick Lester thank you Andrew how the president handles uh his his remarks about the economy hey let's go to Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders the Republican response good evening I'm Sarah Huckabee Sanders being a mom to three young children taught me not to believe every story I hear.

So forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President Biden from out of control inflation and violent crime to the dangerous border crisis and threat from China Biden and the Democrats have failed you they know it and you know it and it's time for a change.

Tonight let us reaffirm our commitment to a Timeless American idea that government exists not to rule the people but to Serve the People Democrats want to rule us with more government control but that's not Who We Are America is the greatest country the world has ever known because we're the.

Freest country the world has ever known with the people who are strong and resilient five months ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer it was a hard time for our family particularly our kids Scarlet Huck and George but we kept our faith and persevered.

Thanks to exceptional doctors here in Arkansas a successful surgery and the grace of God I am cancer free through it all I couldn't help but think about my mom she was 20 years old and into her first year of marriage.

When she was diagnosed with spinal cancer the doctors told her she might not live and if she did live they said she'd never walk again and if she did walk she definitely never have children the daughter she was told she'd never have.

Was just sworn in as the new governor of Arkansas and is speaking to you tonight adversity and fear of the unknown can paralyze us but Faith propels us to charge boldly ahead we can't stand still in the face of great challenges.

You and I were put on this Earth for such a time as this to charge boldly ahead I'll be the first to admit President Biden and I don't have a lot in common I'm For Freedom he's for government control at 40 I'm the youngest governor in the.

Country and at 80 he's the oldest president in American history I'm the first woman to lead my state and he's the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can't even tell you what a woman is in the radical lefts America Washington taxes you and lights your.

Hard-earned money on fire but you get crushed with high gas prices empty grocery shelves and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race but not to love one another or our great country whether Joe Biden believes this madness or is simply too weak to resist it his administration has been completely.

Hijacked by the radical left the dividing line in America is no longer between bride or left the choice is between normal or crazy time for a new generation of Republican leadership upon taking office just a few weeks ago.

I signed executive orders to ban CRT racism and indoctrination in our schools eliminate the use of derogatory term latinx in our government repealed covet orders and said never again to authoritarian mandates and shutdowns Americans want Common Sense from their leaders Washington the Biden Administration is.

Doubling down on crazy President Biden inherited the fastest economic recovery on record the most secure Border in history cheap abundant homegrown energy fast rising wages a rebuilt military and a world that was stable and at peace but over the last two years.

Democrats destroyed it all despite Democrats trillions in Reckless spending and mountains of debt we now have the worst border crisis in American history as a mom my heart breaks for every parent who has lost a son or daughter to addiction.

Hundred thousand Americans a year are now killed from drug overdoses largely from fentanyl pouring across our Southern border you have to bind Administration refuses to secure the border and save American lives and after years of democrat attacks on law enforcement and calls to defund the.

Police violent criminals roam free while allow abiding families live in fear beyond our border from Afghanistan to Ukraine from North Korea to Iran President Biden's weakness puts our nation and the world at risk and the president's refusal to stand up.

To China our most formidable adversary is dangerous and unacceptable President Biden is unwilling to defend our border defend our skies and defend our people he is simply unfit to serve as commander-in-chief and while you read the consequences of their failures divided Administration.

Seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day most Americans simply want to live their lives in Freedom and peace but we are under attack in a left-wing cultural War we didn't start and never wanted to fight every day we are told we must partake in.

Their rituals salute their flags and worship their false Idols all while big government colludes with big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is your freedom of speech that's not normal crazy and it's wrong make no mistake.

Republicans will not surrender this fight we will lead with courage and do what's right not what's politically correct or convenient Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities where jobs are abundant and paychecks.

Are rising where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man woman and child these are the principles Republican Governors are fighting for and in Washington under the leadership of Senate Republicans and speaker Kevin.

McCarthy we will hold the Biden Administration accountable down the street from where I sit is my alma mater Little Rock Central High as a student there I will never forget watching my dad Governor Mike Huckabee and President Bill Clinton hold the doors open to the Little Rock.

Nine doors that 40 years earlier had been closed to them because they were black today those children once borrowed from the schoolhouse are now heroes memorialized in bronze at our state house I'm proud of the progress our country has made.

And I believe giving every child access to a quality education regardless of their race or income is the Civil Rights issue of our day tomorrow I will unveil an education package that will be the most far-reaching bold conservative education reform in the country my plan empowers parents with real.

Choices improves literacy and career Readiness and helps put a good teacher in every classroom by increasing their starting salary from one of the lowest to one of the highest in the nation here in Arkansas and across America Republicans are working to end the policy of trapping kids in failing schools and sentencing them to a.

Lifetime of poverty we will educate not indoctrinate our kids put students on a path to success it's time for a new generation to lead This is Our Moment this is our opportunity a new generation born in the waning Decades of the last century.

Shaped by economic booms and stock market busts forged by the Triumph of the Cold War and the tragedy of 9 11. a generation brimming with passion and new ideas to solve age-old problems a generation moored to our deepest values and oldest traditions yet unafraid to challenge the present.

Order and find A Better Way Forward if we seize this moment together America can once again be the land of the free and the home of the brave during my two and a half years at the White House I traveled on every foreign trip with the president a trip I will never forget.

Was on December 25th of 2018. my husband Brian and I had just cleaned up wrapping paper that was shoved into every corner of our house thanks to our three kids when I had to walk out on my own family's Christmas unable to tell them where I was going that night.

Because the place I'd be traveling was so dangerous they didn't want anybody to know that the president was going to be on the ground even for a few hours we boarded Air Force One in complete and total darkness there were no lights on the plane no lights on the runway.

