Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D., Mass.) delivered the official Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night, where he defined Trump's presidency as partisan and said that he is "targeting the laws that protect us."
Shortly after Trump delivered his address, Kennedy spoke at the Fall River Vocational School in Fall River, Massachusetts and accused Trump of dividing American citizens.
"It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union. This is a difficult task. Many have spent the last year anxious, angry, [and] afraid," Kennedy said. "We all feel the fractured fault lines across our country. We hear the voices of Americans who are forgotten and feel forsaken. We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge, and corporate profits climb, but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward."
Kennedy said that it would be easy for him to dismiss the last year as "chaos" and full of "partisanship," but he said it was more extreme than that. He went on to say that Republicans and the Trump administration are targeting "the very idea that we are all worthy of protection."
"For them, dignity isn't something you're born with, but something you measure by your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size. Not to mention the gender of your spouse, the country of your birth, the color of your skin, the God of your prayers," Kennedy said.
Later in the speech, Kennedy said that the Trump administration is deciding which groups to cut and who can be "bargained away."
"They're turning American life into a zero-sum game for one to win, another must lose. Where we can guarantee America's safety if we slash our safety net. Where we can extend health care in Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts," Kennedy said. "We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow. Where we can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers. We are bombarded with one false choice after another."
"Here is the answer the Democrats offer tonight. We choose both. We fight for both because the greatest, strongest, richest nation in the world should not have to leave anyone behind. We choose a better deal for all who call our country home," Kennedy added.
Kennedy concluded his speech by listing off various scenarios of working Americans driving America "towards progress." He then likened Trump to a bully and said that bullies may "leave a mark," but they will never "match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future."
"Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep," Kenendy concluded. "That is the measure of our character. That is who we are. Out of many, one. Ladies and gentlemen, have faith. Have faith. The state of our union is hopeful, we're resilient, and enduring."