President Biden’s Bait-And-Switch Speech

In His First Major Address To Congress, President Biden Wiped Away His Campaign Trail Assertion That ‘Americans Aren't Looking For Revolution’ And Instead Embraced ‘A Breathtaking Scope Of Change’ That Would Amount To ‘The Biggest Expansion Of American Government In Decades’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “This isn’t what the American people voted for. This country just elected a 50-50 Senate, a very closely-divided House, and a President who talked a big game about cutting deals, bringing people together, and building bridges. But even on subjects as historically bipartisan as pandemic relief, voting rights, and infrastructure, our Democratic friends have become addicted to divide-and-conquer. As our distinguished colleague Senator Tim Scott put it last night: ‘They won’t even build bridges… to build bridges!’ Well, it doesn’t have to be this way…. Our President will not secure a lasting legacy through go-it-alone radicalism. He won’t get much done that way. It won’t be good for the country. And whatever the Democrats do get done through partisan brute force will be fragile. The American people need us to find common ground and move this country forward together.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/29/2021)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted. That was the pitch. You just heard it again. But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes. We need policies and progress that bring us closer together. But three months in, the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further apart…. Tonight we also heard about a so-called ‘Family Plan.’ Even more taxing, even more spending, to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle, to college. The beauty of the American Dream is that families get to define it for themselves. We should be expanding opportunities and options for all families — not throwing money at certain issues because Democrats think they know best.” (Republican Address to the Nation, 4/28/2021)


President Biden’s Embrace Of A Far-Left Big Government Agenda Repudiated Candidate Biden’s Assurances That ‘Americans Aren't Looking For Revolution’

LEADER McCONNELL: “This President campaigned suggesting that he wouldn’t owe the far left anything. But he is choosing to govern like he owes them everything.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/27/2021)

“For an establishment politician who cast his election campaign as a restoration of political norms, his record so far amounts to the kind of revolution that he said last year he would not pursue as president …” (“At 100 Days, Biden Is Transforming What It Means to Be a Democrat,” The New York Times, 4/29/2021)

“Mr. Biden is pursuing a more liberal agenda than Mr. Obama did, of course …”  (“At 100 Days, Biden Is Transforming What It Means to Be a Democrat,” The New York Times, 4/29/2021)

Candidate Biden: ‘Americans Aren't Looking For Revolution,’ ‘I Am Not A Socialist,’ ‘I Beat All Those Other People Because I Disagreed With Them’

JOE BIDEN: “Look, the idea that there's going to be this revolution — Americans aren't looking for revolution. (“Joe Biden On Sanders: Americans 'Aren't Looking For Revolution,'” NBC News, 2/26/2020)

“‘I view myself as a transition candidate,’ Mr. Biden said during an online fund-raiser [in April 2020], likening his would-be presidential appointments to an athletic team stocking its roster with promising talent: ‘You got to get more people on the bench that are ready to go in — ‘Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.’ Well, there’s a lot of people that are ready to play, women and men.’” (“Why Biden’s Choice of Running Mate Has Momentous Implications,” The New York Times, 5/03/2020)

BIDEN: “Number two, I beat the socialist…. That's how I got the nomination. Do I look like a socialist? Look at my career, my whole career. I am not a socialist.” (“Joe Biden Blasts Bernie In Pitch To Wisconsin Voters: 'I Beat The Socialist,'” Fox News, 9/22/2020)

BIDEN: “[President Trump is] a very confused guy, he thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them. Joe Biden, he’s running against.” (Presidential Debate, 10/22/2020)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  “Your party doesn’t say it. Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist healthcare.”
JOE BIDEN: “The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party.”
TRUMP: “And they’re going to dominate you, Joe. You know that.”
BIDEN: “I am the Democratic Party right now…. The platform of the Democratic Party is what I, in fact, approved of, what I approved of.” (Presidential Debate, 9/30/2020)

President Biden’s Speech ‘Made Progressives Happy,’ ‘Embraced A Tax-And-Spend Mantra,’ ‘Driving The Biggest Expansion Of American Government In Decades, An Effort To Use $6 Trillion In Federal Spending’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[T]he President talked about unity and togetherness while reading off a multi-trillion-dollar shopping list that was neither designed nor intended to earn bipartisan buy-in. A blueprint for giving Washington D.C. even more money and even more power to micromanage American families and build the country liberal elites want instead of the future Americans want…. [I]nstead of practical plans to fulfill … basic responsibilities, America heard a lengthy liberal daydream.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/29/2021)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: “Biden is using his nationally televised speech to promote a $1.8 trillion spending package. He says it will fundamentally transform and expand government’s role in the lives of everyday Americans.” (“The Latest: In GOP Response, Scott Says US Isn’t Racist,” The Associated Press, 4/29/2021)

