Donald Trump got a rare bipartisan standing ovation during Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow female lawmakers rose to their feet in a thunderous applause.
The women cheered after Trump mentioned the robust number of women in the workforce and in Congress in particular.
“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy the women who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Trump said.
At first, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stayed seated, as did the her fellow colleagues. But then the women — many of them dressed in suffragette white — began cheering, as they rose to their feet.
Other lawmakers also clapped and pointed at the women in white, many of whom were newly elected to Congress in the Democratic “blue wave” and were clapping more for themselves than the president.
“You weren’t supposed to do that,” a surprised Trump responded to the unexpected moment.
He then added: “Don’t sit yet, you’re going to like this.”
“Exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote,” Trump continued, “we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.”
Democrats and Republican then began chanting, “U.S.A, U.S.A!”
Pelosi also stood up and clapped in the president’s direction. The gesture was widely seen as a literal clap back, giving the internet the the meme of the night.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) February 6, 2019
A record number of women are serving in the House of Representatives. But while women and people of color make up a majority of the newcomers on the Democratic side, the Republican side is overwhelmingly white and male. Of the 102 women currently serving in the House of Representatives, 13 are Republican and 89 are Democratic.
According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, of the 127 female voting members of both the House and Senate, 106 are Democrats and 21 are Republicans.
“That’s great,” Trump told the roaring crowd. “And congratulations.”
Watch the video above.