White House: Biden put Republican lawmakers on defensive over entitlement programs

State of the Union address

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden put Republicans on the defensive over their threats to attack Social Security and Medicare during his State of the Union speech last night, and will continue to call them out on the issue, the White House said on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with Biden to Wisconsin that there was no doubt that House Republicans had called for cuts to both programs, despite their shouted denials on Tuesday.

"Many House Republicans have called for deeply slashing Medicare, Social Security benefits," he said. "He called them out in front of million and millions of Americans who were watching ... He put them on the defensive again last night, and he's going to call them out."

(Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)