POLITICO’s HUDDLE: “… it sure touched on talking points that made progressives happy.” (“Biden Goes Long On Spending, Light On Surprises,” Politico’s Huddle, 4/29/2021)

NBC’s FIRST READ: “NBC’s Peter Alexander perfectly summed up President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress … ‘The Era of Big Government is back.’” (NBC’s First Read, 4/29/2021)

NPR:Era of big government is back, and Biden is all inFormer President Bill Clinton notably declared in his 1996 State of the Union address that ‘the era of big government is over,’ marking a shift for Democrats then trying to show attention to fiscal responsibility. But Biden, in unabashedly rolling out new, liberal federal programs, rejected that and instead argued government was the solution.” (“Big Government Is Back, And 3 Other Takeaways From Biden's Address To Congress,” NPR, 4/29/2021)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Invoking the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mr. Biden unveiled a $1.8 trillion social spending plan … representing a fundamental reorientation of the role of government not seen since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and Roosevelt’s New Deal.” (“Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People,” The New York Times, 4/28/2021)

  • “Taken together, the collection of initiatives that Mr. Biden has introduced in his first 100 days in office suggest a breathtaking scope of change sought by a 78-year-old president who spent a lifetime as a more conventional lawmaker. After presenting himself during last year’s campaign as a ‘transition candidate’ … Mr. Biden has since his inauguration positioned himself as a transformational president.” (“Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People,” The New York Times, 4/28/2021)
  • “[A]s striking as anything else in the speech was Mr. Biden’s vision of a profound pivot in America’s eternal debate about the role of government in society. Four decades after President Ronald Reagan declared that government was the problem, not the solution, Mr. Biden aimed to turn that thesis on its head, seeking to empower the federal state as a catalyst to remake the country and revamp the balance between the richest and the rest.” (“Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People,” The New York Times, 4/28/2021)
  • “[T]he succession of costly proposals amounts to a risky gamble that a country deeply polarized along ideological and cultural lines is ready for a more activist government and the sort of redistribution of wealth long sought by progressives. Mr. Biden’s Democrats have only the barest of majorities in the House and Senate to push through the most sweeping of legislation …” (“Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People,” The New York Times, 4/28/2021)

POLITICO: “Biden embraces his inner Robin Hood … In his first address before a joint session of Congress, the president embraced a tax-and-spend mantra to frame his next big legislative fight … at a more fundamental level, his remarks signaled a new, more unapologetic mode of big “D” Democratic thinking. Gone are the days where Bill Clinton was declaring the era of Big Government to be over. Forgotten are the moments when Barack Obama was touting his fiscal prudence. In its place was a president leaning into the very tax-and-spend charges that Republicans have thrown at him and his party for decades. Beside him was a massive swath of the Democratic coalition.” (“Biden Embraces His Inner Robin Hood,” Politico, 4/28/2021)

‘The President’s First Address To A Joint Session Of Congress Sounded As If Elizabeth Warren, And Not Biden, Had Won’: ‘The Most Avowedly Liberal Call To Action I Have Ever Heard A President Make,’ Representing ‘Years Of Pent-Up Demand By Progressives’ For ‘Trillions In New Spending In A Robust Expansion Of Government’s Role In Multiple Arenas Of American Life’

THE NEW YORKER’s SUSAN GLASSER: “…. the most avowedly liberal call to action I have ever heard a President make from that congressional podium.” (Susan B. Glasser, “Biden’s Speech Offers an Alternate Reality for Democrats to Love, After Four Years of Trumpian Fantasy,” The New Yorker, 4/29/2021)

  • “Candidate Joe Biden campaigned as the centrist exemplar of a return to … normal, but President Joe Biden has moved swiftly to enlarge the scope of his ambitions far beyond the status quo ante. On Wednesday night, the ninety-ninth of his Presidency, Biden offered a striking vision of a country renewed by an activist government. Harkening back to the early twentieth-century liberalism of his party forebears, Biden envisioned a new age of ‘once in a generation’ federal investments in everything from child care to electric cars … To anyone who remembered last year’s Democratic primaries, the President’s first address to a joint session of Congress sounded as if Elizabeth Warren, and not Biden, had won.” (Susan B. Glasser, “Biden’s Speech Offers an Alternate Reality for Democrats to Love, After Four Years of Trumpian Fantasy,” The New Yorker, 4/29/2021)

