President Trump delivered his State of the Union Address in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tues. Feb. 5. It was attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence, various members of Congress and many other associated guests.
The State of the Union Address is an annual message delivered by the president to inform Congress, and the rest of the nation, of the progress of the last year and the president’s recommendations for the coming year. This was President Trump’s second State of the Union Address to Congress during his presidency. He spoke of many triumphs and issues that have come forward during his time in office.
Trump’s speech began with a round of applause from both parties with the Republican Party being, understandably, more enthusiastic than their Democrat counterparts. His initial remarks focused on bringing the nation together, saying that the country was full of “unlimited potential” and that he was willing to work with both sides of Congress to achieve historic breakthroughs for the nation. His calls for a unified nation were answered with approval from both sides of Congress as they applauded the president.
Trump also chose to use the first minutes of his speech to honor several military veterans who served in WWII and the deadly Normandy invasion, as well as Buzz Aldrin, one of the first astronauts to land on the moon in 1969. Both the veterans and Buzz Aldrin stood and saluted the president when called.
Some of the president’s talking points did not meet full approval and caused many Democrats to remain seated. Numerous Democratic women, including Nancy Pelosi, appeared in white clothes to call back to the women’s suffrage movement. Democrat men wore small white ribbons to show their support. The white clothes were used to show solidarity amongst the Democrat Party and the contrast of the dark suits worn by many men painted a sharp contrast during the address.
President Trump would go on later to explain that the U.S. was experiencing record lows in unemployment and celebrate the country’s growing economy.
“America is again winning each and every day. Members of Congress, the state of our union is strong,” Trump said. “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it is foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.”
Stacey Abrams, a politician who ran for the office of governor in Georgia, delivered the Democratic response to Trump’s speech and gave scathing commentary regarding the state of the government shutdown.
“The shutdown was a stunt, engineered by the President of the United States. One that defied every tenant of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values,” Abrams said. “We may come from different sides of the political aisle but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable. Our most urgent work is to realize America’s dreams of today and tomorrow. To carve a path to independence and prosperity that can last a lifetime.”
The president’s address received widely positive reviews from polls conducted by CBS which found that 76% of people overall approved of the speech. This shows that the vast majority of Americans who watched the address found the president’s positive report to be a sign of good things to come.