Cable News Reacts to Trump's State of the Union Speech
Trump did not make any digs at the media during his speech.
As soon as President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech concluded Tuesday night, television journalists started grading his performance, which lasted for about one hour and 20 minutes.
"I think President Trump doesn't quite necessarily understand just how offensive many Democrats in the chamber find some of the things he proposed and some of the things he said," CNN's Jake Tapper said.
"He was selling sweet-tasting candy with poison in it," CNN's Van Jones said bluntly.
CNN's John King said that Trump masterfully used his invited guests, whom he spotlighted, but didn't accomplish much politically with such a large platform and audience. "I don't think he did enough to use the leverage," he said.
On Fox News, Brit Hume pointed out that congressional Democrats looked dour throughout the speech, which included a few references to bipartisanship.
"I hoped when this evening began that we would get a sense of bipartisanship," Sunday morning anchor Chris Wallace said. But, he said, the evening ended with the political "battle lines" drawn more clearly than ever.
Sean Hannity, who resides on the opinion side of Fox News, said the speech was "powerful." Hannity spoke with the president's son Donald Trump Jr., who said: "This was a unifying speech."
MSNBC personalities were not wowed by the speech, not surprisingly.
"The speech has been artless paint-by-numbers stuff (much of which was fine) and standard Paul Ryan supply side bromides, all shot through with standard Trump culture war demagoguery," MSNBC's Chris Hayes wrote on Twitter.
"Seeing Pres Trump *read* a speech is seeing the conservative fan fiction presidency that might have been — wrapping rhetoric on service & bipartisanship around conservative priorities, absent the obscenities, animus, narcissism & personal attacks that so dominated his 1st year," MSNBC's Ari Melber said on Twitter.
CNN political commentator and former Barack Obama strategist David Axelrod said the speech "was fine for his purposes," but added, "I don't think it changed a lot." He also said the speech was thin on policy.
Surprisingly, Trump's speech did not include any digs at the media, a frequent target of his. Earlier in the day, however, he reportedly sparred with anchors at an off-the-record lunch at the White House.