Michigan officials react to State of the Union speech

By Arpan Lobo | 2/1/18 1:24am

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GVL / Courtesy - Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo President Donald Trump holds up copies of his speech upon arrival and before delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 30, 2018.

President Donald Trump recapped his first year in the White House during the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Speaking in his first formal SOTU, the president aimed to spread a message of unity in Washington.

"Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve," he said.

After the event, several Michigan senators, congressmen and other officials shared their reactions.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) applauded the president's initiatives in a press statement sent out shortly after the address.

“Millions of middle class Americans are already seeing the tangible benefits from tax and regulatory reform," his statement read. "Bigger paychecks, better wages, stronger benefit packages, and increased retirement savings for hardworking taxpayers should be celebrated by all. Instead of jobs leaving Michigan for Mexico, American companies are investing in American workers and bringing these jobs home. This will lead to even greater opportunity and prosperity for families who have struggled to make ends meet.  

“I look forward to working with the President and both my democrat and republican colleagues in Congress to responsibly rebuild our nation's infrastructure, improve care for our veterans, and fix our broken immigration system.”

Huizenga's statement was a stark contrast to that of Dr. Rob Davidson, a Democrat campaigning for Huizenga's seat.

"A year into the Trump regime, West Michigan families are tired of chaos and confusion," Davidson's statement read. "They demand a president and a Congress that can rise above the divisiveness and act on the right priorities. Instead of wasting tens of billions of dollars building a wall that won't work, Congressman Bill Huizenga should be investing in healthcare that will provide safety and peace of mind for all American families."

Both Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow issued statements focused on bipartisanship. 

“At a time when America is deeply divided, it is more important than ever that Members of Congress from both parties come together to tackle the big challenges facing our nation," Peters said. "I hope President Trump will make good on his commitment tonight to work with both Democrats and Republicans to pass bipartisan legislation that will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and support hard-working American families."

In her statement, Stabenow said, "I remain committed to working with republicans, democrats and the White House to get things done for Michigan families."

Several Michigan gubernatorial candidates offered their responses as well.

Michigan Lt. Gov. and Republican hopeful Brian Calley said in a statement that "we should be proud of the fact that Michigan is at the heart of America's resurgence, and, as the President said, the Motor City’s engines are revving again.

I look forward to working with President Trump to continue to help Michigan and our country achieve success in the coming years.”

Gretchen Whitmer, the current Democratic frontrunner, tweeted, "Hey 45: The Motor City's engines are already revving ... thanks to our Michigan workers and President Obama's hard work getting the auto industry back on track!"

Michigan Attorney General and Republican frontrunner Bill Schuette congratulated Trump on "accomplishing the first major federal tax reform in decades" in a tweet

Trump's address also included messages on immigration, North Korea and the military.

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