WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Environment & Public Works, and Finance committees, responded to the president’s State of the Union address to the nation.
“Time and again, I have tried to give this president the benefit of the doubt, but he continues to live in a world painted by his own hyperbole and the misguided understanding that if he repeats something enough times that it must be true – even if it is not. There was much rhetoric in the president’s speech that could form the basis for bipartisan common ground. If only he was serious about protecting public health, education and the environment, all of which pay dividends for our economy through productivity and jobs.
“Tonight, the president highlighted a number of incredible Americans who represent some of the best of American values and accomplishment, as well as our brave military men and women. He talked up the economy and our national security, including many policies imposed on him by Congress. Unfortunately, most of the policies President Trump has embraced and tweeted about for the last three years have run counter to his teleprompter rhetoric. He spoke of protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions yet he has been leading the fight to tear away health coverage for tens of millions Americans. He spoke about planting new trees to help the environment, but has consistently put polluters above public health while denying the science behind climate change and trying to cut funds for important environmental programs like the Chesapeake Bay. He spoke of advances in criminal justice reform and equality under the law, yet eliminated funding for Department of Justice community policing programs, closed halfway houses and renewed private prison contracts.
“It is in my DNA to respect the Office of the President. Tonight, the president tested the limits of such a perspective as he turned the State of the Union into a campaign rally, complete with cheers for his harmful immigration policies, attacks on political rivals, repeated shout-outs to conservative pet issues and made-for-TV reveals.”