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tv   State of the Union  NBC  February 4, 2020 6:00pm-8:01pm PST

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tonight, president trump and the state of the union, an extraordinary moment in american history as the president comes before the house that impeached him and the senate that in less than 24 hours will pass judgment. >> the president and a divided congress in one room as a divided nation looks oat the outset of an election year with the vote ten months from tonight, a referendum on donald trump himself. this will be a night to remember. >> announcer: from nbc news, "the state of the union," live from washington. here are lester holt and savannah guthrie. >> good evening, everyone, and thank you for joining us in what
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is a longstanding, annual ritual here in washington, the president's state of the union address before a joint session of congress. just moments from now, president trump will be announced and enter the house chamber. >> and the president is walking into a room bitterly divided by party. one branch of congress having impeached him, the other about to acquit him in a vote expected tomorrow. and of course, this is all happening in an election year. the democrats' iowa caucus results still coming in tonight. that was marred by chaos and controversy, but tonight is donald trump's night as he looks to seize the spotlight and make his case to the country. >> think about it, less than two months ago he was impeached in that very chamber. joining us here, moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd and senior washington correspondent andrea mitchell. good to have both of you here. chuck, let me start with you. we attended an anchors' luncheon, if you will, with the president, off the record, so we won't talk about specifics, but his mood to me seemed rather calm for a guy who's been through what he's been through.
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>> i felt like he was trying to leave the impression that, hey, this impeachment, i'm not happy about it, but i'm not going to let it drag me down, and he certainly seems to indicate that he isn't going to make it a big part of this speech. one thing that i think will feel familiar to election year states of the union, is like any other president in a state of the union, knowing his opponents are on the trail, i think in this state of the union -- and he seemed to indicate this -- is going to feel more about what he believes he's done and less the, here's the bunch of things i'd like to get done this year, not to say there won't be a few things like that. but there's a realism here that it's an election year, it's a really bitter washington. nancy pelosi and donald trump getting together to do legislation's probably not something we're going to see this calendar year. >> -- for him to make the case for four more years, you can never forget an election year. >> that's a better way to use it. >> and what a year makes. one year ago, the government had shut down, the democrats had just taken over the house, and what a difference, andrea, the president walking into such a different political
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circumstance, now about to survive impeachment. >> and in fact, with nancy pelosi right behind him in that stark white, a number of democratic congresswomen wearing white to represent women's rights and suffrage. >> madam speaker, the president of the united states! [ cheers and applause ] >> now, this is one of the rituals that people really enjoy, where the president walks in the chamber and you start to see him shaking hands, people along the aisles, and you'll start to see a who's who of washington, the supreme court justices. many of them will be there. of course, members of congress. you just saw the shot of first lady melania trump. andrea, you wanted to say?
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>> well, a number of republicans have lined up early to try to save seats. they're not supposed to save seats, but they want to be there in the aisle to shake hands and be seen with the president there walking in. and saying there is a contest between nancy pelosi, who will be right behind him, in a very studied way -- she has said earlier today, he is a guest in their house and he'll be treated that way. >> she was just standing and applauding, okay? so, for all the -- we just showed her there, standing and applauding -- for all the bitterness we know is there. and we spent time with speaker pelosi. that's on the record and she doesn't have a lot to say about impeachment, does she? >> she shut it down. as soon as that question came up, basically one question, one answer, and she's ready to move on. >> looks like she's trying to find what the post-impeachment democratic agenda's going to look like. >> john roberts is there, the chief justice who is presiding over the impeachment trial, will be there tomorrow when the verdict -- >> i believe justice rehnquist didn't attend when we had a
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similar situation in 1999 when president clinton was in the middle of an impeachment trial and he had to do his state unfortunate union address, but chief justiiustice roberts is t >> kasie hunt is on the floor. we can't see her, but we can hear her. what's the vibe down there? >> reporter: lester, it's interesting. i'm just above where the president was walking on, shook hands with chief justice john roberts, now stopping to bask in tears from republicans. notably, adam schiff, leading the impeachment case against him, did not clap when the president walked into the room. >> the president handing his speech to the vice president. he is, of course, the ceremonial president of the senate and the speaker of the house. >> rush limbaugh -- >> he told us that he was hoping that he would be a guest tonight. looks on, official guest of the president tonight.
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>> diagnosed with lung cancer, made that announcement just a few days ago. >> stage four, a rather serious diagnosis. he acknowledged, quite emotional with his listeners. >> the president's spent a good five to ten minutes of talking about rush limbaugh at the anchor lunch today. >> members of congress, the president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> well, this usually unleashes another bout of applause in the chamber and gives us a moment to go to hallie jackson on capitol hill, who also covers the white house for us. hallie, what do you know about the tone the president is expected to strike in this speech, whether the "i" word, impeachment, is likely to come up? >> reporter: likely not to come up, savannah, from what we're told from multiple sources, as you hear republicans cheering.
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this is not going to be a campaign rally speech. the president will instead focus on his vision for the country. >> thank you very much. madam speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, the first lady of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] and my fellow citizens. three years ago, we launched the great american comeback. tonight i stand before you to share the incredible results. jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected
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again. america's enemies are on the run. america's fortunes are on the rise. and america's future is blazing bright. the years of economic decay are over. the days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations
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are long behind us. gone, too, are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes and constant excuses for the depletion of american wealth, power, and presti prestige. in just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of american decline and we have rejected the downsizing of americans' destiny. we have totally rejected the downsizing. we are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are
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never, ever going back. i am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. our military is completely rebuilt with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world, and it's not even close. our borders are secure. our families are flourishing. our values are renewed. our pride is restored. and for all of these reasons, i say to the people of our great country and to the members of congress, the state of our union is stronger than ever before.