POLITICO’s JOHN HARRIS: “President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session Congress was the most ambitious ideological statement made by any Democratic president in decades … He called for trillions in new spending in a robust expansion of government’s role in multiple arenas of American life in ways that would have been impossible to contemplate in Barack Obama’s presidency.” (John F. Harris, “Biden Just Gave the Most Ideologically Ambitious Speech of Any Democratic President in Generations,” Politico Magazine, 4/29/2021)


Far Left Congressional Democrats Say Biden Has ‘Definitely Exceeded Expectations That Progressives Had’ And His Partisan Stimulus Bill ‘Had All Of Our Progressive Priorities In There’

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair:  “I think President Biden has risen to the moment. And I really do give him an A in what he's done so far. It's been bold, it's been progressive, it's been what the country needs, he hasn't shied away from it, he has leaned into it, and we're hoping the same continues to happen as we go through the process to pass the Jobs and Families Plan.” (CNN, 4/28/2021)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): “The Biden Administration and President Biden have definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had… It’s been good so far…” (“AOC Says Biden ‘Exceeded’ Progressive Expectations In First 100 Days,” New York Post, 4/23/2021)


REMINDER: Democrats Have Repeatedly Announced Their Eagerness To Use The Pandemic To ‘Fundamentally Transform The Country’ And ‘Restructure Things To Fit Our Vision’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL: “Here’s the bottom line. Recall that more than a year ago, at the outset of the pandemic, a top House Democrat said this crisis provided the left ‘a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.’ Well, last night, President Biden said much the same: That his Administration intends to turn ‘crisis into opportunity.’ The far left certainly gets the message. Some of the most liberal members of Congress have gone out of their way to say they are surprised and delighted by the President’s willingness to do things their way…. It’s an attempt to continue dragging a divided country farther and faster to the left.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/29/2021)

“The Biden White House has made no secret that they feel emboldened to pursue this path because the moment is both right and ripe for it.” (“Biden Embraces His Inner Robin Hood,” Politico, 4/28/2021)

JOE BIDEN: “It’s like the New Deal, think of every great - every great change that’s taken place that’s come out of a crisis - that’s come out of a crisis…. And I think we have an opportunity now to significantly change the mindset of the American people, things they weren’t ready to do, you know, even two, three years ago.” (CNN Coronavirus Town Hall, 4/16/2020)

  • BIDEN: “And I truly think that if we do this right, we have an incredible opportunity to not just dig out of this crisis, but to fundamentally transform the country.” (LULAC Virtual Town Hall, 5/04/2020)

HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” (“House Democrats Eyeing Much Broader Phase 3 Stimulus,” The Hill, 3/19/2020)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “We need big, bold action…. We need Franklin Rooseveltian-type action and we hope to take that in the House and Senate in a very big and bold way.” (“Schumer, Pelosi Set To Unveil ‘Rooseveltian’ Relief Package,” The Hill, 5/07/2020)

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “I see everything as an opportunity. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.” (MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” 5/11/2020)

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA), House Progressive Caucus Co-Chair: “So I think it depends on how you use the word leverage. For me, the leverage is that there is enormous suffering, and if we do not respond with the boldness and the scale that this crisis demands, then that suffering will continue. I think it’s important for us to not allow ourselves to be pulled into a place where we don’t define the agenda …” (“An Unusually Honest Conversation About Wielding Political Power, With Rep. Pramila Jayapal,” Vox, 5/06/2020)

FLASHBACK: RAHM EMANUEL, Former Obama White House Chief of Staff: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” (Remarks to Wall Street Journal CEO Council, 2008)


The Most Glaring Omission From Biden’s Speech Was The Ongoing Crisis On Our Southern Border, Something Even Democrats Noticed

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL: “He talked about immigration without taking any responsibility for the border crisis that has his Administration packing unaccompanied children into facilities and releasing arrivals into the country.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/29/2021)

“Mr. Biden spent limited time on an issue for which his administration has faced bipartisan criticism: the surge of migrants, especially unaccompanied minors, crossing the border illegally. … But Mr. Biden didn’t bring up what his administration is doing in the short term to address the record numbers of children and teenagers crossing the border illegally.” (“Biden’s Joint Address to Congress: Key Takeaways,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/28/2021)

SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): “While I share President Biden’s urgency in fixing our broken immigration system, what I didn’t hear tonight was a plan to address the immediate crisis at the border, and I will continue holding this administration accountable to deliver the resources and staffing necessary for a humane, orderly process as we work to improve border security, support local economies, and fix our immigration system.” (Sen. Kelly, Press Release, 4/28/2021)

  • SEN. KELLY: “This continues to be a major problem that shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of Arizona communities. And I think it was important to highlight that it wasn’t part of the address last night…. We’ve got to address this and it can’t be on Arizona taxpayers and Arizona towns that are really struggling right now. It’s a federal government problem.” (Politico, 4/29/2021)


Biden Misled About The State Of The Economy And Tried To Take Credit For The Rebound He Inherited

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “This Administration inherited a tide that had already turned.” (Republican Address to the Nation, 4/28/2021)

Even ‘Fact Checkers’ Acknowledge ‘The Country’s Hurting Economy Had Recovered Some From Its Low Point Earlier In The Pandemic’

“Biden early in his speech spoke about inheriting an economy severely battered by COVID-19, the ‘worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,’ he said. The economy was struggling, but it had improved some by the time he was sworn in.” (“FactChecking Biden’s Address to Congress,” FactCheck.org, 4/29/2021)

  • “As we explained in January, the U.S. lost 22.1 million jobs in March and April 2020 — and then regained about half of those by November (though, some jobs were lost in December). The unemployment rate reached 14.8% in April 2020, but by January that figure had dropped to 6.3%. (It has since dropped to 6% as of March.) And in the second quarter of 2020, the gross domestic product — used to gauge the health of an economy — dropped by 31.4%. But the GDP then increased by 33.4% in the third quarter, followed by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The U.S. closed 2020 with an economy that had contracted about 3.5% from 2019 — the biggest drop since 1946. So while the U.S. was no doubt grappling with the COVID-19 crisis and the economic fallout when Biden took office — and it still is — the country’s hurting economy had recovered some from its low point earlier in the pandemic. (“FactChecking Biden’s Address to Congress,” FactCheck.org, 4/29/2021)

And News Outlets Used To Say, ‘Presidents In Any Case Have Little Control Over The Economy, Especially In The Short-Term’

“Even if the economy does start to change direction in coming months, it’s unlikely Trump or his policies will be the primary cause. Presidents in any case have little control over the economy, especially in the short-term. The government can (probably) help ease the impact of a recession, and bad policies can (definitely) slow down growth. And presidential policies on things like education, infrastructure and tax policy can have long-term effects, for good or ill. But presidents have little influence over the month-to-month ups and downs of hiring or inflation.” (“Don’t Let Trump — Or Any President — Take Credit For Strong Jobs Numbers,” FiveThirtyEight, 3/10/2017)

“To hear President Trump tell it in his State of the Union speech Tuesday, he rescued a declining, hollowed-out economy from ruin to create the greatest era of prosperity in U.S. history. Trump has presided over a solid economy since taking office in 2017 but mischaracterized the state of the economy under President Obama and overstated his accomplishments. In truth, the economy has mounted a steady recovery since the Great Recession of 2007-09, marking the longest expansion in American history.” (“State Of The Union: Fact-Checking Trump's Claims On Jobs, Wealth And Wages,” USA Today, 2/04/2020)

FLASHBACK: Leader McConnell Warned A Month Ago That Democrats Would Attempt ‘To Get In Front Of The Parade So They Can Take Credit For What's Already Happening Based Upon What We Have Already Done’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL: “What I'm saying is the economy is about to come roaring back. What the administration is trying to do here … is to get in front of the parade so they can take credit for what's already happening based upon what we have already done. The economy is just going to have a fabulous year. It has nothing to do with this massive Democratic wish-list of items …” (PBS Newshour, 3/11/2021)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “None of these trends began on January 20th. President Biden and this Democratic government inherited a tide that had already begun to turn toward decisive victory. In 2020, Congress passed five historic bipartisan bills to save our health system, protect our economic foundations, and fund Operation Warp Speed to find vaccines. Senate Republicans led the bipartisan CARES Act that got our country through the last year. The American people already built a parade that’s been marching toward victory. Democrats just want to sprint to the front of that parade and claim credit.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/11/2021)



Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security, Taxes, Economy, State of the Union