In the hours after President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress, members of South Florida’s legislative delegation on both sides of the aisle were quick to give their take on what they heard.
Reaction was split along party lines, with Florida's GOP Senator Marco Rubio – a Miami native and onetime primary foe of the President – shwoing his enthusiasm on social media:
I’m more excited than ever about serving in the Senate at this moment in our nation’s history: https://t.co/b5tcO9lmy7 #JointAddress pic.twitter.com/vtqNHEvKw1 — Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) March 1, 2017
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who was critical of Trump and said he would not vote for him or his opponent, Hillary Clinton, expressed a cautioned support for the President’s plans.
“I really thought his tone was far different than what we’ve seen from him in the past and that he really made an effort to bring Republicans and Democrats together,” Curbelo said. Now actions speak louder than words so he needs to be held accountable.”
Democrats were much more critical of Trump’s plans – including former DNC chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has been vocally opposed to the President’s plan to “repeal and replace” the controversial health care packaged known as ‘Obamacare’.
“There are millions of people now who have affordable health insurance. What they’re proposing would make things so much worse, turn the clock backward,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Reps. Alcee Hastings and Ted Deutch also issued statements showing their displeasure with what they heard.
“The United States is at its best when we draw strength from each other. President Trump has taken the opposite tack, surrounding himself with sycophants, lambasting the independent media, and censuring anyone who thinks differently,” Hastings said. “The President has been in office for just 40 days, yet he has already established himself as one of the most reckless in American history.”
Deutch echoed his fellow Democrats in criticizing the President’s health care and immigration plans – while expressing his concern over recent attacks against the Jewish community across America.
“I appreciate the President’s condemnation of the anti-Semitic attacks targeting Jewish institutions, but one speech is not enough,” Deutch said in a statement. “I expect him to follow actions with words by preparing a comprehensive government response to this epidemic of hate."