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Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

Chuck Todd says Trump’s SOTU ‘set things back’ ‘offended a lot of Democrats’

Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd appeared on the Today show trashing President Trump’s State of the Union address moments  Wednesday morning, fearing the speech “set things back” and “really offended a lot of Democrats.”

Co-host Savannah Guthrie began the segment by acknowledging that the address was a success: “So how does he turn a successful State of the Union address into something lasting?”

Todd wasted no time in quelling any positive impact: “Well, I think it’s extraordinarily difficult for any president to make a State of the Union stick anymore.”

Todd promptly discounted any possibility of an immigration deal as he denounced the President: “But I have to tell you, I think his rhetoric last night set things back, did not advance the ball forward. Because while on immigration, while the tone was an attempt at bipartisanship, the way he sold immigration really offended a lot of Democrats that were listening in that room. And I actually think he made that situation harder today than it was before the speech.”

photo/donkeyhotey

NEWSBUSTERS PUBLISHED THE TRANSCRIPT:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: So let’s bring in NBC’s Chuck Todd. Hi, Chuck, good morning.

CHUCK TODD: Good morning, or continuation.

GUTHRIE: I feel like I saw you five minutes ago. But let’s start where Kristen [Welker] just left off. She says the President doesn’t have plans to go and take this message out on the road. So how does he turn a successful State of the Union address into something lasting?

TODD: Well, I think it’s extraordinarily difficult for any president to make a State of the Union stick anymore. I mean, just the speed of our news cycle, the speed of where – of all this. But I am surprised this president – the entire month of January, he’s not been on the road much at all. And they’ve not done much to sell their tax plan. So if they haven’t done that, I don’t expect him on the road for this.

But you know, look, this State of the Union only becomes relevant if something – you know, if he can have a big success quickly. And immigration is his one opportunity to have a big success quickly. But I have to tell you, I think his rhetoric last night set things back, did not advance the ball forward. Because while on immigration, while the tone was an attempt at bipartisanship, the way he sold immigration really offended a lot of Democrats that were listening in that room. And I actually think he made that situation harder today than it was before the speech.

GUTHRIE: Well, and then on the flip side of that, he’s talking about a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers, the Dreamer population of young immigrants. So, I mean, how does that sit with his base?

TODD: Well, I think that’s the issue, Savannah. We talked about this a little bit last night. I think because the amnesty issue doesn’t sit well with the base, it – perhaps the President was trying to sell the hardline aspects of what he wants to do first. So notice he showcased immigrant crime, put an emotional period on that story. And then, said, “Hey, Americans are Dreamers, too,” and then made his pitch for amnesty for the 1.8 million Dreamers. But he did so in such a reluctant way, you have to wonder, I think it was about appeasing his base a bit.

GUTHRIE: Well, we’ll see how it all shakes out. Chuck, go back to bed. Thank you very much.

TODD: You too, alright.

From Trump’s speech:

“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

“The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.
So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed…

“Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

“In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

“Here are the four pillars of our plan:

“The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

“The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

“The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

“The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.”

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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