During President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, he and Republicans celebrated the victories of America regarding the economy, national security and its handling of natural disasters, while Democrats conspired to “sit on their hands” and not acknowledge the gains the United States has made during the savvy businessman’s first year in office.
“Democrats on Tuesday night took their 'resistance' to President Trump to new lengths, with many refusing to even applaud or stand during his State of the Union address to acknowledge economic gains or an honoring of veterans,” Fox News reported. “This included during Trump's reference to record-low African-American unemployment and a promise to fix the country’s crippled infrastructure.”
Donald Trump Jr. commented how peculiar Democrats looked during the State of the Union – as it appeared that they wanted to stand and applaud, but ultimately gave in to their party’s obligation to stay seated and passively protest everything the commander-in-chief had to say.
"It was amazing to watch," Trump Jr. told Fox News' Sean Hannity after the speech.
It is customary for the opposing party to applaud nationally accepted victories from which the entire country has benefitted, but this year – continuing their relentless anti-Trump campaign – Democratic leaders sat on their hands and would not join fellow Americans in celebrating accomplishments that have made life better for all … including blacks, Latinos, other minorities and even those who were able to escape poverty.
The absurdity of the sulking protest was noted by a number of political pundits, including Frank Luntz, who took to social media to share his amazement at Democrats’ refusal to show their approval and support of non-controversial wins for Americans – victories that typically elicit applause and acknowledgment.
“Why are @Democrats not applauding job growth, higher wages and the drop in Latino and African-American unemployment?” Luntz asked in a tweet posted early Wednesday morning following Trump’s address. “I thought economic success is good for everyone regardless of party. #SOTU.”
Another pundit listed off numerous wins Trump announced – victories that Democrats refused to celebrate.
“What Democrats didn't applaud for: low black unemployment; bonuses for employees; 2.4 million jobs created; American flag; In God We Trust; National anthem; fully secured border; merit based immigration; Fighting opioid abuse; Jerusalem as capital of Israel #SOTU,” Liz Wheeler posted on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Congressional Black Caucus labeled 'irrelevant'
Derryck Green of Project 21:
"I think it was very, very telling that the Congressional Black Caucus did not stand up and applaud because many of the people that they represent in their districts are benefitting from the increased employment rate. So whether they had a hand in it or not, they still should have stood and clapped – if not for the president, then definitely for their constituents."
"I think honestly the Congressional Black Caucus is irrelevant. They're only relevant to other Democrats in Congress and even then I don't think that they hold the political capital that they think they hold. I think that they are largely irrelevant."
Trump, says Green, has clearly demonstrated he has done for the CBC's constituents what the CBC members themselves were repeatedly unable to accomplish.
Democrats will pay a price
Gary Bauer of Campaign for Working Families:
"[President Trump] brought up our monuments, our national anthem, our values, that our liberty comes from God, etc., etc. – and shockingly, half of the room in virtually every case refused to applaud or refused to stand .... I think [it] was, as I said, shocking; and I also think it will be deeply damaging to them as the American people ponder that."
It was a mistake, says Bauer, for the Democratic leadership to tell its members not to applaud anything the president said.
"It was a very sorry display of sort of surliness and anger that I don't think will play well with the average Americans of both parties," he says, adding: "As we have seen, the base of the Democratic Party has gone off the deep end on many of these things."
Major feats ignored
Trump revisited numerous victories throughout his speech, with many having to do with America’s economic gains over the past year.
"Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone,” Trump told leaders from both parties at the nation’s capital Tuesday night. "After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history."
He also noted how the private sector has thrived economically.
“Small business confidence is at an all-time high,” Trump proclaimed at his inaugural State of the Union address. “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans' 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts."
The president’s recent victory in his tax reforms was also touched on.
"And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history," Trump reminded the audience.
Former President Barack Obama’s signature health care program was then addressed by the 45th president, calling the mandated federal government’s medical plan a disaster.
“In going over his list of accomplishments, Trump pointed out to the audience that the core of Obamacare is now through,” CBN News noted.
He boasted about his victory of dismantling the program ironically dubbed “The Affordable Care Act,” which financially punished Americans who could not afford, or did not want to participate in ObamaCare – a federal government overreach that has been exposed as unconstitutional.
"We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare – the individual mandate is now gone," Trump stressed.
His bipartisan appeal to work for Americans from every walk of life, every religion and every race, and join hands with Democrats in his effort – was orated with passion.
“The president also made it a point to reach across the aisle to work with him to defend all Americans,” CBN News noted in its analysis.
Wanting to avoid politics – and champion the needs and dreams of every citizen from coast to coast – Trump emphasized how his social security measures are aimed to protect those inside the U.S. border first and foremost … not foreign interests or America’s enemies.
"I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties – Democrats and Republicans – to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion and creed,” the commander-in-chief promised in his speeh. “My duty and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber is to defend Americans – to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream … because Americans are dreamers too."
Trump went on to boast about his opposition to Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal, the U.S. Embassy’s move to Jerusalem and America’s recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s official capital, as well as the military’s feat or taking away nearly 100 percent of the lands that ISIS claimed in the name of jihad.
