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President Joe Biden arrived at the Capitol on Thursday to deliver a State of the Union address with the goal of presenting himself as a hopeful, energized choice to voters who are mulling whether to give him or Donald Trump a second term in the White House.

In his remarks, Biden will show the stark differences between himself and his Republican rival. The speech will kick off his rematch with Trump and mark the start of the 2024 general election.

Departing the White House to head to Capitol Hill, Biden said he was ‘feeling good.’

He also joked to the staffers up on the portico watching him depart: ‘Don’t jump, I need you.’ 

Speaking to a nationwide, primetime audience, Biden, 81, will be combatting low approval ratings and questions about his fitness for office.

In his remarks, Biden will directly confront his and Trump’s ages,  arguing he wants ‘honesty’ while his Republican rival wants ‘retribution.’

The early excerpts released by the White House do not mention Trump by name, but it it obvious where BIden is talking about him. 

‘My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. A future based on the core values that have defined America: honesty, decency, dignity, equality. To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor,’ Biden will say.

‘Now some other people my age see a different story: an American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution. That’s not me.’

Biden has long called Trump, 77, a ‘threat to democracy’ – citing the former president’s actions during the January 6th insurrection.

Trump has hammered Biden on the age issue, calling him ‘Sleepy Joe.’ Even some Democrats have expressed concern about the 81-year-old president’s performance Thursday night, saying he needs to be energetic and not make any fumbles or stumbles. 

Biden will speak in the House chamber on Capitol Hill at 9 p.m. to deliver his vision for the nation. The audience will be filled with Republican lawmakers loyal to Trump. Expect them to try and throw Biden off his game as they did last year.

Millions of viewers are expected to tune into the prime time address, giving Biden a massive platform to make the case to voters to give him a second term instead of Trump.  

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (right) and Vice President Kamala Harris (left) stand in the House of Representatives

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (right) and Vice President Kamala Harris (left) stand in the House of Representatives 

It could get rowdy. 

Last year Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., yelled at Biden he was a ‘liar.’ This year, ahead of Biden’s remarks, she handed out pins paying tribute to Laken Riley, the Georgia nursing student who was murdered. An illegal immigrant was charged with the crime.

Greene also wore a t-shirt paying tribute to Riley. 

The White House points out how well Biden handled himself at last year’s speech, when he quickly clapped back at Republicans’ booing him for his claim they wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare.

As GOP lawmakers started heckling him, Biden quickly pivoted to say: ‘As we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now.’

In fact, House Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has asked his lawmakers to keep it reined in this year during the president’s remarks.

Johnson, at a closed-door GOP conference meeting Wednesday, called for decorum but Greene has said her district didn’t mind her call out to the president last year. Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has heckled in the past, indicated she may dow the same this year.

Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Georgia) wears a shirt and button showing slain Georgia college student Laken Riley ahead of the State of the Union address

Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Georgia) wears a shirt and button showing slain Georgia college student Laken Riley ahead of the State of the Union address

Former Rep. George Santos is in the House chamber for the State of the Union Address

Former Rep. George Santos is in the House chamber for the State of the Union Address

Overall, the goal of the White House is to present Biden, 81, as energetic enough to do the job and turn questions about his age into an argument for his experience. 

The White House has downplayed any fears. 

‘There’s always, in these moments, a desire to focus on the distractions dujour,’ said deputy White House press secretary Olivia Dalton on CNN. ‘The president is focused on one thing and that’s communicating clearly his vision for the country to the American people.’

‘You’re going to see a very energized president,’ White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients told Politico. ‘This is a big moment. And this president rises to those big moments.’  

The president heads into the speech with a 56% disapproval rating, per the Five Thirty-Eight polling average

Biden has spent the past five days preparing for his State of the Union address, trying to cover all the possibilities: tea to keep his throat smooth, a print out of his remarks – with giant type – in case the teleprompter goes out, and hours of practice sessions.

But the fear among aides is all the preparations could be overshadowed by the unexpected that could trigger more questions about the 81-year-old president’s fitness for office.  

Biden will offer an otherwise positive view of the nation in his address, focusing on a unity agenda that contains overall popular items like dealing with the mental health epidemic, curbing opioid abuse, aiding veterans and improving cancer care.

In his remarks, the president will also portray the upcoming an election as a choice on personal freedoms such as reproductive rights. He will vow to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land if Americans give him a Democratically-controlled Congress.

‘In its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court majority wrote “Women are not without electoral or political power.” No kidding. Clearly those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America,’ he will say.

‘But they found out when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again in 2024. If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose I promise you: I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again.’

Democrats are using the abortion issue to rally their voters after it proved successful motivation in getting their supporters to the polls in the 2022 midterm. 

He will also brag about his own record as president, particularly on the economy, which voters give him low marks for when it comes to his stewardship. 

‘I came to office determined to get us through one of the toughest periods in our nation’s history. And we have. It doesn’t make the news, but in thousands of cities and towns the American people are writing the greatest comeback story never told,’ he will say. 

‘So let’s tell that story here and now. America’s comeback is building a future of American possibilities, building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up – not the top down, investing in all of America – in all Americans – to make sure everyone has a fair shot and we leave no one behind.’