Our phones and computers shut down and turned in we were going completely off the grid nearly 12 hours later in the pitch black of night we landed in the war-torn part of western Iraq it was again a similar scene no lights on the plane.

No lights on the runway the only thing you could see was coming from about a mile away in a dining hall where hundreds of troops who were in the fight against Isis had gathered expecting to celebrate Christmas with senior military leadership from around the region.

They had absolutely no idea the president and first lady were about to walk into that room and when they did it was a site and a scene and a sound I hope I never forget the room erupted.

Men and women from every race religion and region every political party every demographic you can imagine started chanting in perfect unison over and over and over again USA USA USA it was an absolutely perfect picture.

Of what makes our country great one of the young soldiers yelled from the back Mr President I re-enlisted in the military because of you and the president said and son I'm here because of you shortly after that young Soldier came up to me he said Sarah you have a tough job I.

Told him what I do is nothing you take bombs and bullets that's a tough job and in a moment that I know I'll cherish for the rest of my life that Soldier reached up and he pulled the brave rifles patch he wore on his shoulder and he placed it into my hand.

Sign of ultimate respect and he said Sarah we are in this together overwhelmed with emotion and speechless I just hugged him with tears in my eyes and a grateful heart for Our Heroes who keep us free that young man and everyone who has served before him.

All of those who serve alongside him and the thousands we know who will be called upon to serve after him deserve to know they have a country and a community back home doing our part in the fight for freedom America is great because we are free but today our freedom is under attack in the America we love is in danger.

President Biden and the Democrats have failed you and it's time for a change a new generation of Republican leaders are stepping up not to be caretakers of the status quo but to be change makers for the American people we know not what the future holds but we.

Know who holds the future in his hands and with God as our Witness we will show the world that America is still the place where Freedom Reigns and Liberty will never die thank you God bless you and God bless America Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders with the rebuttal from the Republican side from.

The state house in Arkansas where she is as she pointed out the youngest governor in America and then mentioned the President Biden is the oldest president we've ever had sitting with her theme that there is a new generation she believes of conservative leadership and really leaning into some of those so-called culture War issues denouncing.

The woke left as she put it and drawing a distinction between normal and crazy which depending on which side of the alley you sit on you might have a different perspective on which one is which all of it in contrast to President Biden's speech where he did not lean quite so much into some of those hot button cultural War topics all right.

Paulie thank you that is going to do it for our special coverage of President Biden's State of the Union Address as well as the Republican response of course we will have continuing coverage tonight with Chuck and Kristen they're on NBC news now as well as tomorrow morning bright and early on today and tomorrow evening Lester will be there.

NBC Nightly News emphasis on you early thank you for joining us for all of us here at NBC news good night live from Washington this is Meet the Press coverage of the State of the Union on NBC News Now here are Chuck Todd and Kristen Welker and welcome to NBC news's special.

Coverage of President Biden's stated a union address we are here for another hour I'm Chuck Todd and I'm Kristen Welker thank you so much for joining us on a very busy night President Biden has just wrapped up his second state of the union his third address to a joint session of Congress at a pivotal moment in his presidency facing a divided.

Congress for the first time while also laying the groundwork for a potential reelection campaign yeah I think that finished the job line is something we're going to hear a lot of at some point down the road tonight we heard him lay out his vision for the year ahead while rolling out that potential 2024 campaign slogan I told you about about finishing.

The job I think you counted 12 times 12 times that you heard finish the job that his administration started two years ago into my Republican friends we could work together the last Congress there's no reason we can't work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well I think the people sent.

Us a clear message fighting for the sake of fighting power for the sake of power Conflict for the sake of conflict gets us nowhere that's always been my vision of our country and I know it's many viewers to restore the soul of this nation to rebuild the backbone of America America's middle class and to unite the.

Country we've been sent here to finish the job in my view and there it is as I mentioned the president repeated that phrase finish the job at least a dozen times climate change expanding Medicaid to Banning assault weapons yeah he was test driving that message for sure.

Additionally President Biden pushed Congress to send legislation to his desk to cap insulin costs at 35 a month to crack down on excessive fees for consumers and to impose a new tax on billionaires and corporate stock BuyBacks the President also offered a full-throated defense of his handling of the economy touting a strong labor.

Market and the government's efforts to Tamp down on soaring inflation here at home gas prices are down a dollar fifty from their Peak food inflation is coming down not fast enough but coming down inflation has fallen every month for the last six months or take-home pay has gone up jobs are coming back pride is coming back.

Because choices we made in the last several years you know this is my view of blue collar blueprint to rebuild America make a real difference in your lives at home speaking of phrases that maybe test driven that's another one the blue collar blueprint for America another one.

Of the major domestic issues mentioned tonight police reform with the parents of Tyree Nichols watching on in person from the first lady's guest box the president urged Congress to do something on the issue we will be joined by Tyree nichols's parents here in studio later this hour and on foreign policy Chuck it took him about an hour to get to foreign.

Policy by the way which really underscores the fact that he wanted to focus on pocketbook issues the president responding to criticism over his administration's handling of the Chinese spy balloon that crossed the nation's airspace before being shot down over the weekend he said that if China threatens American sovereignty then government.

Would act to protect our country we will have much more on this later in the hour I will say this I understand politically why he didn't do a lot of the foreign policy but when he wonders why people aren't as supportive of some of his foreign policy goals one could argue you gotta explain it to the American people more often and they don't do that again.

We know Americans tune that stuff out but that's just you know one of his biggest audiences that's right still perhaps foreshadowing his expected 2024 re-election campaign the president leaned into some of the same themes from his successful 2020 run while describing the State of the Union take a listen we have to be the nation we've always.

