NBC's Katie Couric falsely claimed that during most of the State of the Union address, "Democrats sat on their hands" and "really applauded" only when President Bush mentioned the failure of his Social Security plan.
On the February 1 broadcast of NBC's Today, co-host Katie Couric falsely claimed that during most of President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address, the "Democrats sat on their hands," and "[t]he only moment [they] really applauded was when the president talked about his failed plan to reform Social Security." But as video footage from the State of the Union address shows, Democrats "really applauded" at other times during the speech as well, giving standing ovations when Bush began the address by eulogizing Coretta Scott King, when he recognized the family of Marine Staff Sgt. Dan Clay -- who was killed in Iraq -- when he called for bipartisan support for the "war on terror," and when he asked Congress "to put aside partisan politics and work together" in resolving the financial challenges facing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs.
From the February 1 broadcast of NBC's Today, which featured co-host Matt Lauer:
COURIC: And welcome to Today on this Wednesday morning, everyone. I'm Katie Couric.
LAUER: And I'm Matt Lauer. We're all a little bleary-eyed this morning --
LAUER: -- because we stayed up for the speech and the analysis afterwards. The president faced a divided Congress during his State of the Union Address last night, and he took on a lot of issues that clearly had people butting heads.
COURIC: Well, you could see it, if you just watched the scene, Matt. I mean, the chamber erupted in applause 60 times, but during most of those times, Democrats sat on their hands. The only moment the Democrats really applauded was when the president talked about his failed plan to reform Social Security. We'll have a complete wrap-up of the speech, and as we mentioned, we'll talk with Senator John Kerry [D-MA], as well as NBC's Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert.
From President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address:
BUSH: Today, our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream. Tonight, we are comforted by the hope of a glad reunion with the husband who was taken so long ago, and we are grateful for the good life of Coretta Scott King.
BUSH: Staff Sergeant Dan Clay's wife, Lisa, and his mom and dad, Sara Jo and Bud, are with us this evening. Welcome.
BUSH: Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy -- a war that will be fought by presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress. And tonight, I ask for yours. Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.
BUSH: So, tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This commission should include members of Congress of both parties, and offer bipartisan solutions. We need to put aside partisan politics and work together and get this problem solved.