Even though President Donald Trump never mentioned it, his impeachment was likely on the minds of many lawmakers in attendance of his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
It was difficult to believe it wasn’t on his own mind as well. At the outstart, after Trump walked into the room and arrived at the podium, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi attempted to reach out for a customary handshake from the president.
Instead, Trump handed her a copy of his speech, and ignored her attempts at cordiality.
Nancy Pelosi went in for the handshake aaaaand….Trump ignored it. pic.twitter.com/c8kFSP3kQr
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) February 5, 2020
At the end of the speech, it was Pelosi who took flak from Republicans for her actions.
Having concluded his constitutionally-mandated assessment of the State of the Union, lawmakers in the chamber stood up to applaud or to begin exiting the House chamber. Pelosi, who as Speaker traditionally sits behind the president during the speech, also stood up — and proceeded to rip up the copy of the speech Trump had handed her at the beginning of the night.
Asked why she ripped it up, Pelosi explained to reporters that her actions were a better alternative to what she could have done with the copy of Trump’s remarks she was given.
“It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives,” Pelosi said, according to Newsweek.
— The Fix (@thefix) February 5, 2020
It was these theatrics, and more, that were the highlights (or “lowlights”) of the State of the Union Address for 2020. In spite of Trump declaring that America is “stronger than ever before,” it was evident that animosities between the two major political parties are still problematic, although who deserves the “blame” for that largely depends on your political point of view.
Indeed, the contents of the speech delivered by Trump were highly partisan, and many observed it was more of a stump speech than an assessment of America’s health. NBC’s Chuck Todd called the president’s remarks “a conservative campaign checklist of making sure you hit every special interest group.” Trump also accused Democrats of trying to impose a “socialist takeover” of the nation’s healthcare system through some endorsing the idea of Medicare for All.
Trump also engaged in theatrics during the speech — including awarding controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom in the middle of it all, even though Limbaugh has a long history of expressing racist viewpoints on his program.
“Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion,” Trump said to Limbaugh, as First Lady Melania Trump, who was sitting next to the pundit, awarded him the medal.