President Donald Trump delivered a combative State of the Union speech on Tuesday, vowing to stop socialism and fight for freedom and safety in the United States.
“America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control,” Trump said. “We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Many Democrats in the chamber did not applaud the president’s shot at the more radical Democrats in the chamber, as Democrat socialist Bernie Sanders looked upset.
The president also warned Democrats not to waste their time investigating him and rather turn their attention to the business of the American people.
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he said. “It just doesn’t work that way!”
Trump’s State of the Union speech lasted about 82 minutes in length, falling just short of President Bill Clinton’s historically long 89-minute speech in 2000.
The president did not back down from his insistence on new physical barriers on the Southern border, as the ongoing fight for border security continues.
“In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built,” Trump said. “I’ll get it built.”
Democrats murmured and groaned in the chamber when the president reminded them that more migrant caravans were traveling to the Southern border to cross into the United States.
Trump also took a shot at Democrats for trying to roll back bans on late-term abortion and even condemned Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s defense of infanticide.
“Let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God,” he said.
The president also returned to his tough trade rhetoric, vowing to continue leveling tariffs on foreign countries who did not treat the United States fairly on trade.
“To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount — reversing decades of calamitous trade policies,” he said.
He renewed calls to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria and bring them home.
“We do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace. and the other side would like to do the same thing,” Trump said. “It’s time.”
Although some of the president’s rhetoric relied on important campaign themes, he engendered multiple bipartisan moments of applause.
The president featured several surprise patriotic guests from his guest list, including World War II veterans and famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, generating chants of USA! on the floor.
He also invited several Jewish Americans to the speech, including Holocaust survivor Joshua Kaufman and a victim of the Pittsburg synagogue shooting.
The president also included lighter moments during his speech, including him mock-conducting members of Congress singing “Happy Birthday to Kaufman.” Democratic women dressed in white in protest were surprised and delighted when the president noted their historic numbers in Congress.
“Don’t sit yet,” he grinned after several applause lines graciously noting their historic moment. “You’re going to like this one.”