Former Presidential Speechwriters Weigh In on Biden’s Address

( – Amidst falling approval ratings and widespread criticism over the border crisis and the Israel-Hamas war, President Joe Biden delivered a rather aggressive State of the Union speech last week, and some former presidential speechwriters are weighing in on his performance.

Biden delivered the State of the Union address on Thursday, March 7th, and took a more stern approach this time. He aimed almost immediately at former President Donald Trump, although refusing to name him directly and only referring to him as “my predecessor.” Biden also accused Republicans of killing the border security bill in the Senate last month.

According to the president, his “predecessor” told Russian Vladimir Putin to “do whatever the hell he wants,” which was the first of a series of references Biden made directed at Trump, who is now the presumptive Republican nominee. He took that jab about three minutes into the speech.

Bill McGurn, a former speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, said that Biden’s State of the Union was “the most partisan” he’s heard in his lifetime. McGurn criticized Biden for not trying to reach out to Republicans at all, and said the president’s message amounted to the return of “big government… with a vengeance.” McGurn currently works on the editorial board for the Wall Street Journal and is a contributor and columnist for Fox News.

Another former Bush speechwriter, Marc Thiessen, said the president’s State of the Union address was a disgrace and criticized Biden for “attacking his opponent directly” right at the beginning of his speech. Thiessen said this move was “unprecedented” and that the start of Biden’s address was “perhaps the most partisan” opening “in modern memory.”

One of Biden’s former speechwriters, Dan Cluchey, had the opposite take. He said the president showed “energy and vigor” and showed America a “choice between two starkly different visions” for its future. He said the president commanded the room using “sharp oratory, disarming banter” and a “matter-of-fact moral authority.” Ultimately, he felt the address was one of the best in US history.

The two views represent how polarized the US remains going into the 2024 presidential election, and most polls are showing that Trump’s message is resonating with more Americans than Biden’s.

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