The U.S. Capitol is seen behind a security fence that was put in  place for the State of the Union

The U.S. Capitol is seen behind a security fence that was put in  place for the State of the Union

Biden also will ask Americans if they want lower health care costs, democratic freedoms and to keep Ukraine from being swallowed up by Russian leader Vladimir Putin? Or do they want to side with drug company profits, tax breaks for the wealthy and Putin?

The underlying argument will be that Biden is on the right side of these issues, as opposed to Trump.

Biden is also expected to address the war between Israel and Hamas in his remarks.

He will announce that he’s directing the military to build a port on the Gaza coast to bring relief to the population there. 

That does not mean U.S. military personnel will be on the ground in the war torn region.  

White House officials offered no time line for when the pier will be built or where exactly it will be located but said its construction will allow more shipments of food, medicine and other essential items to be delivered to the 2.2 million Palestinians.

They said the White House will coordinate with the Israelis regarding security on the ground and with the United Nations and humanitarian groups on getting aid delivered. 

The temporary pier will allow for hundreds of additional truckloads of assistance each day, the officials said. It will be an additional route for humanitarian aid, which is currently limited to two land crossings into the southern part of Gaza.

Other countries will be involved in its construction but it’s unclear if Israel will be. 

The project could take more than 30 to 60 days to construct and would involve hundreds or thousands of U.S. troops on ships just off shore. It will also require armed escorts and other protective measures.

The president has seen a concerning number of Democrats vote ‘uncommitted’ in primaries in key battleground states like Michigan and Minnesota, most of whom are unhappy with his treatment of Palestinians.

In Minnesota on Tuesday, nearly 20 percent of Democratic voters in the state voted uncommitted. The week before, more than 100,000 voters in Michigan voted the same.

Pro-Palestine protesters are in the street to block President Joe Biden's motorcade between the White House and Capitol for his State of the Union address

Pro-Palestine protesters are in the street to block President Joe Biden’s motorcade between the White House and Capitol for his State of the Union address

Supplies are dropped out of an airplane down onto Gaza

Supplies are dropped out of an airplane down onto Gaza 

Several hundred Pro-Palestinian protesters sat in the street to block Biden‘s motorcade between the White House and Capitol before he headed to the Capitol to deliver his remarks.

A massive Palestinian flag was unfurled on the street with demonstrators sitting and standing around it and others held a banner with the message: ‘Biden’s legacy is genocide.’

The protesters held bullhorns, held ‘ceasefire’ signs, wore black shirts with messages demanding Biden get tough on Israel and were surrounded by law enforcement officials from all sidess.

In his remarks, Biden also will crack down on private jets as part of his plan to hike the taxes on the super rich as he tries to win over voters upset with his stewardship of the economy.

Biden will also propose that billionaires would need to pay a minimum of 25% in federal taxes on their income as he targets the super wealthy like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk

Another person who will be affected by his plans is his 2024 rival Donald Trump, who relies on his private jet – Trump Force One – to campaign across the country. Biden uses the military jet Air Force One for his travel.

The sweeping tax increases are targeted at bringing down the U.S. deficit but also raising Biden’s poll numbers as he heads into the November election. Polls show Trump in the lead – by a narrow margin – with eight months until Election Day.

Voters give Biden low marks for his handling of the economy. And Trump has hammered Biden repeatedly on the high rate of inflation that has raised food and fuel prices for consumers. 

The president’s proposals will also affect some of his allies: John Kerry, his former climate adviser, uses a private jet. So do celebrities like Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio, who support the president.

Biden will propose increasing the fuel tax on corporate and private jet travel and changing depreciation rules. The White House declined to say how much the fuel tax would be increased.

Biden's new tax plan will affect his rival, Donald Trump (above), who uses his private jet Trump Force One for campaign travel

Biden’s new tax plan will affect his rival, Donald Trump (above), who uses his private jet Trump Force One for campaign travel

Biden's plan will also affect his supporters, such as Taylor Swift (above) who uses a private jet

Biden’s plan will also affect his supporters, such as Taylor Swift (above) who uses a private jet

The president will also target corporations, proposing to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent. 

Most of Biden’s tax proposals have little chance of enactment. Even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress early in his presidency, Biden could not get the corporate tax rate raised.

The tax plans, however, are expected to form a core part of Biden’s re-election campaign, contrasting markedly with Trump whose 2017 ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ slashed taxes on companies and the wealthy.

Biden would use some of the revenue to pay for expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which would help lower-income families. And he is seeking to permanently make health insurance premiums lower for those who receive their medical coverage through the 2010 Affordable Care Act. 

The increased tax rate also is intended to cut the deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade.

Additionally Biden will push for a massive housing initiative as more and more young adults say they can’t afford to buy their first home.

Amid record-high inflation and rising mortgage interest rates, Biden will urge Congress to alleviate mortgage interest rates by offering first-time homebuyers a $5,000 credit each year for their first two years of home ownership to equate a total of $10,000.

The White House says this should equate to essentially knocking off 1.5 percent of homeowners’ interest rate for the medium home in the U.S.

Biden will urge Congress to help free up some of the housing market by offering a one-year credit of up to $10,000 for families who sell their starter homes.

The average mortgage interest rate for a $300,000 loan is 7.9 percent for a 30-year fixed term. Meanwhile, the average cost of a home in the U.S. is upwards of $400,000.

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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