President Trump's Speech

January 9, 2019 |

I hope you watched President Trump’s brief address last night on border security, and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s response.  If not, click here:

The media being as it is these days, coverage mostly focused on attempts to twist and hair-split any of the statistics Trump cited, as if that would refute his entire premise that it’s not a good idea for the US to have a porous national border and to be hosting anywhere from 11 to 30 million illegal residents.  There’s also a tendency to focus on style over substance, as if nitpicking Trump’s vocal inflections, necktie, or decision to speak from the Oval Office would refute the importance of what he was saying.  So I’m going to buck the trend and discuss the substance first:

Watching the leaders of both parties speak on the same issue back-to-back gave me, and I’d bet many other Americans, a strong and unmistakable sense of the priorities of each party.  Trump spoke of the vital importance of national security, enforcing laws, stopping the flow of deadly drugs, and protecting Americans from criminal illegal aliens who have killed, assaulted, raped and robbed thousands of US citizens.  Pelosi and Schumer seemed obsessed with one thing only: getting the government reopened. They repeatedly downplayed the stats and tragic stories quoted by Trump, dismissing the whole issue of border security as a manufactured crisis (I doubt they’d say that if one of their own family members had been victimized, but then, they have armed security.)  It was blindingly obvious that to them, the real crisis was that a fraction of the government was shut down, and some federal workers’ checks might be delayed. 

So to sum up the substance:

Trump:  Wants to protect Americans from drugs, gangs, terrorists and the crippling economic effects of illegal immigration and to protect migrants from a dangerous journey inspired by the belief that our border is easy to cross illegally. 

Pelosi and Schumer: Want to protect government workers from missing a paycheck. 

With that out of the way, let’s look at the style. 

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Trump chose to address America from the Oval Office in prime time, which indicates how serious he considers this issue to be.  This lends a gravitas that no tweet storm can match. I’m sure he wanted to appear “Presidential” and convey the seriousness of the issue, even though some critics complained that he seemed more subdued than usual and just stuck to the prepared script.  I’m sure he knew that if he dared go off script by even a semi-colon, the media would be waiting to pounce and claim he made a “gaffe” (or as they call that, a “LIE!!!”)  So at the risk of seeming less loose and animated than he does at his rallies, he stuck to the script and spoke with seriousness and compassion about Americans who have lost loved ones because of violent criminals who never would have been on US soil if everyone in government took immigration law enforcement seriously.   

As for Pelosi and Schumer:  As the overwhelming response online shows, if we were grading this on style points, it would be a Trump blowout.  He didn’t have to give the performance of a lifetime, he just had to come across better than them, and they set the bar so low a worm couldn’t limbo under it. 

Standing side-by-side and staring with disturbing intensity into the camera like the great-grandparents of the “Children of the Damned”…

…Schumer and Pelosi inspired many creative metaphors and memes. They were described as “wooden,” “transparently disingenuous,” and “embalmed;” resembling morticians; the zombie version of “American Gothic;” “what you see when you show up at the gates of Hell;” “look like they’re selling me a reverse mortgage” (Greg Gutfeld); and this gem from Ken Webster Jr: “They look like the neighbors who you didn't wanna invite to the block party but did anyway because you ran into them at the grocery store.”


You know it was a bad night for the Democrats when even Stephen Colbert is creating memes making fun of them.

Moving past the Gomez and Morticia visuals, Speaker Pelosi also displayed an annoying verbal tic of repeating the phrase, “The fact is…”  I understand why she or her writers chose to do this: it plays into the media-driven narrative that Republicans only offer lies and misrepresentations while the left is a veritable fountain of incontrovertible facts.  I know this to be a big trough of hogwash because I’ve made a pretty good living in the media over the past decade, mostly by offering factual rebuttals to liberal talking points. 

The fact is that saying “the fact is” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to hear anything approaching a fact.  When it’s coming from the likes of Pelosi and Schumer, it’s actually a pretty good indicator that you’re about to hear something that’s not a fact.  That, and their lips are moving.