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the vision i will lay out this evening demonstrates how we are building the world's most prosperous and inclusive society, one where every citizen can join in america's unparalleled success and where every community can take part in america's extraordinary rise. from the instant i took office, i moved rapidly to revive the u.s. economy, slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements. [ applause ] our agenda is relentlessly pro worker, pro family, pro growth,
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and most of all, pro american. [ applause ] thank you. we are advancing with unbridled optimism and lifting our citizens of every race, color, religion and creed very, very high. since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs, 5 million more than government experts projected during the previous administration. [ applause ] the unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century. and very incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my
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administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country. if we hadn't reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success. the unemployment rate for african-americans, hispanic-americans, and asian-americans has reached the
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lowest levels in history. african-american youth unemployment has reached an all-time low. african-american poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded. the unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years, and last year, women filled 72% of all new jobs added. the veterans' unemployment rate
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dropped to a record low. the unemployment rate for disabled americans has reached an all-time low. workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in u.s. history. a record number of young americans are now employed. under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. under my administration, 7
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million americans have come off food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare. [ cheers and applause ] in eight years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. in just three years of my administration, 3.5 million people, working-age people, have
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joined the workforce. since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47%, three times faster than the increase for the top 1%. after decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast, and wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers who have seen a 16% pay increase since my election.
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this is a blue-collar boom. real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. since my election, u.s. stock markets have soared 70%, adding more than $12 trillion to our nation's wealth, transcending anything anyone believed is possible. this is a record. it is something that every country in the world is looking up to. they admire. consumer confidence has just reached amazing, new highs. all of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases
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of 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% and even more. jobs and investments are pouring in to 9,000 previously neglected neighborhoods, thanks to opportunity zones, a plan spearheaded by senator tim scott as part of our great republican tax cuts. in other words, wealthy people in companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that haven't seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement. this is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this. it's all working. opportunity zones are helping
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americans like army veteran tony rankins from cincinnati, ohio. after struggling with drug addiction, tony lost his job, his house, and his family. he was homeless, but then tony found a construction company that invests in opportunity zones. he is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. tony, keep up the great work. tony. [ cheers and applause ] thank you, tony. our roaring economy has for the first time ever given many former prisoners the ability to
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get a great job and a fresh start. this second chance at life is made possible because we passed landmark criminal justice reform into law. everybody said that criminal justice reform couldn't be done, but i got it done, and the people in this room got it done. thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the united states has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas
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anywhere in the world, by far. with the tremendous progress we have made over the past three years, america is now energy-independent and energy jobs like so many other elements of our country are at a record high. we are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just three years ago. likewise, we are restoring our nation's manufacturing might, even though predictions were, as you all know, that this could never, ever be done. after losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, america has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being
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planned or being built. companies are not leaving, they are coming back to the usa. the fact is that everybody wants to be where the action is, and the united states of america is indeed the place where the action is. one of the biggest promises i made to the american people was to replace the disastrous nafta trade deal. in fact, unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that i decided to run for president. following nafta's adoption, our nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. many politicians came and went,
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pledging to change or replace nafta, only to do so and then absolutely nothing happened. but unlike so many who came before me, i keep my promises. we did our job. six days ago, i replaced nafta and signed the brand-new u.s./mexico/canada agreement into law. the usmca will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying american auto jobs and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. it will also bring trade with mexico and canada to a much higher level, but also to be a much greater degree of fairness and reciprocity, we will have
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that, fairness and reciprocity, and i say that, finally, because it's been many, many years that we were treated fairly on trade. this is the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of america's labor unions. i also promised our citizens that i would impose tariffs to confront china's massive theft of america's jobs. our strategy has worked. days ago, we signed a groundbreaking, new agreement with china that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions and billions of dollars into our treasury and open vast, new markets for products made and grown right here in the usa.
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[ applause ] for decades, china has taken advantage of the united states. now we have changed that. but at the same time, we have perhaps the best relationship we've ever had with china, including with president xi. they respect what we've done, because quite frankly, they could never really believe that they were able to get away with what they were doing year after year, decade after decade, without someone in our country stepping up and saying, "that's enough." now we want to rebuild our country, and that's exactly what we're doing. we are rebuilding our country. as we restore american leadership throughout the world, we are once again standing up
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for freedom in our hemisphere. that's why my administration reversed the failing policies of the previous administration on cuba. we are supporting the hopes of cubans, nicaraguans and venezuelans to restore democracy. the united states is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of venezuela, nicolas maduro. maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his
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people, but maduro's grip on tyranny will be smashed and broken. here this evening is a very brave man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all venezuelans. joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate president of venezuela, juan guaido. mr. president, please take this message back. [ applause ] thank you, mr. president. great honor.
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thank you very much. pleads take this message back, that all americans are united with the venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom. thank you very much, mr. president. thank you very much. socialism destroys nations, but always remember, freedom unifies the soul. to safeguard american liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in
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the united states military. we have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment, and it's all made right here in the usa. we are also getting our allies, finally, to help pay their fair share. i have raised contributions from
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other nato members by more than $400 billion and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled. and just weeks ago, for the first time since president truman established the air force, more than 70 years earlier, we created a brand-new branch of the united states armed forces. it's called the space force. very important. in the gallery tonight, we have a young gentleman. and what he wants so badly -- 13 years old -- iain lanphier is an eighth grader from arizona. iain, please stand up.
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he has dreamt of going to space. he is the first in his class and youngest at an aviation academy. he aspires to go to the air force academy, and then he has his eye on the space force. as iain says, most people look up at space, i want to look down on the world. [ applause ] but sitting behind iain tonight is his greatest hero of them all, charles mcgee was born in cleveland, ohio, one century ago. charles is one of the last surviving tuskegee airmen, the first black fighter pilots, and he also happens to be iain's
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great grandfather. [ cheers and applause ] incredible story. after more than 130 combat missions in world war ii, he came back home to a country still struggling for civil rights and went on to serve america in korea and vietnam. on december 7th, charles
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celebrated his 100th birthday. [ applause ] a few weeks ago, i signed a bill promoting charles mcgee to brigadier general. and earlier today, i pinned the stars on his shoulders in the oval office. general mcgee, our nation salutes you. thank you, sir.
