Rep. Joe Kennedy III will slam “bullies” in his response to President Trump’s first State of the Union address, according to excerpts released in advance, warning Americans not to “dismiss” the last year as just “chaos.”
Kennedy, D-Mass., the 37 year-old congressman and member of one of America’s most prominent political dynasties, was chosen to give the official Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s address.
“Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future,” Kennedy’s prepared remarks say. “Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.”
Kennedy also says many Americans are “anxious, angry, afraid,” lamenting the “fault lines of a fractured country.”
“It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics. But it’s far bigger than that,” Kennedy plans to say. “This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us –they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.”
Kennedy’s rebuttal is the official Democratic response, with Virginia state Del. Elizabeth Guzman giving a Democratic response in Spanish.
Kennedy is the son of six-term Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy II, and the grandson of Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968. His two great uncles are former President John F. Kennedy and former Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy.
Kennedy is following in one great uncle’s footsteps Tuesday—Ted Kennedy delivered the Democratic response to former President Ronald Reagan’s address in 1982.
According to excerpts of Trump’s address released in advance, the president is expected to declare a “New American Moment” in his speech.
“This is our New American Moment,” Trump will say. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”