A Thorough Quoted Summary of the State of the Union Address

By Karen O’Connor Rubsam

Accordingly to a CBS poll, if you were one of the 40 million or so viewers that watched President Trump’s  State of the Union address last night there is a 75% chance you approved of it.  You were also more likely to identify as a Republican or Independent (party identification of viewers was 42% Republican, 25% Democrats and 33% independents).  The address ran approximately one hour 20 minutes and covered a wide range of topics.  Trump began by stating that each day during the first year of his administration, “we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.” He then spoke about what he deemed to be the victories and hardships during the year.  Without providing a “fact-check” or “alternative view,” (that’s a topic of other articles) the following are some of the more notable quotes of President Trump from 2018 State of the Union Address.

On the Economy

  • “We have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.” “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.” “African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.” “Small-business confidence is at an all-time high”
  • “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion, and more, in value in just this short period of time.”
  • “We enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.” “We nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.” “We also doubled the child tax credit.” “A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half.” “We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare. The individual mandate is now gone.” We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone else anywhere in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.” “Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.”

On being an American

  • “There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream. “All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family can do anything.” “We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.” “In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is, “In God We Trust.” “Young patriots, like Preston, teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.” “Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the National Anthem.”
  • “We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we all love so much. We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence and from poverty to prosperity. As tax cuts create new jobs, let’s invest in workforce development and let’s invest in job training, which we need so badly. Let’s open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.”
  • “And let’s support working families by supporting paid family leave.”
  • “As America regains its strength, opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance at life. “

On the Government Functions and Accountability

  • “Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.” ”We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.”
  • “Last year, Congress also passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve.”
  • “So, tonight, I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”
  • “In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country.”
  • “We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal. We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world.”
  • “In Detroit, I halted government mandates that crippled America’s great, beautiful autoworkers so that we can get Motor City revving its engines again” ”Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we haven’t seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan. Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.”

On Healthcare

  • “ To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our country’s history.”
  • “We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, and terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately that could potentially save their lives. People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure. I want to give them a chance right here at home. It’s time for Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the right to try.”
  • “One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.” “I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities for the year.”

On International Trade

  • “From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal. We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones. And they’ll be good ones, but they’ll be fair. And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property through strong enforcement of our trade rules.”

On Infrastructure

  • “Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs. Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit. And we can do it.”
  • “Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.”

On National Borders and Immigration

  • “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They’ve allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives. Tonight, I am calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminal gangs, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws and support our ICE and Border Patrol agents.”
  • “Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too. “
  • “Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package. Here are the four pillars of our plan:
    • The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age. That covers almost three times more people than the previous administration covered. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period.
    • The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a great wall on the southern border, and it means hiring more heroes, like CJ, to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country, and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of catch and release.
    • The third pillar ends the visa lottery, a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people.
    • The fourth pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. “

On Opioid and Drug addiction

  • “In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses — 174 deaths per day; 7 per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge. My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need, for those who have been so terribly hurt.”

On National Defense and International Matters

  • “Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these horrible dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means to our true and great defense. “
  • “I am asking Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military. As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else.”
  • “Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and in Syria and in other locations, as well. So today, I’m keeping another promise. I just signed, prior to walking in, an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, thank you to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay. At the same time, as of a few months ago, our warriors in Afghanistan have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.”
  • “Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the U.S. Senate just months before. I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
  • “I am asking Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America. “
  • “When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom. I am asking Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.”

On North Korea and other Dictatorships

  • “My administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.”
  • “But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.
  • “We are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho. . . Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears most: the truth. Today, he has a new leg. But, Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you’ve come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all. Please. Thank you. Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom. “

Special Guests of President and the First Lady for the 2018 State of the Union Address

For many of these topics during the address, President Trump used the poignant stories of the 15 guests who were seated in the first lady’s box:

  • Corey Adams, a skilled welder from Dayton, Ohio, who, along with his wife, became first-time homeowners, and says they will invest their extra money from tax reform into their two daughters’ education savings;
  • Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas, the parents — Kayla Cuevas,15, and Nisa Mickens,16 — who were murdered in 2016 by members of the MS-13 gang;
  • Corporal (Ret.) Matthew Bradford, who was injured when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while deployed to Iraq and who subsequently became the first blind, double amputee to reenlist in the Marine Corps;
  • Jon Bridger, the founder the Cajun Navy, a group that helped thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding;
  • David Dahlberg, as a fire prevention technician in southern California, who saved 62 children and staff members from a raging wildfire that had encircled their camp;
  • Officer Ryan Holets, an Albuquerque, New Mexico police officer who, along with his wife adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction;
  • Ashlee Leppert, an aviation electronics technician in the United States Coast Guard who rescued dozens imperiled during the devastating hurricane season;
  • Agent Celestino “CJ” Martinez, a Supervisory Special Agent for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit who has spent much of his 15-year tenure working to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, including MS-13;
  • Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, a staff sergeant in the United States Army, who was directly responsible for saving the life of a fellow team member, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, by immediately administrating medical procedures in an IED-ridden, ISIS controlled territory;
  • Preston Sharp, who organized the placement of more than 40,000 American flags and red carnations on soldiers’ graves; and
  • Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger, small business owners that have seen an uptick in sales, employment, and optimism, growing their team from 23 to 37 employees, expanding by acquiring a new building and giving all their employees larger than expected Christmas bonuses.

See a counter point fact check to FactCheck.org

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