Say, here’s an actual fact: as recently as 2013, Chuck Schumer was among all the 54 Democrats then in the Senate who voted to provide $46 billion to build “no fewer than 700 miles of fencing” on our Southern border. That’s over nine times the amount of funding Trump is requesting now.  Apparently, the rules of morality have changed since then, or else walls aren’t immoral if you call them “fences.” 

Meanwhile, anyone who thinks the dueling media statements will mark the end of this doesn’t know Trump.  He’s already planning an appearance at the border tomorrow, to force the media to turn cameras on near it.

This is a shrewd strategy, since it’s very easy for coastal media elites to tell people on the border that there is no border security crisis, just as it’s easy for people with high-paying media jobs to tell unemployed construction workers that illegal immigration doesn’t undermine employment for Americans. 

Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media perhaps summed up this arrogant cluelessness best when he blogged this comment:

“I've been waiting my entire adult life for a President who would tell the truth about the US/Mexico border. Most in the GOP bought into the ‘plucky worker who just wanted a better life’ narrative and wouldn't acknowledge any of the criminal activity. I lived 12 blocks from the border in 5th grade and we had drug smugglers arrested in our yard one night. This has been the reality in Arizona (more so than any other border state) for decades. The President was right about all of the problems…Now a bunch of people on the East Coast who have never been near this border for more than a day in their lives are going to ‘fact check’ and tell me I'm seeing things.”



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Comments 26-50 of 105

  • Kathleen Wood

    01/09/2019 08:52 PM

    What "crisis"? Oh, you mean the "Sanctuary Cities" breaking the law, migrant caravans paid for by liberal groups and millionaires, the diseases, drugs, terrorism, human trafficing, and criminals coming into the country unchecked, and their demanding to vote, have health care, Social Security and other benefits at the expense of US citizens? That crisis?

  • Emmette Earl Middleton

    01/09/2019 08:42 PM

    President Trump's address was very to the point and only a total moron could say that he lied at any time. The rebuttal by Pelosi and Schumer was a terrible facade perpetuated by a spawn of the devil.....

  • Karen McKee

    01/09/2019 08:28 PM

    Good on ya Governor. I'm saving this opinion article from you. Hit the nail on the head. Pelosi & Schumer were both lying & it was so obvious; especially Schumer & his comment about a POTUS temper tantrum. The childish immature ones throwing their hate filled temper tantrums were the sociopath lemon suckers that demanded time after Trump spoke. Term limits!! Government is about SERVICE to the people. NOT about making these suckers RICH!

  • Kathleen Wood

    01/09/2019 07:57 PM

    Watched our President and thought he did a great job. Then, turned it off. I already kn ow how important border security is. I lived in El Paso and Phoenix. Trump is 100% right and I support him. Thanks to him we are actually seeing something done these days in Washington! So, I don't really think if the shutdown continues we'll miss Pelosi and that bunch all that much.

  • Michael Galloway

    01/09/2019 07:52 PM

    Governor Huckabee: Great comments and observations. Yes, like many I did watch the President's speech and as hard as it was to do so I watched Schumer and Pelosi. Schumer and Pelosi wouldn't know a fact or truth if it hit them between the eye balls! They are indeed the poster children for the corrupt and phony anti-America and anti-America political party= DEMOCRATS.

