- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2022

President Biden’s State of the Union speech address was filled with recycled ideas and lines lifted from his earlier speeches, strategists from both sides of the aisle say.

The lack of new proposals or policies may have hampered Mr. Biden’s bid to reset his presidency after a year of legislative stalemates and policy blunders that have sent his approval ratings plummeting.

“The State of the Union was the same recycled talking points we’ve heard over and over again for the last two years with no results,” said Republican strategist Jimmy Keady. “The American public is getting tired of hearing the same thing over and over again without action from the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Biden did announce that he would close U.S. airspace to Russian planes as punishment for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale attack on Ukraine.

The rest of the speech was a laundry list of ideas recycled from his $1.75 trillion climate and economic package, which died in the Senate last year with opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat.

Mr. Biden laid out his plan to fix the nation’s bridges through his bipartisan infrastructure package, rehashing a plan his administration announced on Jan. 28.

The president spoke about his plan to crack down on gun violence by restricting so-called ghost guns. Those efforts were detailed in proposals he unveiled last summer amid the nation’s soaring crime rate.

Democrat strategist Brad Bannon said criticism that Mr. Biden didn’t offer much in the way of new ideas isn’t off base.

“I’m not sure I disagree with the Republicans on that,” Mr. Bannon said. “A lot of the things the president talked about last night were things that he had already proposed.”

As Mr. Bannon sees it, Mr. Biden needed to repeat his talking points because Republicans successfully blocked several of his proposals, including his climate and spending plan known as Build Back Better.

He cited Mr. Biden’s efforts to expand the child tax credit program, which Republicans have resisted, as an example of why the president had to hammer the idea again.

“The reason he talked about things he already proposed is because Republicans have obstructed him at every turn,” Mr. Bannon said. “The child tax credit is very important and I’m glad the president repeated it last night.”

Mr. Keady said the lack of new proposals shows that Mr. Biden and the Democrats are bereft of ideas.

“This was a 90-minute highlight reel of the speeches he’s given for the last few years,” he said. “There were no new ideas, no new policies, and nothing new about the direction of the country or what policies Democrats are going to enact going forward.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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