President Biden had Democrats and Republicans agreeing not to cut Social Security and Medicare during his State of the Union on Tuesday.
In the middle of his speech, the president said some Republicans wanted to see the two programs “sunset.”
“I’m not saying it’s the majority of you,” he said. “But it’s being proposed by individuals. I’m politely not naming them but it’s being proposed by some of you.” Members of the audience yelled back in disagreement – one person shouted “liar” – which prompted the president to deviate from his speech.
Read: 12 things you need to know about Social Security’s future, explained by the program’s chief number-cruncher
“So folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now?” he said. The audience stood up and clapped. “All right we got unanimity.”
Biden continued, saying Social Security and Medicare are lifelines for millions of seniors and that working Americans are entitled to these benefits since they pay into the system.
“So tonight, let’s all agree – and we apparently are – let’s stand up for seniors.” he continued. “If anyone tries to cut Social Security, which apparently nobody is going to do – if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I’ll stop them and veto it.”
Social media users, including former White House staffers, applauded the president’s ad-libbing.
“I’m not going to allow them to be taken away. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever,” Biden said. “But apparently it’s not going to be a problem.”