Starting his State of the Union address, President Biden congratulated two top Republicans, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He also thanked Republican lawmakers who had backed his infrastructure bill last year and struck a note of optimism: “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years.”

Republicans in his audience were having none of it, breaking with a long tradition of decorum by booing him often and crying out “liar” at key moments. In her party’s reply to the president, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas called Biden a “failure” and darkly warned GOP voters, “We are under attack in a left-wing culture war.” Donald Trump took a similar foreboding tone, telling a campaign crowd, “I’m more angry now.” 

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