CNN Laments Trump Using Patriotic Language in SOTU, Alienating Democrats

It didn’t take long for CNN to crank the anti-Trump ridiculousness up to 11 after President Trump’s State of the Union address. Just 19 seconds after Trump concluded his speech CNN host Jake Tapper, and later Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, whined about how Trump used patriotic language that would inevitably “turn off” liberal Democrats. But their complaints weren’t directed at the melodramatic Democrats but at Trump himself.

Immediately following the speech, host Wolf Blitzer asked Tapper if Trump achieved his goal of unifying people. “Well, let's put aside for one second the parts of the speech that everyone in the world likes. The inspirational stories of Americans and the calls to unity,” Tapper began. “What you saw tonight was President Trump, I think, with one hand reaching out his hand to Democrats, and with the other hand, holding up a fist. And this is almost the conundrum of Donald Trump.

Tapper did admit that Trump talked about some policy items Democrats could get behind, but bemoaned how the President suggested that all Americans were Dreamers:

But by the same token, I think President Trump doesn't actually necessarily understand just how offensive many Democrats in that chamber are going to find some of the things he proposed and some of the things he said in terms of, there are Americans who are dreamers too, et cetera, some of the things he said about immigration that are going to turn off a lot of people in that chamber.

 

 

After listening to CNN’s Dana Bash talk about Trump’s use of his guest’s stories to back up his points, Tapper pointed out the story about a young boy who organized 40,000 flags to be placed on fallen soldiers graves and claimed it was an example of Trump being divisive.

A beautiful story. One that everyone in the country can unite behind, the idea of honoring veterans, honoring people who have sacrificed,” Tapper said. “But he used that story as a way of taking a shot at NFL players who take a knee to protest police brutality during the national anthem. So then again, you have simultaneously something that everyone can get behind and also a framing that is going to alienate some people.

A short time later, Borger chimed in to strongly agree with Tapper’s premise:

I want to echo something Jake said. Because on the one hand, the speech could be kind of sunny and moving when you talked about some of the anecdotes and the people who were in that gallery. And then he would turn quite quickly to America first, to saying that Americans are dreamers too, to policies that are quite divisive. And I think he's gotten a little more adept at doing this. And we see that in this speech.

But there's a lot in there that, particularly on immigration, it didn't seem to me like he was extending much of an olive branch to Democrats,” Borger continued to whine while failing to mention that the DACA deal Trump put on the table was larger than any Democrat proposal to date.

All the whining about Trump being divisive with patriotic speech, yet there was no condemnation of Democrats for being so easily offended by it.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, expand to read more:

 

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CNN
State of the Union
January 30, 2018
10:31:04 PM Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: The president of the United States speaking for about an hour and 20 minutes, a lengthy speech. Very strong speech, Jake. He said he wanted to unify the country with his speech. Did he succeed? Did he accomplish that mission?

JAKE TAPPER: Well, let's put aside for one second the parts of the speech that everyone in the world likes. The inspirational stories of Americans and the calls to unity. And the beautiful prose that was in the speech. And let's just talk about the actual policies that he's talking about, because that's really the focus of this Congress and whether or not people can get behind it. What you saw tonight was President Trump, I think, with one hand reaching out his hand to Democrats, and with the other hand, holding up a fist. And this is almost the conundrum of Donald Trump.

In addition to more traditional Republican positions such as tax cuts, talking about strong borders, et cetera, there is in his Trump republicanism, nationalism, populism, whatever you want to call it, room for Democrats to work with him. He talked about changing trade deals. He talked about lowering the cost of prescription drugs, spending money on infrastructure, paid family leave, prison reform, a path to citizenship for dreamers. There is that there.

But by the same token, I think President Trump doesn't actually necessarily understand just how offensive many Democrats in that chamber are going to find some of the things he proposed and some of the things he said in terms of, there are Americans who are dreamers too, et cetera, some of the things he said about immigration that are going to turn off a lot of people in that chamber.

And this really is the mystery of Donald Trump, the riddle of Donald Trump, the enigma that he will leave here thinking that he gave a very unifying speech, in which there was a lot of middle ground. And he's not wrong, but by toke there are to be a lot of Democrats who were very offended by the speech, who found some of the speech attempts, speech techniques he used offensive and polarizing and he won't understand that reaction. And I think that's the conundrum of Trump and Trumpism.

BLITZER: He did, Dana, use his special invited guests rather impressively to underscore his points.

(…)

TAPPER: And if I could just say one other thing. A perfect example of what I'm talking about is when he talked about Preston Sharp, that boy from California who's organized the placement of more than 40,000 American flags and carnations on soldier's graves. A beautiful story. One that everyone in the country can unite behind, the idea of honoring veterans, honoring people who have sacrificed. But he used that story as a way of taking a shot at NFL players who take a knee to protest police brutality during the national anthem. So then again, you have simultaneously something that everyone can get behind and also a framing that is going to alienate some people.

(…)

GLORIA BORGER: I want to echo something Jake said. Because on the one hand, the speech could be kind of sunny and moving when you talked about some of the anecdotes and the people who were in that gallery. And then he would turn quite quickly to America first, to saying that Americans are dreamers too, to policies that are quite divisive. And I think he's gotten a little more adept at doing this. And we see that in this speech.

But I think the question that people will have is, what's going to happen tomorrow? Who is Donald Trump going to be? And my producer, Brian Rokus came up with this, which is that after the President gave his joint address on February 28th last year, which a lot of people thought was great, on March 4th, he tweeted about Obama wiretapping him in Trump Tower and lost all of that goodwill very quickly. So we'll have to see how this, how this plays out.

But there's a lot in there that, particularly on immigration, it didn't seem to me like he was extending much of an olive branch to Democrats.

(…)


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