    I watched FOX News the Hannity segment where Senator Lindsey Graham provided such great comments and history. (It should be shown on prime time but we all know that isn't going to happen). I would encourage any conservative loyal American citizen to watch the segment that aired on January 08 on Hannity. Amazing that in 2006 and 2013 most Democrats supported and allocated money for border
    security, so it has happened in the past. What changed? Senator Lindsey Graham stated that the Democrats have such a dislike for Trump and that they (Democrats) lost the 2016 election that they will do anything to keep Trump from gaining what he wants all at the expense of the American people. Senator Graham stated "secure the border, then reopen government". Of course this is the complete opposite message of Schumer,Pelosi and the Democrats. No way would the Democrats negotiate or do anything about border security if the President reopens the government. And yes, I do feel badly for the federal employees not getting a paycheck and caught in the middle. Senator Graham said something that should concern any Republican, conservative and patriotic American when he answered the question: "Are fellow Republican going to take a stand for the border wall?" Senator Graham answered the question this way "Republicans will lose if they give in and undercut the President and Republicans will lose in the future."
    Republican better wake up as one huge majority, because in my opinion part of the reason or blame of the Democrats control of the House in the mid-term is that much of the Republican party did not get behind President Trump. And former speaker of the House, Paul Ryan said during the campaign that if American give them (Republicans) the House, the Senate and the White House, things would get done. What a phony! He like so many stood back and allowed the President to go it alone and for the Democrats to win!
    Back to the border- if the steel wall or permanent barrier doesn't happen then we will continue to see the major problem of drug trafficking, human trafficking, crimes, terrorism all to the safety and security risk of American citizens. And of course the Democrats don't want a secure border so that in addition to millions more voters for their corrupt political party, all the criminal, illegals, terrorist, etc. can run to the sanctuary states and cities that the Democrats created and still support.
    On the Hannity show it was asked of Senator Graham "will the wall work" - he said in Yuma, Arizona the sheriff says it works and we know it works in Israel. It will work and it is so vitally important that the President and yes, the Republicans stand behind this President for a change. The Democrats are hopeful they can sway Republicans to join or vote with them and of course wouldn't surprise me that the Senators from Alaska and Maine, the turncoats that they are, will join with their Democrat buddies, because they usually do. Mitch McConnell better stand strong too. It is way overdue that the Republicans stand by this President or they will probably lose big time in 2020 !!!!

  • Audrey Stefanides

    01/09/2019 07:19 PM

    I have an idea. I think that as long as the gov. is shut down, congresses pay should go to the federal workers. Bet they would finely get some work done fast. And gov. would open.

  • Dave Newbry

    01/09/2019 07:15 PM

    I just keep flashing back to what is, by now, a cliché: When are the democrats going to start loving their country more than they hate their President?

  • Kendra Strecker

    01/09/2019 07:03 PM

    Mike, My husband and I both got a chance to watch the PRESIDENTS speech and felt it was FACTUAL, TRUE AND FROM THE HEART. We're betting that Pelosi and Schumer have NEVER been to the border nor have they reached out to any of the men and women who protect us to get the REAL STORY!! SHAME ON THEM!! Our recommendation to ANYONE who doesn't believe what the TRUMP administration is reporting ought to go down there themselves, interview these folks and TELL THE TRUTH about what they see!! Mitch McConnell and the band of RINOS ought to go too!!

  • Shirley Van de Haven

    01/09/2019 07:00 PM

    I sold my home in Oceanside, California in 2006 because I could see the more liberal government of the future. I found (illegal) aliens sleeping in my unlocked garage one day. I am an old lady (83) and lived alone so felt that I would be foolish to stay in the state where I had spent a lifetime. I moved to Salt Lake City in 2006. A wall is much needed there or it will become another Mexican liberal state.l

  • Cole Fredrick

    01/09/2019 06:50 PM

    Opponents are turning it in to a humanitarian crisis that we are responsible for the illegals. To give too much humanitarian aid will only encourage others and somehow make right more of the same. The situation these people made for themselves is their responsibility of choice, and what is ruining America when folks do not take responsibility for their choices and situations and want to blame others and have other take care of them... we have enough of that already. SOLUTION: Take humanitarian money for buses to take them from south of Our Border back to their home, or to safe places for the mob invaders to relocate along the way... via missions, jobs, orphanages, get in touch with the churches here and in Mexico on down south.


