President Donald Trump spoke to the nation during his third State of the Union address Tuesday, Feb. 5, and the majority of readers surveyed say they think he did an excellent job.
Johnny Bittick, a 79-year-old resident of Moss Lake, said he felt the Republican president’s message of unity came across nicely and thought it was “well constructed.”
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“It was probably better than I thought it would be,” Bittick said while adding that he anticipated disruptions from the Democratic Party. “Other than the usual not clapping and standing up at times (from the Democrats) I thought it went well.”
Bittick said Trump, whom he voted for, touched on items of interest for both parties.
During the SOTU, Trump talked about immigration, health care and how employment numbers are on the rise.
He said he was wondering if Trump would make any major announcements about the border wall, but he didn’t expect it.
“I think he did as well as anyone could,” Bittick said. “It was extremely good, well delivered.”
The consensus on the Gainesville Daily Register’s Facebook page agreed with Bittick.
Angela Carney said in her post that she believes “it is one of the greatest presidential speeches ever given.” She also said it fell on deaf ears while adding that on Feb. 15 “we will witness another government shut down.”
“Best speech ever given for the good of the American people!! He truly cares!! Just needs people with common sense to work with. No games,” a post by Pamela McDonald Hines states.
Gainesville resident Sarah Spikeston disagrees. The 29-year-old said she did not vote for Trump.
“I think it sounded a lot more like a campaign speech than a State of the Union address,” Spikeston said.
She said she was hoping to hear of a path for how the country can move forward.
The threat of another government shutdown was not addressed and the country is again going to have federal employees out of work, according to Spikeston.
“He knows that it hurts him, so strategically he opted out of mentioning it,” she said.
Spikeston did say she agreed with Trump’s statement on prescription drug prices.
“I think it’s absolutely true,” she said. “We shell out a lot more for medicine than our northern counterparts.”
She said that the mention was maybe to use as a bargaining chip with the Democrats, while adding that a “good core base” of Trump’s supporters are of an aging population who might worry about prescription costs.
“Despite some unity rhetoric, the overwhelming message was to his base,” Spikeston said.
Cooke County Republican Party Chairman Chris McNamara said he, too, thought the SOTU was a great message of unity and compromise to accomplish a common goal.
“President Trump reminded us that we are far more than just Republicans and Democrats, we are Americans and (when) working together, anything is possible,” McNamara said.
He said he hopes members of both parties listened and will work together on things that will unite the Republicans and Democrats rather than continue to concentrate on what divides them.
“The president highlighted the many ways that we have worked together and identified many more areas that we can find common ground,” McNamara said.
Cooke County Democratic Party Chairman John Angus said he was waiting to find out how the two parties could unite and find common goals.
“What we got was give me what we want and it’ll all be OK,” Angus said.
“At the end I heard the patriotic theme and he did it well, and his staging was good as usual,” he said. “Other than that, everything I heard was braggadocio and how we are all being harmed by undocumented aliens.”
Angus said the scariest thing he heard during the president’s address was his “quick shot at investigations.”
“He doesn’t understand the constitution, separation of powers, the Department of Justice or the fact that we’re a nation of laws and we all have to live up to them,” Angus said. “The last president to even hint at attacking an independent investigation was President (Richard) Nixon.”
Editor Sarah Einselen contributed to this report.