Been in our best optimistic hopeful forward-looking a nation of the braces light over dark hope over fear you never do the stability over chaos so I've come to fulfill my constitutional obligation to report in the state of the union and here's my report because the soul of this nation is.

Strong because the backboken backbone of this nation is strong because the people of this nation are strong the state of the union is strong interestingly something not in this speech the mention of what the president has in the past called Ultra Mega Republicans he took aim at the.

Republican negotiating position on the ongoing debt ceiling fight and what was the most confrontational moment of the night in the chamber some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage I get it unless I agree to their economic plans all of you at home should know what.

Those plans are instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share some Republicans some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security Sunset I'm not saying it's a majority the other Republicans say I'm not saying it's a majority of you I don't even think it's even a significant.

Being proposed by some of you all right so folks as we all apparently agree Social Security Medicare is off the off the books now right all right we got unanimity you know that was close Kristen to his Arab big government is over I guess.

We're all agreeing on Social Security right that is going to be a moment we'll hear a lot text Chuck I got texts from Democrats in real time saying they thought that was very strong it showed that he was Nimble it showed he was feisty and it kind of counters some of the narrative that he might not be you got everybody to stand up that's right.

He's like let's stay enough for Social Security it was one of those who remember whatever you think of them is he's the president and he controlled the room he got Republicans to stand up I think you're right that we are going to hear a lot more about that moment particularly from Democrats who are going to tout that he's going to head on.

The road and I think they're going to be playing that over and over again moments ago we heard the official Republican response delivered by newly inaugurated Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders the youngest sitting governor in America her remarks were steeped in conservative culture War talking points and very pointed at the.

Democratic party and President Biden whom she called unfit to serve take a listen to a clip of this President Biden is unwilling to defend our border defend our skies and defend our people he is simply unfit to serve as commander-in-chief and while you reap the consequences of.

Their failures the Biden Administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day most Americans simply want to live their lives in Freedom and peace but we are under attack in a left-wing culture War we didn't start and never wanted to fight.

Next time this year President Biden will quite likely be a presidential candidate and the Republican presidential primary will be well under oh yeah they'll be watching from Iowa New Hampshire we've done that routine ourselves so as we head into what's bound to be a busy and a confrontational year in American politics like that was a that was.

Probably as touchy-feely nice of a of a night years you're going to have with with President Biden and speaker McCarthy because the debates over government spending the war in Ukraine nation's economic health and more are going to be pointed let's dig into where the state of our Union is right now we got Garrett Hague he's been watching all.

The action from Capitol Hill and Garrett as you said in our coverage previous hour it was certainly a very rambunctious room in there I mean I had a friend call it British Parliament yeah I mean Chuck I'm old enough to remember when one Outburst from one member of Congress in one of President Obama's state of the unions was you know.

Front Page News the next day you in an outburst every couple of pages in President Biden's speech but I I think if you're the White House you're probably okay with how that all played out I mean for two reasons obviously you played the whole exchange there on Medicare and Social Security that felt if not fully intentional that at least a.

Possibility of a rope-a-dope moment there that President Biden knew he could back Republicans into agreeing with him on protecting Social Security and Medicare and kind of checking that off the list uh but remember Kevin McCarthy came into this day today telling his conference behind closed doors you got to be careful that the the mics are hot.

The lights are bright you know they didn't want to cause a scene you had Byron Donald's tweeting that the adults were back at the table McCarthy spent most of the last two weeks just trying to get in the room with President Biden and present Republicans as reason reasonable sober kind of fair Partners in government on the debt limit issue.

Specifically but you know as as as the party in charge of one house of Congress more broadly and that Tableau of President Biden speaking and Marjorie Taylor Green in her fur coat shouting at him from the back of the room undercuts the McCarthy argument in a way that probably serves the White House and then I suspect we're going to hear more about.

In the days to come Garrett tell us about this remarkable moment that unfolded on the floor between Mitt Romney and George Santos who obviously is facing all of these accusations that he has not been truthful about his resume among other things what happened there and just what's the broader guys I think Garrett will be playing the The.

Exchange because you don't hear it but we see the back and forth so go ahead Garrett yeah so first for some context you have to understand that the seats along the aisles are Prime real estate for the State of the Union it's first come first serve and there are members who make it their business to show up very early in the day to make sure that.

They get a seat along that center aisle to be able to say something to the president when he is coming or going uh from that speech and today George Santos was one of them he was on the aisle towards the back of the chamber with a group of kind of Maga Republicans able to be right there as members came in and the moment that I think was probably a.

Good time to play now as Mitt Romney and other senators were coming into the room the two of them exchanged words and it was quite clear that they were not pleasant words you could read Romney's facial expression that he was upset Santos kind of looked around to the other members around him as if to say did you guys see what he just said to me.

Our Senate producer Frank Thorpe caught up with Mitt Romney off the floor the way Romney described it he told Santos you don't belong here you don't belong here basically on the aisle you don't belong here in Congress and he called him a sick puppy and Chuck you know I've covered Mitt Romney for a long time Sick Puppies about as bad as it gets for Mitt.

Romney in terms of insults I mean this is not someone who curses or raises his voice to people very often but you could tell he was frustrated with Santo's attention seeking by just being on the aisle for Santos side of it he's been tweeting about this after the fact if you're George Santos and you're trying to align yourself with Niagara.

Republicans to give yourself a community in Congress there's no better foil that you could have than Mitt Romney have a feud with Mitt Romney serves you pretty well if you're George Santos so a bit of a you know Awkward start to Republicans to the night uh you know with Mitt Romney calling out George Santos and Santos using it as he has done with so.

Many other things as an opportunity to elevate his profile and you can see we don't have the video right now but you can see in the video the frustration on Mitt Romney's face and it kind of speaks to who Mitt Romney has become and as Romney and again I will play this clip as Romney's walking Santos is still John back at him almost.