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[ cheers and applause ] from the pilgrims to the founders, from the soldiers at valley forge to the marchers at selma, and from president lincoln to the reverend martin luther king, americans have always rejected limits on our children's future. members of congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in washington are victories that deliver for the american people. [ applause ] the people are the heart of our country. their dreams are the soul of our country. and their love is what powers and sustains our country. we must always remember that our
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job is to put america first. the next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young american gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the american dream. yet, for too long, countless american children have been trapped in failing government schools. to rescue these students, 18 states have created school choice in the form of opportunity scholarships. the programs are so popular that tens of thousands of students remain on a waiting list. one of those students is janiyah davis, a fourth grader from philadelphia.
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janiyah. [ applause ] janiyah's mom, stephanie, is a single parent. she would do anything to give her daughter a better future, but last year, that future was put further out of reach when pennsylvania's governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice to 50,000 children. janiyah and stephanie are in the gallery. stephanie, thank you so much for being here with your beautiful daughter. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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but janiyah, i have some good news for you, because i am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. i can proudly announce tonight that an opportunity scholarship has become available. it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice. [ applause ] now i call on congress to give 1 million american children the same opportunity janiyah has just received. pass the education freedom scholarships and opportunities act, because no parent should be
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forced to send their child to a failing government school. every young person should have a safe and secure environment in which to learn and to grow. for this reason, our magnificent first lady has launched the be best initiative to advance a safe, healthy, supportive and drug-free life for the next generation, online, in school, and in our communities. thank you, melania, for your extraordinary love and profound care for america's children. thank you very much.
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[ applause ] my administration is determined to give our citizens the opportunities they need, regardless of age or background. through our pledge to american workers, over 400 companies will also provide new jobs and education opportunities to almost 15 million americans. my budget also contains an exciting vision for our nation's high schools. tonight, i ask congress to support our students and back my plan to offer vocational and technical education in every single high school in america. [ cheers and applause ] to expand equal opportunity, i
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am also proud that we achieved record and permanent funding for our nation's historically black colleges and universities. a good life for american families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality health care system on earth. before i took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. i moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. our new plans are up to 60% less expensive and better. i've also made an ironclad pledge to american families --
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we will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. [ cheers and applause ] and we will always protect your medicare and we will always protect your social security, always. the american patient should never be blind sided by medical bills. that is why i signed an executive order requiring price transparency. many experts believe that transparency, which will go into
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full effect at the beginning of next year, will be even bigger than health care reform. it will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care. but as we work to improve americans' health care, there are those who want to take away your health care, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely. 132 lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our health care system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million very happy americans. to those watching at home tonight, i want you to know, we will never let socialism destroy
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american health care. [ cheers and applause ] over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed vacation that would bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded health care to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders. these proposals would raid the medicare benefits of our seniors and that our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. that is what is happening in california and other states. their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money. if forcing american taxpayers to
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provide unlimited free health care to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left. but if you believe that we should defend american patients and american seniors, then stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free government health care for illegal aliens. [ applause ] this will be a tremendous boom to our already very strongly guarded southern border, where as we speak, a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built. we have now completed over 100
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miles and have over 500 miles fully completed. in a very short period of time, early next year, we will have substantially more than 500 miles completed. my administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical companies. we have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs and medicines are being approved by the fda at a faster clip than ever before. and i was pleased to announce last year that for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down. and working together, congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels.
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i've been speaking to senator chuck grassley of iowa and others in congress in order to get something on drug pricing done and done quickly and properly. i'm calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. get a bill on my desk and i will sign it into law immediately. [ chanting ] with unyielding commitment, we are cushing the opioid epidemic. drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30
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years. among the states hardest hit, ohio is down 22%, pennsylvania is down 18%, wisconsin is down 10%, and we will not quit until we have beaten the opioid epidemic once and for all. [ cheers and applause ] protecting americans' health also means fighting infectious diseases. we are coordinating with the chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in china. my administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat. we have launched ambitious, new initiatives to substantially improve care for americans with kidney disease, alzheimer's, and
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those struggling with mental health. and because congress was so good as to fund my request, new cures for childhood cancer -- and we will eradicate the aids epidemic in america by the end of this decade. [ applause ] almost every american family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. here tonight is a special man, beloved by millions of americans who just received a stage four advanced cancer diagnosis. this is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. rush limbaugh, thank you for
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your decades of tireless devotion to our country. [ applause ] and rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, i am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor, the
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presidential medal of freedom. [ cheers and applause ] i will now ask the first lady of the united states to present you with the honor. please.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> rush and katherine, congratulations. thank you. as we pray for all who are sick,
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we know that america is constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. in 2017, doctors at st. luke's hospital in kansas city delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. born at just 21 weeks and 6 days and weighing less than a pound, ellie schneider was a born fighter. through the skill of her doctors and the prayers of her parents, little ellie kept on winning the battle of life. today, ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother, robin, in the gallery. ellie and robin, we are glad to have you with us tonight.
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[ applause ] ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. and thanks to modern medical wonders, 50% of very premature babies delivered at the hospital where ellie was born now survive. it's an incredible thing. thank you very much. our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like ellie. that is why i'm asking congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neonatal research for america's youngest patients. [ applause ]
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that is why i'm also calling upon members of congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies. [ applause ] whether we are republican, democrat, or independent, surely, we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from god, as we support america's moms and dads. i was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for
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the rest of the country. now i call on congress to pass the bipartisan advancing support for working families act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across our nation. 40 million american families have an average $2,200 extra thanks to our child tax credit. i have also overseen historic funding increases for high-quality child care, enabling 17 states to help more children, many of which have reduced or eliminated their wait
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lists altogether. and i sent congress a plan with a vision to further expand access to high-quality child care and urge you to act immediately. to protect the environment, days ago i announced that the united states will join the 1 trillion trees initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together government and private sector to plant new trees in america and all around the world. we must also rebuild america's
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infrastructure. [ applause ] i ask you to pass senator barrasso's highway bill to invest in new tunnels, bridges and roads across our land. i'm also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including and especially in rural america. a better tomorrow for all americans also requires us to keep america safe. that means supporting the men and women of law enforcement at every level, including our nation's heroic i.c.e. officers.
