Trump Calls For Unity and Wall Funding at SOTU
President Donald Trump presented his case to the American public during his State of the Union address on February 5, speaking to a Congress under split control for the first time in his presidency, the Washington Post reports.
Trump began his speech with numerous calls for bipartisanship, specifically noting the necessity for common-ground goals. He highlighted two areas where he would be willing to cooperate with House and Senate Democrats: infrastructure and drug prices.
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States—and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations,” Trump declared. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he added, according to CNN. The statement is assumed to be directed at two groups: House Democrats and the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, both of which are now investigating the president and his associates.
Trump focused on immigration throughout the speech, describing the situation at the southern border as an “urgent national crisis” and calling on Congress once again to approve the construction of a wall at the U.S.- Mexico border. He did not deliver an ultimatum to Congress on wall funding but spoke of the wall as a goal motivated by his campaign promises and national security concerns.
Many House Democratic women wore white to pay tribute to the activists who secured women’s suffrage, the New Yorker reports. About a third of the way through the speech, Trump remarked, “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year.” The Democratic congresswomen stood up and began to cheer while pumping their fists in the air and high-fiving each other.
“You weren’t supposed to do that,” Trump ad-libbed, before continuing. “More women are in the workplace than ever. And, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), sitting behind the left shoulder of the president, stood and extended her hands to her fellow congresswomen, inviting them to cheer. They began to chant, yelling, “U.S.A.! U.S.A!”
The address drew varying reactions from politicians, with Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, calling it the kind of speech “so effective and powerful it changes the trajectory of history,” Fox News reports. Senator Bernie Sanders (DVT), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and former-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, all potential contenders in the 2020 presidential election, offered their own critiques.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, just under 46.8 million people tuned in to the State of the Union across 12 networks, about three percent higher than Trump’s 2018 address.