MSNBC’s Joy Reid complains Biden was too nice to Republicans in SOTU

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MSNBC primetime host Joy Reid seemed disappointed after President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday, saying he didn’t attack Republicans enough.

Reid voiced her complaints during MSNBC’s live reaction to the address, with fellow hosts Nicolle Wallace, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow.

After Maddow summarized Biden’s speech as “back to the center,” Reid said the president didn’t “take a really solid hit at Republicans” for supposedly “supporting Vladimir Putin.” 

“A lot of the rest of it was very classic Joe Biden. He is a fundamentally bipartisan individual,” she said. “So the hits he didn’t take I found interesting. He had an opportunity, as you said earlier, Nicolle, to take a really solid hit at Republicans for having supported Vladimir Putin, he didn’t take it.”

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Maddow agreed, saying, “He did even hint at it.”

Maddow wished Biden had “shamed” and “named names,” but said “he’s a much higher-minded person than all of us who said he should hit ‘em.”

Reid faulted Biden for not taking more jabs during his address, including not bringing up the Capitol Hill riot from over a year ago.

“He did not mention the Jan. 6 insurrection — because if you want to talk about a profound hit to our democracy, there is nothing more profound than a violent physical attack on the very building he’s standing in,” she said. “That did not make it into the speech, I found that interesting. The one place that Biden felt comfortable attacking Republicans was on tax cuts — was on the tax cuts for the rich. Because that, to your point, Chris, that’s widely popular. The rich should be paying more taxes.”

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.
(Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)

After noting Biden didn’t take the “obvious hits” against Republicans, Reid claimed her suggested attacks would have appealed to his base.

“So he didn’t take the hits that were obvious in a speech that was fundamentally about protecting democracy, but that’s how he is. So people who want red meat Democratic politics, you will never get that from Joe Biden. It’s not who he is. It’s not what he does. But I think particularly the first part of the speech was really strong,” she said.

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During his speech, Biden criticized his Republican predecessor, falsely claiming that his tax cuts only benefited the wealthy. 

Biden also attempted to appeal to moderate Democrats and Independents with calls to secure the southern border and “fund the police.” Those inclusions did not seem to sit well with some Democrats, who expressed their displeasure.

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Reid also expressed “disgust” at the “gracelessness” of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for not applauding Biden’s Cabinet as they entered the room. 

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