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[ applause ] last year, our brave i.c.e. officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults, and 2,000 murders. tragically, there are many cities in america where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens. in sanctuary cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public instead of handing them over to i.c.e. to be safely removed. just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the sanctuary city of new york was charged with the brutal rape and murder
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of a 92-year-old woman. the killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under new york's sanctuary policies, he was set free. if the city had honored i.c.e.'s detainer request, his victim would still be alive today. the state of california passed an outrageous law declaring their whole state to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants, a very terrible sanctuary with catastrophic results. here is just one tragic example. in december 2018, california police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. but as required by california's sanctuary law, local authorities released him. days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of deadly violence. he viciously shot one man going about his daily work. he approached a woman sitting in
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her car and shot her in the arm and in the chest. he walked into a convenience store and wildly fired his weapon. he hijacked a truck and smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. one of the victims is a terrible, terrible situation, died, 51-year-old american named rocky jones. rocky was at a gas station when this vial criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, murdering him in cold blood. rocky left behind a dwoevoted family, including his brothers who loved him more than anything else in the world. one of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. jody, would you please stand? jody. thank you.
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[ applause ] jody, our hearts weep for your loss, and we will not rest until you have justice. senator thom tillis has introduced legislation to allow americans like jody to sue sanctuary cities and states when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly practices. [ applause ] i ask congress to pass the justice for victims of sanctuary cities act immediately. the united states of america should be a sanctuary for law-abiding americans, not
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criminal aliens. in the last three years, i.c.e. has arrested over 5,000 wicked human traffickers and i have signed nine pieces of legislation to stamp out the menace of human trafficking domestically and all around the globe. my administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the united states. before i came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. my administration has ended catch and release. [ applause ]
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if you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed from our country. very importantly, we entered into historic cooperation agreements with the governments of mexico, honduras, el salvador, and guatemala. as a result of our unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75% since may, dropping eight straight months in a row. [ applause ] and as the wall rapidly goes up, drug seizures rise and the border crossings are going down and going down very rapidly. last year, i traveled to the border in texas and met chief patrol agent raul ortiz.
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over the last 24 months, agent ortiz and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers, and rescued more than 2,000 migrants. days ago, agent ortiz was promoted to deputy chief of border patrol, and he joins us tonight. chief ortiz, please stand. [ cheers and applause ] a grateful nation thanks you and all of the heroes of border patrol and i.c.e. thank you very much. thank you. to build on these historic gains, we are working on legislation to replace our
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outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values. with every action, my administration is restoring the rule of law and reasserting the culture of american freedom. working with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell -- thank you, mitch -- and his colleagues in the senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new federal judges to uphold our constitution as written. this includes two brilliant, new supreme court justices, neil gorsuch and brett kavanaugh.
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thank you. [ applause ] and we have many in the pipeline. my administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the constitutional right to pray in public schools. in america, we don't punish prayer, we don't tear down crosses, we don't ban symbols of faith, we don't muzzle preachers and pastors.
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in america, we celebrate faith, we cherish religion, we lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the glory of god, just as we believe in the first amendment, we also believe in another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. so long as i am president, i will always protect your second amendment right to keep and bear arms. [ cheers and applause ] in reaffirming our heritage as a free nation, we must remember that america has always been a frontier nation. now we must embrace the next frontier, america's manifest destiny in the stars.
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i am asking congress to fully fund the ardibus program to ensure that the next man and the first woman on the moon will be american astronauts using this as a launching pad to ensure that america is the first nation to plant its flag on mars. [ applause ] my administration is also strongly defending our national security and combating radical islamic terrorism. last week, i announced a ground-breaking plan for peace between israel and the palestinians, recognizing that all past attempts have failed. we must be determined and creative in order to stabilize
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the region and give millions of young people the chance to realize a better future. three years ago, the barbarians of isis held over 20,000 square miles of territory in iraq and syria. today the isis territorial caliphate has been 100% destroyed, and the founder and leader of isis, the blood-thirsty killer known as al baghdadi, is dead. [ cheers and applause ] we are joined this evening by karl and marcia mueller. after graduating from college, their beautiful daughter, carla, became a humanitarian aide worker. she once wrote "some people find god in church, some people find
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god in nature, some people find god in love. i find god in suffering. i've known for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering." in 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in syria, kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by isis and kept as a prisoner of al baghdadi himself. after more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, al baghdadi murdered young, beautiful kayla. she was just 26 years old. on the night that u.s. special forces operations ended al baghdadi's miserable life, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general mark milley, received a call in the situation room. he was told that the brave men of the elite special forces team that so perfectly carried out
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the operation, had given their mission a name -- "task force 814." it was a reference to a special day, august 14th, kayla's birthday. carl and marsha, america's warriors never forget kayla, and neither will we. thank you. [ applause ] every day, america's men and women in uniform demonstrate the infinite depth of love that
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dwells in the human heart. one of these american heroes was army staff sergeant christopher hake. on his second deployment to iraq in 2008, sergeant hake wrote a letter to his 1-year-old son, gage -- "i will be with you again," he wrote to gage, "i will teach you to ride your first bike, build your first sandbox, watch you play sports, and see you have kids also. i love you, son. take care of your mother. i am always with you, daddy." on easter sunday of 2008, chris was out on patrol in baghdad when his bradley fighting vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. that night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. sergeant hake now rests in eternal glory in arlington, and his wife, kelli, is in the gallery tonight, joined by their
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son, who is now a 13-year-old and doing very, very well. to kelli and gage, chris will live in our hearts forever. he is looking down on you now. thank you. [ applause ] thank you very much. thank you both very much. the terrorists responsible for killing sergeant hake was qassem soleimani, who provided the deadly roadside bomb that took chris's life. soleimani was the iranian regime's most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or
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wounded thousands of american service members in iraq. as the world's top terrorist, soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. he directed the december assault and went on to assault u.s. forces in iraq, was actively planning new attacks when we hit him very hard, and that's why last month at my direction, the u.s. military executed a flawless precision strike that killed soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever. [ cheers and applause ] our message to the terrorists is clear -- you will never escape american justice. if you attack our citizens, you
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forfeit your life. [ applause ] in recent months, we have seen proud iranians raise their voices against their oppressive rulers. the iranian regime must abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop spreading terror, death, and destruction, and start working for the good of its own people. because of our powerful sanctions, the iranian economy is doing very, very poorly. we can help them make a very good and short-time recovery. it can all go very quickly, but perhaps they are too proud or too foolish to ask for that help. we are here. let's see which road they choose. it is totally up to them.
