Politics

Democrat Lawmakers Respond To Trump SOTU Address

Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Democrats reacted to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Thursday night and their responses ranged from cautious agreement to downright dismissive. The Daily Caller spoke to several of these lawmakers.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez appeared delighted when she responded to the president’s swipe at socialism during his address.

“I thought it was fabulous because it shows that we’ve gotten under his skin. He sees that everything is closing in on him and he knows that he’s losing the battle of public opinion,” she told reporters. “Sixty percent of Americans believe in a 70 percent marginal tax rate … and, frankly, he has no substantive proposals to counter. He has no vision for this country. Everything is about what he doesn’t want. Everything is about the boogeyman. But he actually no positive substantive vision or ideas … for America.”

Democratic Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett called that tax rate “over the top,” but criticized the Republican tax cut legislation instead. (RELATED: ‘Choosing Greatness’: Trump Delivers Second State Of The Union Address)

“I would hope that we would see the tax cut for the highest tax bracket that they had eliminated and that we would eliminate some of the incentives that the Republicans added for offshoring American jobs,” Doggett said, while calling for Trump’s tax returns.

Democratic women of the U.S. House of Representatives listen to U.S. President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told the Caller she was “deeply disappointed” with the president’s speech and that he “continues to divide the nation.”

“I don’t think he realized the jobs he created were Democratic women in Congress,” she said.

Trump discussed the present nuclear negotiations with North Korea, but Sen. Minority Whip Dick Durbin said he was turned off but the president’s tone during his address on the matter.

“Well, the president modestly suggested he saved us from a deadly with war North Korea. Apparently, humility is the first casualty in his speech and I was waiting for at least some hint of moderation on the border issue. I didn’t hear a word,” Durbin told reporters.

When asked about Trump’s criticism about Special Counsel’s Russia investigation he replied, “As far as I’m concerned, these investigations need to be completed and intimidating Mueller and others in his State of the Union address shouldn’t be taken seriously.”

Trump also remarked on the issue of late-term abortions in his speech.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump declared. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. Let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

Durbin responded to the president on the issue, saying, “He’s ready for a battle over abortion and we haven’t had one in a while, so I think he’s decided that helps fire up his base.”

State of the Union address in Washington

FEBRUARY 5, 2019 – WASHINGTON, DC: President Donald Trump after the State of the Union address at the Capitol in Washington, DC on February 5, 2019. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the only Democrats to stand when the president discussed the issue, told the Caller, “To me, it shouldn’t be a fight at all. It’s just totally immoral to do that. I think.”

“I just think it’s just horrendous,” he went on to say. “I don’t know how anyone could even fathom supporting anything such as late-term abortion.”

Durbin told the Caller he does not support late-term abortion either “not unless the life or health of the mother is at stake.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel told reporters the president’s speech was a mixed bag as far as he was concerned.

“When it comes to the relationship between the U.S. and China, I think we need to explore all kinds of things. We’re going to need China if we’re ever going to be successful with North Korea. And I just find it strange that the very time we’re trying to get Chinese cooperation, the president is having a trade war with them,” Engel said.

“It sort of makes it harder to get their cooperation from North Korea,” he added. “On the other hand, the president is right about China and their totalitarian government and their basic lack of freedom and stealing our intellectual property. So there are things that I think the president mentioned that are very valid.”

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Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125