President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE touted a robust economy and laid out an ambitious agenda in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, an 80-minute marathon jammed with policy proposals that will be difficult to achieve in a bitterly divided Congress.
Trump’s wish list included a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package, immigration reform and new powers to promote or fire federal workers.
But just as notable was what Trump didn’t say — and what that says about an inexperienced but emboldened politician still learning the trappings of his new office.
Here are eight big things that were missing from Trump’s address on Tuesday.
Trump outlined the four pillars of an immigration reform package he said should satisfy, or at least mollify, both parties — including a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, a wall along the southern border, the repeal of a visa lottery program and an end to so-called chain migration.
But beyond immigration, a president who has made clear his disinterest in policy minutiae offered few details. State of the Union addresses are rarely the venue for detailed policy outlines, though Trump’s address stood out for a lack of specificity.
He declared the opioid epidemic “terrible,” without offering a plan to stem the tens of thousands of deaths caused by drug overdoses every year. He called for paid family leave, a favorite subject of his daughter and senior advisor Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe Mary Trump doesn't see her cousins connecting with GOP Rubio: Biden's new child allowance is 'first step toward a universal basic income' MORE, without detailing how or what that program would look like.
Most notably, Trump asked Congress to pass a bill to generate $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure investments. He said federal money should be bolstered by public-private partnerships, though he offered scant details about how Congress should pay for the bill.
Debt and Deficits
The Republican Party spent the Obama years focused on fiscal prudence and discipline, harshly criticizing Democrats for spending far too much on everything from a stimulus package in the depths of a recession to the Affordable Care Act.
Today, Republicans in Congress seem far less interested in the nation’s red ink. Trump himself did not use the word “debt” during his address, nor did he lay out how he would pay for the massive infrastructure spending plan. The tax-reform package Congress passed last year will only add to the bills future generations must pay off.
For the fiscally conservative GOP, the era of big deficits appears to be back.
The Affordable Care Act
Trump came to office pledging to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, his predecessor’s signature domestic policy achievement. But after a year in which the GOP failed to advance a repeal measure, or even agree on a replacement, ObamaCare barely received a mention.
“We repealed the core of disastrous ObamaCare,” Trump declared. “The individual mandate is now gone.”
Beyond the defunct mandate to have insurance, which Republicans repealed in their tax bill, Trump did not mention the Affordable Care Act. Pointedly, he did not call on Congress to try again to repeal it.
That shouldn’t be a surprise: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (R-Ky.) said in December the upper chamber would “probably move on” from its efforts to roll back the health-care law.
Attacks on the election system, and the FBI
A year after the American intelligence community concluded that Russian actors tried to influence the 2016 presidential election — and tried to hack into voting systems in nearly two dozen states — Trump did not mention the cyberattacks.
He did mention Russia, once: “Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economies and our values,” Trump said.
He also did not mention the FBI, which his administration has battled since its first days in office. That doesn’t mean the battle is over. The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release a controversial memo penned by chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesLIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE (R-Calif.) that alleges FBI misconduct, and a forthcoming inspector general report is expected to be highly critical of the agency’s actions in the run-up to the 2016 election.
But the Sturm und Drang was absent from a speech that all but ignored the most divisive controversies of Trump’s first year in office.
Presidents often use State of the Union addresses to single out members of the other party, especially on areas where they might agree. Former President Obama name-checked Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) in his final State of the Union, in 2016; he mentioned Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (R-Fla.) in 2014, and he invoked his two vanquished White House opponents, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (R), in 2013.
Trump appealed to Democrats three times, urging Congress to come together to represent all Americans. And he gestured to some Democrats who applauded his call for paid family leave. But the president did not mention a single Democrat by name.
That’s not entirely unprecedented; Obama did not mention any Republicans during his 2015 address.
For that matter, Republicans
Trump made a special point to mention Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters MORE (R-La.), the House majority whip who survived a gunman’s assault on a congressional baseball practice last summer.
But, in a speech that highlighted a cast of characters seemingly large enough to fill half the gallery, Trump did not mention any other members of Congress.
After a year in which he publicly or privately expressed his frustrations with Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHouse panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony MORE and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE, Trump didn’t share credit with many of his own appointees, either. He spotlighted only a single member of his own Cabinet, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis20 years after 9/11, we've logged successes but the fight continues Defense & National Security — The mental scars of Afghanistan House panel advances 8B defense bill MORE.
And Trump did not even mention the man who purportedly helped write the speech, Vice President Pence. That’s a marked departure from Obama, who made special points to mention then-Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE and his portfolio several times in each State of the Union address.
Insults and nicknames
Trump kicked off his campaign for president by denigrating Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists. He attacked a reporter with a disability and the father of a solider killed in battle.
Along the way, he peppered his opponents and adversaries with pejorative nicknames — "Little Marco Rubio," "Liddle' Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE," "Crooked Hillary," "Lyin’ Ted," "Cryin’ Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE" and "Little Rocket Man," his nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
But those insults and jibes were absent from Trump’s remarks, at least for one night.
And everything else
After trying to implement a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries, Trump did not say the word "Muslim." He mentioned African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans just once, in the context of record-low unemployment rates.
Trump called for “fair and, very importantly, reciprocal” trade deals — though he did not mention the North American Free Trade Agreement by name.
He mentioned Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which suffered the brunt of mammoth hurricanes that barreled through the Caribbean, but he did not mention the hundreds of thousands of residents who remain without power in the islands months later.
And, perhaps most surprisingly, Trump did not touch on his favorite subject: His against-the-odds victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Perhaps those subjects will come up in a Wednesday tweet storm.