President Joe Biden during his Tuesday night address to the nation made no mention of the Chinese spy balloon that his administration allowed to traverse the continental United States just last week, a major international incident that has dominated the attention of the American public.
Biden spent just a few minutes of his more than an hour long State of the Union speech on China, which has threatened to retaliate against the United States for shooting down the spy balloon. The president made just one apparent reference to the balloon, stating that his administration demonstrated that it will stand up to threats.
"As we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country," Biden said. "And we did."
Biden's critics on both sides of the aisle say the United States made a mistake by allowing the Chinese craft, which was first seen above Montana, float across the entire country before it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. Democratic senator Mark Warner joined Republicans on Tuesday calling for a full intelligence briefing from the administration on why the military wasn't better prepared to respond to the balloon. Republicans told the Washington Free Beacon they're willing to issue subpoenas to get more information on China's incursion.
While Biden made no mention of China's spy balloon, he claimed during the speech that the United States is "in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world."
In the official Republican response to Biden's address, Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders called China our "most formidable adversary."
"The president's refusal to stand up to China, our most formidable adversary, is dangerous and unacceptable," Sanders said.