The annual speech was a week late due to the government shutdown and included extensive discussion of the proposed border wall.
“Victory is not winning for our party,” President Trump said at his Feb. 5 State of the Union address, adding, “Victory is winning for our country.” He began with calls for a unified government and cooperation, a message that he carried through most of the speech.
Trump called attention to the 75-year anniversary of the liberation of Europe during World War II (which he later returned to in denouncing antisemitism) and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, saying, “This year, American astronauts will go back to space in American rockets.”
On the economy, Trump noted that there are 5.3 million new jobs, 600,000 of those in the manufacturing sector. Unemployment numbers are down overall and at all-time lows across several demographics.
The president boasted that he has overseen more deregulation than any other administration, as well as having increased oil and natural gas production and bolstered the military’s strength.
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only things that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous, partisan investigations,” Trump said. He and members of his inner circle have been under investigation for almost two years, which doesn’t look to be slowing down now that the House has a Democratic majority.
He continued to defend this stance, saying, “If there is going to be peace in legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. … We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.”
This statement comes on the heels of the State of the Union being delayed for a week due to a government shutdown. He alluded to the problems that caused the shutdown, discussing the migrants headed to the U.S.’ southern border and the troops he had ordered to “prepare for this tremendous onslaught.”
Trump talked about the alleged dangers of immigrants and drugs, then his proposed border wall and extra protections, for over 13 minutes of his 82-minute speech.
He then mentioned women’s empowerment in the workforce and in Congress, acknowledging that this year, there are more women in Congress than ever before. The women of Congress had noted this in a statement to the press, along with their continued struggle for equality.
Representative Brenda Lawrence, a Democrat from Michigan, spoke at a press conference about many Congresswomen’s choice to wear white, a nod to suffragettes from a century ago, and their current goals. “We celebrate a historic number of women in Congress,” she said, “but still, we’re only 25 percent of decision makers who sit under this dome adorned by Lady Freedom.”
She continued, “This White House administration has tried to close its doors against women, but we will not be locked out. To an administration that has closed its eyes against women, we will be seen. To an administration that refused to listen to us, we will be heard.” Congresswoman Lawrence cited equal pay for equal work, sexual assault and harassment, poverty and other issues that disproportionately affect women as areas where the women of Congress would continue to fight.
Trump also discussed abortion, trade deals and health care (including the eradication of HIV). On abortion, Trump said that “all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”
The speech included bold statements about national security, claiming that, had he not been president, “we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.” He also noted the Venezuelan unrest, taking the moment to decry socialism in any country, especially the U.S.