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Connecticut Democrats On Trump's Speech: 'Nothing New' Except The Tone

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy gives his reaction to President Donald Trump's speech on MSNBC late Tuesday.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy gives his reaction to President Donald Trump's speech on MSNBC late Tuesday. Photo Credit: MSNBC screenshot

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — With Connecticut standing firm as a true Blue State, the state's top Democratic officials issued statements critical of President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening.     

"President Trump offered nothing new tonight. He offered no new ideas. He offered no new legislation to fulfill his endless promises. He offered no new explanations for all the things that have gone wrong during the first month of his administration," said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). "His tone tonight was more sober than usual, but what a low bar we have set for the presidency when a speech is considered a success when the Commander-in-Chief doesn't do something truly stunning or embarrassing. 

"I remain ready to work with the President if he is truly sincere about working with Democrats on potential bipartisan initiatives like infrastructure investment and trade adjustment, but I still haven't seen any real, meaningful overtures to make that happen."

Murphy brought Patrick A. Charmel, president and CEO of Derby’s Griffin Hospital, as his guest to the speech. After the speech, Murphy appeared on MSNBC and YahooNews to give his reaction. 

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was also underwhelmed by Trump's speech.

"This speech was mostly vague platitudes, vacuous assurances, and appeals to fear," he said. "The nation needs a leader with a real vision for our future – not empty promises. We deserve more than an administration that pledges unity, then governs by fear."

Blumenthal was joined at the Joint Address to Congress by Hewad Hemat, a refugee from Afghanistan who fled his home country after his work on behalf of the United States provoked the Taliban to threaten him and his family. 

Hemat worked for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and the United Nations for eight years. He and his family were admitted to the United States as refugees in 2014, and settled in New Haven.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty was joined at the speech by Waterbury Police Chief Vernon L. Riddick Jr., who shares her concerns about gun control. 

“The values President Trump talked about in his speech tonight – ideas like standing up to special interests, securing our national defense, and expanding economic opportunity – were totally at odds with the divisive and damaging policies he has pursued and the appointments he has made since taking office," Esty said of the speech. 

"I stand ready to work with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration on areas of genuine shared interest. But the words tonight must be understood in the context of the actions the president has taken in the last five weeks and will be judged by the actions he takes going forward.”

From Hartford, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said, “We all hold high aspirations for our country, communities, and families and it is the role of government to enable all people to achieve such goals. Though President Trump spoke about unity, justice, and a stronger middle class, unfortunately, the vision he presented tonight falls short on providing a path forward toward these ends.

“In particular, the changes to Medicaid that have been recently discussed are cause for alarming concern. And nothing we heard tonight assuages our fear that millions of low-income families and seniors will lose healthcare – such a result would not only be disastrous to individuals, but to the healthcare system. 

“We will not stop advocating for what is in the best interest of the people of our state and our nation. In fact, we stand as ready partners to help move the country forward where everyone stands to benefit. President Trump would be wise to take us up on this offer.”

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