U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address was more spectacle than spectacular Tuesday evening, and Democratic Party members Bernie Sanders and Stacey Abrams - among many, wasted little time in calling-out the president, on what ended-up being a factually incorrect address.
Trump Delivers Second State of the Union Address
After Trump addressed the fallout with Congress over his obsession with the construction of a wall to prevent the influx of Latin American migrants, Abrams became the first African-American woman to deliver a State of the Union response.
“Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace,” reported Vox. "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."
Calling the issue of immigration, "an urgent national crisis," Trump urged both the Democratic and Republican parties to reach a compromise by Feb.15 all the while insisting that he will build a wall.
"In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built."
Abrams responded with a simple, yet powerful quote, "America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants – not walls."
While Abrams' comment may resonate with her fellow Americans, they know it was simply her opinion. Trump, however, made a series of statements that were either exaggerated, or plain false.
After informing the crowd at the House of Representatives chamber in Washington that unemployment was at an all-time low, he considered the U.S. economy the "hottest" it's ever been. This was called into question by the New York Times, who included his quote that his administration had created 5.3 million jobs, and a statistic from The Bureau of Labor Statistics that since Trump's inaugaration in Jan.2017, only 4.9 million jobs had been created.
Furthermore, The New York reported that, while the U.S. economy rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, growth was stronger in China, Greece, India, Latvia, and Poland.
Trump's justification for the implementation of a wall also came into question, when his comment about El Paso, Texas having one of the highest crime ratings in the U.S. were refuted by the same publication who pointed out that, "El Paso, the city had the second-lowest violent crime rate among more than 20 similarly sized cities. Since the fence went up, it held that place."
With Bernie Sanders in attendance, the Democratic favorite to run for the 2020 presidency looked-on in amusement when Trump denounced socialism as being built on, "government coercion, domination, and control."
Building on that statement, he claimed the U.S. "will never be a socialist country," and that, "we (U.S.) are born free, and will stay free."
Sanders, himself a Democratic Socialist, frowned mildly - and later took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Trump's assertion.
"Trump said tonight, “We are born free, and we will stay free. I say to Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford health care, prescription drugs, or a place to live. People are not free when they cannot retire with dignity or feed their families."
According to the Huffington Post, Senator Sanders had earlier - in 2015, described Democratic Socialism as, "a system of government that works for all and not just the very wealthy.”
Furthermore, Rep. for New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - another Democratic Socialist, told MSNBC that, "Trump is scared," and attacked Democratic Socialism as he fears the popularity of her agenda.
"Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of Republican voters supporting what we're talking about."
In what was arguably the most perverse moment of the evening, Trump supporters cheered when the U.S. President called on Congress to prohibit later-term abortion. What was even more shocking is that arguably the majority of those supporting Trump's plea were white men.
Sanders himself hit-back; "Tonight, Trump repeated some of the most extreme anti-women attacks coming from the far right. At a time when we see an unprecedented and coordinated attack against a woman’s right to choose, we must fight to make sure that every woman has the right to control her own body."
Quoting Martin Luther King, Sanders wrapped up his rebuttal to the evening's proceedings, claiming "As Dr. Martin Luther King said in 1968, and I quote, 'This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individual for the poor' What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable."