Rep. Joe Kennedy rips Trump, Republicans in Democratic State of the Union response

Rep. Joseph Kennedy III slammed President Donald Trump for "targeting laws" that protect Americans on Tuesday night as he delivered the Democratic response to the State of the Union address.

"It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics," Kennedy said. "But it's far bigger than that. This administration isn't just targeting the laws that protect us — they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection."

SEE ALSO: Trump touts black employment rate, Congressional Black Caucus offers no reaction

The Massachusetts congressman and grandson to the late Robert F. Kennedy has served as the representative for Massachusetts' 4th District for three terms and has never been one to pull punches against his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill. Kennedy, 37, delivered the response from Fall River, Massachusetts -- a working-class city in the southern part of the state.

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U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) takes the stage to deliver the Democratic rebuttal to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Joe Kennedy III waves during his address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) speaks during a press conference condemning the new ban on transgendered servicemembers on July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy held a news conference with members of the House leadership and the LGBT Equality Caucus to denounce the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to ban transgendered servicemembers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 20: Congressman Joe Kennedy III listens to a speaker beside a Forever stamp in commemoration of the centennial of President John F. Kennedy's birth at the JFK Library in Boston on Feb. 20, 2017. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 3: Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., descends the House Steps of the Capitol after a vote on May 3, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. Congressional candidate for Massachusetts Joe Kennedy III addresses the first session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III (2nd L) sits at desk inside a full scale model of the U.S. Senate chamber during dedication ceremonies for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, Massachusetts March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III joined protestors at a rally against the Trump administration at the Boston Irish Famine Memorial on February 21, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The protest, called 'We Will Persist,' was put on by Massachusetts workers, immigrants, and community activists. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 9: From left, Reps. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., confer after the 24-hour mark of a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building regarding the bill to repeal and replace the the Affordable Care Act, March 9, 2017.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Joe Kennedy III, candidate for United States Congress at a campaign event 'Women for Joe Reception' with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA on October 18, 2012. (Photo by Rick Friedman/rickfriedman.com/Corbis via Getty Images)
BOSTON - JUNE 3: Congressman Joe P. Kennedy III reacts during a charity football game for Best Buddies International at Harvard Stadium in Boston on June 3, 2016. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Joe Kennedy III, candidate for United States Congress at a campaign event 'Women for Joe Reception' with Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA on October 18, 2012. (Photo by Rick Friedman/rickfriedman.com/Corbis via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: Misledis Jimenes, 5, center, of Boston, looks up at Congressman Joe Kennedy III, left, as she and two other children hand a box of letters from constituents to he and Senator Ed Markey, right, at the conclusion of a rally with workers and advocates at a Downtown Crossing event in Boston on Feb. 21, 2017 intended to, 'send a clear message to Washington' that Massachusetts will work to advance issues important to its residents. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: Congressman Joe Kennedy III speaks during a rally with workers and advocates at a Downtown Crossing event in Boston on Feb. 21, 2017 intended to, 'send a clear message to Washington' that Massachusetts will work to advance issues important to its residents. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 9: Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., kicks back as Reps. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., look on, after the 24-hour mark of a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building regarding the bill to repeal and replace the the Affordable Care Act, March 9, 2017. The markup has been underway since 10:30 a.m., Wednesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III and his wife Lauren arrive for the 2017 Profile in Courage Award ceremony, being given to former U.S. President Barack Obama, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III waits to speak at ceremonies on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Congressman Kennedy's great-uncle, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, outside the home where President Kennedy was born, in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S., May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) speaks during a press conference condemning the new ban on transgendered servicemembers on July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy held a news conference with members of the House leadership and the LGBT Equality Caucus to denounce the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to ban transgendered servicemembers. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) takes the stage to deliver the Democratic rebuttal to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Continuing a Kennedy legacy of outreach to America's most underprivileged and working class people, the lawmaker named a laundry list of Democratic grievances with the Trump administration's platform -- including removing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy, attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare and failing to stand up to the big money fueling gun violence that plagues the nation.

"For them, dignity isn't something you're born with, but something you measure," Kennedy said of Republicans. "By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size."

Members of the transgender community and activists supporting the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements also received call outs in Kennedy's speech — describing a national atmosphere in which the voices are heard of those "who feel forgotten and forsaken."

Kennedy also called out a Russia "knee-deep" in U.S. democracy, an "all-out war" on environmental protection and a Justice Department that he describes as "rolling back civil rights by the day."

When legislative deliberations surrounding the GOP attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare grew tense in 2017, Kennedy delivered a fiery floor speech in which he named the Republican-crafted Obamacare replacement an "act of malice."

"I was struck last night by a comment I heard made by Speaker Ryan, where he called this repeal bill, quote, an 'act of mercy,'" Kennedy said back in March of last year. "With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture."

In conclusion on Tuesday, though, the Democrat urged his audience to "have faith," saying the state of the U.S. union is "hopeful, resilient and enduring."

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Maxine Waters were also set to deliver their own responses to Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night in separate events.

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