In Trump country, even the Democratic governor gives kudos for speech
President Trump's state of the union speech played predictably well in Louisiana, even with its Democratic governor, which is no surprise considering the state remains a Trump strong-hold.
Following is some reaction from Gov. John Bel Edwards, congressmen and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Edwards: Louisiana's governor, mindful of his reelection campaign as the lone Democratic governor in the Deep South, hailed the president's justice reforms that Edwards said mirrored his own in Louisiana.
"Happy to hear President Trump’s commitment to criminal justice reform in the #SOTU," Edwards said in a tweet. "I was honored to join the President last year to discuss Louisiana’s historic reforms, which enjoyed bipartisan support."
"Thanks to criminal justice reform, Louisiana no longer has the highest incarceration rate in the nation," he continued. "I am proud of the hard work we did in Louisiana and look forward to seeing the reforms of the First Step Act in action."
Edwards and Trump have been relatively cozy throughout the president's term, with the governor only occasionally offering criticism of the president when pressed.
Kennedy: "I think the president deserves credit for trying to be conciliatory," Kennedy said Wednesday during a phone conference with reporters, including the USA Today Network. "He's generally not a turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy."
Kennedy said he doesn't believe a bipartisan negotiating team will reach an agreement on border security and the budget by its Feb. 15 deadline, citing what he believes is Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "hatred" of the president.
"Until her hatred is less than her desire to secure the border we probably won't make much progress," Kennedy said.
But Kennedy said he doesn't believe the president will repeat a governmental shutdown so soon after the longest in history ended.
"I think he'll declare a national emergency (instead)," the senator said. "I don't agree with that approach ... but I think the sun will still come up the next morning."
Finally, Kennedy, a former Democrat, veered from the speech to criticize current Democrats as having little empathy for "ordinary Americans."
"I just see more and more of my Democrat friends mocking ordinary Americans for their belief in the Second Amendment, going to church (and teaching their children morals)," he said.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.: "President Trump’s State of the Union address was a great speech, an uplifting speech," Cassidy tweeted. "The president laid out a strong vision for choosing greatness. We can make progress on key issues if both parties are willing to come together and cooperate for the good of country."
Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-La.: Abraham, who is challenging Edwards in this year's governor's race, said the president has "a bold vision" for America.
"There’s no shortage of what we can achieve if Democrats decide to work with Republicans to address border security, the cost of heath care, infrastructure and much more," he said in a statement. "My hope is they stop with the political stunts and obstruction, and choose to help us move this country forward."
Congressman Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre: "President Trump delivered an uplifting and powerful vision for American greatness," Higgins said. "Our nation is safer, stronger and more secure thanks to the conservative policies and wins that we have achieved under President Trump’s leadership."
Congressman Mike Johnson, R-Benton: “The president's speech was a welcome call to greatness and to national unity," Johnson said in a statement. "Our politics have become far too divisive and counterproductive. The American people deserve better, and since coming to Congress, I have worked tirelessly to restore productive dialogue so we can solve problems and move our country forward. Tonight, the president echoed those sentiments and outlined a bright future for all Americans.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican: Landry was among those who met with President Donald Trump last month at the White House to discuss border security and reiterated his support of the president's wall during the speech.
"I applaud President Trump for his steadfast support in securing our Southern border," Landry said in a tweet. "Louisiana has had her share of citizens victimized by illegal immigration. I call on Congress to put aside partisanship and support common-sense solutions."