SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Utah Congressional leaders as well as Governor Spencer Cox are reacting to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, providing criticism of a speech that Rep. John Curtis (UT-03) called “filled with empty promises and hollow claims.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, President Biden gave his annual State of the Union address, bringing up topics such as inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the United States deficit, among others. In the end, Biden said that because the soul, backbone, and people of the United States are strong, the State of the Union is strong.

It was a speech that Utah politicians have been critical of so far in their reactions. Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02) called the speech “out of touch,” and said that it painted the picture of an America that is different from reality. Rep. Blake Moore (UT-01) echoed Stewart’s remark, calling the speech “tone deaf.”

Both Utah Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, as well as Rep. Moore, released statements where they criticized Biden’s comments regarding the Republican approach to Medicare and social security. In his speech, Biden claimed some Republicans were looking to cut Medicare and social security benefits, which the three Utah leaders refuted as not true.

“There was an immediate response from our side of the aisle where we said ‘no no no, that’s just not true,'” said Romney. “No Republican wants to get rid of Medicare or social security – of the elected Republicans that I know of, certainly not in the Senate. No one is proposing lowering the benefits.”

Lee backed up Romney’s comments by saying Biden’s claim mischaracterized the Republican party.

“He looked us right in the eye and mischaracterized what half the people in the chamber believe; what half of the people in the chamber, according to him, want,” said Lee. “It wasn’t true. He did that not just once. He did it two, three, four times.”

Every Utah Congressional leader, including Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) but excluding Rep. John Curtis called out Biden’s remarks on inflation. Owens, Romney, and Moore all specifically placed the country’s high inflation on Biden’s shoulders.

Governor Cox, who attended his first Presidential State of the Union as a guest of Mike Lee’s, emphasized points made by Lee that Biden’s speech missed opportunities to be more unifying and less divisive.

It was not all criticism, however.

Sen. Romney agreed with Biden’s assessment of the Union and praised the president on his stance to support Ukraine while working with and not against China. Gov. Cox got behind the early parts of the speech about American exceptionalism because “we are the greatest nation in the world and that’s where there is agreement,” Cox said.

Almost every Utah Congressional leader ended their responses by saying there is work to be done in a divided Congress and a real opportunity for bipartisan progress.