Viewers really did not like Trump’s State of the Union last night, as he got the least positive reaction in at least 20 years. And it’s clear why: We saw the same divisive Trump that has made him historically unpopular. There was no unity, no bipartisanship, and there will be no change. We aren’t the only ones saying it:
Trump’s SOTU was not unifying or bipartisan, it was divisive.
NBC News: “President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address was billed by the White House beforehand as a speech that would be ‘unifying’ and ‘bipartisan.’ It was neither.”
Los Angeles Times Editorial: “In his first State of the Union address, President Trump spoke in an almost conciliatory tone that largely eschewed his usual bluster. Yet the underlying message was his familiar appeal to fear and resentment, particularly toward noncitizens and foreign adversaries.”
Washington Post Editorial: “A divisive and misleading State of the Union”
USA Today Editorial: “Much of the president's 80-minute speech seemed more about inflaming the cultural divide — on issues ranging from kneeling NFL players to detaining terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay — than bridging it.”
Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “The contrast between Trump’s paean to unity and the divisions he has wrought could not be wider — and according to polls is acknowledged even by Republicans.”
NBC’s Kasie Hunt: “There was a lot of talk about President Trump delivering an uplifting speech There might be lofty rhetoric — but make no mistake the frame is one that subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) inflames the cultural divide between Trump’s America and the America that disdains him”
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: “The speech has been artless paint-by-numbers stuff (much of which was fine) and standard Paul Ryan supply side bromides, all shot through with standard Trump culture war demagoguery.”
Meghan McCain: “It was a lot more divisive than I anticipated, but I’m sure conservatives will be happy tonight.”
NBC’s Megyn Kelly: “This was a speech for his base.”
Matthew Dowd: “What I was thinking as I was listening to the speech, is that the President met with me after the speech, I would say to him, well, that was how not to give a unifying speech.”
Simply put, there was no new Trump.
CNBC: “President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech changed nothing. There was no ‘pivot.’ There was no fresh approach to nation's problems or its political stalemate in Washington. There was no new Trump.”
Washington Post’s Hohmann: “No serious person in either party believes that last night represents a real pivot to becoming more ‘presidential.’”
Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet: “But the words from Trump’s more than hourlong State of the Union will have less influence than one of his Tweets. Here’s my bottom-line analysis of Trump’s first official speech before a joint session of Congress: It won’t change much of anything.”