Illinois GOP praises State of the Union; Duckworth calls it ‘reckless rhetoric’

Rodney Davis and Jayson Werth
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (left) and Major League Baseball player and organic farmer Jayson Werth pose for a photo in front of a Lincoln backdrop in the U.S. Capitol before the State of the Union. (Photo courtesy Rodney Davis)

By Eric Stock

WASHINGTON – A frequent critic of President Donald Trump said the president delivered a strong State of the Union address.

Former Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin Trump hit most of the right notes in the speech.

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Brady on WJBC.

“The theater of the speech, the people he pointed to in the audience was an A-plus,” Brady said. “He actually – on immigration at least- laid out four pillars that the Democrats, really that’s a pretty good deal for Democrats, because I know it irritated some conservatives.”

The immigration pillars include a border wall with Mexico, a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, a limit on “chain” migration to spouses and children and an end to the U.S. visa lottery system..

Brady suggested Democrats sitting stone-faced for much of the night could backfire.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said the president engaged in “more of the reckless rhetoric that brought us to the brink of nuclear war with north Korea.”

“We need our commander-in-chief to change course, try to forge bipartisan agreements on issues like immigration, and present the American people with a more positive and inclusive message that moves us forward as a nation,” Duckworth said. “President Trump failed on each of these counts.”

Illinois’ Republican congressmen praised the president. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, called it an “energetic and forward-looking speech.”

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood said the president laid out a ‘bold and optimistic agenda.’

“I was glad to hear him outline an infrastructure plan that could greatly benefit central and west-central Illinois, including how to get the work done quickly and effectively,” LaHood said.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said the address “echoed the growing optimism within our economy and many homes across America.”

“I stand ready to work with the president and my colleagues on both sides of aisle to pass legislation that will continue this spirit of American optimism,” Davis said.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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