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[ applause ] as we defend american lives, we are working to end america's wars in the middle east. in afghanistan, the determination and valor of our war fighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress and peace talks are now under way. i am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in afghanistan, many of them totally innocent. it is also not our function to serve other nations as law enforcement agencies. these are war fighters that we have, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. we are working to finally end america's longest war and bring our troops back home.
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[ cheers and applause ] war places a heavy burden on our nation's extraordinary military families, especially spouses like amy williams from ft. bragg, north carolina, and her two children, 6-year-old eliana and 3-year-old rowan. amy works full time and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. for the past seven months, she has done it all while her husband, sergeant first class townsend williams is in afghanistan on his fourth deployment in the middle east. amy's kids haven't seen their father's face in many months. amy, your family's sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and in peace, and we want to thank you. thank you, amy.
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[ applause ] but amy, there is one more thing. tonight we have a very special surprise. i am thrilled to inform you that your husband is back from deployment. he is here with us tonight, and we couldn't keep him waiting any longer.
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[ cheers and applause ] [ chanting "usa" ]
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welcome home, sergeant williams. thank you very much. as the world bears witness tonight, america is a land of heroes. this is a place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged and where legends come to life. this is the home of thomas edison and teddy roosevelt, of many great generals, including washington, pershing, patent, and macarthur. this is the home of abraham lincoln, frederick douglass, emelia ehrhardt, harriet tubman, the wright brothers, neil armstrong, and so many more. this is the country where children learn named like wyatt earp, davie crockett and annie oakley. this is the place where the pilgrims landed at plymouth and where texas patriots made their
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last stand at the alamo. the beautiful, beautiful alamo. the american nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk on the face of the earth. our ancestors braved the unknown, tamed the wilderness, settled the wild west, lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger, vanquished tyranny and fascism, ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine, laid down the railroads, dug out the canals, raised up the skyscrapers, and ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional republic ever to exist in all of human history, and we are making it greater than ever before.
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[ cheers and applause ] this is our glorious and magnificent inheritance. we are americans. we are pioneers. we are the pathfinders. we settled the new world. we built the modern world. and we change history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of almighty god. [ applause ]
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america is the place where anything can happen. america is the place where anyone can rise. and here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true. this nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. we look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. our brightest discoveries are not yet known. our most thrilling stories are not yet told. our grandest journeys are not yet made. the american age, the american epic, the american adventure has only just begun. our spirit is still young. the sun is still rising.
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god's grace is still shining. and, my fellow americans, the best is yet to come. thank you. god bless you and god bless america. thank you very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> a stunning moment here at the end of the president's speech, nancy pelosi tearing up what appeared to be a copy of the president's speech. >> wow. and this on the heels of a moment earlier where she came to offer her hand for a handshake and he either didn't see it -- he didn't shake her hand, in any event. she didn't use the usually flourish in introducing him, it is my high honor and privilege. so, when we said there was a bipartisan rancor inside this room, we were telling you, there certainly is.
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in fact, two members of congress have tweeted that they walked out during this speech. >> and some boycotted, we should note. >> one of speaker pelosi's guests, fred guttenberg, whose daughter jamie was killed at parkland, was escorted out for speaking out when he was talking about -- >> this was a president taking us on a journey of what he called the great american comeback. it was a highly produced speech that featured the granting of scholarships, a general star, a medal of freedom, and a surprise reunion between a soldier and his family. >> it's so far removed from a traditional state of the union at this point, i don't think it's just -- it's just timing that we're calling it the state of the union. i mean, this was a conservative checklist, campaign checklist of making sure you hit every special interest group -- school choice, got it, you know? immigration, check. you know, talk radio icon, check. i mean, it was all about goosing the base and making a lot of
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these special interests -- judges, check. this was not an agenda-setter, that's -- >> had very confrontational language on health care that alluded to the debate going on in the democratic primary right now about whether or not the government should be more involved in health care. he made two remarks about socialism, one with begrij to the government of venezuela, but one with regard to health care, which is something republicans accuse democrats of wanting and some democrats say they do want government-run health care. >> and he pledged to protect pre-existing conditions, which is something that the justice department is fighting to overturn in state after state. he also paid tribute to two of his supreme court nominees and then said, "and there are more in the pipeline to come," which was -- >> the speech almost felt as if it's a trap for democrats. it's almost like he's baiting democrats, like watch this. they'll think this is nuts. i'll give the medal of honor to
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rush limbaugh. >> -- house is now dissolved. >> speaker pelosi gavels it out. that is the state of the union. now, did anyone -- usually in these addresses, the president at some point says "the state of the union is strong." did i miss that. >> that's what i mean when i say this was not meant to be -- and given what it turned into, his speech, it's a long way away from the normal state of the union. >> kasie hunt has been on the floor there of the house. can you give us some of the color and what you observed as speaker pelosi appeared to tear up that speech? >> reporter: it's remarkable, lester, the tenor and tone and mood in this room, more campaignlike and partisan than any i've covered in the last decade of covering speeches inside -- these types of
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speeches inside the chamber, state of the union joint addresses. in fact, there are still some republicans here in the chamber flashing the thumbs up to rush h limbaugh, who was given the presidential medal of freedom as this all unfolded. but i just cannot underscore how poisonous the atmosphere in here felt throughout this speech with the possible exception -- >> the gentleman of maryland seeks recognition -- >> reporter: -- of that moment where those two were reunited. >> thank you. we have to take a brief break and we'll come back with the democrats' response, this year from grechin witmer frhitmer fr swing state of michigan. >> and pete buttigieg is standing by in new hampshire. got some good news late today from the state of iowa. >> and to break it down, we'll be talking with our team of correspondents when we continue from washington in just a gathered their strength. they are moving forward in their might and power.
