Rep. Morelle, his opponent, react to Biden’s State of the Union address

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — President Joe Biden is on his way back to Washington, D.C. after a trip to the Midwest.

He spoke directly to the American people Wednesday and drove home promises he made during his first state of the union address last night.

Rochester area Congressman Joe Morelle (D, NY-25) and former Rochester Police Department chief La’Ron Singletary, who is running against him as a Republican, both weighed in on the address.

Morelle said he’s looking forward to delivering on the president’s agenda and uplifting families in our area.

Singletary had a different take on the state of the union, saying Biden missed a good opportunity to unite the country. He also pointed out that Biden failed to mention the 13 U.S. Marines who died during the chaotic pull out from Afghanistan.

The president got bi-partisan applause for declaring "fund the police" during his speech Tuesday night. Singletary said it was the president’s party that supported defunding police.

The congressional candidate said there was a lot of talk about reforming the police, but no specifics on reducing crime, which has reached record highs, including in Rochester.

When it comes to inflation and rising gas prices, here’s what Singletary had to say: "What needs to happen is the president needs to open up the Keystone XL pipeline. It creates thousands of jobs as well as will lower the burden. Maybe not right away, but at least we know it’s is going to be some insight as to, you know, some relief at the pump."

Morelle sent News10NBC the following statement on the speech:

“We come together at a difficult moment, facing serious challenges at home and around the world. I’m pleased this State of the Union Address underscored the critical importance of supporting working families and our communities in their time of need. This past year has been difficult on all of us, but this evening, President Biden made clear that better days lie ahead.

“The President outlined an agenda on which my colleagues and I in Congress are already taking action: we’re working to cut the cost of critical everyday expenses like childcare and prescription drug prices; enact a permanent expansion of the Child Tax Credit to support families and their ability to meet their most basic needs; and protect and expand essential women’s rights like the right to choose.

“I’m particularly proud President Biden chose to highlight the America COMPETES Act: comprehensive legislation to strengthen America’s competitiveness by investing in innovation, a concept I have long championed that holds significant potential for the Rochester community. This investment will not only create jobs, grow our regional economy, and revitalize our local business community, it will ensure America can outcompete China and any nation in the world, now and for decades to come.

“As we look towards the future, I am reminded of our past—one rooted in the fundamental truth that the United States of America has always stood up for freedom and democracy, at home and abroad. It is this unwavering commitment that guides us, and it is with this in mind that we stand alongside the brave people of Ukraine in defending their sovereignty.

“I look forward to the work ahead to deliver on this agenda and uplift families in the 25th Congressional District.”

Another key moment in last night’s speech was when Biden praised his supreme court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

She met with key senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Confirmation hearings are now set to begin in less than three weeks.