Like you could see it the way two players on the quarterback fighting you know one's walking away it was it was quite remarkable and look Mitt Romney I think's you know decided he's America's Ombudsman I guess that's right he certainly sees himself as the Republican parties Ombudsman I mean look this is somebody his only person to vote.

For Donald Trump's conviction in both impeachment trials who is a republican right I mean he's somebody who who I think is probably only still in public life because he thinks it's important to fix what he sees wrong with the Republican brand and if you're Mitt Romney George Santos is probably just about everything that you think is wrong.

With the Republican brand so you know I don't know exactly how that confrontation started but it does not surprise me in the lease that Mitt Romney reacted to it in a personal way and Santos who said nothing to say to us in the Press Court we've had a million questions for him decided to make a moment to try to say something to Romney.

Garrett any reaction from uh uh leadership Republican leadership on Sarah Sanders what they think of her remarks they're thrilled you speaker McCarthy tweeted a picture of himself in his office watching her remarks talked about her as a star Republicans I think almost don't care if you watch Sarah Sanders and Juan ciscomani who gave the.

Spanish language uh response they probably don't care if you watched it on mute I mean they were hoping to present a contrast in style as much as in substance here you have two leaders each 40 years old half President Biden's age younger more diverse future faces of the party the idea that Sanders was kind of sharp elbowed and talking about you know.

Radical left woke ideology and that kind of thing I mean that's singing from the sort of Base Republican Playbook but just to have uh you know this slate of younger leaders able to speak after this President I think a lot of senior Republicans feel like is a win yeah well look I think a lot of housework Republicans secretly think that their.

Candidate recruitment is why they did get the house and why they didn't get the Senate anyway Garrett hey uh covering Congress for us tonight our senior Capital correspondent Garrett thank you joining us here in studio with more on the Republican reaction to president's speeches Congressman James Comer of Kentucky's chair of the house.

Oversight and accountability committee Congressman nice to see you thanks for having me welcome to the studio great to be here so let's just start off and set the table with this what did you think of the speech what were your biggest takeaways well I like hearing the president say he wanted to work with Republicans I mean that's an obvious if.

If he wants to govern the house is ruled by Republican majority and look we welcome the opportunity to work with President Biden I think there are areas where we can find bipartisan agreement there are areas where we have to find bipartisan agreement so hopefully he's sincere to his words and we can work together and try to find common ground.

Let's go to a couple of them police reform he didn't I think last year he had a specific ask past the George Floyd day he didn't do that this year he seemed to acknowledge hey let's do choose something what's the something what do you think can be agreed to what where are you at him well I think we need more transparency I'm.

Always for reform I think that in any profession they're bad actors they're certainly bad cops and I think they need to be held accountable one of the problems that I've heard from different people in involved in municipalities is obviously there's a shortage of police and police move around a lot and and there's often not a record of police.

Officers who have reputations of using excessive in favor of a National Database on this that it was on a database yeah I think that we need to share information better so obviously that's a problem we see that time and time again the big step I mean look I think people are just like that would be a big step not everybody in your party.

Agrees with that a database for officers that use excessive force right absolutely Congressman can you give us the reality check on police reform because after Uvalde something small got done on gun reform legislation is this moment that kind of moment where something small can get done and does it require Democrats to drop their calls.

For addressing qualified immunity for immigration no for police report police reform yeah I mean I think if if you want to have police reform we have to look where there's bipartisan agreement where we can actually make a difference and certainly uh we need to have data on these police officers because there is a.

High turnover rate among police officers and they do move around a lot so we need to be able to share information better we have tried to create a database to help with people that suffer from child abuse I was a co-sponsor with Susan bonamucci of one of those bills to be able to track people that have reputations of abusing children and I.

Think that could you know we could have that same type of data for police officers that use excessive force let's move to immigration because this was probably where he was lightest he didn't offer a lot uh um on this front in our poll the number one issue where you had majorities of Republicans.

Democrats Independence saying was when we had we described you know uh enhancing border security Pat's a citizenship with background checks okay that matters to including all that but a comprehensive that was the most popular thing over 80 support 60 of Republicans 80 percent of Democrats it seems very unrealistic though does.

Isn't it that's a tough issue when you talk about amnesty border security I think if you just pull voter security I think there's overwhelming support for that people realize that we have a crisis at the southern border so there would certainly be bipartisan support to try to find a way to secure the citizenship is where things get trickier.

That's where things get tricky so you don't see anything getting done on immigration over the next I don't think amnesty is on the table for Republicans right now I think that we've got to get serious about securing the border and then go from there can I ask you a couple things about tonight and the sort of and I know it's the sideshow part of.

Things but the Mitt Romney George Santos confrontation I don't know what you saw wrap the video there but you've now heard the reporting um uh what do you make of Congressman Sanchez's decision to sort of tweet about it and almost embrace it right well you asked me this on your Sunday.

Show a few weeks ago and I you know certainly don't agree with George Santos I think that he has uh made a lot of mistakes and he will be held accountable if he violated campaign Finance laws uh certainly the fact that he showed up to the State of the Union was questionable but sitting on the aisle to where he could get attention I mean that that you.

Found that to be distasteful someone told me he was sitting on the aisle when I got there I didn't see the conversation between he and Mitt Romney but the fact that he was wanting to be in the center of the Limelight it just makes no sense do you agree with what Mitt Romney said to him he said you have no business being here well I think that.

He has a lot of explaining to do he's certainly under several investigations right now he's under ethics investigation he's under campaign Finance violation investigation so uh obviously he deserves due process but you know he's uh he's really discussing the limits he's he's the line obviously and he certainly.