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and no force, no combination of forces, no trickery, deceit or violence ... ...can stop them now. they see before them the hope of the world. a decent, secure, peaceful life for men everywhere. ♪ ♪ believe in a seventh generation and that was all you knew, would you really understand it, with just that point of view? we've got a different way to look at it,
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from right here on the ground. we don't just the united states we see united towns. we're grateful for what you bring, and all the sparks you've shown, in the thousands of towns that we get to call home. ♪
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we're about 30 seconds away from the democratic response from governor gretchen whitmer, but we should note, impeachment, which we had speculated about, was not mentioned in this speech. >> it wasn't mentioned, but boy, was it the elephant in the room. speaker pelosi literally on a tear as she took that speech at the end and had that extraordinary moment where she seemed to have ripped up the president's remarks that he had just given. now, as the tradition of the democratic response, michigan's governor whitmer is going to take the stage and we are expecting her at any moment to give the democratic response. and of course, we're right in the middle of a democratic election campaign as well. let's listen in. >> good evening. i'm honored to be here and grateful that you are tuning in. i'm gretchen whitmer, the 49th governor of the great state of michigan. tonight i am at my daughter, sherri and sidney's public school, east lansing high school.
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we're here today with families and parents, teachers, and most importantly, students. i want to thank you all for coming, but tonight i'm going to talk to those of you who are watching at home. i' i need a lot more than ten minutes to respond to what the president just said. so, instead of talking about what he is saying, i'm going to highlight what democrats are doing. after all, you can listen to what someone says, but to know the truth, watch what they do. michiganders are no different from americans everywhere. we love our families and want a good life today and a better life tomorrow for our kids. we work hard and we expect our government to work hard for us as well. we have grit and value loyalty, and we still root for the detroit lions. we and all americans might be weary of today's politics, but we must stay engaged.
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our country, our democracy, our future demand it. we're capable of great things when we work together. we cannot forget that despite the dishonesty and division of the last few years and that we heard tonight from the president of the united states, together we have boundless potential. and young americans are proving that every day by taking action. that's what i want to focus on tonight. monty scott is 13 years old and lives in muskegon heights, michigan. monty's street was covered in potholes. they were ankle deep. and he got tired of waiting for them to get fixed. so he grabbed a shovel and a bucket of dirt and filled them in himself. during my campaign, people told me to fix the damn roads, because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous, and car repairs take money from rent, child care or groceries.
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and we, the democrats, are doing something about it. in illinois, governor j.b. pritzker passed a multibillion dollar plan to rebuild the roads and bridges. governor phil murphy is replacing lead pipes in new jersey. all across the country, democratic leaders are rebuilding bridges, fixing roads, expanding broadband, and cleaning up drinking water. everyone in this country benefits when we invest in infrastructure. congressional democrats have presented proposals to keep us moving forward, but president trump and the republicans in the senate are blocking the path. when it comes to infrastructure, monty has tried to do more with a shovel and a pile of dirt than the republicans in d.c. have with the oval office and the u.s. senate. bullying people on twitter doesn't fix bridges. it burns them. our energy should be used to solve problems.
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and it's true for health care, too. for me, for so many americans, health care is personal, not political. when i was 30, i became a member of the sandwich generation. that means i was sandwiched between two generations of my own family for whom i was the primary caregiver. i was holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle. i was up all night with a baby, and during the day i had to fight my mom's insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy. it was hard. it exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system and our child care system, and it changed me. i lost patience for people who are just talk and no action. so, as a state senator, i worked with a republican governor and legislature to expand health care coverage to more than 680,000 michiganders under the
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affordable care act. today, democrats from maine to montana are expanding coverage and lowering costs. in kansas, governor laura kelly's working across the aisle to bring medicaid coverage to tens of thousands. in new mexico, governor michelle lieu hann grisham enshrined aca protections into law. every democrat running for president has a plan to expand health care for all americans. every one of them has supported the affordable care act with coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. they may have different plans, but the goal is the same. president trump, sadly, has a different plan. he's asking the courts to rip those life-saving protections away. it's pretty simple -- democrats are trying to make your health care better, republicans in washington are trying to take it away. think about kids like 17-year-old blake carroll from idaho, who organized a fund-raiser to pay for his mom's
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colon cancer treatment, or 19-year-old eboni myers from utah, who sells art to help pay for her rare genetic disorder treatment. no one should have to crowdsource their health care, not in america. but the reality is, not everyone in america has a job with health care and benefits. in fact, many have jobs that don't even pay enough to cover their monthly expenses. it doesn't matter what the president says about the stock market. what matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don't have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, students loans, or prescription drugs. american workers are hurting, in my own state, our neighbors in wisconsin and ohio, pennsylvania, and all over the country. wages have stagnated while ceo pay has skyrocketed. so, when the president says the economy is strong, my question is, strong for whom? strong for the wealthy who are
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reaping rewards from tax cuts they don't need? the american economy needs to be a different kind of strong, strong for the science teacher spending her own money to buy supplies for her classroom, strong for the single mom picking up extra hours so she can afford her daughter's soccer cleats, strong for the small business owner who has to make payroll at the end of the month. michigan invented the middle class, so we know, if the economy doesn't work for working people, it just doesn't work. who fights for working, hard-working americans? democrats do. in the u.s. house, speaker nancy pelosi and democrats passed a landmark bill on equal pay, another bill to give 30 million americans a raise by increasing the minimum wage and groundbreaking legislation to finally give medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices for america's seniors and families.
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those three bills and more than 275 other bipartisan bills are just gathering dust on senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's desk. senator mcconnell, america needs you to move those bills. meanwhile, democrats across the country are getting things done. pennsylvania's governor, tom wolf, is expanding the right to ov overtime pay. michigan is, too. because if you're on the clock, you deserve to get paid. nebraska governor sisolak and north carolina governor roy cooper are working to give hard-working teachers a raise. and speaking of the classroom, wisconsin governor tony eastbounders unilaterally increased school funding by $65 million last year. in colorado, governor jared polis has enacted free, all-day kindergarten. and in 29 states, we've helped pass minimum wage hikes into law, which will lift people out of poverty and improve lives for families. that's strength.
