Several Democrats running for the White House quickly criticized President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night — and used it to raise campaign cash.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York spotlighted her displeasure with the address, tweeting out C-SPAN video of her eye roll reaction GIF and asking for campaign donations.
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“Agree? Chip in $5 so we can put an end to this,” she tweeted.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s expected to formally announce her candidacy on Saturday, also made a fundraising pitch.
“We heard plenty of things in tonight’s #SOTU that made my blood boil,” she wrote on Twitter. “But it’s not enough for us to just get angry at @realDonaldTrump (again). We have to fight for the change we want to see. This is our moment – chip in now.”
One presidential contender didn’t even wait for the president’s speech to end attack Trump’s words.
“Instead of using $5 billion toward a useless border wall or giving America’s top 1% more tax breaks, imagine how much of our country’s crumbling infrastructure we could rebuild,” wrote Sen. Kamala Harris of California, via her campaign digital team, which took over her Twitter feed as she attended the State of the Union address.
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“Just a reminder that this State of the Union Address was originally pushed back because Trump shut down the government for 35 days — the longest shutdown in U.S. history. And in fewer than 10 days, there’s a chance he will shut it down again over his vanity project,” added Harris, who announced her 2020 presidential campaign last month.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who declared his candidacy last week, questioned the president’s push for bipartisanship.
“It takes more than a nod to unity at the top of a speech to bring our country together. Our president has spent the last 2 years trying to drive us apart. Actions speak louder than words,” Booker wrote moments after Trump’s address ended.
Former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, live-tweeted as he watched Trump’s address.
Castro, who was a guest on the late-night program “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” argued that “the President offers a false choice: security or compassion for immigrants. We can have both. Invest in personnel, technology and secure ports of entry AND forge a path to earned citizenship for the millions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants already here.”
Unlike most of her rivals for the nomination, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii did briefly agree with the president when it came to prison and sentencing reform, tweeting: “Yes – passage of #firststepact was a major bipartisan milestone for prison reform.”
But she added, “There is much more to be done to reform our broken criminal justice system.”
And Gabbard slammed Trump’s tax cuts, saying they’ve “been a failure – tax giveaways to corporations, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt and not translating to relief for working Americans or benefiting small business.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s mulling whether to launch a 2020 White House bid, took aim at the president as he complimented 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacy Abrams, who gave the Democratic Party’s response to the State of the Union address.
“Abrams achieved in a matter of minutes something Donald Trump failed to do in over an hour — to embrace and give voice to the spirit and core values that make America great,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, highlighted an issue the president didn’t mention in his address.
“How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?” he asked on Twitter.
The progressive and populist senator from Vermont, who battled eventual nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primaries and who’s weighing another White House run, disagreed with Trump’s rosy take on economic conditions:
“Despite what President Trump says, it is not ‘a hot economy’ when 43 percent of households can’t afford to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone without going into debt. That is not a hot economy.”