WASHINGTON President Joe Biden didn’t waste any time mentioning his support for Ukraine during his State of the Union address on Thursday night, rallying Americans to move forward with aid. 

“My message to President Putin is simple,” Biden said. “We will not walk away. We will not bow down. I will not bow down.”

Within minutes of starting his speech, Biden highlighted how freedom and democracy are under attack, not only within the United States but globally. 

“Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond,” Biden remarked. “If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not.”

Biden told lawmakers that Ukraine could halt Putin if the country continued to receive the weapons and resources to defend itself. More money for Ukraine has been a controversial topic on Capitol Hill for months after House Republicans delayed any funding bills, making it nearly impossible for Biden to send any resources. 

“Send me a bipartisan national security bill,” Biden said to lawmakers. “In a literal sense, history is watching.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), positioned behind Biden during the speech, shook his head as soon as the president mentioned the need to support Ukraine. 

Other Republicans, especially hard-right members of the House Freedom Caucus, have strongly condemned the latest supplemental foreign aid bill, saying it lacks attention to the U.S.-Mexico border crisis. They are criticizing Biden’s decision to begin his State of the Union speech with a foreign policy issue like Ukraine instead of addressing American needs first. 

“Joe Biden opened his State of the Union speech by talking about a foreign country, Ukraine. Americans are DYING every single day from Biden’s deadly open border policy,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wrote in a post on X minutes after Biden began his speech. 

The president often brought up his “predecessor,” former President Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name. He asserted that Trump had bowed down to a Russian leader. 

It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable,” Biden declared.

Trump, for his part, spent the night posting on his Truth Social account, hitting at Biden. He claimed it was Biden’s policies that allowed for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He said I bowed down to the Russian Leader. He gave them everything, including Ukraine,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.