    01/09/2019 06:50 PM

    Thank you sincerely for "backing" our president. I believe he is truly concerned about the safety of US citizens. A suggestion or two. Call it a barrier instead of a wall. Or even a criminal obstruction device? A cheaper solution might be barbed wire and electricity. Please continue keeping us informed. With prayers fo all involved, Zelda Lee Hoover from South Carolina via Montana, Idaho, Washington, California , Illinois and Wisconsin PS I love your "Saturday Night Live" show.

  • Donna Yates

    01/09/2019 06:29 PM

    Every elected and non-elected officials are here to serve the people. They are sworn in to protect and uphold the Constitution. Those who deliberately refuse to uphold the laws of the land need to be prosecuted, removed from office and spend the rest of their cushy lives in prison for treason.
    I along with many citizens wonder how these people can remain in office getting rich off all of us and have the power to tell us how to live. It is past time to remove these people from their positions of power.
    Ask a teacher who lives and teaches in areas where refugees, immigrants both legal and illegal are so over burdened with the children of these groups. Most if not all speak no English and the schools are expected to bend over backwards to teach these children. The classrooms have doubled in size and teachers are forced to push US children to the side and focus on these children.
    The politicians don't care, you're considered racist if you complain about it. Our own US children are being dumbed down so that these socialists loving politicians can control the masses. It is a sad state of affairs that our great country has become the epitamy of liberal socialism loving politicians. They get wealthy off the backs of us while we loose our own heritage and culture because it might offend someone else.
    I voted for President Trump because he understands how business works. He loves the country we grew up in and he is not a career politician. Politics was never meant to be someone's career and there we're no lobbiests.
    Get rid of the lobbiests and stop allowing companies, corporations and foreign governments from donating money to politicians. Stop that and government goes back to what it was meant to do. Serve the people and not themselves.
    Thank you Mike for giving us a platform.

  • Mike and Barbara Stocker

    01/09/2019 06:24 PM

    I was very impressed and we agree with President Trump. The assessment of urgency we need to build the wall. Drugs, trafficking, Gangs these are all reasons our Country and we the People need protection now!!

  • Mike and Barbara Stocker

    01/09/2019 06:23 PM

    I was very impressed and we agree with President Trump. The assessment of urgency we need to build the wall. Drugs, trafficking, Gangs these are all reasons our Country and we the People need protection now!!

  • Carol Vinton

    01/09/2019 06:22 PM

    Well said. God bless you!

  • Allen M Swatsworth

    01/09/2019 06:21 PM

    Governor, I did watch both the President and democrat response last night. I'm still trying to figure what "manufactured" crisis they are talking about. There is one thing I believe I noticed was when the senator spoke. He used the term "illegal immigrants" after more or less demanding that the President open the government so they could negotiate the border "crisis". Could you or one of your sharp crew members verify what he really did say. If it was as I believe it, then this needs to be told to ALL Americans with the reality that they, or at least him, has no problems with people violating our laws including immigration laws. Thanks for the many articles you provide.

  • Mark Carroll

    01/09/2019 06:15 PM

    Thank you for your political insight and savvy commentary. The "silent majority" is alive and prospering under POTUS Trump. While we would prefer not to see the Federal Government closed down, we understand that our President has been literally forced by the Democrats to take this action. We are coming to realize that the current batch of elected Democrats are NOT concerned about the safety and well-being of the American public. It appears the Democrats are "playing politics" with the lives of Border Patrol Agents, I.C.E., law enforcement who come in contact with illegal aliens/immigrants, and American citizens who are preyed upon by illegal criminals. We, the American public, stand united behind the man who is trying his best to protect us -- our President, President Trump.

  • Robbie Mize

    01/09/2019 06:07 PM

    I think it should be required that all members of Congress had to take a trip (unexpectedly of course) to the border....sort of like jurors being taken back to the scene of the crime....maybe they'd get a lightning bolt jolt of reality! They might even be confronted by some of the illegals that were not just hard working people needing protection from their own country. Maybe...just maybe. And then I think we all need to know how many of them have walls around their homes. Now would that not be interesting?

