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Costa to Biden: 'Mr. President, You Kicked Ass!'
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
March 8, 2024

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Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno receives several minutes of “face time” with President Biden.

Costa thanks the president for federal funding of California’s High-Speed Rail project.

Costa echoes Biden’s view that the U.S. and the world face a “seminal moment.”


Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno was one of many Democrats who congratulated President Joe Biden after the State of the Union Speech. Costa gave him strong words of encouragement.

“Mr. President, you kicked ass!” Costa, D-Fresno, said on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday night.

C-SPAN captured the audio of the post-speech meeting. They spoke on and off for about four minutes.

“Harry Truman said (that) when they said ‘Give ’em hell, Harry!’ He said, ‘Give them hell? Just give them the truth,’ ” Costa continued while in a crowd of Congress members surrounding Biden.

“They don’t like to hear it,” chimed in Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts.

Costa Brings Up Kyiv Trip, China

C-SPAN’S audio did not pick up clearly the start of the conversation, but Costa said something that made Biden chuckle.

Costa’s office said Costa thanked the President about funding for High-Speed Rail.

Costa told the president about his recent trip to Kyiv. He was part of a delegation (along with Rep. Don Davis, D-North Carolina) to the Yalta European Strategy Conference in Kyiv last month. Costa met with Ukrainian officials, military officials, and European leaders. Foreign aid to Ukraine was part of the discussion.

China also came up in the brief chat.

“I talked to Rahm (Rahm Emmanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan) last night. The Chinese are watching. Everybody is watching. The point you made … the world is watching. Seminal moment in American and world history,” Costa said.

Biden responded that historians will write about this particular time when they assess the effectiveness of American leaders.

Costa also got another dig in about Republicans.

“I love the give and take you gave our friends across the aisle there,” Costa said.

Valadao: Biden More Focused on Politics Than Solutions

Republicans, of course, criticized Biden’s speech.

“President Biden has failed to take meaningful action to address the long list of problems his policies have caused for Central Valley families, from the skyrocketing cost of groceries to the fentanyl coming across our open southern border,” said Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) in a statement.

“I’m disappointed that instead of taking accountability and working toward solutions, Biden continued to pass the blame in his speech tonight. There’s a lot of us who are willing to work across the aisle to solve the issues facing the American people. Unfortunately, the President is more focused on his political agenda than real solutions.”

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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