(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced on Tuesday that she will skip President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, because she doesn’t want to “legitimize” Trump’s conduct and “subversion of the Constitution.”
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union," she tweeted.
She made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the president is set to address the nation. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only Democrat planning to skip the president’s speech.
Her fellow “squad” member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted Tuesday: “The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress & contempt for our constitution. I cannot in good conscience attend tonight's sham.”
Pressley also released a statement on her website, saying that Trump “incessantly stokes fear in people of color, women, healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ communities, low-income families, and many more.” She said the president “does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, nor the integrity that is required of the President of the United States.”
The following is her statement in full:
The occupant of the White House incessantly stokes fear in people of color, women, healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ communities, low-income families, and many more. He does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, nor the integrity that is required of the President of the United States.
The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress, and contempt for our constitution - strong-arming a sham impeachment trial in the Senate. This presidency is not legitimate.
“On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent.
Other Democrats have followed suit. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday that she would be boycotting the State of the Union address.
“To think that I would attend the #SOTU to hear the message of an IMPEACHED president is a thought that in no way would be consistent w/ my fight and struggle against this dishonorable president. I will certainly NOT be there!” she announced.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said he “can’t stomach” the lies of an illegitimate president, so he’ll skip out of the president’s speech.
“I won't be attending #SOTU this evening. I can't stomach all the lies. .@repjohnlewis said 3 years ago @realDonaldTrump is not a legitimate president -- and John has been proven right time & time again. Trump got elected w/ foreign help & now he's solicited foreign help for 2020,” Johnson tweeted.
“Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president - who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided. I will NOT attend #SOTU2020,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) announced on Twitter.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said he will be boycotting the president’s speech, but he has given his ticket to a woman who is an advocate for lower drug prices.
“I will #BoycottSOTU, but the crowd will be filled w/ people impacted most by Trump's policies & McConnell's shameful inaction. I gave my ticket to Michelle Freedman, a tireless advocate for lower Rx prices. Her experience is why we're fighting to improve the #StateOfHealthCare,” Blumenauer tweeted.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) plans to boycott the State of the Union address like she has in the past, but she said she wants Trump to talk about what his administration is doing to protect voting rights, prevent Russian and other foreign interference in the 2020 election, and how to work together to protect health care.
“At tonight’s #SOTU, I want President Trump to talk about what his administration is going to do to protect voting rights and prevent Russian and other foreign interference in the 2020 election,” Wilson tweeted.
“Protecting people with pre-existing conditions is something we can all agree on. At tonight’s #SOTU, I want to hear how we can work together to improve the #StateOfHealthCare #ForThePeople,” Wilson added.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), like Wilson, has not attended Trump’s State of the Union addresses in the past. He announced Monday that he won’t attend this year’s SOTU address.
“I’m glad that my colleagues @RepBlumenauer, @RepAlGreen & @RepWilson are continuing to stand against this #ImpeachedForever President. We will not be witnesses to more #TrumpLies. #SOTUBoycott #SOTU,” Cohen tweeted.
“I have not attended prior Trump State of the Union addresses, and won’t attended Tuesday night’s, because I don’t believe the President has the character or veracity necessary to address Congress from that august podium and is not worthy of the dignity and respect accorded to his predecessors,” Cohen said in a statement on his congressional website.
The House chamber has hosted the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. I didn’t attend his first State of the Union after he told the country that there had been ‘very fine people on both sides’ of the right-wing extremist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 that featured the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. That spurred me to introduce articles of impeachment later that year. Last year, he promised to end the AIDS epidemic and cure childhood cancer ‘very shortly.’ Mexico still hasn’t paid for his border wall. At this point, according to The Washington Post, Donald Trump has told more than 16,000 lies.
“It is clear that the President committed the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for which he was impeached. Senator Lamar Alexander called this conduct ‘inappropriate.’ I call it illegal and impeachable. When the Senate votes on Wednesday not to convict the President, we will all see the prediction Russian leader Nikita Khruschev made in 1956 – ‘we will destroy you from within’ – come to pass. Trump continues to pitch Khruschev’s successor Vladimir Putin’s propaganda CrowdStrike conspiracy canard. Senate Republicans did not want witnesses at the impeachment trial. I will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted. While I will always respect the office of the President, its current inhabitant demonstrates daily that he does not.”