by WorldTribune Staff, March 1, 2017
President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28 received high marks from the public and from media pundits of all political stripes.
Meanwhile, many observers were shocked and disgusted by the reaction of many Democrats to Trump’s acknowledgment of Carryn Owens, the widow of fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.
More than 3 in 4 Americans reacted positively to Trump’s speech, according to a CNN/ORC poll.
“Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed,” Trump said. “Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.”
Among those who watched the speech, 57 percent said they had a very positive response, while another 21 percent described their reaction as “somewhat positive.”
Only 21 percent of those polled said they responded negatively to the address. The new survey of 509 Americans who watched Trump’s speech has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
When the president addressed Carryn Owens, widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, to honor her family’s sacrifice, there were multiple rounds of standing applause.
Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and other top Democrats, however, remained seated. Former DNC chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Keith Ellison, who just lost his bid for DNC chair, also refused to stand.
Democratic national security columnist John Schindler, writing about the emotional moment, asked if the entire country had “Stockholm Syndrome,” a reference to the tendency of hostages to display attachment for hostage-takers. Filmmaker Rob Reiner said, “It was cringe-worthy … talk about using someone as a prop. It was disgraceful.”
Hillary Clinton volunteer Dan Grilo responded to the display, “Sorry, Owens’ wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory by standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.” He later apologized and deleted his Twitter account.
Mary Katharine Ham, a conservative writer for The Federalist and a CNN contributor, issued a series of tweets blasting Democrats who shamed the SEAL widow:
- “For those lamenting Carryn Owens’ “exploitation,” let me offer some thoughts. I’m not asking you to like Trump or credit him for that moment”
- “But what you can & should do is credit her. Maybe a SEAL wife who’s been through, God willing, worst life will give her, can handle Trump.”
- “Maybe a widow raising 3 children knows how important it is to keep his name & memory alive, & that this moment is bigger than Trump or you.”
- “Maybe she knows one day she will show them this video & tell them the President of the United States & all the nation honored him.”
- “Maybe all that is more important than your angst about which president is involved & how. Just bc she’s crying doesn’t mean she’s a victim.”
- “Maybe, probably, very likely, she’s a badass. You and your kids are in my prayers, Carryn. Do what you gotta do. Proverbs 31:25”
Ham can speak first-hand about loss. She is the mother of young children with her husband, Jacob “Jake” Brewer, an Obama White House aide and co-founder of the immigration activism group Define American, who died from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in September 2015.
The Hill said the speech marked “a break from Trump’s usual harsh and bombastic speaking style, as he sought to present a more optimistic approach to tackling the country’s problems.”
Trump’s address even exceeded expectations among the major media’s pundit class. CBS’s Gayle King said she felt Trump’s speech was authentic: “He said from the beginning he was going to speak from his heart, and I certainly think he did that.”
Fox News’s Chris Wallace echoed that sentiment: “I thought it was by far the best speech I’ve ever heard Donald Trump give. It was one of the best speeches in that setting I’ve ever heard any president give.”
Former Democrat official and now a columnist at CNN and other publications Kirsten Powers concurred, calling it Trump’s “best speech” ever. “Best speech @realDonaldTrump has ever given,” wrote Powers.
Media analysts estimate 40 million to 45 million people watched Trump’s address.