Trump: I'll stress bipartisanship in 'important' State of the Union address
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump nodded to the stakes for his first official State of the Union address, calling it an "important speech" and previewing bipartisan overtures in his remarks on big items, like immigration.
The speech will cover "a lot of territory," Trump told reporters as he finished swearing in his new Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar. During the remarks, the president said he'll tout the "great success" of the stock market and tax cuts passed just at the close of the year, but will also make a push on immigration policies, including DACA.
"For many years," Trump said, lawmakers have "been talking about immigration" but "never get anything done." Now, with him at the helm, he said he's hopeful for action that unites Democrats and Republicans.
"We’re gonna get something done, we hope bipartisan," Trump said, noting that the reality in Congress for Republicans makes bipartisanship an essential factor, not a wishful one. "The Republicans really don’t have the votes to get it done in any other way. So it has to be bipartisan."
The White House released its immigration plan last week, in a bid to re-start stalled negotiations on the topic.
While senior administration officials have previewed an "optimistic speech," it won't be without the brand of tough talk that helped propel Trump to the office in the first place.
Noting once again his belief that "the world has taken advantage of us on trade for many years," Trump promised Monday that his administration would bring any unfair practices to an end. But Tuesday's speech will be light on specifics as to how that might be accomplished, senior administration officials told reporters over the weekend.
The speech, the officials said, would touch on the "broad themes of U.S. engagement in the world" —encompassing trade and global economic systems in the remarks, but not getting into specifics or naming names of countries that Trump feels are abusing their trade relationship with the United States.
More than anything, the White House has indicated that the president's remarks will likely seek to strike a tone of command and stability against the backdrop of a political system that has been reeling since his arrival one year ago. Trump's address will come as investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russia remain very much ongoing, and a three-day government shutdown is still only barely in the administration's rear-view mirror.
"I hope you enjoy it," Trump said.