Gracious Trump Gave ‘Props’ in SOTU to Historic Gains by Women
President had an 'own-the-room' moment when he acknowledged the record number of female lawmakers — yet many of them scorned the bulk of his address
Fox News host Laura Ingraham praised President Donald Trump late Tuesday night for his graciousness in giving “props” to the historic number of women elected to Congress in 2018 in an “own-the-room” moment during his State of the Union (SOTU) address.
Americans sent a record number of women — the overwhelming majority of whom are Democrats — to Congress following the November midterm elections.
Democratic women wore white to Trump’s SOTU address in solidarity with the suffragette movement. Although most of those white-clad women refused to stand and clap during key parts of the president’s speech, there was one moment in particular that brought them to their feet.
“No one has benefited more from a thriving economy than women who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Trump said to a round of applause.
“You weren’t supposed to do that!” Trump teased as the Democratic women stood and cheered.
“Thank you very much. Don’t sit yet. You’re going to like this,” Trump continued. “And exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.”
This earned a series of “USA” chants from the Democratic women.
But for her part, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not accept Trump’s praise as graciously in remarks she made after the speech.
“When he acknowledged that it was the largest number of women, he forgot to acknowledge there is only 15, what is it, 15 Republicans and 91 Democratic women in the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said. “I was like, ‘Weird you’re bringing this up.'”
Ingraham said, “That’s it? Is that the best you’ve got, San Francisco, really?”
“That’s why it was a nice moment,” she said of Trump’s acknowledgment. “You think Trump doesn’t know that they are mostly Democrats? He was actually doing what they claim they want him to do — bipartisan acknowledgment: ‘Good for you, you guys are here, it’s the anniversary of women’s suffrage.'”
“I thought that was a brilliant moment in the speech and she knows — she knows it’s brilliant, that’s why she has to kind of [react] in that little snitty way,” Ingraham said.
Consultant and pollster Frank Luntz was in the chamber during the address. Ingraham asked him on her show, “Frank, these are women who, many of them have said — called him a racist, called him a misogynist, said he should be impeached, and he gave them props there. They were wearing white for the suffragettes.”
“I thought that was a brilliant, own-the-room moment for this president,” Ingraham added.
Luntz replied, “I think they made a mistake because they did not stand … In virtually every case, they sat on their hands, even when it was something that they themselves would have been proud of if this had been Barack Obama.”
“I had an amazing seat so I could see who was up and who wasn’t. And [House Majority Leader] Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), I give him credit, he was up. The women behind him would not applaud, they would not stand, they would not show any recognition when Trump talked about having the most major impact on African-American employment, Latino employment. The women stayed put,” Luntz said.
Ingraham agreed “it was really important” to see who did and who did not stand for record low unemployment for African-Americans and “all these successes for women.”
Byron York, the Washington Examiner’s chief political correspondent and a Fox News contributor, noted that “that was one of the parts of the speech that was designed to appeal to everybody talking about the creation of jobs for everybody.”
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp noted, “If you actually take away all of vitriol, the people who just hate, have animus toward Trump, if you actually look at his policies, they are commonsense policies” — then more Democrats would stand.
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) told Ingraham, “What you saw [Tuesday night] is a president that [gave] … one of the most historic speeches I can remember.”
“What you saw was a president hitting his stride, buoyant [about] the results that his agenda is achieving, and it’s disgusting, frankly, to see Americans sit on their hands when you talk about the lowest African-American employment in history,” Perdue said.
“He laid out a vision for America that builds on [the] successes of his presidency so far and the results he’s achieving right now,” Perdue said. “But Nancy Pelosi has a historic opportunity right now to be a partner with Donald Trump.”
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