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SD Republicans push back on Biden's SOTU address, calling it 'divisive'

President Joe Biden speaks during his 2024 State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C.
President Joe Biden speaks during his 2024 State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C.

South Dakota’s Republican leaders are pushing back against President Joe Biden’s message in his State of the Union address.

As the election approaches, Biden leaned on many issues important to Democrats in Thursday night's speech, including reproductive rights. He also said his opponents are overlooking his successes due to political partisanship.

“I came to office determined to get us through one of the toughest periods in the nation’s history. We have," Biden said. "It doesn’t make the news, but in a thousand cities and towns the American people are writing the greatest comeback story never told.”

The Republican response has focused on what they say is Biden’s failed policies at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sen. John Thune also placed the pin of inflation solely on Biden.

“No amount of words from the president tonight could have erased the actions he’s taken to undermine America’s economic security, energy security and national security,” Thune said.

Sen. Mike Rounds said Biden focused on partisan political arguments rather than a message of unity.

That was a sentiment shared by Gov. Kristi Noem, who called the speech “divisive.”

Noem also accused Biden of creating the problems at the southern border, calling it a "warzone."

The South Dakota Democratic Party released a statement supporting Biden’s speech, saying the president’s policies are improving the state’s infrastructure and lowering health care costs.

"We stand with President Biden’s calls to protect our elections, defend access to reproductive health care, feed all of our children, pass comprehensive immigration reform, keep our military members safe and make higher education more affordable," said Democratic Party Chair Shane Merrill.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.