WASHINGTON — Democrats chose former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to deliver their party response to Donald Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday evening. Beshear’s remarks were no less pointed than the reception Democrats gave Trump in the chamber.
Democrats appear to be seeking out heartland voters they lost to Trump in the past election with their selection of a former governor from a state that Trump won overwhelmingly with 62.5 percent of the vote.
Beshear described his small town rural background and said he became governor of the state beginning “at the start of the global recession, and after eight years we left things a lot better than we found them.”
Beshear served as governor from 2007 to 2015 and touted his record. But he also took aim at the Trump administration.
“Mr. President, as a candidate, you promised to be a champion for people struggling to make ends meet … and I hope you live up to that promise. But one of your first executive orders makes it harder for those families to afford a mortgage,” he said.
Beshear took shots at Trump’s cabinet saying, “And you picked a Cabinet of billionaires and Wall Street insiders who want to eviscerate the protections that most Americans count on and that help level the playing field. That’s not being our champion. That’s being Wall Street’s champion.”
The former Kentucky governor also hit Trump on his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Even more troubling is that you and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it,” he said.
He later went on to say, “But who are these 22 million Americans, including 500,000 people here in Kentucky, who now have health care that didn’t have it before? They aren’t aliens from a distant planet. They’re our friends and neighbors.”
Beshear also accused President Trump of “ignoring serious threats to our national security from Russia” and alienating America’s allies while, declaring “war on refugees and immigrants.”
“When the president attacks the loyalty and credibility of our intelligence agencies, the court system, the military, the free press and individual Americans – simply because he doesn’t like what they say – he is eroding our democracy,” he added.