The first section of his speech could have been written by Nancy Pelosi herself, with calls for bipartisanship and shoutouts to prison reform. "No issue better illustrates the divide between America's working class and America's political class than illegal immigration", he added. However, he moved on to say, "simply put, walls work and walls save lives".
His next line was more awkward, and met with relative silence: "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there can not be war and investigation".
Trump began his State of the Union address without being introduced by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. "We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a 'power grab, '" she said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's latest response to a Democratic call for Election Day to be considered a national holiday.
Democrats call the wall a waste of money, ineffective and immoral. He pushed his party into a lengthy government shutdown over border security, only to cave to Democrats. "That's why my top priority in this Congress is fighting for badly-needed reforms - to fix our democracy and return it to its rightful owners, the people".
About 6 in 10 speech-watchers had a very positive reaction to the President's speech, better than the 48% who reacted that well past year and around the same as the 57% very positive mark in 2017. And several senators running for president were also in the audience, including Sens.
After presidents suffer setbacks in midterm elections, they often reach out to the victorious opposition with words of conciliation, however artificial or short-lived they may be. Many wondered if he might use the moment to declare executive action on his proposed border wall (a major sticking point in the government shutdown) or announce a new summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continuing his controversial efforts to smooth that relationship.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-avowed democratic socialist, reacted sharply to Trump's declaration - and it was caught on camera.
Democrats applauded Trump on some of his remarks from the lengthy address.
So sure, thank you, Trump.
The nationally televised address gave Trump his biggest opportunity to date to explain why he believes a barrier is needed on the US southern border with Mexico. Hank Johnson said he would "rather be somewhere else than listening to (Trump) come onto our floor & start talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people", he wrote on Twitter. But the speech did not include any mention of the racist medical school yearbook picture that has threatened Northam's political career.
Trump is staring down a two-year stretch that will determine whether he is re-elected or leaves office in defeat. New Mexicans look at the dysfunction and the backwards agenda of the Trump administration, and they see a government that just isn't answering to the American people. "All Americans can be proud that. exactly one century after the Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before", he said.
He also will call out Iran for threats against Israel.