Calling on the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the high court vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, President Donald Trump reinforced his promise to nominate a constitutional conservative for the position in a speech that is causing his popularity to soar.
It was one of the many high points of his hour-long address to Congress Tuesday evening that saw the president take the high road repeatedly while Democrats, still apparently seething from November’s loss of the White House and Congress, at times sat motionless while the rest of the room was standing and applauding.
The president’s confirmation request came as he went through a list of his administration’s accomplishments since taking office just over one month ago.
“I have kept my promise,” Trump stated, “to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court — from my list of 20 judges — who will defend our Constitution. I am honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice. To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.”
Trump’s plea for unity seemed to fall on deaf ears. The full context of his speech can be read here.
In addition, he called on Congress to “repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.”
If that didn’t make Democrat blood boil, Trumps subsequent remarks must have:
“Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
“Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits…
“Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?
“We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
“Obamacare is collapsing –- and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice –- it is a necessity.”
He further dismantled the Obama “legacy” by publicly stating the impacts of the previous administration’s policies:
“In the last eight years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.
“We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
“Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars.
“And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.”
At least some of those “disasters” had to have been on the watch of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Democrats had expected her to essentially waltz into the presidency right up to Nov. 8 when Electoral College votes Clinton had taken for granted went to Trump, who took nothing for granted in the final days of the campaign.
Many of Trumps media critics are admitting that his speech was “presidential.” Others have called it powerful and the best speech of his career.
In short, Tuesday night was a make-or-break moment for the young Trump presidency, and he made it.