Democratic response to Trump will focus on 'Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken'

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., will call attention to the contributions of immigrants in America and the anxieties of a divided nation in his response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Excerpts from Kennedy’s speech released by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office paint a starkly different picture from Trump’s upbeat depiction of an America on the rise.

“Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid,” Kennedy will say. “We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.”

Kennedy is speaking from Fall River, Mass., a town he describes as “a proud American city, built by immigrants.”

“Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms,” he says. “But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city.”

According to Kennedy, Democrats will fight for those who President Trump’s policies are targeting, and they will offer “a Better Deal” for America, a reference to the platform of priorities Democrats released last year.

“We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive,” Kennedy plans to say. “We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford. We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.”

Though he will describe the U.S. as mired in chaos and partisanship under Trump, Kennedy also aims to emphasize hope for the future.

“Bullies may land a punch,” he will say, according to the excerpts. “They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.”

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off