Ina surprising statement in Tuesday night’s State of the Union, President Donald Trump disavowed socialism, likely in response to the slow-growing number of self-identified “Democratic Socialists” lawmakers.
“Here in the United States, we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control,” he said. “We were born free and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Watch the video below:
President Trump takes a direct shot at socialism: "Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country." Sen. Bernie Sanders is seen frowning #SOTU https://t.co/EXZ8FU2DXV pic.twitter.com/WNNYm83eGD
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 6, 2019
Democrats in the audience seemed stuck on how to react. House Speaker Pelosi hesitated before lightly clapping. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who popularized the concept of Democratic Socialism in 2016, stared blankly ahead.
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the newest faces of Democratic Socialism, but she was unbothered by Trump’s remarks.
“I think it was great. I think he’s scared,” she told reporters Monday night, per the HuffPost.
“He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he’s losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we’re advancing to the public.”
Ocasio-Cortez echoed that sentiment in an MSNBC interview the same night.
“I think that he needs to do it because I think he feels himself losing on the issues,” she said. “Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and brought to the public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of Republican voters supporting what we talk about.”
Watch the video below:
"He feels like he feels himself losing on the issues. Every single policy proposal that we've adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular." @AOC pic.twitter.com/b8zdRuJZ6A
— Hardball (@hardball) February 6, 2019
Recent polls from the last few weeks show Ocasio-Cortez is right. Her idea of a marginal tax rate on income over $10 million had majority support with voters. Over half of Americans support the idea of national healthcare or Medicare for All.
“So I think he sees himself losing on the issues,” Ocasio-Cortez said after citing poll numbers. “He sees himself on the wall in the southern border and he needs to grasp at an ad hominem attack and this is his way of doing it … this is an issue of authoritarian regime versus democracy, and in order for him to try to dissuade or try to throw people off the scent of the trail, he has to really make and confuse the public, and I think that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.”