Florida pols respond to Joe Biden’s State of the Union
Frederica Wilson and Joe Biden. Image via Twitter

Wilson Biden
Democrats and Republicans greeted the President's message differently.

Florida’s leaders are reacting predictably to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. The speech, widely seen as an opening salvo for the 2024 election cycle, generated strong feelings regardless.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican, told Fox News: “You didn’t hear a lot of talk about pregnant men tonight. You didn’t hear a lot of talk about some of these crazy things because they are pivoting now to an election mode and they know all that stuff is toxic, so they are trying to pretend it’s not happening. It remains at the core and at the heart of their administration. Not a lot of woke talk tonight, except for the climate stuff, which by the way, he doesn’t tell you benefits China, who make the batteries, who now dominate the panel industry and the like, and who continue to build more coal fire plants than all the other countries in the world combined. So it was a bizarre speech with a bunch of silly lines, some really ridiculous ones. Perhaps the craziest of all is threatening he’s going to veto any national abortion ban passed by Chuck Schumer’s Democratic Senate.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican, tweeted: “Last night, Joe Biden rambled for a while, but it seems he forgot to share the facts: In my plan, I suggested the following: All federal legislation sunsets in 5 yrs. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again. This is clearly and obviously an idea aimed at dealing with ALL the crazy new laws our Congress has been passing of late. Joe Biden is confused … to suggest that this means I want to cut Social Security or Medicare is a lie, & is a dishonest move … from a very confused President. Does he think I also intend to get rid of the U.S. Navy? Or the border patrol? Or air traffic control, maybe? This is the kind of fake, gotcha BS that people hate about Washington. I’ve never advocated cutting Social Security or Medicare and never would. I will not be intimidated by Joe Biden twisting my words, or Sen. Schumer twisting my words — or by anyone else for that matter. HOWEVER, Biden and the Dems did, in fact, cut Medicare just last year. They lie about it and the liberal media covers for them. If they think they can shut me up or intimidate me by lying … I’m here for it … I’m ready to go. I will not be silenced by the Washington establishment.”

U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican, released a statement: “Our country is facing some serious challenges, and President Biden notably glossed over our fragile economy, skyrocketing crime and the crisis at the border. My constituents sent me to Washington to tackle these issues head on, and House Republicans will do just that. In a few short weeks, I have voted to defund the army of IRS agents, to protect our nation’s strategic oil reserves, and to unleash American energy independence. I will be laser focused on cutting wasteful government spending, supporting our law enforcement and securing our border. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make America safer and stronger.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Palm Harbor Republican: “In last night’s SOTU address, President Biden proved yet again to be painfully out-of-touch with the difficult realities the vast majority of Americans are facing because of the policies he and Congressional Democrats have enacted. While the President attempted to minimize the pain that my constituents and so many Americans are experiencing, no amount of carefully-crafted spin can deflect from the harsh truth. We are facing multiple crises as a result of two years of one-party rule in Washington and the American people deserve better.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, a West Palm Beach Democrat, released a statement: “During the past two years of leadership under President Biden, Vice President (Kamala) Harris, and Congressional Democrats, our economy has started recovering and unemployment has dropped to a historic low. We are rebuilding America with new roads and bridges, cleaner water, and better access to high-speed internet. We are boosting manufacturing at home, lowering health care costs, and lowering our energy bills. As the President told us tonight, now is the time to finish the job. He made it clear we can continue to invest in America in a fiscally responsible way that reduces the deficit, without cutting Social Security or Medicare, and stand up for women’s reproductive freedom and the health of our veterans.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Parkland Democrat, released an extensive statement including: “President Biden reminded the American people that our work continues and that we will only be successful if we work together. A week from today will be the 5th anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, my high school. The horror of gun violence is one our community knows too well. Every child has a right to go to school and not be afraid they may not come home due to a school shooter. I and millions across Florida, would like to personally thank President Biden for making gun violence prevention a major priority in his address. Having lost my dad to pancreatic cancer, it was moving to hear President Biden talk about the need for increased research and screening. Cancer does not discriminate and affects everyone no matter your political party. With bipartisan support for this cause, I believe it is within our capacity to reduce cancer deaths in the coming decade.”

U.S. Rep. Cory Mills, a New Smyrna Beach Republican, released a statement: “More of the same. We have heard this all before, but this time, when the president had the chance to discuss the sacrifices of the 13 Gold Star Families during his failed and botched Afghanistan withdrawal, he once again failed to recognize their sacrifice. In a split Congress, we have the chance to bring real change to the American people. We need to address inflation, our homeless veterans, this illicit fentanyl, and so much more. The facts are clear: Republicans don’t want to cut Social Security or Medicare. We want to bring back a strong economy. If this was a celebration of true accomplishments for this administration, this speech would have been the shortest in history.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, a Rockledge Republican, tweeted: “Same out-of-touch ‘swamp speak’ as always and no responsibility taken for his Administration’s failures. It’s time for President Biden to abandon the radical policies that are harming Americans and work with the new House GOP Majority to put America first.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, a Jacksonville Republican, tweeted: “The President attempted to take a victory lap tonight, proving further how out of touch he is with the reality millions of Americans face every day. Under President Biden, our adversaries are emboldened, the value of the dollar has plummeted, and our borders are wide open. The president’s 60% disapproval rating only highlights the fact that confidence in President Biden’s state of our union is at rock bottom. The American people voted for change in November. House Republicans, under Speaker (Kevin) McCarthy’s leadership, are steadfast in keeping our Commitment To America: an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom, and a government that’s accountable. House GOP has a plan to hold this administration accountable, restore security at home and abroad, and respect the hard work of taxpayers across this nation by cutting inflation, lowering energy prices, and ending the careless spending coming out of this White House.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat, released a statement that said in part: “President Joe Biden and House Democrats have made tremendous progress over the past two years, and tonight was a perfect highlight of what we have accomplished and what is left to do… During the 117th Congress — the most productive session in over 50 years — we passed our ‘Great Eight’ bills in collaboration with the president to recover from the pandemic and deliver long-overdue investments to boost our infrastructure, lower health care costs and tackle the climate crisis, care for veterans, prevent gun violence in our communities, boost microchip production, respect marriage equality, and reform the Electoral College. Now, we’re seeing these investments come to fruition in the form of a $35 cap on insulin for seniors, over-the-counter hearing aids, microchips made in NeoCity, veterans getting the benefits they deserve, infrastructure improvement projects in Central Florida, and more. After President Biden confronted our Republican colleagues last night, we now agree that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are off the table. I look forward to holding them accountable and ensuring that we protect the hard-earned benefits of seniors and all Americans.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Hollywood Democrat, tweeted: “We’re going to deliver for teachers and take the first step towards raising teacher salaries. Thank you for standing up for America’s teachers, Mr. President.”

Florida Watch Executive Director Josh Weierbach: “President Biden has consistently delivered on pocketbook issues so crucial to helping Florida families succeed. The President’s focus on building the economy from the bottom up and middle out, and not the top down, has resulted in the lowest unemployment rate in 54 years and given more Floridians the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe. We stand with the President’s economic agenda which puts families first by reducing the deficit without cutting Social Security or Medicare, and ensures the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans finally pay their fair share.”

Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo: “Floridians have benefited greatly from President Biden’s successful economic agenda. His efforts to help Florida families prosper stand in stark contrast to the dangerous policies promoted by Republicans like Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, who continue putting the interests of their corporate donors ahead of everyday Floridians. DeSantis is preoccupied fighting culture wars instead of helping Floridians afford necessities like housing, while Sen. Scott is fixated on ending Social Security and Medicare, critical programs relied on by millions of Floridians. We need more leaders like President Biden who will put Floridians’ health, safety, and real-life needs first.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Bye Omar

    February 8, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Joe Biden is a boob. An incompetent and senile one at that.

  • Jim Cline

    February 8, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Rep John Rutherford is so out-of-step with his constituents, who admire the way President Biden has cleaned up much of Trump’s mess and improved jobs, manufacturing, and infrastructure. He used to be a well respected public servant until he chose to stay with the insurrectionists to the bitter end.

  • Allan Dennis

    February 8, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    DeSantis is taking credit for programs passed by President Biden the Republicans in the House never voted for. Florida’s budget has been shored up by FEDERAL funds for years.
    The American Rescue Plan is responsible for the $400 million DeSantis touted for the rural broadband access program.
    $77 million in job growth grants from DeSantis from ARP.
    The first responder $1000 bonuses from ARP. The $200 million gas tax holiday in August the ARP.

  • It's Complicated

    February 8, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Bottom line is it doesn’t much matter what Biden says, because he has so little credibility. Only true Biden synchophants believe what he says is true. 118th Congress is a new world, so doing a victory lap about the work of the 117th Congress is pointless.

    • Jim Cline

      February 8, 2023 at 6:43 pm

      Check his ratings following a very successful SOTU.

  • Lex

    February 9, 2023 at 9:54 am

    The worst cut to medicare and social security is the inflation, that the Democrats cause by spending money willy nilly.

Comments are closed.


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