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Central Coast reacts to President Trump’s State of the Union address

President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address Tuesday night, and people on the Central Coast are reacting to the speech.

The 82-minute address touched on a variety of topics, including immigration, rebuilding infrastructure, and increasing funds for childhood cancer research.

A handful of people representing different parts of the community and both political parties attended a viewing party at KSBY.

While some say they enjoyed the speech and thought President Trump made solid arguments on topics like the border wall, others thought there were no signs of action.

President Trump started the speech reminding a divided nation about unity.

“Hoping that we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation,” said President Trump.

He ended the speech on a positive note as well, telling Americans that “our biggest victories are still to come.”

The speech was met with mixed reaction from community members.

“I just loved the whole speech, I thought it was very good,” said Randall Jordan, San Luis Obispo County Republican Party Chair

“Overall, I was pretty disappointed that he is avoiding accepting responsibility for anything,” said Rosemary Wrenn, San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Chair.

“It was good overall, I was proud to be American,” said Mike Perea, Euphoric Dreams Cannabis Consultant.

President Trump stuck to his promise to build the border wall.

“You can’t be a country with open borders,” said Jordan.

“If we are going to increase our border security it would be better to do so through technology and personnel, not building another monument,” said Wrenn.

The President even referenced the Mueller investigation.

“The Mueller investigation is essential and he does not seem to realize that it does not look good for him as the center of the investigation to call for the end of the investigation,” said Andrew Christie, Sierra Club Santa Lucia Chapter Director.

President Trump mentioned the historic congress and lower healthcare costs, which garnered applause from both sides.

“I don’t think he wanted it to be a big poke at the Democratic Party,” said Faith Baker, member of the Cal Poly College Republicans. “I think he tried to get his point across while also trying to address a lot of middle ground and that would be a positive outlook for both parties.”

President Trump’s mention of higher employment rates resonated with a local businessman.

“He made a lot of good points like the growth of the middle class, more jobs, lower unemployment,” said Perea. “He talked about the robust economy we have now, I am in the construction industry and I see it every day.”

The President also touched upon foreign affairs with North Korea, trade taxes, the national opioid crisis and bipartisan efforts including ending HIV and AIDS in 10 years.

In the Democratic response, Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, mentioned the recent government shutdown’s impact on federal workers.

“He’s used them as political pawns in a game and he absolutely contradicted himself when he asked for not petty political games,” said Wrenn.

Congressman Salud Carbajal also issued a response to the President’s address.

“Again I felt the President fell short in being authentic and promoting common ground and bipartisanship because we’ve seen in the past two years, his actions have been the antithesis of bringing us together,” said Representative Carbajal.

Senator Kamala Harris delivered remarks before the President’s address.

“At this difficult moment, we can have faith that the American people are spirited, resourceful, and resilient. Because of them, we can come together around that common purpose,” said Senator Harris, who also plans to run for the Democratic Presidential bid in 2020.

The address was one of the longest in history, falling just minutes short of former President Bill Clinton’s 2000 State of the Union address.

For a full recap of the President’s address, click here.

Megan Healy

Megan Healy

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