Trump’s 82-minute speech centered on imploring listeners to “choose greatness” for America over partisanship. He notably took a strong stance against socialism, saying “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country”—a statement that was met with applause from Republicans, and some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The Epoch Times took to the streets of New York to ask people about their thoughts.
Dianne-Britt Ellis, 67, retired
It was nice. I liked the way they respected his wife last night, because they should. I had a lot on my mind, though. My son never got paid after having to go back to work.
I blame Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I was hoping that Nancy and Chuck would think about what they are doing. If they want to call him an idiot, then what are they?
A lot of things have happened over the year and they’re trying to blame [President Donald Trump], where he has nothing to do with them. If I can blame anyone, I would blame Bernie [Sanders] and Hillary [Clinton].
He’s the president of the United States. He deserves respect and help. They’re not making it easy for him, they’re making it harder for everyone else.
They claim they’re patriotic, but a true patriot does what’s best for the country and they’re not doing what’s best for the country. If they were, then they would assist him.
I don’t believe there’s [any] collusion [between Trump and Russia]. It can’t take that long to find evidence. I think he was just taken advantage of, but he’s the president now and we need to get down to business as usual.
I tell my son, “Don’t be fooled by what people say. He’s an ordinary man, he won the elections of the United States of America, he’s the president, and any patriot would respect that and defend the country.”
There are real people that want to put something into this system, but there’s nothing to get out. From what I’ve heard, this president actually seems to be doing it, but they won’t leave him alone and they won’t help him because they’re not true patriots.
Cancer, AIDS and homelessness are big business in this country and there is a lot of corruption—maybe with this gentleman, there will be a change.
“Gridlock Thursday!” that’s all that’s going to happen when those Democrats get there. There’s so much that can be changed here, and they’re not looking at those problems.
I’ve been a Democrat since I was registered and I’ve crossed the lines and voted Republican many times.
I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump for president last time, but I might be voting for him next time.
Guilherme Henrique, 32 researcher and scientist at NYU
It was a good speech, very well articulated. But I think he exaggerates a little bit when he talks about various issues.
Mike M, 30, health care
He did better than I thought he was going to do, to be honest. I love his mannerisms.
I read a little about it beforehand, so there are some key points that he definitely hit on that I’m in agreement with—the childhood cancer. I wasn’t expecting that in the address. Maybe that was an initiative of [First Lady] Melania’s. It was decent.
He spoke about tackling pharmaceutical drug prices, which I’m a huge fan of. We’ve got to be able to lower the costs immediately.
Vladimir Lukyanov-Cherny, 56, architect
I liked it very much—it was exactly what I was expecting.
I came from the former Soviet Union, so I liked the part where he said “we’re never going to be a socialist country,” because I know what it’s like to live in a country like that. I don’t want this country to go in that direction—it’s very important for me to hear our president say this.
Sergey Krik, 55, IT
He’s great! He’s my president! I feel so ashamed about the Democrats.
Robert Morgan, 24, political director (R)
I thought the president gave a good speech, in the sense that he had a more unifying tone than he has in the past. He’s still sticking with the hard line on certain things. I think he did have a few touching moments with respect to the World War II veterans that he introduced and the young girl who had a battle with cancer.
You saw him make much more of an effort to strike tones that everybody agreed with, than he has in the past, in respect to recognizing the anniversary of the woman’s suffrage movement and commemorating the fact we have record low unemployment rates with minority groups. I don’t know if the fundamental dynamic will shift, but I think you’ll see him get a few points of an increase in the approval rating. I think some moderate people will be a little more willing to listen to him than they have been.
Hopefully, there’ll be a little bit more compromising in Washington than there has been in the past few months.
Cassandra Cheraquit, 41, nurse
He’s just Donald Trump.
There were some things that he said, about there being a record amount of women in Congress. I liked that part, I found it unifying.
On the whole, it was OK. I didn’t watch all of it though.
All interviews edited for clarity and brevity