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The State of Our Union

In a wide-ranging speech to a joint session of Congress, the President discussed the current state of America in 2019.

What did the speech deliver?

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“American Greatness”

Speech began & ended with theme of American greatness in different forms, from WWII heroes to astronauts landing on the moon (featuring Americans who did both in the audience).

Notable: Opening of speech provided moments for both Democrats & Republicans to cheer, about the nation & economy.

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“We can bridge all divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.”

Pres. Trump delivered speech one week delayed due to gov't shutdown.
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DOMESTIC ISSUES:

  • Abortion: Asks Congress to ban late-term abortion (referred to new NY law & VA gov comments).
  • Cancer: $500M over next 10 years for childhood cancer research.
  • Border Security: “Walls work and walls save lives.”
  • New Bills: Infrastructure spending, transparency in prescription drugs to lower prices
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FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

  • North Korea: Next summit w/Kim Jong Un: Feb. 27 & 28 in Vietnam.
  • Russia: Will either renegotiate or break U.S. Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia OR importantly, add China.
  • Syria & Afghanistan: “Great nations do not fight endless wars.” President says U.S. negotiating with “a number of Afghan groups, incl. the Taliban.”
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Lighter Moments of Note:

Audience sang “Happy Birthday” to the Holocaust survivor who survived the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

Democrat congresswomen who wore “suffragette white” for women  cheered when the Republican president mentioned recent victories in female employment & representation in gov’t.

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Democrat Response

“The shutdown was a stunt, engineered by the president of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values…America is stronger with immigrants, not walls.”

Stacey Abrams, fmr. GA gubernatorial candidate & the first African-American woman to deliver the State of the Union response.
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Where Both Sides Agree:

President Trump: “America is winning each and every day…the state of our union is strong.”

Stacey Abrams: “America wins by fighting for our shared values…the State of our Union will always be strong.”

Both ended with a version of “Thank You” & “God Bless America.”

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Last year around 46M Americans watched the State of the Union. For Context: Approx. 100M Americans watched the Super Bowl. Republicans applauded the President's economic agenda. Democrats critiqued the speech for being light on specifics.

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