President Donald Trump will call for optimism and unity among Americans in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, using the moment to attempt a reset after two years of bitter partisanship and deeply personal attacks.
But Newt Gingrich has a challenge for Americans everywhere: Watch how the media spins the message.
Gringrich says the media’s response will prove exactly what the liberal agenda is: It’s all anti-Trump, all the time.
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Even his simple call for unity will be attacked.
Gingrich called some of the president’s most fierce critics in the media, “trivalists” that will over dissect everything Trump says — and make it all a scandal.
“Tune in to the State of the Union Tuesday night,” Gingrich said in his challenge. “Listen to the president and then the Democrats’ response given by an open-border radical. Then watch the next 48 hours as the trivialists find minor things on which to fixate.”
Then, Gingrich said, read Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech and ask yourself — who’s message is more closely aligned with the good Reverend, Trump or the Democrats?
“The answer will likely shock your friends,” Gingrich predicted.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders indicated the president would highlight what he sees as achievements and downplay discord.
“You’re going to continue see the president push for policies that help continue the economic boom,” Sanders said Monday night while appearing on “Hannity” on Fox News. “You’re also going to see the president call on Congress and say, ‘Look, we can either work together and get great things done or we can fight each other and get nothing done.’ And frankly, the American people deserve better than that.”
But Washington’s most recent debate offered few signs of cooperation between Trump and Democrats. Trump refused to sign a government funding bill that did not include money for his long-sought border wall. With hundreds of thousands of Americans missing paychecks, and promises from Democratic leaders to enter negotations to build a wall, Trump ultimately agreed to reopen the government for three weeks.
Democratic leaders quickly responded by refusing to negotiate further on border security.
With the new Feb. 15 funding deadline looming, Trump is expected to use his address to outline his demands, which still include funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
He’s teased the possibility of declaring a national emergency to secure wall funding if Congress doesn’t act, though it appeared unlikely he would take that step Tuesday night. Advisers have also been reviewing options to secure some funding without making such a declaration.
“You’ll hear the State of the Union, and then you’ll see what happens right after the State of the Union,” Trump told reporters.
The president’s address marks the first time he is speaking before a Congress that is not fully under Republican control. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be seated behind the president — a visual reminder of Trump’s political opposition.
In a letter Monday night to House Democrats, Pelosi wrote that she hopes “we will hear a commitment from the President on issues that have bipartisan support in the Congress and the Country, such as lowering the price of prescription drugs and rebuilding America’s infrastructure.”
Democrats have already started teasing their opposition to Trump’s call for unity, however, by placing all blame for America’s problems on the White House. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer previewed Democrats’ message for countering Trump, declaring Monday, “The number one reason the state of the union has such woes is the president.”
While White House officials cautioned that Trump’s remarks were still being finalized, the president was expected to use some of his televised address to showcase a growing economy. The U.S. economy added a robust 304,000 jobs in January, marking 100 straight months of job growth. That’s the longest such period on record.
Trump and his top aides have also hinted that he is likely to use the address to announce a major milestone in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. Trump announced in December that he was withdrawing U.S. forces in Syria.
In a weekend interview with CBS, Trump said efforts to defeat the ISIS group were “at 99 percent right now. We’ll be at 100.”
U.S. officials say the Islamic State group now controls less than 3.9 square miles of territory in Syria, an area smaller than New York’s Central Park. That’s down from an estimated 155 to 230 square miles that the group held at the end of November before Trump announced the withdrawal, according to two officials who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Administration officials say the White House has also been weighing several “moonshot” goals for the State of the Union address. One that is expected to be announced is a new initiative aimed at ending transmissions of HIV by 2030.
The Associated Press contributed to this article