Doesn't speak for the Republican party and and we're very disappointed in Santos I want to ask when President Biden said some Republicans he said I'm not talking about all of you but some Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare and it led to this very robust exchange it's getting a lot of attention online.

What did you make of that moment and would you support cuts to Medicare and Social Security is a part of increasing the debt limit that was absolutely not we've said that's off the board I mean that is something that every Republican to my knowledge is United on I don't know where he's getting a republican is in favor of cutting Social Security or.

Medicare unless it you know something Rick Scott proposed I don't know if that's where he's getting getting that from I don't know once you make at that moment though Congressman well I thought that was inappropriate I don't think he should have said that I mean if you're sincere about working together uh if he had evidence that House Republicans had.

Proposed to cut Social Security then he should have named him by name or maybe he can do that at a press conference tomorrow no Republican wants to cut Social Security or Medicare but in reality you know there's problems long term we're still creating Medicare and and that's going to have to be a discussion not for cuts but there's.

Going to have to be more money put into Social Security I mean because one person's Cuts another person's slowing the growth right and and I you know I've been through these debates for decades and you know slowing the growth is not a cut but to some people it comes across that way what about slowing the growth we we want.

To support Social Security Medicare 100 even the former president has has come out and publicly said that he's always said that former president Trump so this is a important part of the Republican platform we strongly support Social Security Medicare but we need to have the platform right well I I don't know I've always I've been in Congress six.

Years I've always supported Social Security Medicare Fair it up it's been about six years I'll give you that can we get your reaction to another flash point tonight there are obviously a lot of outbursts one of them that is getting a fair amount of attention Marjorie Taylor green shouting liar accusing the president of being a liar you see her.

There uh you see her you can read her lips is that appropriate well certainly there there should be some decorum I I know that they were outbursts during Trump's State of the Union I wish that everyone would respect the decorum and let the let the president speak we have uh outbursted by.

Oversight committee hearings Believe It or Not uh you know people are passionate it's tough sometimes when you Pat you strongly disagree with what the the president's saying but certainly I wish we would adhere to decorum I know you're going to get into a lot of it various investigations and I I don't we're not going to get into the details of what.

You're doing tonight but one thing that popped in our poll was there's a concern that the public is concerned that Republicans are going to be too focused on investigations and not enough working with the public what's your how sensitive are you to this and to that perception I'm sensitive to the fact that Congressional.

Investigations have a bad reputation they have low credibility I want to turn that around we have announced one investigation of Joe Biden and you know I don't want to get into that unless you want to get into that I can talk about it I know we can but at the end of the day Donald Trump was investigated multiple times by multiple.

Committees over six years he's still being investigated there's a special counsel so I believe we've laid the groundwork to why we feel like this President needs to be investigated but we're focused on the agenda we're focused on reducing crime we're focused on securing the Border we're focused on reducing inflation we're trying to make.

Budget cuts and we can't continue down this path of spending a trillion dollars a year more than we take in so we're trying to make tough decisions that would benefit everyday working Americans are you guys is the are you going to put out a cut plan or is the movement going to be on debt ceiling probably for spending caps is that what the.

Republican asks well we're still talking about that we're having robust discussions in our conference I mean we imagine there's some disagreement because some want to go to individuals it's tough you know one thing I've always felt like you nuts Democrats is spending money it's easy when you spend the spin spin but when you have to make.

Taxes is easy on your side yeah it's tough another person is spending money Congressman very quickly before we let you go your reaction to the response by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders who called the president unfit for office well there's certainly a lot of disagreement about the president's leadership with on the foreign stage.

Does that take it too far though when a republican responds on a night like tonight is that the tone this is the reality we live in for better or worse I mean there's passion expressed by people by leaders in both parties I didn't feel like it was appropriate what President Biden said about Republicans cutting Social.

Security and Medicare and probably not in the best interest or others to to say hurtful things on the night when we need to be United but at the end of the day there's is always going to be disagreement and that's part of the process it gets a little a little tougher every year but you know at the end of the day I think that there's a.

Willingness among both parties to try to work together Congressman James Comer thank you for coming in thank you really appreciate it good to see you again very good to see you coming up next the president takes a shot at China and renews support for Ukraine those key moments and the latest reporting on both stories next and as always we'll have.

Coverage and Analysis of the day's top political stories including the state of the union tomorrow and every weekday at 4 pm on Meet the Press now we'll be right back more of our special coverage foreign.

Foreign foreign foreign.

decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world anywhere else in the world and I'm committed I'm committed to work with China where we 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 autocracy has grown weaker not stronger name me a world leader who changed places with Xi Jinping name me one welcome back that was a feisty President.

Biden tonight got getting fired up about China and authoritarianism around the world one year ago when Biden delivered his first State of the Union Address it came just days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine this year Biden faced a different foreign policy challenge dealing with the Fallout after shooting down a Chinese spy balloon that.

Entered U.S airspace last week joining us now for insight on the foreign policy pieces of tonight's speech are NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell and NBC News Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel from Ukraine Andrea let me start with you it took him about an hour to get to the foreign we knew he was tweaking his.

Speech to adapt to and adjust to the developments from last week and shooting down the Chinese spy balloon what was your takeaway well my takeaway is that he didn't mention the Chinese spiveling barely at all and he talked as you just heard about competition but not conflict this was also analogous to his approach to the gym policy he wants to be tough.

On China but not confrontational he didn't apologize for the shoot down when he talked to you all on the lawn just the other day coming out of the white house but he was not going to pick a fight with President G over this because he knows and the view of the administration is that the world expects the United States and China the two.

Superpowers in the world to get along to somehow work it out we are the biggest economists the economies the two biggest economies the two biggest polluters the two biggest militaries we have to get along if the world is going to survive and China has moderated its support for Vladimir Putin on Ukraine they've not physically armed them although they're.

