While polling showed President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night was overwhelmingly approved by viewers, few Democrat representatives gave an inch in showcasing their support for even highly bipartisan issues mentioned by Trump, because, of course, they were mentioned by Trump, and #Resist. Or something.
Aside from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), there were only a handful of Democrats who stood up to applaud the president during the speech. And the Democrats who did dare to show support for Trump, like Manchin, were not received well by their fellow Democrats.
Speaking to high school students at West Virginia’s Webster County High School on Wednesday, Manchin revealed that he could hear boos behind him when he stood up to applaud the president, though he was unsure if they were directed at him or Trump, and could “feel the daggers,” especially when he had the gall to applaud Trump’s call to end gruesome late-term abortion.
The most “controversial thing I applauded,” said Manchin, according to The Washington Examiner, were pro-life statements. “Well, there’s just no way that I could ever. I mean how anybody could support late-term abortions?”
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” President Trump said during the address. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.”
“Late-term abortions, my goodness. It would have to be a dire medical situation,” continued Manchin, adding that full-term abortion bills supported by prominent Democrats are “just totally unconscionable to me.”
Addressing a photo of Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez staring down the senator for standing and applauding Trump’s pro-life remarks, Manchin said, “My goodness. Well, I could hear the boos a little bit, you know, I didn’t know if the boos were for the president or for me standing, I wasn’t sure. But I could sure feel the daggers.”
Manchin also revealed that Trump personally thanked him for standing and applauding bipartisan actions he expressed on Tuesday night.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, I’ve always stated that I know my state well and that it’s something that my state and I represent the people of my state, I’m going to stand up and be respectful. When I thought the things that you were saying resonated with something I might believe in but definitely my state supports, I’m gonna be there and show the courtesy and manners that I think that I was raised with,'” the senator revealed.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) was another Democrat to dance to the beat of her own drum at moments during the State of the Union. When president Trump announced the passing of the Right to Try Act, which allows for the gravely ill to try experimental drugs, Sinema stood up and enthusiastically applauded. The bill, notably, got its start in Arizona.
The reaction from fellow Democrats to Sinema was seemingly just as unpleasant as their reaction to Manchin standing: