President Donald Trump called out the Obama administration for its failed policies on several different occasions during the 2020 State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening.
Trump criticized the previous administration’s failures on the economy, foreign policy, health care, and immigration during the speech.
1. The Economy:
Trump has claimed that the U.S. created “seven million new jobs — five million more than government experts projected during the previous administration.” He added that if his administration had not reversed Obama’s economic policies, more people would be on food stamps, more people would be on welfare, and more people would be unemployed:
If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witness to America’s great economic success.
Under the last administration, more than ten million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my administration, seven million Americans have come off of food stamps, and ten million people have been lifted off of welfare.
In eight years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just three years of my administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.
After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration, with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being planned or built. We have created over half a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the action is.
2. Foreign Policy:
Trump did not hold back when he said that Obama’s policies regarding Cuba were “failing” and needed to be reversed. Before Trump took office, Obama “normalized” ties with the brutal Castro regime that disregarded human rights. Cuba also logged thousands of fewer political arrests under Trump in 2019 than under the Obama administration:
As we restore American leadership throughout the world, we are once again standing up for freedom in our hemisphere. That is why my administration reversed the failing policies of the previous administration on Cuba. We are supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy.
3. Health Care:
Trump took the opportunity to take pot-shots at the skyrocketing health insurance premiums caused by Obamacare and wasted no time claiming that he offered plans that were 60 percent cheaper:
Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions — that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.
Trump wasted no time comparing the Obama administration’s policy of catch and release to his zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. The president said he would be working on a “merit-based” immigration system to replace the “outdated, randomized immigration system”:
Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My administration has ended catch and release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed. To build on these historic gains, we are working on legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.
The merit-based system would likely end chain migration, end the diversity visa lottery, and increase immigration based on skilled labor.