Getting the material resupplying them with some things but not with China feels like they're trying to change the tone of their rhetoric but they're not actually changing a lot of actions no that direction is being so aggressive militarily and she is really really aggrieved by the Philippines basing that was announced.

Just last week so from there from his perspective we are challenging him right to his historic dominance hey Richard Engel you know when I think about one of to me that a surprising thing in our polling has been what I think is lackluster support for the president's policies and the country's policies on supporting Ukraine.

And I tell you if you if you at all took a sip of of water you would have missed what he had to say about Ukraine tonight I understand the political decision to do that but I was surprised at how little time he spent on it uh given how much money we're spending and frankly how successful so far this policy has been.

Foreign so from from this country's perspective the more important is that the money keeps coming that the weapons are coming that it seems almost every week there are new announcements of billions more dollars committed uh the and it was just yesterday that several European countries said that more german-made tanks are heading to this.

Country so uh it barely got a mention uh you would be in a better position to discuss why it didn't get much of a mention in the uh in a domestic speech but from from here uh I think they would be encouraged the way that President Biden presented the the issue of Ukraine didn't present it as a regional war or a war between Ukraine and Russia.

That is not the way that ukrainians see it they see it very much in line with how President Biden was describing that in a global challenge a challenge uh for democracy a uh the right of a Nation this nation to stand up for its own sovereignty and resist being taken over by Russia Ukraine sees that it's defending its country but is also.

Defending the world order for NATO for the United States uh so it's important for this country to to see that message conveyed to the American people because they they worry that the American people are going to lose perspective on that and and relegate this to the um to a regional conflict that perhaps Americans in the future won't won't want to pay.

For so yes it didn't get much mentioned but the money is coming the weapons are starting to come they're starting to come in bigger batches and and it was in the right context uh for free from a Ukrainian perspective Richard how much concern is there among Ukrainian officials when they hear speaker McCarthy for example before he became.

Speakers say that Republicans are not going to write a blank check to Ukraine a very big concern um I remember right before the midterm elections Ukrainian officials were were thought that perhaps their biggest challenge wasn't from Russia because at least they knew how to deal with that challenge but that it was coming from the United States because if.

Funding and the weapons Supply and intelligence Supply from primarily the United States NATO as well but mostly the United States stopped uh it is possible that this country would lose the war or certainly lose a lot more territory a lot more lives they are dependent on the uh on the flow of some of of of support and they know it and.

The government knows it and the people here know it so uh they they they absolutely are concerned about political changes coming in the United States because it that their future existence depends on it Andrea what was your take but my take is also that there is more support in Congress for Ukraine and there's going.

To be a very large Congressional Delegation going to the Munich security Conference next week they're pretty much committed to that not to you know unlimited money but even these House Republicans will not separate themselves from the Ukraine but on China what Joe Biden did tonight by not taking on China more aggressively was politically.

Politically courageous if you will in terms of the domestic support because as you know very well the polling is that you know 75 of America no downside getting tough on China yeah there's no they want us a tougher line and the Republicans are in line with that and a lot of Democrats are and there's going to be a resolution next week and it's.

Going to pass with Democratic support well just wait to hear the presidential primary campaign Trail on China and on Ukraine which could change a lot of things anyway Andrew Mitchell Richard Engel I don't know if you stayed up late or got up early but either way I know you're tired thank you we're grateful please stay safe yeah thank you both so.

Much and we're not a problem not a problem we will have much more live analysis after the break as the president road tests a potential 2024 slogan tonight as Chuck said earlier finished the job you're watching NBC News Now special coverage of the State of the Union that's always been my vision of our.

Country and I know it's many viewers to restore the soul of this nation to rebuild the backbone of America America's middle class and to unite the country we've been sent here to finish the job let's finish the job this time let's cap the costumes for everybody at 35 dollars let's finish the job and close the loop.

The loose come together to finish the job on police reform let's finish the job and ban these assault weapons well let's finish the job foreign.

Foreign foreign foreign.

I stand here tonight I've been served as long as about any one of you who've ever served here but I've never been more optimistic about our future about the future America just to remember who we are we're the United States of America and.

There's nothing nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together welcome back that was President Biden's closing message tonight that is the latest we think that a president has let us know what he thinks the state of the union is it's very late you had to wait for the whole entire speech it was a real wind up for more we are joined by.

Brendan Buck former senior advisor to former house speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan he's no stranger to that chamber he's now an NBC News political analyst also with us as former North Dakota Senator Heidi heitkamp who's now a CNBC contributor thank you both for being here Senator Hyde Camp let me start with you what was your reaction.

Tonight the president clearly started off he wanted to strike a bipartisan tone and then there were a lot of moments when he had some pretty feisty back and forth with Republicans I think this is going to be known as a speech for atmospherics Rather than specifics in this speech itself although I think he tried desperately to get to what I.

Call the macaroni and cheese issues whether it's insulin whether it's housing costs so that was smart but then he started that back and forth with the audience and so it turned into the Parliament and not the not a state of the union speech and I think he actually enjoyed it um I'm not sure the American public saw.

That as a as a right decorum for this kind of speech but it it was um it's going to be known for the heckling and and for all of if only we had asked the president hour from Congress yeah I would love to actually have that but but honestly if you look at it you know the speakers started saying I'm not going to rip up a speech I'm going to be.

Respectful and you saw kind of hit this mortified look as as people back benchers were yelling I don't know that we're going to have state of unions go back to the way they were anymore the jeering and the chatter is just gonna be a part of it maybe that's okay maybe that's just who like it was on both sides of the aisle I.

