On Tuesday, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) delivered the Democratic Party's response to President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE's first formal State of the Union address.
Speaking from Fall River, Mass., Kennedy — the grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy — hit the Trump administration on its policies and vision for America.
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Watch the full speech above. A full transcript is below:
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is an absolute privilege to join you all tonight. We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts, a proud American city, an American city built by immigrants.
From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things. The students who are with us here this evening from the auto tech program at Diman Regional Technical School, carry on that rich legacy.
Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. The people here are tough. They fight for each other, they pull for their city. It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union. This is a difficult task. Many have spent the last year, anxious, angry, afraid, we all feel the fractured faultlines across our country. We hear the voices of Americans who are forgot in and for sake and — forgotten and for sake and — forsaken. Corporate profits fall but fail to give their workers their fair share. A government that struggles to keep itself open. Russia, knee deep in our democracy. An all out war on environmental protection. A justice department rolling back civil rights by the day. Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets. Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts and congregations, targeting our sake — safest and sacred places. This nagging and thinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs, this is not right, this is not who we are.
Folks, it would be easy to dismiss this past years chaos. Partisanship as politics, but it is far, far bigger than that. This administration is not just targeting the laws that protect us, they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection. For them, dignity is not something you are born with, but something you measure by your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size. Not to mention, the gender of your spouse, the country of your birth, the color of your skin, the God of your prayers. their record has rebuked our highest American ideals, the belief that we are all or the, we are all equal, that we all count in the eyes of our laws, our leaders, our God, and our government. That is the American promise.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, today that promise is being broken by in administration that decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away. they are turning American lives into a zero-sum game. For one to win, a nether must lose. We can guarantee America's safety if we slash our safety net. Where we can extend health care in Mississippi if we get it in Massachusetts. — gut it in Massachusetts. We can cut taxes if we raise them on families to model. We can take care of sick kids if we sacrificed rumors. We are bombarded with one false choice after another. Coal miners or single moms, rural communities are inner cities. The coast or the heart line. The daycare worker in Birmingham, bitter rights rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged towards those at the top. The parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son or daughter will be beaten and bullied at school. Nothing is more shattering been a daughter in the grips of an opioid addiction. Here is an answer that Democrats offer tonight. We choose both.
The fight for both, because the greatest, strongest, richest nation in the world should not have to leave anyone behind.
We choose the better deal for all who call our country home. We choose a living wage and a paid leave, affordable tried your — a formal childcare that your family needs to survive. Trade tax that are fair, roads and bridges that will not rust away. A good education that you can afford, a health care system that offers you mercy whether you suffer from cancer, or depression, or a addiction. We choose an economy strong enough to post record stock prices, and brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times their average worker is not right.
We choose Fall River. We choose that thousands of Americans communities whose roads are not paid with power or privilege, but with an honest effort of good faith, and the results to build something better for your kids. That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and mothers set sail for a new world fleeing oppression and intolerance. He continued with every word of our independence, the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union. It grew with every suffrage at step, every freedom writers voice, with every weary soul we welcome to our shores. To all the dreamers watching tonight, let me be absolutely clear, you are part of our story, we will fight for you and we will not walk away— we will not walk away.
America, we carry that story on our shoulders. You swarmed to Washington last year to ensure that no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child's life. you probably marched together last weekend, thousands on the streets of las vegas, philadelphia and nashville. You set high atop your mom's shoulder and held a sign that read "build a wall in my generation will tear it down."
You bravely say, "me too." you steadfastly say, "black lives matter." you wade through floodwaters, battle hurricanes, brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger. You battle your own quiet battles every single day. You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so that your families will not feel the sting of scarcity. You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, patrol our neighborhoods at night. You serve, you rescue, you help, you heal. That, more than any law or leader, debate work disagreement, that is what drives us towards progress. It may leave a mark — bullies may punch and it may leave a mark, but they have never managed to match the strength of stash strength and spirit of the people united— strength and spirit of the people united.
Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.
That is the measure of our character. That is who we are. Out of many, one. Ladies and gentlemen, have faith. Have faith. The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, and enduring. God bless you. God bless your family's. And May God bless the United States of America. Thank you.