Christie: Democrats Wouldn’t Have Stood Up for ‘Anything’ Trump Said During SOTU

Immediately following President Trump’s positive State of the Union address, which ABC complained was “divisive” “gloomy” and “sad,” the same ABC team was still in meltdown mode two hours later on Nightline. Political analysts Cokie Roberts, Meghan McCain and Matthew Dowd again lamented how “disappointed” they were that Trump didn’t “give Democrats anything” they wanted, and instead engaged in “trench warfare.”

But newly instated ABC News contributor Chris Christie was the only one to declare the truth of the matter, that Democrats had become so partisan that there wasn’t “anything” he could’ve said that night to appease them.

Nightline anchor Byron Pitts moderated the post-speech analysis, first asking former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie if Trump had succeeded in his “goal” of “uniting the people” with that speech. Christie had a few minor quibbles stylistically but said he thought the president “did the best he could.” He noted there really wasn’t anything Trump could’ve said that would’ve made Democrats happy, and that was “a shame”:

Well listen, I think he did the best he could. As I said earlier, ...I think in the end, I don't think there’s anything he could have said the Democrats would have stood up for tonight. And I think that’s a shame too. I think that’s how divided the country is. The president has a lot of work in front of him.

But the rest of the ABC News analysts were ready to throw a pity party for Democrats, just like they did immediately following the speech. Longtime analyst Cokie Roberts complained that Trump didn’t give Democrats what they wanted, but “tweaked” them on “all kinds of controversies” instead:

This was a Democratic Congress minority that really did not want to give the president anything. But the president didn't give them anything. He brought up all kinds of controversies which is unusual in a State of the Union. So he tweaked them on Cuba, on Iran, on Guantanamo Bay, on standing for the national anthem and of course a whole litany of things on immigration. He didn't mention by the way, Africa or Europe places where maybe there could be some kind of unity. So I don't think Democrats came away really thinking he put out any kind of olive branch to them.

To View host, Meghan McCain, Pitts asked about DACA and how the Democrats didn’t appear to take Trump’s speech in a positive way, despite calling for a “bipartisan deal.” McCain, who typically takes a more conservative stance on The View, opted to blend in with the other liberal analysts, calling the speech “disappointing” and “a step back”:

Yeah I was surprised. I was expecting a unification on DACA going forward just given the government shutdown and the cacophony of controversy surrounding it in the past week or so. But this really should be an easy lay up for Democrats and Republicans and I think tonight is a step back and I’m really disappointed to see it because, as was said earlier by Cecilia Vega, 84% of Americans support the DREAM act. So I was little disappointed.

Virulently anti-Trump analyst Matthew Dowd then compared this speech to “warfare,” whining that Trump didn’t do his part in “crossing no man’s land” to placate Democrats. “There was nothing in this speech that gave Democrats any willingness to come across. Nothing!” he ranted.

 

 

Read the entire exchange in the transcript below:

Nightline

1//31/18

12:47:43am-12:50:56am

 

BYRON PITTS: First question to you. If the president's goal was to unite the people how do you think he did tonight?

CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well listen, I think he did the best he could. As I said earlier, ...I think in the end, I don't think there’s anything he could have said the Democrats would have stood up for tonight. And I think that’s a shame too. I think that [indiscernible] of how divided the country is. The president has a lot of work in front of him.

PITTS: Cokie, pick up on the point the governor just made. This was a house divided when the night started and didn't seem to come any closer in the end.

COKIE ROBERTS: No to put it mildly. This was a Democratic Congress minority that really did not want to give the president anything. But the president didn't give them anything. He brought up all kinds of controversies which is unusual in a State of the Union. So he tweaked them on Cuba, on Iran, on Guantanamo Bay, on standing for the national anthem and of course a whole litany of things on immigration. He didn't mention by the way, Africa or Europe places where maybe there could be some kind of unity. So I don't think Democrats came away really thinking he put out any kind of olive branch to them.

PITTS: Meghan, the president is calling for bipartisan deal on immigration, but we saw a lot of Democrats wearing black and a lot of folded arms in the audience tonight can a speech like tonight impact talks at all in a positive way?

MCCAIN: Yeah I was surprised. I was expecting a unification on DACA going forward just given the government shutdown and the cacophony of controversy surrounding it in the past week or so. But this really should be an easy lay up for Democrats and Republicans and I think tonight is a step back and I’m really disappointed to see it because, as was said earlier by Cecilia Vega, 84% of Americans support the DREAM act. So I was little disappointed.

PITTS: Matthew, you met with the president for about 20 minutes earlier today, was this the speak you were expecting to hear based on your conversation with him earlier today?

DOWD: Well, it wasn't the speech I suggested that he might want to give and the actions he might want to follow up on this. The unfortunate thing, I’ll agree with everybody including Gov. Christie, the country is very divided, but I think what happened with the speech tonight is we've become more into trench warfare. So each side digs their trench and nobody is willing to go across no man's land, no man or woman on either side has been willing to go across. I had an expectation that maybe the president was going to try to go across to no man's land and get to the other side but there was nothing in this speech that gave Democrats any willingness to come across. Nothing!

NB Daily State of the Union ABC Nightline Byron Pitts Chris Christie Meghan McCain Matthew Dowd
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