Mean there were people yelling liar and I all of us were probably around when Joe Wilson did that and it was it was a like stunning it just felt normal that people just say that now that Dynamic it probably worked well for both of them I think it worked well for Joe Biden he got what he wanted out of it.

Republicans would be seen as fighting I don't know if Kevin McCarthy liked it but I think it would actually it was okay but I think if you're now wanting to return to a period of Civility that's not what the American people saw I actually thought the moment because he said all right let's all stand up for Social Security and then they all stood.

Up for it I don't know I thought I hear you on that but I actually thought the moment as you said it may have worked for everybody at the end I don't know I don't I actually don't know that it was very well executed because the president seemed very uncomfortable striking against Republicans apologize.

both in delivery and in substance it was curious to me the issue of abortion where he has the total Advantage he just breezed through very quickly that's a great thing that was a nod to the Supreme Court sitting there there's been this back and forth with the Supreme Court feeling like they've been.

Challenged I think he said look we're going to do some things legislative he did not criticize the court when he talked about Roe v Wade we do want to get to a few key moments but before we do I'm getting some texts from Democrats who say the exchange over Medicare and Social Security where Republicans said he was lying and he you know went back.

And forth with him actually was so feisty that it undercut the message that he's not capable of running and serving again what do you make of that I don't know that I I mean I think that overstates the importance of that moment I think he was he was kind of back and forth but but I think that you also saw you know someone who the contrast that.

The Republicans were trying to draw between Sarah Huckabee Sanders who apparently now she we know she wrote Trump's inaugural speech because it was the same kind of dark deep you know like America and Carnage message that that Trump delivered um in the in the inaugural but but they were trying to draw that contrast and I.

Think that that was an effect of back and forth and I'm curious I it's clear Biden was choosing a very middle as I said everything was in the middle for him he was talking to the middle class middle of the electorate middle literally middle of the country Sarah Sanders didn't do that she was talking to the base and had Biden talked.

To the base it might not have felt his jarring this felt more jarring after you've heard Biden's speech it did but it's very reflective of how the Republican party is right now it's very focused on the base it doesn't really care about uh the middle and it's made a decision that if you turn out enough conservative voters you can win.

Elections and Democrats have clearly made a different bet did you see James Comer here he didn't seem comfortable with some of this stuff he didn't seem comfortable with the unfit to serve he didn't seem comfortable with George he thought yeah George Santos shouldn't have been there that is that is a message that resonates on Fox News and.

The problem is this was a message for the entire country yeah and it presents a very different picture I don't think she did herself any favors if she wanted to present a new generation she went right back and embraced Trump reminded everybody that she was his president that's what struck me more than anything I thought it was foolish of her is is.

That she was a Donald Trump surrogate by the end of the speech at the end you know she talked about this great moment of Trump's right now by the way if you're Trump right now you're a little nap full of her yes because you've gotten all these terrible pulls with the scientists and all this stuff and here she is but she.

Can't talk about Chuck generational change while she Embraces Donald Trump at the end and you know one thing that drives me crazy about Democrats is they always ignore the fact that Donald Trump had some of the worst economic record in our history when he left office there were three million fewer jobs than when he took office he had a negative GDP at.

The end and yet we we get to buy with this yeah no I get that but but the whole point is let's be honest about what that record is you can explain it but he never got GDP growth that he said he would get there was no doubt that President Biden wanted to spend most of this speech.

Focused on the economy pocketbook issues one of the key moments that stood out to us was when he talked about the debt limit we want to play that get your reaction under the previous administration the American deficit went up four years in a row because those record deficits no.

President added more to the national debt in 94 years than my predecessor nearly 25 percent of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one Administration alone the last one they're the facts check it out check it out how did Congress respond to that debt.

They did the right thing they lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis they paid American bills to prevent an economic disaster of the country so tonight I'm asking the Congress to follow suit let's commit here tonight to the full faith and credit of the United States of.

America will never ever be questioned Brendan that was really one of the only references to the former Administration to the former president indirectly yeah well this is the whole ball game in terms of legislative action for this President this year well that mattered that matters significantly for his re-election is how is a debt limit.

Handled and I know it makes people's eyes gloss over but if it doesn't handle it isn't increase it's in it's terrible economic catastrophe that will have an effect on him everybody loses in this everybody loses everybody loses and I know that there are too many there are a lot of people in the White House that think oh this Republicans will get.

Blamed for this yeah you may get blamed more but everybody's gonna have money the bottom line is he said I'm going to give you a budget that's our starting point you tell me what you want and he's calling out the speaker saying look you can't just sit on the sidelines and then nitpick me tell me what you want they want leadership come with the plan you.

Know your former boss Paul Ryan came with the plan now we got criticized right and and everybody remembers that but at least he had the courage to say this is what we need to do to balance well we have a long we have a long way to go we've got we've got four or five months until you have to actually like figure out what what's going on here but.

I was I was a little encouraged that while he he you know made clear we need to increase the debt limit he didn't take shots of Kevin McCarthy who's gonna have to be negotiating Kevin McCarthy was shushing Republicans I don't think this is I don't think we're going to have a banner Obama buddy movie here but McCarthy Biden looks like.

It's there at least starting off I'm hoping reasonable they had a very positive first meeting I'm hoping that's not the high point of the relationship they at least realized they both need to be the responsible ones in this relationship and I think that's a good place to start well and Biden can cut a deal because he's a audience of one what.

Does McCarthy do when he has to take back these proposals I don't think he can deliver I don't think he can deliver on a clean debt uh ceiling and I think he's going to have a hard time delivering what his uh a majority of let me ask you both really do you think Democrats would ever accept caps again in sequestration no.

I remember everybody hated sequestration that's my problem is Kevin McCarthy is taking the reasonable road but I don't think Republicans would even go for the reasonable which is caps well and what happened what happened when you think about it is the Caps kept Rising because Republicans wanted the uh the defense spending and you know it just went.

