Democrat attacks Trump's rhetoric, policies in Spanish-language State of the Union response

Democrat attacks Trump's rhetoric, policies in Spanish-language State of the Union response
© Greg Nash

Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden US to restart 'Remain in Mexico' program following court order Historic immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill MORE (D-Texas) framed President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE's rhetoric and policies as harmful to Hispanics and working-class Americans in her Spanish-language Democratic response to the State of the Union address, according to prepared remarks.

Escobar was set to deliver the speech from her hometown of El Paso, where in August a gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others in a spree targeting Mexicans and immigrants.

"Just before [the shooter] began his killing spree, he posted his views online and used hateful language like the very words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos," said Escobar in her rebuttal.

Escobar also decried Trump's economic policies as beneficial only to the top strata of society.

"President Trump’s economic policies have created inequality that is creating two Americas: one where the wealthiest 1 percent benefit and one that leaves too many farmers, businesses and working families behind," said Escobar.

"And at the same time, instead of investing in our children’s future and in opportunity, the president has exploded the debt by more than $3 trillion — all to give billion-dollar tax cuts to the wealthiest few," she added.

In his speech, Trump called the economy under his administration "a blue collar boom."

Escobar, who last week told The Hill that she was selected for the Spanish-language response by simply asking congressional Democratic leadership for the gig, is a Congressional Hispanic Caucus freshman representative.

She won her El Paso seat after the retirement of former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D), who narrowly lost a Senate race against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzInstagram chief gets bipartisan grilling over harm to teens McConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China MORE (R) in 2018, and put together an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Escobar opened her speech with criticism of Republican health care policies, saying Texas GOP leaders "have refused to lift a finger to improve access to affordable, quality health care."

She added that Republicans are fighting in the courts to "dismantle [health] benefits that save lives."

"Democrats are fighting back. In the first year of our House majority, Democrats passed sweeping legislation to dramatically reduce the price of prescription drugs, shore up protections for people with pre-existing conditions and crack down on shoddy short-term health insurance plans — what we call ‘junk plans,’ " said Escobar.

And in reference to Trump's impeachment trial, which is expected to end Wednesday with the president's acquittal, Escobar said, "President Trump violated his oath by asking for foreign interference, jeopardizing the integrity of our elections, putting our national security at risk, and then attempting to cover up his wrongdoing."  

Escobar closed her speech with criticism of Trump's immigration policy.

"From attacks against Dreamers, family separation, the deaths of migrant children, to the 'Remain in Mexico' policy that sends asylum-seekers into dangerous situations, these are policies none of us ever imagined would happen in America in our lifetime," said Escobar.