Democratic Candidates Fact-Check Trump’s State of the Union Address: ‘Really?’

All eight leading Democratic candidates had something to say about the president’s speech

The Democratic candidates for president came out swinging on Twitter and television during and after Republican President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Joining NBC News after the address, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg called Trump’s address a “highly partisan speech for a polarized Washington” and “a laundry list of special interest group expectations for his own base.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont recapped what he felt were hypocritical statements and outright lies, tweeting, “Trump said, ‘We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.’ Really? This is the same president who came one vote away from throwing 32 million Americans off the health care they have and ending the Affordable Care Act’s protection for pre-existing conditions.”

Throughout the televised speech, Tom Steyer used Twitter to create a thread called #RealSOTU, in which he shared statistics that conflicted with the ones Trump chose to highlight. “In Trump’s failed economy, midwest manufacturing activity has hit a 4-year low,” tweeted Steyer.

When Trump attacked the administration of former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden jumped in: “Our administration brought the economy back from the brink of depression, saved the auto industry, and made health care available to millions of families. Donald Trump gave billionaires a tax break,” he wrote.

Another former elected official, Mike Bloomberg, who was once the mayor of New York City, warned, “Speaking of judges…We are one Supreme Court Justice away from women losing their right to choose. That’s hardly something to celebrate.”

Others, like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, chose not to focus on Trump’s speech so much as praise those who gave Democratic responses to it.

Thank you @vgescobar for delivering a powerful #SOTU response in Spanish–and for continuing to be a leader in the fight against Donald Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry, and hate. Tonight you showed the country how defeating Trump will take a diverse and fearless coalition,” wrote Warren of Rep. Veronica Escobar.

Klobuchar tweeted, “As Michigan Governor @GretchenWhitmer said, ‘You can listen to what someone says, but to know the truth, watch what they do.’ Donald Trump has broken his promises to the working people of this country. It’s time for a President who will have their backs and get things done.”

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang wasn’t as into the responses, though. He wrote on Twitter, “It would be great if a State of the Union speech made you feel better about the state of the country and the direction we are headed. I think the tradition of a ‘response’ should be examined.”

It wasn’t just Democratic presidential candidates who reacted harshly to Trump’s speech, either. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up her copy of the president’s prepared remarks when he concluded the annual address.