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that's action. democracy takes action, and that's why i'm so inspired by young people. they respond to mass shootings, demanding policies that make schools safer. they react to a world that's literally on fire with fire in their bellies, to push leaders to finally take action on climate change. they take on a road filled with potholes with a shovel and some dirt. it's what gives me great confidence in our future, and it's why sometimes it feels like they're the adults in the room, but it shouldn't have to be that way. it's not their mess to clean up. it's ours. the choices we make today create their reality tomorrow. young people, i'm talking to you, and your parents and grandparents. democrats want safe schools. we want everyone to have a path to a good life, whether it's through a union apprenticeship,
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a community college, a four-year university, without drowning in debt. we want your water to be clean. we want you to love who you love and to live authentically as your true self, and we want women to have autonomy over our bodies. we want our country welcoming and everyone's vote counted. 2020 is a big year. it's the year my daughter, sherri, will graduate from high school. it's also the year she'll cast her first ballot along with millions of young americans. the two things are connected, because walking across a graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time. her future, all our kids' futures, will be determined not just by their dreams, but by our actions. as we witness the impeachment process in washington, there are some things each of us, no matter our party, should demand. the truth matters.
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facts matter. and no one should be above the law. it's not what those senators say tomorrow, it's about what they do that matters. remember, listen to what people say, but watch what they do. it's time for action. generations of americans are counting on us. let's not let them down. thank you for listening. god bless america. goodnight. >> michigan governor gretchen whitmer delivering the democratic response from a high school in east lansing, michigan, a state that democrats would badly like to get back in this 2020 election. one bit of housekeeping -- the president did, in fact, say those ritual words, the state of the union is stronger than ever before. he said it about ten minutes into his remarks tonight. >> all right, that's taken care of. joining us now from concord, new hampshire, is democratic presidential candidate pete
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buttigieg of indiana, who is at this moment running first among democrats based on partial results finally released late today from yesterday's iowa caucus. mayor, i guess congratulations are in order, but as you know better than anyone, you're still waiting for the rest of the numbers, and we're going to talk about that in a moment, but let me first ask you about the speech delivered by the president. he talked about america's fortunes on the rise, the future is blazing bright, years of economic decay are over. what do you say to that? >> well, it was a highly partisan speech for a polarized washington. a few words about an economy that he's seeking to take credit for, even though we in the industrial midwest know that manufacturing is in recession, then turning through a laundry list of special interest group expectations for his own base. and as governor whitmer pointed out, even on the area that he
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claims to be his greatest strength, the economy, we know the difference between an economy measured by the stock market and an economy that's actually reaching us at our kitchen tables. and there, this country has a long way to go and deserves a president that will actually focus on making life better for working families, rather than one favor after another by way of tax breaks and the stripping down of basic protections to benefit corporations and the wealthiest. >> mr. mayor, you mentioned the partisan and the polarizing nature of the president's speech. i wonder what you thought of speaker pelosi at the end of the speech in what appears to be her actions ripping up the speech. what do you make of that? do you approve of it? >> i wasn't able to catch that. i was making my way down to the room here. but i certainly saw the division of washington on display, and in particular, a president seeming to be speaking to his own base
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at the very moment when we look to a president to speak to all americans, including or especially those who might belong to the other party, to remind us of our highest values. i think it was a missed opportunity for the president to do that. and unfortunately, we will see most likely tomorrow a very partisan senate take a vote to give him a pass on lying, cheating, and even inviting foreign interference in the american election. it's one more reason why out here on the campaign trail, i'm talking with voters about the fact that if we're feeling exhausted watching what's going on in washington, the good news is, ultimately, it's up to us, especially in an election year, that if the senators are the jury tomorrow, we are the jury the next day. >> well, mayor, let's talk about what happened in iowa. right now you're the benefactor. i mean, it's frozen in time and you're in the number one position based on the numbers we've seen here, but how has this altered the trajectory of the race? you've got candidates like yourself now who are in new
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hampshire who may have to make some tough decisions based on information we don't have yet. >> well, i certainly wish that we had all of the official, verified results in, but we've also seen enough to know that yesterday was a historic and phenomenal night for our campaign and that our vision of bringing americans together and of appealing to folks in every kind of community -- urban, rural, suburban, in counties that voted democrat and counties that voted republican recently -- that's a message that can bring a remarkable number of people forward and power the campaign, not only to take the nomination, but the campaign that's going to defeat donald trump in the fall. we feel just a catapult of momentum now as we're here on the ground in new hampshire with exactly one week to go before the decision is made here, too. >> do you have a message for joe biden, who finds himself based on those numbers we're looking at right now, in fourth place, a
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distant fourth behind you? >> well, it's not my place to send a message to my competitors, people that i respect, but who obviously represent different approaches and different visions. and i think the reason that we succeeded and the reason we are so far ahead of the expectations for our campaign. i mean, remember, a year ago, i had no national name recognition, no personal fortune. i think i'm still the least wealthy person running for president. no senator's pac. but what we had was this idea that if we have a different kind of politics to turn the page, that that would draw people in and build a coalition that's going to go on to defeat donald trump in the fall. clearly, that's resonating with voters. and you couple that with the phenomenal ground game that we had, really demonstrating, making sure we could show, not just tell, how to put together a winning campaign, plus a phenomenal grassroots level of support. you know, we've had hundreds of thousands of supporters contribute to help fund this
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campaign through of course, i'm urging anybody who shares that vision of unity with me tonight to go ahead and chip in and help us be in good position for the week ahead. that's the campaign that has made this possible. now, of course, in a state that famously thinks for itself, full of independent-minded people here in new hampshire, we have to once again earn support on the ground, and that's what i'll be focused on in the week ahead. >> yeah. mayor buttigieg, thank you for spending time with us. we know it was a long night. appreciate your time. >> kasie hunt is on capitol hill. she was in the room where it happened. kasie, i understand you know a little bit more about what happened with speaker pelosi at the end of the speech there. >> reporter: that's right. our team of reporters who caught up with her on her way out of the chamber -- she was asked, "why did you tear up the speech?" and she responded, "it was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative." so, a pretty sharp comment from
