Simmons, Ball: Kennedy topped Trump for State of the Union performance

 
"It's hard to grade Donald Trump, because he'll say one thing on the exam, but he'll do something completely different for the rest of the semester," Simmons told The Hill. "On the speech perhaps, it was a maybe a C or C+. He delivered it well. But by the time you see this, there may be another tweet out that completely contradicts what he said.
 
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"I think Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyBudowsky: Bloomberg-Obama or Klobuchar-Kennedy? Kennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg to face off with rivals at Nevada debate MORE definitely gets one of the highest marks when he gave the response," Simmons said. "It was definitely a little bit of a liberal speech, it was definitely a liberal call to arms. But he talked about really not having to choose between Americans. I think that's something that's incredibly important where we are today. We have a president who seems like he's always trying to make us choose between a small group of Americans ... and the wide group of all the rest of us who Democrats want to include in the American dream."
 
"It was awful," said Krystal Ball. "The whole thing was just this grotesque, tribal, partisan spectacle that I just kind of wanted to take a shower after watching."
 
Ball took issue with Trump's contention that the country, and particularly the economy, fared well during the first year of his presidency. "The top-line numbers are genuinely good. But I think what he maybe needs to reflect on is the distance and the disconnect between how good those top-line numbers are ... and how badly the country feels he is doing.
 
"He kind of mouthed the word 'unity,' but in the next breath he intentionally picked up these hot-button cultural issues," Ball said. "He's smearing immigrants and implying that they're sort of criminal, MS-13 gang members ... that division that he shows with his actions and his words, I think, is incredibly disturbing to a lot of Americans."