Merkley Reacts to Biden’s State of the Union Address

The President’s message, focused on progress made during tough times.  “We have to be the nation we’ve always been, at our best.  Optimistic, hopeful, forward looking,” said Biden.

That resonated with fellow Democrat, Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.  “I was really struck by how Biden summed things up.  12 million jobs added over two years.  800,000 manufacturing jobs .  We’re making things in America again,” said Merkley.

KXL’s Annette Newell asked Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley whether he thought Biden started his campaign for re-election with this speech.

He responded,  “Yes I do.   When he framed this, as finish the job, he was laying out really the amazing amount of things that we accomplished over these last two years.  And it sets the stage for how we go forward from here.”  

He says Biden did talk about issues that Oregonians have top of mind. “He really emphasized these fundamental issues that I hear at my town halls.  A need for us to take on rising costs.”

But he also says there was an area he wished Biden hadn’t left out.  “Affordable housing, he didn’t address as much as I would have liked.” 

President Biden’s speech included a spotlight on the family of a Tennessee man who was beaten by police, and later died.  

Senator Merkley says he thinks that was the most emotional part of President Biden’s speech to Congress and the nation. “When the President introduced Tyre’s parents and noted that his mother was praying and hoping that something good will come of this and his call to all of us to make something good from the terrible violence.”

But republicans say the President and his party haven’t done enough to support police. Arkansas Governor and former Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave the opposition’s response:

”After years of democratic attacks on law enforcement. and calls to defund the police, violent criminals roam free.”

Republicans are trying to draw sharp contrasts with the President and his party.  Sanders exclaimed, “The choice is between normal or crazy.”

She also stressed her young age compared to Biden, and said, “Law 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.”

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