SOTU 2019 POLL: Stacey Abrams vs. Donald Trump - Whose Speech Was Better?

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He did offer a lengthy defense of his call for a border wall, declaring: "I will build it". "The decision is ours to make".

For all of Trump's talk about bridging "old divisions" and pursuing bipartisan initiatives, Trump previewed the well-trod themes that will power his 2020 re-election campaign: a hard line on immigration and border security, a deep suspicion of trade deals, and an "America First" foreign policy. However, he moved on to say, "simply put, walls work and walls save lives". He then went on to note that there are now more women serving in Congress than ever before. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was praised by Democrats for her hard-line negotiating during the shutdown, sat behind Trump as he spoke. "We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a "power grab, '" she added, a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's description of House Democrats" efforts to overhaul U.S. election law. For example, at President Trump's inauguration, former Secretary of State and 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton wrote a pantsuit and matching coat of the symbolic color, as she did when accepting the Democratic nomination for president. As he and his team drafted his address in recent days, he has groused about the text, complaining that it was too gentle on Democrats, according to people briefed on the matter.

But Trump refrained from congratulating Pelosi on her second ascension to speaker, as President George W Bush did in the 2007 State of the Union when he said it was his "honour" to be the first president to address "Madam Speaker".

The speech had initially been scheduled for January 29, but Pelosi postponed it amid what turned into a 35-day partial government shutdown over Trump's demand for border wall funding.

Abrams did not broach the multiple investigations dogging Trump, inquiries the president called "ridiculous partisan exercises".

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After presidents suffer setbacks in midterm elections, they often reach out to the victorious opposition with words of conciliation, however artificial or short-lived they may be.

Like Portnoy, he said Trump started before Pelosi could address the audience. He again called for bringing American troops home from Syria and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Gallup found that 56 percent of Americans opposed building a border wall.

"You weren't supposed to do that", Trump jokingly told the women.

"We as House Democrats support what I would term "compassionate capitalism" that is based on an emphasis of the well being of working families, middle-class folks, senior citizens, the poor, the sick and the afflicted", the New York Democrat added. But the speech did not include any mention of the racist medical school yearbook picture that has threatened Northam's political career. "President, get real, '" House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Wednesday.