Colorado delegation responds to the State of the Union address

President Donald Trump covered a wide range in his 80-minute State of the Union address. Members of the Colorado delegation in Congress had an equally wide range of responses to what was said

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Washington, D.C.-, January 30, 2018 | comments

President Donald Trump covered a wide swath of topics in his first State of the Union address to Congress.

From transportation to immigration, North Korea to economic prosperity, Trump spoke for 80 minutes to many standing ovations and applause.

Colorado U.S. Senator response:

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) decried Trump's "dark, backward-looking vision for our country," and Tweeted a statement calling Trump's "call for unity" divisive.

"He continues to promise results for Coloradans, but delivers partisan soundbites and ideology," he wrote in his statement.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) tweeted about a few things Trump spoke about, including North Korea and Guantanamo Bay. In Trump's speech, Trump took a hard line against the rogue regime in North Korea and said his administration would keep Guantanamo Bay open.

"I've led the fight against bringing GTMO to Colorado," Gardner tweeted on 'Gitmo,' the common abbreviation for the detention facility.

"North Korea imprisons and tortures their own citizens, murdered American citizen Otto Warmbier, and continues to defy international sanctions," he also said on Twitter. "Their evil knows no limits."

He spoke to NBC News after the speech, saying that he wanted more details on Trump's infrastructure plan.

Gardner also said that Congress has to work out a deal on immigration. "When it comes to people who were brought here at a very young age, through no fault of their own, I believe there is bipartisan hope and desire to find a solution."

Colorado congressperson response:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) tweeted several times during the speech, mostly on the economy, but also on Trump shining a spotlight Staff Sgt. Justin Peck. Peck saved a fellow service member who was injured by an improvised explosive device in Raqqa, Syria while fighting the Islamic State.

Peck, despite the potential danger of other IEDs in the area, ran to his team member and provided life-saving medical care.

"Staff Sergeant Justin Peck’s courage is a model for us all. Thank you for your service, Sergeant Peck," he tweeted.

Buck also applauded Trump's economic actions and agenda, saying that Americans are already seeing the benefits of deregulation and of the new tax law.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) spoke to NBC News after the address and said that it was a good speech.

"I think it was aspirational. As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I certainly like the part about defense," he said. "I think the president needs to look and see whether he's lived up to the promises, in terms of taking care of veterans."

He said he would push back on that part of the speech.

RELATED | Coffman calls for VA to 'clean house' at fiery hearing on overbudget hospital

Coffman also took issue with Trump's comments on immigration, saying he wanted a path to citizenship for young people brought to this country illegally.

"And I realize border security is a necessary part of the president's compromise, and so I hope that we can come together and get that done... I don't think it's going to be done in two days, but I think it's very important to get it done."

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) tweeted several times during the address, arguing that instead of spreading unity, Trump has instead attacked the "bastions of our democracy and guardians of our security, including media freedom, an independent judiciary and our intelligence agencies."

She was also critical of Trump's tax plan, which he said would halve the tax burden of the middle class.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) applauded Trump's plan to rebuild the country's infrastructure, saying that it would help our national parks service.

He also applauded the tax plan, and Trump's resounding support for police officers, military service members and armed services veterans.

Lamborn also touched on Trump's immigration remarks, parroting the president's comments that "Americans are dreamers, too."

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) argued on Twitter that under Trump's administration, Americans have seen confusion and chaos. He stressed that "we" must fight against policies that threaten Colorado's economy or values Coloradans cherish. He was not specific on what those policies were.

He said he was worried about Trump's rhetoric on North Korea and said he had serious concerns about the escalating tensions with the remote country.

Perlmutter tweeted extensively about the remarks Trump made toward immigrants and illegal immigration, saying the president's policies were breaking up families. He also touted his record on immigration reform.

While Trump spoke of investing in transportation and infrastructure, Perlmutter said the country needs to focus on Medicaid, education, science and, yes, infrastructure.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) is a Colorado gubernatorial hopeful and spoke to NBC News after the address about what he saw as divisive rhetoric.

"The strength of the American people in the union is strong because of the reaction to [Trump's divisive rhetoric," he said. "We're seeing this real civil resurgence that we're better than that as a country."

RELATED | CSU 'dreamer' to attend State of the Union

He also touched on DREAMers, arguing that they deserve citizenship.

"They should be able to become citizens after they earn their permanent residency," he continued. "And we know that we can do that. We just have to send that bill to President Trump. He needs to sign it. We're not going to reduce illegal immigration by 22 million."


Denver Mayor Michael Hancock had a lot to say about the State of the Union - all negative.

"A speech full of challenges and light on solutions," he tweeted. "Rhetoric about bipartisanship but no middle ground ID’d. Washington could learn from cities."

Content originally published by 9 News on January 30, 2018.
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