Transcript for Lawmaker reacts to Trump's State of the Union address
We are joined by the congressman who gave the democratic response, Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts. Thanks for joining us this morning. You know -- Glad to be with you. Watching and the president last night it seemed like you were speaking to two very different countries, any common ground? I think absolutely common ground. And, look, I think part of what I was trying to articulate last night was that there's a whole, wide series of issues and values that unite Americans, the second half of my speech was@ trying to target. Let's focus on that idea of those values, that vision and that runs -- that's running through all Americans. That's not a Democrat or Republican idea. What is your pitch to everyone out there who says the president's got a point, the economy is healthy, it's very, very strong, my 401(k) Is doing pretty well and I'll start feeling a tax cut next month. It's clearly you're not going to be able to deny the fact that the stock market has gone up under president trump and obviously that's a good thick. I'd point out 50% of Americans don't own a single stock and 80% of all stocks are basically controlled by 10% of American families so if we're using the stock market as a barometer for economic success for the entire American country, then I'm not so sure that's the right -- Not just the stock market, though. Low unemployment, wages starting to go up. The tax cut will come to many working class Americans. This tax cut, some parts of that tax cut are going to come to many working class Americans perhaps which are also seeing a cut to the ability to states and localities to make some of the investments there I think Americans have come to expect and you're seeing a massive increase in our debt which is going to, one, potentially lead to massive cuts to our social safety net including, remember, we spent much of the last year trying to destroy medicaid which is another bedrock fundamental program that many Americans depend on in order to get health care so press pause, understand we are at a time of robust economic growth, fine, but let's try to find a way to make sure we leverage that for the benefit of all Americans and not just wholly weighted towards those at the top. You spoke directly to the dreamers last night in Spanish. The president spoke about that issue as well. Laid out what he calls his compromise plan. Are we going to get a deal before next Thursday's deadline? Look, so we better get a deal. This is something that I feel passionately about and I think the vast majority of Americans do. The vast majority of congress, Democrat and Republican, want to lve. We have two big problem, one, up until a couple days ago, no one knew where the president was on this because he kept saying different things to different people. Now we've got a plan that he has articulated. That plan as he knows is a N nonstarter on capitol hill so I would urge the president and his administration to -- if they really want a deal to sit down and start hashing out to make one rather than throwing bombs and then saying, hey, it's take it or leave it. That's not how a deal is made. You're the first -- you're the first member of the Kennedy family to give a live response to the state of the union. How did it feel? That I didn't know. Look, I had fun last night. It was an extraordinary honor for me. It was a privilege to be able to do it and particularly to be in a community like fall river at a school like diamond with the students there that are -- it's a pretty special place so I was honored to be there and hope that it's a message that will resonate. It is a special place. The city where I was born. One final question, you know, you couldn't completely escape the curse of the state of the union response. Twitter had a field day with your shiny lips so did you bring your chapstick this morning? Oddly enough, I decided to go a little bit light on the chapstick this morning. More on the coffee, light on the chapstick which is probably a wise choice. Congressman, thanks for joining us this morning. George, thank you.
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