In the hours following President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night, the immediate conclusion of pols and the punditocracy was that he was clearly running for reelection.
For their part, Republicans left little doubt they noticed his very brief mention of foreign policy issues — notably the growing tension between the U.S. and China — and that the American voters would be hearing a lot from them on China.
In a 73-minute-plus speech — one longer than any such annual message delivered by Barack Obama during his eight years as the last Democrat president — Biden underscored his domestic agenda such as Build Back Better and the expansion of Obama's Affordable Care Act.
No less than 12 times did the president use the phrase "finish the job" — widely interpreted as a signal that Biden, at 80, would run for reelection to do just that.
But in sending out this signal, Biden omitted everything but a perfunctory mention of the hot-button foreign policy issues of the Russia-Ukraine War and China's spy balloon shot down over the U.S. this weekend.
"The most important part of the president's address is what he didn't say," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson of North Carolina, told reporters, including "no serious plan … to stand up to China."
House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., agreed. Cole said following the address that "President Biden and his administration must answer questions on this blatant failure to promptly detect and take down this spy machine. I am disappointed that there was no mention of this failure in his speech, or no answers provided to the American people."
A more expansive critique of Biden's foreign policy came from GOP Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa.
"On the World Stage, a Chinese spy balloon penetrated our airspace, the Taliban now controls Afghanistan, and the open border has been flooded with over five million illegal immigrants," he said. "Tonight's address underscored the vast disconnect between President Biden and the American people."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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