Providing this year’s SOTU response from the opposing party, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) (right) voiced the Democrats’ displeasure with how Washington has been run over the past year, saying that the Trump administration is turning the American life into a zero-sum game.
“Rep. Joe Kennedy III slammed ‘bullies’ in his response to President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night, and offered a Democratic ‘answer’ to the ‘chaos’ of the past year,” Fox News’ Brooke Singman reported.
Kennedy, who’s great uncle, Ted Kennedy, gave the official Democratic rebuttal to President Ronald Reagan’s address back in 1982 – claimed that the nation has been “fractured” under the Trump administration, insisting that Democrats have the solution and offered “a better deal for al who call this country home.
“Many have spent the last year anxious, angry, afraid,” the young congressman insisted, according to Philly.com. “We all feel the fractured fault lines across our country.”
He then implied that Trump’s handling of “Dreamers” was discriminatory and racist.
“Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave anyone behind,” the 37-year-old congressman argued, according to Fox News.
When addressing “Dreamers,” Kennedy gave them his message in Spanish – which was translated in English afterwards.
“And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: You are a part of our story,” he assured young illegal aliens. “We will fight for you. We will not walk away.”
Even though Trump has offered to make concessions regarding Dreamers’ amnesty in order to work out his large-scale tough-on-immigration agenda, Kennedy attempted to color Trump as intolerant and unyielding.
“Kennedy’s [promise to champion Dreamers] was referring to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children,” Singman explained. “Those immigrants were protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was eliminated by the Trump administration in September. The administration, however, offered Congress a six-month window to create legislation to protect dreamers.”
He then took on the issue of health care – not mentioning the numerous problems the last administration had with the ill-fated ObamaCare.
“[Kennedy began] criticizing the Trump administration’s plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, its infrastructure plans and plan for paid leave and affordable childcare,” Singman recounted. “His speech did not offer a clear ‘answer’ from Democrats, but instead listed affordable education and health care as important policies.”
Speaking while standing in front of a Ford Mustang at a technical school in Fall River, Mass., Kennedy tried to discount Trump’s economic accomplishments for America.
“We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward,” Kennedy argued.
He then attempted to blame the Trump administration for everything from church shootings to the racial tensions.
“A government that struggles to keep itself open …” Kennedy began his list of Democratic complaint. “Russia knee-deep in our democracy. An all-out war on environmental protection. A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day. Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets. Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places. And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: This is not right. This is not who we are.”
Members of the news media had varying views on Trump’s speech, with the left-leaning mainstream media staying true to form with its anti-Trump coverage.
“[Trump] was selling sweet-tasting candy with poison in it,” CNN host Van Jones contended, according to Philly.com.
Yet Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace took on a whole different view on Trump’s address.
“[Trump’s State of the Union was] a powerful speech, well delivered,” Wallace commented.
On the other side of the political spectrum, NBC’s Meet the Press Moderator Chuck Todd insisted that Trump’s address was very partisan – even though the president attempted to appeal to Democrats to join hands throughout the night.
“I feel like he spoke more to his base than I expected him to – particularly on immigration,” Todd expressed.
With Trump’s astronomically high Twitter follower base of around 50 million, it was fitting that his State of the Union address was the most tweeted one – ever.
“According to Twitter, 4.5 million tweets were sent about the State of the Union, making it the most popular address for the social media network in its nearly 12-year history,” Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe divulged.
He listed the top three tweeted parts of Trump’s speech registered by Twitter.
Columnist Will Bunch thought Trump was well-prepared for his Tuesday night address.
“A teleprompter just rolled off the best speech of Donald Trump’s presidency,” Bunch noted.
Both Democratic and Republican leader shared varying takes on the president’s speech.
“Americans heard an optimistic & unifying speech from @RealDonaldTrump,” former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) tweeted Wednesday morning. “There is much to be optimistic about … for the first time in 45 years, the United States is positioned to achieve energy independence, & it will happen under@POTUS leadership.”
Sen. John Cornyn, who serves as the No. 2 Republican in his chamber, also had encouraging words for Trump.
“It’s clear that President Trump is committed to economic policies that lift all Americans and pursuing initiatives that build a safe, strong and proud America,” Cornyn asserted, according to the Dallas News.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also had optimistic words to share about Trump’s address.
“[The president’s speech was] very strong [and focused] front and center on jobs and economic growth – the incredible victories that Republican majorities and a Republican administration have accomplished in 2017,” Cruz maintained, referring to Trump’s tax system overhaul.
However, Democrats were less impressed with the president’s performance Tuesday night.
“Trump’s unceasing, unhinged attacks have left the state of the union endangered, chaotic and divisive,” Austin Rep. Lloyd Doggett contended once Trump’s speech was over, according to the Dallas News. “What a wide gap between his tweets and his TelePrompTer. He talks unity, but repeatedly pits one group of Americans against another.”
Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) also had critical words aimed at the president in response to his handling of Dreamers so far – even though the president talked about his proposed plan toward amnesty for the young illegals.
“During Hurricane Harvey, DACA recipients who served as first responders and nurses saved a countless number of lives #ThingsTrumpWontTalkAbout #SOTU,” Green posted on Twitter while Trump spoke.
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