Movement it was useless yeah if you think that limit makes your eyes glaze over would you say the word sequestration over and over again and we're not talking about people riding horses and jumping over things anyway great conversation thank you both uh thank you for staying late with us after the break the president calls for police.

Reform the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus who's pushing the White House for action on police reform will join us on set next we'll be right back foreign.

Foreign foreign foreign.

But imagine if you lost that child at the hands of the law I know most cops and their families are good decent honorable people the vast majority and they risk their lives every time they put that shield on but what happened to Tyree in Memphis happens too often.

Have to do better let's come together to finish the job on police reform do something welcome back tonight President Biden once again called on Congress to act on police reform exactly one month after Tyree Nichols was stopped and beaten by five officers at a traffic stop in Memphis his parents were in the audience.

Tonight to hear President Biden's words about their son they were at the State of the Union as guests of chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Congressman Stephen corsford who joins us now Congressman thank you so much for being here thank you I really appreciate it what was your reaction to that moment tonight when President Biden called for.

Police reform and that entire moment when he talked about Tyree Nichols uh honestly I I'm so I was so grateful and I am to President Biden uh to vice president Harris I immediately looked up to um the first lady's box and I wanted to hug um Tyree Nichols mother and father.

Because this was their plea that their son's death would not be in vain in fact his mother said he was on assignment think about that for a moment a loved one who's still grieving comes to the State of the Union most people come to celebrate she came as a part of the loss but now a purpose.

Around making sure that Congress takes action and that it's meaningful and that it saves other lives and we we're just calling for Public Safety and accountability which is not a Republican or Democratic issue it's not a black brown or white issue this is a public safety issue that all of us should focus on getting done I don't want to be.

Pollyanish but sometimes I think symbolism mattered and it I thought tonight because tyree's parents were there that you had a chamber that United even for a second even for a moment in that moment they all heard they all heard what he said um are you hearing any things from your.

Friends on the other side of the aisle are they saying you know what let's he's right we got to do something I mean he didn't put any markers down he'll take anything which means a couple of things James Comer came on here and said you know maybe we ought to have a list of bad cops he was basically for the the national list.

Something what's there what's possible first this the work that we've done around police reform accountability and Justice didn't just start now it's been months and years in the in the making uh our former chair Joyce Beatty and uh former congresswoman now mayor of Los Angeles Karen bass did a lot of work to lay the groundwork and and we are now at.

A moment where it's time to act yes there are Republicans who I have talked with that other members of our caucus have talked with and the president extended an olive branch to them today and I am as well we know we need Republicans um to get meaningful reform passed and we're not going to just take anything.

What is Meaningful I was just going to say Define that I mean it's because every everybody's got a different definition well it needs to number one deal with transparency which goes to the data for example in Memphis the use of force was used three times more on black residents than on white residents the only reason we know that is because they.

Collect data we need that data on 18 000 police departments across the country we need to focus on accountability so that officers that do abuse their power can be held accountable what that looks like we're working on and finally we need to increase Professional Standards to improve the culture of policing and all.

Of us should agree that bad policing shouldn't exist anywhere in America we're not going to play matchmaker here but that that didn't seem like yeah I mean it seems like that something can get done yeah I mean one of the biggest sticking points in these negotiations has been the issued of qualified immunity essentially protecting police.

Officers um from any liability if someone is killed in a police involved incident would you be willing to support legislation that didn't include that well what I'm not I'm not going to negotiate on TV what I'm gonna do is say to my colleagues on the other side.

You know we got we get James come over that we can get this done right here if you want tonight as long as my colleagues understand as they did tonight that accountability meaningful accountability should be part of any package then that we can make a whole lot of progress ultimately George Floyd Justice and policing we're going to.

Continue to fight for that for as long as it takes that doesn't mean we can't make progress along the way Senator Tim Scott is seen as just being pivotal and critical to getting a bipartisan piece of legislation done on police reform where do you see him fitting into these latest round of talks has he been present do you think he is energized to.

Get something done right now I think Senator Scott is an honorable person and is working with several of our colleagues including Senator Cory Booker I talked to several Republican members even tonight leaving the floor one side took the Nichols family off the gallery floor as we were leaving several members came up to them came up to her to talk.

And you know of course they say I'm praying for you I'm I I'm lifting you up and she said I need more than prayer I need you all to act wow and that is what it's going to take and there are so many other we met we had 15 guests of members from the Congressional Black Caucus sitting in that Gallery tonight all of them touched in One Way by police.

Incidents some who lost a loved one others who were traumatized by incidents but here's the bottom line no parent as the president said tonight should have to worry when their child leaves as a black father of three children I know what that feels like to worry about them when they're at the park or at the gym or getting stopped at a during a traffic.

Incident that should not mean that they lose their life and we're calling for Public Safety and accountability and all of us should be able to stand for that well you leave this conversation on a powerful Point Congressman Horsford we really appreciate your being here thank you so much and thank you for being with.

Us this hour for special Meet the Press coverage of State of the Union I'll be back tomorrow with more Meet the Press now 4 P.M only on NBC news now we'll see you then have a good evening tonight President Biden and the state of our Union the president facing a republican-controlled house

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3 thoughts on “Explore: President Biden delivers 2023 Tell of the Union tackle

  1. He flapped his lying jaws alot and didn't say considerable I haven't heard earlier than! Harris changed into a predictable blob. You may per chance doubtless doubtless also see her steal aid her hyena laughs as the crowd called Joey out. I didn't study this fiasco comedy are dwelling. Nor would I in point of fact be pleased if I didn' t need to salvage up so early in the AM.

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