Colorado politicians react to President Trump's State of the Union

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 00:28:42-05

DENVER – President Donald Trump called for unity in his first State of the Union address in a speech that was warmly received by most Republicans in attendance, but also riled Democrats and some Republicans with hard-line talk on immigration. Here’s a roundup of reaction from Colorado’s top politicians that Denver7 has received so far.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R)

“I applaud the President’s call for unity tonight. It’s time that we come together as a country, and for Democrats and Republicans to work together on issues to achieve a compromise for Dreamers and make needed investments to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

“I was pleased the President also highlighted how the tax cuts have already resulted in billions of dollars of investment and wage growth.  We must continue to grow the economy and reduce the burden of Washington on hardworking Americans. While urban areas along the Front Range are thriving, the forgotten corners of our state and country are not seeing the same level of success. We must do better for all America. 

“Many of the goals outlined tonight will serve as a blueprint for what Congress can achieve for the American people in the coming year, and I hope Democrats and Republicans will work together to move our country forward.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D)

“Only this President could make a call for unity sound so divisive. He continues to promise results for Coloradans, but delivers partisan soundbites and ideology.

“I want nothing more than to move forward to pass comprehensive immigration reform, lower drug prices, combat the opioid crisis, and make investments in infrastructure. The President’s tone and lack of results make it difficult to believe his speech is anything more than hollow rhetoric.

“Instead of calling on Americans to join his dark, backward-looking vision for our country, President Trump should draw on our strengths and inspire us all to succeed.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R)

“We’re already seeing the economic benefits of deregulation and of the job-creating tax reform package passed last year. I’m eager now to build on this momentum and work with the administration on important policy initiatives like border security, immigration reform, reducing government spending, and military readiness.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D)

"Tonight I was hoping to hear a more unifying message and a commitment to bipartisan cooperation. But unfortunately, I heard neither.

"My guest at tonight's State of the Union, Viviana Andazola Marquez, is an example of an individual that makes our country proud. After living in the U.S. for almost 20 years with no criminal record, Viviana's father was torn from his family and deported. A senior at Yale University, Viviana has pledged to keep fighting for her father and other immigrants in similar situations. Viviana and her family exemplify one of the many reasons we need to pass humane and common sense immigration policies that keep families together, help our communities, and grow our economy.

"I also believe in the critical need for an infrastructure package. When President Trump took office, I saw an opportunity to work with him and the Republican Congress on tax reform paired with infrastructure. It’s unfortunate the Republicans chose to spend $1.5 trillion, at best, on tax cuts for their wealthy donors rather than helping hardworking families or addressing our country’s infrastructure needs. With many Coloradans feeling the squeeze of a growing economy and increased congestion, I hope President Trump and the Republican Congress approach infrastructure in a bipartisan way with real investments in our communities so it can have a broader impact and actually make a difference in the lives of hardworking families.

"Under this administration, we have seen confusion and chaos but one thing is clear: we must continue to hold this administration accountable and stay vigilant against policies that threaten Colorado’s economy or infringe on the values Coloradans cherish."

Rep. Jared Polis (D)

"Over the past year, we have witnessed President Trump attempt to roll back progress with his destructive actions.  But we have also witnessed people across America - like Anarely and so many others - proudly stand up and defend progress. The people - who have defended progress tooth and nail - are why we can say the state of the union is strong.

“Ever the optimist, I am hopeful that Congress can pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that provides relief for traffic, fixes outdated school buildings, and finally gets high-speed internet to rural areas, so I was happy to hear the president talk about that.  But first and foremost, we need to make sure that our economy works for everyone, and that families can finally get ahead and save for college or retirement.  We have to collaborate to pass a year-long budget, or we are looking at another government shutdown next week.  And we must, clearly, find a fix for the dreamers, who only know the U.S. as home.”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D)

“I attended the State of the Union address with low expectations -- and unfortunately, I was not disappointed. Despite the White House claim that the president would seek common ground, this speech was designed to divide Americans and deepen the fissures in our democracy.

"It was full of generalities. The few issues he addressed were cast in hyper-partisan terms. The use of fear-mongering to push for immigration reforms was outrageously cynical, practically equating Dreamers with members of a despicable, vicious gang. Is this the way he intends to negotiate legislation to address our broken immigration system?"

“We deserve better from the President of the United States. What a shame that he chose to make this divisive speech tonight in the People’s House.”

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hays

“Americans are optimistic by nature, but we’re especially optimistic right now, and with good reason: taxes have fallen, wages are rising, bonuses are rolling in. Every day, another company announces a huge new investment in America’s future. This really does feel like a New American Moment, and in his speech tonight, President Trump, who created this moment, memorialized it for the ages.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

“The President’s address tonight was simply disappointing. At a time when our country can be and is united behind common sense solutions to immigration reform, finally improving our aging infrastructure and more, this President offered nothing but empty words and self-congratulatory pats on the back for an economic recovery he had no part in.

“Last week, my fellow mayors and I met to discuss the changing needs of our cities. We talked about what we need to do to increase economic opportunities, support all our residents and prioritize the smart infrastructure investments that our country needs to keep us strong and competitive. But that work can’t be done without a Congress and White House willing to make investments and come to the table. We didn’t hear any of that from the President tonight.

“What we heard is that tax cuts for the wealthy will supposedly cure all our economic problems. An infrastructure “plan” without any direction or specifics that leaves state and local governments holding the bag. A call for immigration reform based on fear and that does nothing to address the mess he created for our DREAMers. An energy policy that removes the United States from a leadership role on addressing climate change. And platitudes when it comes to the challenges of the opioid crisis.

“Our country and the American people deserve better than this. And where the President refuses to lead, cities like Denver will step up to do what must be done to keep the United States moving forward.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R)

“The middle class and small businesses got tremendous relief this year. Since we passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses – many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Thank you @POTUS for leading the way”

“We always celebrate our police, military, and veterans. You have forever have our support. Young Preston, who sat in the gallery as an honored guest, started a movement that placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our country's heroes. He makes us all proud to be American.”

“The president called on all of us in Congress to defend Americans -- to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. We will heed your call Mr. President. "Because Americans are dreamers too."

Rep. Mike Coffman (R)

“I applaud @POTUS for acknowledging the need to take care of our American heroes-- Our Veterans.”

State Sen. Rhonda Fields (D) and lawyer Mario Nicolais