Senate Republicans came to President Donald Trump’s defense on Wednesday, calling it “petty” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to call for this month’s State of the Union to be delayed due to the prolonged government shutdown.
“I’m very disappointed in the speaker. I don’t think that helps anything,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told reporters regarding Pelosi’s letter to Trump asking him to reschedule the annual speech.
“I just think it’s petty. It’s petty,” Kennedy said. “We both know why she’s doing it. It’s just another poke at the president. I think they need to stop poking each other and try to come to the table and work this out.”
“If I were the president, I would hold it. He can come to the Senate.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the letter proved Pelosi is worried about the president getting time in front of the American people to “make clear just how extreme and radical congressional Democrats are.”
“Her position is driven by extreme partisanship and is not reasonable nor defensible,” Cruz added.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) also weighed in: “I can’t imagine telling the president of the United States, one, they’re not negotiating over the shutdown, and two, they’re not going to let him come to the Capitol to talk to them? That seems pretty far-fetched.”
Kennedy, however, offered a rather unique solution to Trump: deliver the State of the Union in the Senate.
“If I were the president, I would hold it. He can come to the Senate. I mean, I’m not management, but I’ll attend,” Kennedy said. Traditionally, the president has given the address in the House chamber.