Leaders of Democratic and Republican clubs on South Florida college campus said they felt President Donald Trump’s State of the Union struck a bipartisan tone, though they disagreed on the impact of the official Democratic response.
“I thought the speech was great,” said Armando Idarra, president of the Miami-Dade College Young Republicans. “He did a great job putting forward a message of unity.”
University of Miami College Democrats President Kinnon McGrath said she was pleasantly surprised by the president’s tone.
“I would want for him to speak on important issues, differentiate the two parties, climate change, immigration and gun control,” she said.
The approximately 90-minute speech on Feb. 5 tackled many topics: immigration, wall funding, international affairs and healthcare. He also argued that he would never apologize for advancing America’s interests, calling to an end to “foolish wars” and declaring that America will never be a socialist nation.
“Obviously, border control is incredibly important,” said McGrath.
She said increasing humanitarian aid in the border, improving diplomatic relations with Mexico and working to make immigration easier would save lives.
After Trump finished his speech, Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a race to be Georgia’s governor, delivered the offical response. She became the first black woman to do so.
“I thought her remarks were incredible,” said McGrath. “I thought she did a great job, composed and collected but also giving the necessary rebuttal to President Trump’s remarks.”
Idarra, who didn’t watch Abrams speech but said he was planning to, disagreed.
“Millions of people like me didn’t watch it, so I don’t think it made an impact,” he said.