Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) stormed out of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
“I walked out of that speech. The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live—it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter after bolting from the lower chamber.
I walked out of that speech. The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live—it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 5, 2020
“I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake,” Ryan tweeted.
I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake.
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) February 5, 2020
Pascrell wrote: “I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I can’t stand a liar. This man’s presidency is a national tragedy.”
I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I can’t stand a liar. This man’s presidency is a national tragedy.
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) February 5, 2020
The three lawmakers joined a small group of House Democrats that announced earlier in the day that they would be boycotting the address. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Al Green (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) were among the lawmakers that skipped the highly anticipated speech, which took place one day before president is expected to be acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial.
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted of her decision. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.”
“Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union,” the freshman “Squad” member concluded.
“The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress, and contempt for our constitution – strong-arming a sham impeachment trial in the Senate. This presidency is not legitimate,” Pressley said in a separate statement.
“On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent,” added the Massachusetts Democrat.
The three Democrats walked out of President Trump’s address as he touted his administration’s vast list of economic accomplishments.
Trump praised the economy as the best its ever been declaring that he has ushered in a “great American comeback” through trade deals, his tax package and repeals of regulatory legislations put in place by the previous administration.
“From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements,” Trump said.
He cited the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement last week, a revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 which Trump has predicted that it will improve U.S. economic growth by 1.2 percent, generate $68 billion in new economic activity and create 176,000 new jobs.
Trump also mentioned that the United States signed a deal with China “that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the United States of America.”
During the speech, Trump announced that Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido was in the chamber on Tuesday night and reasserted the United State’s backing of Guaido’s claim that President Nicolas Maduro‘s presidency is illegitimate and he is the country’s rightful leader.
“All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in the righteous struggle for freedom!” Trump said. “Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.”
The UPI contributed to this report.