Former President Trump, the leading GOP contender to take on President Biden in next year’s presidential election, issued a “real state of the union” Tuesday as a pre-taped response to Biden’s address.
In a fiery two-minute speech, Trump described the U.S. as a country under siege by immigrants at the southern border, marred by the political corruption of the Biden administration and plagued by inflation.
He hit Biden on immigration, crime and the economy, arguing the president’s policies had led to inflation.
“Biden and the radical Democrats have wasted trillions of dollars and caused the worst inflation in half a century,” Trump said.
Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 presidential election, a loss the former president has repeatedly denied. Biden has not announced his own bid for reelection, but is widely expected to run for another four years in office. He’s expected to send a signal of his intentions in the weeks after the State of the Union.
Trump announced he’d run for the White House again days after last year’s midterm elections — which produced disappointing results for the GOP. Several Trump-backed candidates faltered at the ballot box, renewing concerns in the Republican Party that it needs to move away from Trump to win.
A number of GOP donors and lawmakers have been flirting with other potential GOP presidential candidates in 2024, most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not said if he will run.
Trump would still be seen as a favorite in a GOP primary, though many Republicans see DeSantis as having a significant chance to defeat him.
Trump’s address on Tuesday night was used to to make his case for the White House. He crowned Biden as the “most corrupt president in American history.”
The former president also accused Democrats of trying to “indoctrinate and mutilate our children,” seemingly a reference to transgender health care, while accusing Biden of “leading us to the brink of World War III” over his handling of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The good news is we’re going to reverse every single crisis, calamity and disaster that Joe Biden has created,” Trump said.
Trump’s speech was not the official GOP response to Biden. That address will be delivered by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a Republican who once served as Trump’s White House press secretary.