Trump Delivers State of the Union Address
CBJ — Just over one year into his tumultuous presidency Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday night. It was a bright, optimistic and conciliatory tone and by most accounts it seems his supporters are quite pleased with the overall message.
“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve,” Trump said.
Trump spent a good deal of time talking about job creation, job training, and the return of many American manufacturing jobs from other countries.
As expected, Republicans showed their support with repeated standing ovations while the Democrats largely sat stoically. Some refused to stand when Trump entered as a form of protest.
Immigration, ICE and border patrol along with police and veterans were singled out by Trump for their excellent work.
President Trump noted how his administration has slashed corporate tax cuts from 35% to 21%, which will allow companies to spend more on increased personnel and upgrading facilities.
“As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave,” President Trump said.
There were emotional moments as well as President Trump told the story of Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends from New York.
“But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors — and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.”
Trump turned to the families, who had tears in their eyes, and said: “Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you.”
In recognizing a 12-year-old boy who spearheaded an effort to place 40,000 flags on veterans’ gravestones, Trump said the student’s actions reminded all Americans of their “civic duty.”
“Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the National Anthem,” he said, to applause from Republican lawmakers in the crowd and was viewed by many as a veiled shot at the National Football League.
Immigration reform plans drew applause from the Republicans and catcalls from a few Democrats.
“We need to bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” said Trump. “Let’s put politics aside and get the job done.”
Trump then turned his attention to the war on drugs. More than 64,000 Americans died in one year on drug overdoses. Trump says it’s imperative to be tougher on drug dealers who support this lifestyle.
“My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and ensuring people get the help they need. It will be a long struggle, but we will prevail,” said the President.
On international terror cells: “Terrorists are not just criminals… they are enemy combatants who must be annihilated,” said Trump.
On defeating ISIS: “We are winning, but there is much more work to do.”
The President also plans to reverse the executive order by former President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Trump also talked about the menace of North Korea and how the United States and its allies must ensure that the rogue regime of Kim Jung Un does not obtain nuclear weapons.
Cindy and Fred Warmbier, along with Otto’s brother and sister Austin and Greta were in attendance. After 17 months of detention in North Korea, Otto Warmbier returned to his home state of Ohio last year near death after having been beaten and starved while captive in North Korea. He died just days after arriving on U.S. soil. The family received a long round of applause from all in attendance.
“You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve,” Trump said.
The speech lasted for 1 hour and 20 minutes, making it one of the longest State of the Union addresses in history.