For weeks the White House has claimed Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare.
For weeks Republicans have said that’s not true.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy explicitly said entitlement cuts or changes were not on the table in exchange for a debt ceiling increase. His colleagues agreed.
But White House officials, keenly aware Republicans hadn’t laid out their own plan, elevated the issue anyway.
The conditions were set for a State of the Union clash — one Biden’s advisers quietly hoped would come to fruition.
Biden made a point of caveating his claim Republicans wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security, noting it only applied to “some” Republicans.
But the Republican response was immediate — and fierce, with several, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, seen on camera yelling "liar.”
Far from offended, Biden played along with the backlash.
“I tell you, I enjoy conversion,” Biden said with a smirk as he veered away from his prepared remarks.
“So folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security, Medicare is off the books now, right?... Alright. We got unanimity,” Biden ad-libbed.