How Donald Trump loomed over the state of the union

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump woke up Wednesday morning basking in the opprobrium of the entire Washington political establishment.

The reality-TV-star-turned-presidential contender was not just the unspoken target of Barack Obama's state of the union address.

See Full Article

He was also the unnamed antagonist in his own party's reply to the speech, delivered by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Both speeches warned against immigrant- and minority-bashing in a country that owes much of its historic prosperity to the labour of immigrants.

From hundreds of kilometres away, Trump once again managed to wiggle his way into the centre of Washington's political conversation.

And he scoffed in the general direction of its disdain.

"The state of the union speech was one of the most boring, rambling and non-substantive I have heard in a long time. New leadership fast!" he tweeted.

Trump called Haley weak on illegal immigration in a "Today Show" interview. He also mused that she was off to a bad start if she wanted to be his pick for vice-president.

Trump has horrified the political establishment with his call for the mass-deportation of undocumented Latino migrants and a freeze on Muslim travel to the U.S.

The reaction to Tuesday's speeches showed that the starkest divisions in U.S. politics aren't merely between the parties -- but within them, as Republican elites align against much of their party rank-and-file.

Haley reminded viewers that she was the daughter of immigrants from India.

And she, the Republican party's chosen spokesperson for the biggest evening on the U.S. political calendar, delivered a staunchly pro-immigrant message that declared no foreigner willing to work hard should feel unwelcome in the U.S.

"During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation," she said.

Haley confirmed Wednesday that Trump was one of the people she had in mind when she uttered those words.

As for Obama, he delivered a riff on Trump's campaign slogan -- "Make America Great Again."

In his final speech to Congress, the president said that the genius of the country was its perennial willingness to embrace change -- and ability to ignore the angriest anti-foreign voices "promising to restore past glory."

Obama then specifically mentioned Muslims.

"We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion," he said.

"When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn't make us safer. That's not telling it like it is. It's just wrong."

Democrats in the chamber cheered loudly. Behind Obama, the Republican congressional leader Paul Ryan gently nodded to signal his agreement.

These are sensitive topics within the Republican party.

Indeed, some prominent conservative voices later expressed disbelief that the party establishment appeared to have opposed Trump -- instead of embracing his populist message.

Radio host Laura Ingraham said the party should be sympathetic to his message on illegal immigration -- and side with American workers struggling to compete with cheap foreign labour.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter put it more crudely: "Trump should deport Nikki Haley."

And that prompted the chairman of the South Carolina Republican party to defend the governor, and to call Coulter's remarks "despicable."

The divisions in the party pitting its business wing against the anti-establishment ranks will be a prominent theme in the upcoming nomination races -- which start next month in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

The winner of those contests goes on to the general election, which will decide who delivers the next state of the union.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Pope Francis won't attend Montreal anniversary celebrations in 2017

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Pope Francis won't be visiting Montreal, or anywhere else in Canada, in 2017. It was hoped that the Pope would visit the city next year as part of its 375th anniversary celebrations. Source
  • Heavy flooding in Thailand kills 14, swamps tourist isles

    World News CBC News
    Floods in Thailand have killed 14 people and badly affected southern holiday islands as the country heads into the December-January high season for tourism, authorities said on Tuesday. A low pressure system has brought heavy rain to parts of the south including the islands of Samui and Pha Ngan in the Gulf of Thailand, and floods have also severed the rail link to the south and Malaysia beyond. Source
  • Trump heads back out on road for 'thank you' tour

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- President-elect Donald Trump is taking his show back on the road. Trump is slated to hold the second stop of this "thank you" tour Tuesday in North Carolina, less than a week after his bombastic return to rallies at an Ohio appearance that felt more like a raucous campaign stop than a traditional speech by a president-to-be. Source
  • Merkel seeks new term as leader of German conservatives

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Angela Merkel is seeking a new two-year term as leader of her conservative party, following her announcement last month that she will run for a fourth term as German chancellor. Tuesday's vote at a congress in Essen, where she was first elected chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union in 2000, offers a test of Merkel's standing with members. Source
  • French premier steps down to focus on presidential election

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped down Tuesday to focus on running for president in next year's election and was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism. Source
  • Iran president not interested in Trump's views on nuclear deal

    World News CBC News
    Iran's president said on Tuesday that his country will not allow incoming U.S. President Donald Trump to "tear up" Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers and also warned Tehran will react to any extension of American sanctions. Source
  • Environmentalists still targeted by Revenue Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    A small environmental group opposed to Liberal pipeline policies is still under threat by the Canada Revenue Agency – almost five years after getting into trouble with the taxman for opposing Conservative pipeline policies. The tax agency has notified Environmental Defence Canada Inc. Source
  • 'A dating website designed by Fidel Castro': Opposition blasts Liberal electoral reform survey

    Canada News CBC News
    Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef mocked the electoral reform committee's final report last week, but several members returned the favour Monday after reviewing the government's new online survey on the topic. Conservative MP Scott Reid said MyDemocracy.ca "feels like being on a dating website designed by Fidel Castro. Source
  • Peak uncertainty: How to navigate this period of economic disorder and confusion

    Canada News CBC News
    We'd like to think we have a pretty good handle on how the world works. For help, we turn to experts who claim to understand the forces at play and the impact they will have on the economy and our lives. Source
  • Spokesman offers few clues on Trump's pipeline stance

    World News CTV News
    United States Marine Corps veteran Frank Russano, of the Outer Banks, N.C., walks through the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Source