President Trump’s aides are writing a “positive” and “unifying” State of the Union speech despite Trump’s recent fiery rally remarks against Democrats who impeached him.
A senior administration official told reporters Friday that the speech in the House of Representatives will have a “very optimistic tone,” despite likely occurring just after a final vote to acquit in his Senate impeachment trial.
The official denied a reporter’s suggestion it could morph into a campaign rally-style address, saying: “I think the speech will be unifying in part because the president is focused on opportunity for all Americans.”
On Thursday evening, Trump colorfully denounced the lead Democratic impeachment manager, saying at an Iowa rally that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was “sick,” “crazy,” “shifty,” and “sweating like a dog.”
Trump is expected to be acquitted by the Senate by Tuesday, but there’s significant uncertainty about the timing, with some reports claiming a vote could be delayed until Wednesday, after the Tuesday night speech is scheduled.
The official said they were unable to comment on whether the speech would be rescheduled if the trial is unresolved.
Details about what Trump may say about impeachment were not previewed, and the official allowed that “the president is always adaptable to speak to the moment.”
“No speech is ever final until it’s delivered, so it’s not as if this is in a vacuum pack until Tuesday,” he said. “But I think the president will be focused on the interests of the American people and in that spirit he is going to be giving a positive, forward-looking vision.”
The blueprint — dubbed the “Great American Comeback” — calls for five policy “buckets,” touting first the “blue collar boom” and Trump’s economic and trade policies, then “promoting and supporting working families,” “lowering the cost of healthcare,” “safe and legal immigration,” and a rundown of foreign affairs-focused topics.
Two guests were disclosed Friday: Tony Rankins, an Afghanistan veteran and recovering drug addict who is working an living in an economic “opportunity zone” in Cincinnati, and Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz.
Offering a major caveat, the official cautioned reporters, “it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the speech to evolve before it’s delivered.”