U.S. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address Tuesday that he would work with great power rival China but vowed "to protect our country," a reference to a Chinese spy balloon that traveled across America last week.
U.S. President Joe Biden struck an optimistic, determined tone in his second State of the Union address Tuesday night, lauding his legislative and policy achievements, reiterating his stances on contesting China and supporting Ukraine, and proclaiming that "though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken."
"Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the state of the union is strong," Biden said. "I'm not new to this place. I stand here tonight — and I've served as long as about any one of you have ever served — I have never been more optimistic about the future of America. We just have to remember who we are. We are the United States of America and there is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together."
Biden's words were delivered to a Congress whose leader, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, has vowed to use his slim majority in the House of Representatives to oppose many of Biden's priorities. For much of the speech, McCarthy sat stone-faced behind him in the chamber, sternly shaking his head when Biden criticized Republicans' economic policies.
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