Annotated Transcript: Democratic Response To Trump's 2019 State Of The Union Address


The president emerged with his tie skewed.

The speech painted a portrait of menacing immigrants endangering Americans and a sharp challenge to Congress to build the wall. He declared there would be a war with North Korea if he weren't president. Marco Rubio, who broke from his script in 2013 to swig sips of water, and Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who was ridiculed for his overuse of ChapStick in 2018.

Writing that it "will take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that the President made tonight", Pelosi criticized the president for "manufacturing a crisis at the border" and "completely ignor (ing) the gun violence epidemic that is claiming lives across the country".

She joined in several standing ovations when Trump spoke of bipartisan initiatives and introduced honoured guests, such as astronaut Buzz Aldrin and World War II-era veterans.

It's a SOTU that will naturally be well-received by punditry, though Van Jones was a little more measured in his assessment than previous year.

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Nancy Pelosi's clapping seems to have caught the attention of many Americans.

"It appears he blew through that custom", a Pelosi spokesman griped to the WSJ. Twitter users couldn't resist commenting on the president's crooked red tie and sharing reaction GIFs of the Democratic members of the House, who bit their collective lips and rolled their eyes throughout the hour-plus long speech.

In a well-crafted line created to swipe at Democrats while pressuring their applause, Trump decried the politics of "resistance". "We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction". Among the guests invited to sit with the first lady, Melania Trump, during the speech were three family members of a couple killed last month in their home in Reno, Nevada, allegedly by an immigrant in the USA illegally.

Trump also seemed to take a shot at special council Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, saying, "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there can not be war and investigation". But they had plenty to say about Trump's new top political foe, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and her fellow Democrats. The House now has more than 100 women in office. For Republicans, they will be seen as reflections of a party unwilling to ever give the President the benefit of the doubt.

The vow set off one of a number of "USA" chants in the House chamber.

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Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump said in a statement: "This administration is committed to ensuring that America is positioned for dominance in the industries of the future, and that our workforce, current and future, is equipped with the skills they need to thrive in our modern, increasingly digital economy". Pelosi stood and applauded. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

A freudian slip perhaps?

Sixty-eight percent of respondents in the CNN poll said they believe Trump's immigration policies would move the country in the right direction and 31 percent said they would move the country in the wrong direction.

While some Democrats stood to applaud the last line pledging the USA will never become a socialist country - including a handful of Democrats running for president in 2020 - most of the party reacted with dismay that Trump went there. Abrams got 85,000 more votes in November than Democrat Hillary Clinton got against Trump in 2016.

The speech came at a pivotal moment halfway through the president's term as he seeks to regain momentum after the midterm election defeat that handed control of the House to Democrats and after his failed effort to use a partial government shutdown to extract money for the wall.

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No one said American carnage would be pretty!