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pelosi, suggesting that was the polite version of what she had to say to the president in the wake of this speech. and i think it really puts a punctuation mark at the end of what was an extraordinarily political state of the union address. obviously, these types of speeches are always driven by the politics of the moment, but there's also a lot of formality, a lot of ceremony around something like this. there's usually many moments in the beginning where you'll see both sides of the room stand up and cheer for things that collectively they believe are good. this one was marked by many more moments that were like a campaign-style rally. you had, you know, the president clearly focusing on his side of the room. there were chants at the beginning of "four more years," which i can't recall ever having heard in the decade in i've been covering these speeches. it just -- for a speech where normally a single moment of impropriety stands up, this one was incredibly raucous,
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incredibly sharp, and very much, you know, focused on the president's political base and kind of the way that he interacts with them. >> and kasie, can you describe what it was like when rush limbaugh was given the medal? we don't control the cameras in this particular case. they were controlled as part of a pool by another network, but we didn't see the democratic side of the room. >> reporter: so, lester, the democratic side of the room remained seated. they were not clapping as this moment unfolded. they were watching, somewhat uncomfortab uncomfortably. i thought joe manchin was one of the only democrats who sat on the republican side of the room. and while he stood and clapped while mr. limbaugh was introduced -- he was, of course, recently diagnosed with cancer -- he remained seated for this portion of the program, kind of craning his neck to watch. and you know, you have to remember, rush limbaugh is such a divisive figure for the lawmakers who are gathered in this room. you know, clearly, his health
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struggles have put him in a sympathetic mind, but in the political world, he looms large as this figure who has tormented many of the democratic politicians who are on the floor of the house. and so, i think he was received as such. and you saw him -- you see it there, you were showing him giving the thumbs up to the crowd. you could see the republicans giving that thumbs up back from the floor of the house, and that actually continued after the speech ended. rush limbaugh stayed in that front row, and as the republicans trickled out, they were looking up to him and flashing that thumbs up back to him. lester? >> kasie, thanks. >> thank you very much. it's interesting, because states of the union for many, many years, have had these set pieces where they have the guests and they stand up, but this was more production, more razzle dazzle than i think we've ever seen. >> it was the president trolling the democrats. yes, there was no impeachment, honoring rush limbaugh in that moment in an event that was technically begun because the
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speaker of the house invites the president to come to the house chamber to give this, and he gives the medal -- >> also that rush limbaugh is in a battle for his life at this point. >> no doubt, but to do it on the house floor was a finger in the eye of pelosi, finger in the eye of the democrats. there's a million ways that could have been done. could have easily given it tomorrow, tonight, had it where it is friends and family. i mean, it's kind of awkward to do that in front of people you know that may not be as interested in seeing it done that way. you know, do it in a little less divisive way, you do it at the white house. so, obviously, it was an intentional moment, almost probably hoping people get all worked up about it, which in some ways, you know, the trump motto is just simply own the libs, and perhaps that's just a moment to do that. >> we have to ta
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hi. uh, can you tell me how to get to i-70, please? o-okay, are you -- ah, yes. thank you. switch to progressive and you can save hundreds. you know, like the sign says.
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we're back as we cover the president's state of the union address, and one of the central themes, of course, was the economy and his presiding over what he says is an american comeback, the likes of which has never been seen before. and for that, we go to our business correspondent, stephanie ruhle, to fact check some of the claims we heard tonight. hey, stephanie. >> hey, there, savannah. hi, lester. it's no surprise that the president would lead with the economy. he is presiding over a winning economy. 6.7 million jobs created in the last three years. consumer confidence is up. and yes, the stock market is different from the economy, but it's not just professional investors who are winning out. ordinary americans have pensions and retirement accounts, and the stock market is at record highs.
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so, in 2019, when the stock market was up 29%, there's lots of americans who have benefited. what made no sense was the president saying he's taking us out of economic decline, reversing failed economic policies. what we have been in, in the last three years, is an economic expansion that started ten years ago. and yes, it was supercharged by the tax cuts. to say that it was a turnaround, it simply wasn't. so, this goes directly to what chuck was saying before the break, it's sort of poking the democrats in the eye, knowing they're aflutter fact-checking on twitter, when to the american people -- remember, the state of the union is a presentation, not a debate, and he can present a strong economy. >> and we saw a state of the union that was also a bit of a show as well. stephanie ruhle, our business correspondent, thank you. >> the president walking in that chamber, impeach president tomorrow. the verdict likely to be an acquittal.
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kristen welker with some color behind that. >> reporter: savannah and lester, the president didn't mention impeachment tonight and tomorrow will look to officially turn the page with that all-important vote in the senate. now, it is widely expected that the president is going to be acquitted, but as white house officials say, the icing on the cake would be if republicans vote in lockstep to acquit him, if they don't lose a single republican. they'll be looking closely at senator mitt romney, for example. they're also hoping to peel off a few red-state democrats, like senator joe manchin. if that happens, if they can get just one, expect the white house to tout that as a bipartisan victory. and then i am told based on conversations with officials here, they are looking to likely hold some type of event where president trump can thank all of those who supported him through what has really been a crisis looming over his presidency. and then, of course, with that, he will take all of it onto the campaign trail. lester, savannah? >> a remarkable period in american politics and history we've been witnessing over the last several days or months.
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so, the state of the union is behind us. the iowa caucus not yet behind us. and tomorrow the senate will vote on the president's impeachment. as we said, the republican majority likely to give an acquittal in that case. >> don't forget, new hampshire results one week from tonight. >> thank you. >> the democratic election -- >> i was just trying to get through this cycle. >> although we have the iowa results by that time -- >> we can only hope. it's a big 2020, busy time. thank you for being with us. >> for savannah, chuck, andrea and all of us here at nbc news, thank you for being with us tonight. i'm lester holt in washington. good evening. . .
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