sunny.png
Tuesday September 17th, 2019 3:17PM

In response to Trump, Democrats argue for middle class

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Soaring stock prices under President Donald Trump have boosted investor portfolios and corporate profits but have not eased the economic anxieties of middle-class families, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III said Tuesday night in the Democratic response to Trump's first State of the Union address.

In calling on Americans to reject the "chaos" of the Trump era, Kennedy also outlined a Democratic vision that promises a "better deal for all who call this country home."

Democrats support a higher minimum wage, paid leave for employees and affordable child care, among other priorities, Kennedy said.

"We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won't rust away, and good education you can afford," he said in a speech from a vocational high school in Fall River, Massachusetts, a onetime manufacturing hub now struggling with high unemployment and other problems.

Kennedy, 37, a three-term congressman and grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, has argued that Democrats should focus on the economic concerns of working-class voters who bolted the party in the 2016 elections.

Fall River, home to many blue-collar workers, "has faced its share of storms," Kennedy said. "But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city."

In an apparent reference to Trump, Kennedy said that "bullies may land a punch" and leave a mark but that they have "never managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future."

In a hard-hitting speech for a political newcomer, Kennedy decried a rollback of civil rights protections, noting proposals that target Muslims, transgender people and others.

The Trump administration "isn't just targeting the laws that protect us — they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection," Kennedy said.

Trump's record is "a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count — in the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government," Kennedy said.

The red-haired Kennedy was elected to the House in 2012, returning the family to Congress two years after the retirement of Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the son of Joe Kennedy III's great-uncle Ted.

Known mostly for his famous last name, Kennedy's selection has been criticized by some as tone-deaf at a time when sexual harassment of women and the Black Lives Matter movement are at the forefront of American politics. Speaking without a suit coat in front of a rebuilt car and an enthusiastic audience, Kennedy tried to defuse that Tuesday by citing the #MeToo movement and declaring, "Black lives matter."

In a nod to "Dreamers," the 700,000 young immigrants brought here as children and now here illegally, Kennedy spoke in Spanish as he said Dreamers are a part of America's story and promised that Democrats will not walk away from them.

Kennedy said Trump and his administration were breaking a core promise of America — that everyone will be treated equally under the law. He accused the administration of "callously" appraising Americans' worth and deciding "who makes the cut and who can be bargained away."

Under the leadership of Trump and congressional Republicans, Americans are "bombarded with one false choice after another," Kennedy said. "Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland."

Democrats "choose both," Kennedy said.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Kennedy was an assistant district attorney in two Massachusetts districts before being elected to Congress. He has focused on economic and social justice in Congress and has advocated on behalf of vocational schools and community colleges and championed issues such as transgender rights and marriage equality.

To illustrate that message, Kennedy invited U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King, a transgender woman, as his guest to the State of the Union. King, an infantry squad leader at Fort Lewis, Washington, was the first person to have gender reassignment surgery paid for by the military.

Kennedy's speech was one of several Democratic responses. Elizabeth Guzman, one of the first Latinas elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, delivered a Spanish-language response, while former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke on Facebook Live and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spoke on BET.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Personal Finance
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Former ref McCutchen adjusting to new role within NBA
Former referee Monty McCutchen is adjusting to his new role within the NBA, and has a big challenge in front of him
2:10AM ( 13 minutes ago )
3 dead, 2 injured as helicopter crashes into California home
Officials say three people were killed and two more injured when a helicopter crashed into a home in a suburban Southern California neighborhood
2:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump favors release of memo White House wants reviewed
Trump says he wants to release controversial memo connected to the Russia election meddling probe, but White House says a legal and national security check will happen first
2:04AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Hard-nosed ex-Michigan governor to lead Michigan State
Michigan State University is turning to a hard-nosed former governor and alumnus to right the ship following scathing criticism over its handling of the sex assault scandal
1:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump says he's '100 percent' for releasing GOP memo
President Donald Trump has been overheard telling a Republican lawmaker he is "100 percent" in favor of releasing a classified memo on the Russia investigation
12:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Philippines to back US fight vs terror 'if efforts coincide'
The Philippine defense chief reacted guardedly to Trump's remarks on fighting terrorism in his State of the Union address and says Manila will lend support whenever their efforts coincide
12:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Sanders blasts Trump for dodging social programs
Liberal icon Bernie Sanders is blasting President Donald Trump for what he did not say during his State of the Union address
11:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
Democrats make beeline for House exits after Trump speech
Democrats make beeline for House exits after Trump speech
11:13PM ( 3 hours ago )
Dem reacts to Trump: 'Bullies may land a punch,' don't win
Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III says soaring stock prices under President Donald Trump have boosted investor portfolios and corporate profits but failed to give workers their fair share of the reward
11:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
The Latest: Trump says US will triumph over opioid crisis
President Donald Trump says he's committed to the "long and difficult" fight against the epidemic of opioid and drug addiction
10:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump calls for unity on immigration in State of the Union
President Donald Trump appeals for unity in State of the Union address _ but will he follow with outreach to Democrats?
9:59PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump asks for $1.5 trillion for infrastructure
President Donald Trump is calling on Congress to pass legislation to generate at least $1.5 trillion to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges and other infrastructure
9:48PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street's sharp decline
Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street recorded its biggest decline since August
1:25AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Hawaii worker who sent false alert had problems but kept job
A Hawaii employee who sent an alert falsely warning of an incoming ballistic missile had problems performing his job but kept it for a decade
1:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
Behind South Korea's chip boom, worries over future
The craze for smartphones, social media and universal connectivity is generating huge wealth but also deep unease in South Korea
1:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Melania Trump greeted with standing ovation
Melania Trump received a standing ovation as she entered the House chamber to take her seat for the State of the Union address
9:08PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Democrats make fashion _ and button _ statements
Democrats crowding the House chamber are letting buttons _ and the color of their clothes _ send messages
8:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
Amazon, Buffett and JPMorgan join forces on health care
Three of corporate America's heaviest hitters _ Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase _ have sent a shudder through the health care industry by announcing plans to create a company that would provide their employees with high-quality, affordable care
8:57PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Lawyers chase O.J. Simpson over $70M wrongful death judgment
O.J. Simpson owes the family of Fred Goldman more than $70 million from a 1997 wrongful death judgment and a lawyer for the Goldmans says the former football star should use his profits from autographs to settle his debt
2:16AM ( 1 day ago )
What's the real state of the union? A deep dive in the stats
What's the real state of the union? A deep dive in the stats reveals both progress and peril
9:18PM ( 1 day ago )
By the numbers: Trump's 1st year marks progress and peril
A by-the-numbers look at President Donald Trump's first year in office reveals areas of both progress and peril.
4:40PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Personal Finance
Former ref McCutchen adjusting to new role within NBA
Former referee Monty McCutchen is adjusting to his new role within the NBA, and has a big challenge in front of him
2:10AM ( 13 minutes ago )
3 dead, 2 injured as helicopter crashes into California home
Officials say three people were killed and two more injured when a helicopter crashed into a home in a suburban Southern California neighborhood
2:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open
Trump orders U.S. military prison at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay to remain open and ready to accept enemy combatants
2:03AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump favors release of memo White House wants reviewed
Trump says he wants to release controversial memo connected to the Russia election meddling probe, but White House says a legal and national security check will happen first
2:02AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trump's time, Democrats' grumbles, Melania's white pantsuit
Scenes from the speech: Trump's time at the microphone, Democrats' grumbles, Melania's all-white pantsuit
2:00AM ( 23 minutes ago )