  • Barry G. Schlecht

    01/09/2019 05:53 PM

    The main purpose of the Federal Government is to protect it's citizens. President Trump should declare a national emergency and do everything that needs to be done along the border, INCLUDING THE "WALL". The Democrats have become just a bunch of "THUGS" and need to be shown that the American Citizens are more important than their big fat egos!!

  • Barry G. Schlecht

    01/09/2019 05:53 PM

    The main purpose of the Federal Government is to protect it's citizens. President Trump should declare a national emergency and do everything that needs to be done along the border, INCLUDING THE "WALL". The Democrats have become just a bunch of "THUGS" and need to be shown that the American Citizens are more important than their big fat egos!!

  • Jerald Lowry

    01/09/2019 05:50 PM

    I our agree with you and our President about the southern border situation.We need the wall.We need to enforce our borders.
    One problem no one brings up about illegal aliens working in the USA and not paying taxes. I have a nephew working construction
    in Georgia;he knows of a sub contractor that makes $200,000 a year working in the USA and doesn't pay any taxes.He is an illegal

  • Ron Serr

    01/09/2019 05:49 PM

    Hi Mike. constitutional conservative here and would like your comment concerning the statement that in 2018 the Democrats brought forth a bill to give border security .... but it never passed. Also, in 2017 and 2018 the Republicans had majority in both houses of Congress and the Presidency but once again nothing happened and here we are worrying about Democrats. Thank you !!

  • Lark Behrens

    01/09/2019 05:32 PM

    Good afternoon Governor!
    I always enjoy your newsletter and your interviews, discussions on FOX, etc. I listened to President Trump and found him very compelling and passionate about the crisis on our border. I live in Tucson, AZ and I can tell you that our city alone is inundated with illegal aliens that expect welfare, to put their bratty kids in our schools and expect special treatment. I have a client who worked in Phoenix as well as a substitute teacher and he quickly quit his sub job as the Middle School he was at had so many illegals who disrupted his class and would not listen to him when he tried to get control of the class again, they also often did not speak English and refused to learn it. When the kids were sent to the principal they created such a ruckus that the parents were called and they complained so loud that the principal gave in and allowed the kids back in the class. He couldn't take it anymore and moved on. He was a conservative teacher and I am sure he is greatly missed by many. I am finding that this is part of the reason we see so many conservative teachers move on to other careers.
    I also have a friend who has been trying to obtain citizenship for over 15 years and is still not done getting it set up. She is not happy at all about people getting in illegally and trying to move to the front of the line when she has paid to be where she is. I am all for a limited amount of legal immigrants, but am sick to death of all the illegals in our country.
    I hear many people comment about how fining employers would be a good start and I do agree, but one thing I see here is that many illegals get jobs door to door in neighborhoods where they will do landscaping and house cleaning for dirt cheap. This may be difficult to prove or stop at this point, but it would certainly be something to consider as well.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Martha Ellsworth

    01/09/2019 05:27 PM

    If the Dems are so against a wall, let them take down the walls around their personal property. They're NUTS

  • Dawn Street

    01/09/2019 05:22 PM

    I was very proud of our President during his speech last night. He was very factual, intense and did not stray from the talking points. Good job. I was concerned that he appeared weary and well he might be after having to fight of DemonRats and Fake News Rats!!

    I chose not to watch Schumer and Pelosi give their "words of wisdom" and state "their facts". I heard the lead in by the newscaster and he angered me because he was summarizing and commenting before President Trump even appeared on the screen to give his speech. I wanted to be able to sleep well without visions of DemonRats dancing in my head.

    Thank you for your commentaries and for your lovely daughter. I know you never get tired of hearing how much the public loves her and what a fine job y'all did in raising her right.