Donald Trump has praised his administration for it’s “great American comeback” in last night’s State of the Union address, but the major talking point was how House Majority Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, tore up Trump’s speech after it ended.
Amidst all the drama of President Trump’s impeachment trial, he took to the House floor to deliver his annual State of the Union address. This was the first time that Trump would come face-to-face with Speaker Pelosi since the months-long impeachment proceedings began. Things got off to a tense start when Trump refused to shake Pelosi’s hand before he began his speech.
Trump opened his address, amidst chants of “four more years” from Republican delegates, by seemingly extending an olive branch to Democrats, reminding them that they have shared goals for their policy positions.
“My fellow Americans, we meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential,” Trump began. “As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one nation.
“The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democratic agenda. It’s the agenda of the American people. Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises: to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers; to rebuild and to revitalise our nation’s infrastructure; to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs; to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first. There is a new opportunity in American politics, only if we have the courage, together, to seize it.
“Victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country.”
Trump also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, who recently announced that he is battling stage four lung cancer.
“What is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet″, Trump said, after expressing sympathy for Limbaugh’s medical condition. He went on to thank him for “decades of tireless devotion to our country”.
The main focus of his speech however was what he described as “the greatest American comeback”, where he touted his administration’s successful gains in the military and the economy.
Beyond this, Trump gave his case for re-election by criticising his rivals and touting the country’s low unemployment figures. He did not, however, mention impeachment at all.
The most interesting moment of the night came at the conclusion of the speech, when Nancy Pelosi ripped up the physical copy of Trump’s address right in front of the cameras.
Trump will now be focused on the Senate’s vote on whether or not to remove him from office, an unlikely result, given the fact that the Senate is predominantly Republican. However, Trump’s approval ratings have risen to 49% according to a Gallup poll released before the address – a personal best for the former New York business tycoon.
This was Trump’s third, and possibly final, State of the Union address, which will pave the way for his attempts to win re-election in November.