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President Biden's Energetic State of the Union Brings Him Best Fundraising Hours of 2024 Campaign

More than 6 in 10 people who watched Biden tout his economic achievements and second-term priorities on Thursday night said his policies would move the nation in the right direction

<p>Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images</p> President Joe Biden departs after delivering the 2024 State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress

Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden departs after delivering the 2024 State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress

President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail on Friday morning with renewed confidence, hours after delivering a high-stakes State of the Union address to tout his administration's achievements and future goals.

The Biden-Harris reelection campaign confirms to PEOPLE that the 9, 10 and 11 p.m. hours of Thursday night — during and immediately after the president's speech — were his best fundraising hours of the campaign cycle so far, as viewers watched an energized 81-year-old tout the rebounding economy, denounce far-right extremism and lay out a vision for the road ahead.

A CNN poll conducted by SSRS after the State of the Union revealed that 62% of respondents who tuned into the speech believed Biden's policies would take the country in the right direction. When the same people were polled just before the speech, only 45% of respondents had faith that Biden's policies were what the country needed.

Related: Joe Biden Says There’s a Place for Nikki Haley Fans in His Campaign: ‘Stakes for America Couldn’t Be Higher’

<p>Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images</p> President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address on March 7, 2024

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address on March 7, 2024

One of Biden's tallest tasks on Thursday was to remind voters of the political prowess that got him to the White House and ease fears about his cognitive health as he seeks four more years in office. By many marks, he did just that, joking about his age and using it as an opportunity to criticize the Republican Party platform.

"I know it may not look like it, but I've been around a while," Biden said in a room filled with members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and invited guests. "When you get to be my age, certain things become clearer than ever. I know the American story. Again and again I've seen the contest between competing forces in the battle for the soul of our nation."

He continued: "My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn't how old we are: It's about how old our ideas are. ... You can't lead with ancient ideas that only take us back."

Related: Historians Rank Donald Trump Worst U.S. President Again, with Biden in 14th Place

<p>Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images</p> President Joe Biden criticized conservatives' attacks on abortion rights during his State of the Union address

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden criticized conservatives' attacks on abortion rights during his State of the Union address

Without using Donald Trump's name, Biden drew a contrast between his leadership and that of the former president, accusing his predecessor of being focused on revenge and retribution, and highlighting how he and Vice President Kamala Harris will continue defending women's rights in a post-Roe v. Wade America.

“My predecessor took office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned and he brags about it,” Biden said. “Look at the chaos that has resulted.”

Related: Kamala Harris Says the 'Rights of All Americans Are at Risk' if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

As the Supreme Court sat in the front row, he then quoted a line from conservative Justice Samuel Alito's opinion in the 2022 case that repealed abortion rights, which said that women "are not without electoral or political power."

Referring to the upcoming election, in which women's rights are a key issue, Biden earned a standing ovation by quipping, "You're about to realize just how much you were right about that."

Related: How the Biden Campaign Is Using Republicans' Own Words Against Them

<p>Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images</p> President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol for the annual State of the Union address

Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol for the annual State of the Union address

On illegal immigration — one of Biden's biggest vulnerabilities in the 2024 election — the president blamed Trump and Republican lawmakers for derailing a bipartisan bill that would have made the most significant changes to the immigration system in more than a decade and offer quick relief for local governments facing an influx of migrants.

"I'm told my predecessor called members of Congress in the Senate to demand they block the bill. He feels it would be a political win for me and a political loser for him. It’s not about him or me. It’d be a winner for America," Biden said. "We can fight about the border or we can fix it. I'm ready to fix it. Send me the border bill now!"

Related: Why House Republicans Moved to Impeach Alejandro Mayorkas over Handling of Southern Border

And as for the economy, Biden emphasized how his administration curbed unemployment, turned inflation around after a painful couple of years and dodged a recession that economists once saw as inevitable.

Though a president is never solely responsible for the state of the economy, Biden has taken the brunt of frustrations from Americans who saw prices soar earlier in his term; his goal is to make sure everyone sees the newer statistics, where the positive effects of his administration's response are starting to come into view.

"It doesn't make the news but in thousands of cities and towns," he said, "the American people are writing the greatest comeback story never told."

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