After President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke with IJR and let congressional Democrats have it over their unenthusiastic reactions to some of the president’s bipartisan talking points.
“There were so many opportunities where everybody should have joined in, but you can still see that some Democrats who supported things like a wall and physical barriers to secure our border before President Trump are against it now because President Trump is for it,” he said.
“Some people just want to oppose everything that Trump supports even if it’s good for the country,” he added. “They’ve got to think bigger than that.”
Pointing to a specific moment, Scalise brought up when the president reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to free-market values.
“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” Trump said.
While the line received applause and chants of “USA!” from Republicans in attendance, several lawmakers on the left apparently weren’t too pleased.
Watch the moment 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
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for example, looked less than thrilled by the comment as the camera panned to him. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, later remarked that the president rebuked socialism because he’s “scared,” as IJR Blue reported.
Scalise, however, was disappointed by their reactions and called them out.
“[Trump] said that we all should reject socialism, the fact that a lot of Democrats sat down,” he said, “I’m not really sure what side they’re on if they’re against defeating socialism.”
During his address, Trump laid out the “agenda of the American people” and repeatedly called for unity and for Congress to work together to meet the needs of its citizens.
While the president’s address was met with criticism from many Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) calling the speech “divisive,” it was a hit among both Republicans in Congress and viewers at home, as the approval rating of the address reached 76 percent.