Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) did not come to play. On Feb. 5, the day of the State of the Union, the senator and White House hopeful offered a rebuttal to President Trump's address — even before it happened — and she really laid it on thick. In Kamala Harris' reaction to the 2019 State of the Union, she took aim at Trump's beloved wall.
In a Facebook Live address before the president's speech on Tuesday night, Harris expressed her feelings on the wall when she said:
I want everyone to remember this: The strength of our union has never been found in the walls we build. It’s in our diversity and unity, and that is our power.
She also spoke about the opportunity the State of the Union provides, when she shared, "It’s a moment for the president to rise above politics and unite the country with a a vision that includes all Americans, not just the ones that voted for him." Seemingly focused on finding power in a united country, not one divided by attitudes concerning a wall, Harris also explained of the State of the Union, "It’s a moment to bring us together and remind that we should be united in service of a common purpose, a higher purpose."
Given that Trump spoke heavily to his base on Tuesday by speaking on abortion, the wall, and the Mueller investigation, it's likely Harris didn't think his speech had a unifying tone.
In the morning of Feb. 5, Harris tweeted that it was "critical [to] speak truth to the American people" during this moment in history and it looks like she clearly wasn't messing around.
As for Trump's address, there was a lot of ground covered. From taking jabs at the Mueller investigation to more than one round of "USA!" chants, the 2019 State of the Union was a quite the mixed bag.
I don't know about you, but I bet there's gonna be a comment (or 10) about the border drama. As of late, Trump has doubled down on his calls for a border wall with Mexico to fix what he calls a growing "humanitarian and security crisis." He wants $5.7 billion, a number Democrats have refused to meet, offering just $1.3 billion for border fencing instead. If the two don't reach an agreement by Feb. 15, another government shutdown could go into effect, following a partial one that lasted for more than a month before Trump ended it on Jan. 25. If you've been paying attention to this drama, you already know that Trump has never missed an opportunity to talk about this subject, so Feb. 5 doesn't exactly seem any different.
Even before the speech started we were able to make some guesses based on Trump's guest list. This year, he invited formerly incarcerated people such as Alice Marie Johnson, a woman Trump granted clemency to in 2018 after she served more than 20 years of a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. After her release, he started tackling other criminal justice reform efforts, even signing a bill in late 2018 to reduce the number of people in prison. Other invitees included survivors of a mass shooting, which is another topic the president has often talked and tweeted about, from stressing the importance of arming teachers to expressing concern for potential victims, as well as a kid who has been bullied because his last name is Trump.
Following his address, Stacey Abrams, who unsuccessfully ran for Georgia governor in the November 2018 midterm elections, gave the official Democratic response, and she did not hold back either, calling the government shutdown a "stunt engineered by the president of the United States." Oof.
Still, drama is only to be expected when it comes to politics. Who knows what we'll see tomorrow.