Trump calls for unity and denounces socialism in State of Union

Donald Trump answers an audience member's question during a town-hall-style debate in Oct. 2016. Photo by Alexandra Wimley/BU News Service

By Abigail Freeman
BU News Service

BOSTON – President Donald Trump called on Congress in the State of the Union Address Tuesday night to put differences aside in the name of a “new standard of living for the 21st century” that involves lower unemployment rates, reductions in taxes and regulations, tariffs on Chinese goods and a wall.

“We must reject the politics of revenge . . . And embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and common good,” Trump said.

Trump called partisan investigations “ridiculous.”

“If there is going to peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he said. “It just doesn’t work that way.”

He later asked Congress to pass a “common-sense proposal” which would build a see-through steal barrier deployed in areas identified by agents as having the greatest need on the southern border.

Trump said ICE officers made 266,000 arrests in the last two years, including those “charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings or murders.”

“Tolerance for illegal immigration  is not compassionate, it is actually very cruel,” Trump said. “Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together to compromise and reach a deal that will truly keep America safe.”

As Trump repeated familiar themes, some news organizations fact-checked his speech, pointing out discrepancies and exaggerations.

After reviewing the decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty and expressing solidarity with the people of Venezuela, Trump denounced socialist policies, for which Boston University alumna and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become known for.

“America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination and control,” he said. “We are born free and we will stay free.”

Trump also announced that women filled 58 percent of newly created jobs last year. Democratic congresswomen, dressed in white, to symbolize the suffragettes and elected in campaigns aimed at opposing the Trump agenda, stood and cheered.

As of last month, more than 250 businesses in the greater Boston area pledged to take steps towards closing gender gaps in representation and wages in their companies per the Boston Women’s Workforce 100% Talent Compact.

Trump said, “This is the time to reignite the American imagination.”

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