President Donald Trump’s arrives at the podium to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4,
Leah Millis | Reuters
This live blog is finished.
10:57 pm: Thanks for reading
The CNBC Politics team is wrapping up our 2020 State of the Union live blog. Check out our story about the top moments of the night, from Rush Limbaugh’s Presidential Medal of Freedom to Nancy Pelosi tearing up Trump’s speech. Thanks for stopping by.
10:52 pm: A state of disunion
This speech will be remembered for the bitter partisanship underlying it. From the snubbed handshake, to the awarding of the presidential Medal of Freedom to a man who has professionally insulted people, especially women, for decades; to the instantly viral clip of Pelosi ripping up Trump’s speech, we learned more tonight about the state of America’s disunion than anything else.
10:40 pm: The Democratic response
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a rising party star who flipped her state’s governor’s office in 2018 on a platform of infrastructure and health care, aimed to poke holes in Trump’s health care and economic arguments. She highlighted efforts by Democrats to protect people with pre-existing conditions — which the president wrongly claimed he has always done — and argued Trump looked out for corporations at the expense of workers.
Whitmer used her own personal history recounting a time when she was “holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle. I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom’s insurance company… And it changed me. I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems.”
10:25 pm: Trump wraps, Pelosi rips
At the conclusion of Trump’s remarks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up the hard copy of Trump’s speech that he had given her before he began, and tossed it aside. It was quite the bookend to how things began. Before Trump started speaking tonight, he declined to shake the speaker’s hand.
10:24 pm: Trump surprises military family with homecoming
The president recognized Army spouse Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, N.C., and her two children during his address. He explained that for the past 7 months, her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, has been serving a deployment in Afghanistan.
Trump said it was Williams’ fourth deployment to the Middle East. After thanking Amy for her sacrifice, the president announced that her husband was home and in the audience.
10:23 pm: Another House Democrat walks out
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., also said he ducked out of Trump’s address early. “I can’t stand a liar. This man’s presidency is a national tragedy,” he tweeted.
10:20 pm: Trump touts killings of ISIS leader, Iran’s Soleimani
The president recounted missions conducted under his orders to kill key adversaries in the Middle East: ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. “Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life,” Trump said.
10:13 pm: Rep. Tim Ryan has ‘had enough’
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, “walked out” of Trump’s State of the Union address, saying he “had enough.” He compared it to professional wrestling: “It’s all fake.”
10:10 pm: Trump trumpets his influence on U.S. courts
After praising his “two brilliant new Supreme Court justices,” Trump says that his administration is defending religious liberty. “In America, we do not punish prayer. We do not tear down crosses,” Trump said.
The Supreme Court voted to allow a 40-foot Latin cross to stand on public ground in June, with Kavanaugh and Gorsuch forming part of the seven-justice majority.
Trump has rapidly appointed judges to the federal judiciary with the help of a GOP Senate majority. He has confirmed 187 federal judges, more than any president since Bill Clinton at this point in his tenure.
10:04 pm: Democrats chant the name of their Rx drug bill
When Trump announced that he would sign a bill “immediately” to lower drug prices, Democrats raised three fingers and chanted “HR 3! HR 3!” It’s the legislative name of the prescription drug price bill that Democrats passed in the House last year. The bill has languished on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk since then.
9:54 pm: Rush Limbaugh gets Medal of Freedom
First lady Melania Trump awarded the conservative radio host, who recently revealed he had advanced lung cancer, the Presidential Medal of Freedom right in the middle of Trump’s speech. Limbaugh, known for his caustic rants against liberals and “feminazis,” was nonetheless moved to tears as the president and the first lady honored him. “Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Trump said.
9:49 pm: Trump again plays defense on entitlements
The president pledges “we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security,” weeks after he told CNBC’s Joe Kernen that his administration would take a look at entitlement reform. His Democratic rivals in the 2020 primary field seized on the remarks at the time to hammer Trump on a big hot-button issue.
9:46 pm: Pre-existing conditions, Medicare for All
Health care sits at the top of voters’ minds in 2020. Trump appeared aware of its importance and his own vulnerability on the issue.
The president said, “I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: we will always protect people with pre-existing conditions.” Trump has not kept that pledge so far in his presidency. Democrats leveraged Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which could have weakened the law’s key protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as they flipped the House in the 2018 midterms.
The Trump administration has declined to defend Obamacare against litigation that seeks to toss out the law — and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The Supreme Court is unlikely to hear the case before the 2020 election.
Also during his speech, Trump targeted Democrats for supporting “Medicare for All,” what he called a “socialist takeover of our health care system.” He claimed “there are those who want to take away your health care, take away your doctor and abolish private insurance entirely.” “We will never let socialism destroy American health care,” he said to cheers from Republicans and even a few Democrats.
Trump misleads on what such a health care system would do. Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of Trump’s leading challengers for the White House in 2020, wants a universal health care system that would cover every American, with benefits like dental, mental health and long-term care, with no deductibles, premiums or copays.
While Sanders says he would tax the wealthy and corporations more to fund the plan, he has not denied that middle-class people may have to pay more in taxes under the system. However, he says they will end up saving money overall because of lower health care costs.
9:43 pm: Mixed messages on China
While Trump praises Chinese President Xi Jinping in his State of the Union address, critics are pointing out how some members of his own Cabinet contradict him on how China is viewed, even after the “phase one” trade deal.
9:29 pm: ‘Socialism destroys nations’
In introducing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, Trump takes aim at socialism – which is a theme of his 2020 campaign, as well. He has warned that his Democratic rivals would usher in socialism. None of his Democratic rivals are socialists, while Sen. Bernie Sanders identifies as a democratic socialist.
9:24 pm: An economic stump speech
The early parts of Trump’s remarks sounded much like a stump speech centered around the economy. He pointed to a range of economic indicators, from the unemployment rate, to wages, to real median household income, consumer confidence and 401k plans.
While many of those marks are good or even great — the U.S. unemployment rate has been near a 50-year low — he at points embellished how strong the economy is. Trump said: “This is a blue-collar boom.”
9:22 pm: Targeting Obama and Democrats
Trump leads off with searing criticism of the Obama administration.
“The years of economic decay are over,” Trump said. “The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us. Gone, too, are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power and prestige.”
These sentences at the top of the speech are a clear sign that Trump intends to use this address to excoriate Democrats and the previous Democratic administration, whose vice president just happens to be running for president against Trump.
9:14 pm: Designated survivor named
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is this year’s designated survivor, ie, the Cabinet member who is left out of the chamber while the president gives the State of the Union address. He is at an undisclosed location to protect the presidential line of succession in case there is a mass casualty during the speech.
9:10 pm: ‘The state of our union is stronger than ever before’
Trump unleashes a common State of the Union applause line after listing a litany of boasts about the economy and military strength.
9:07 pm: Pelosi introduces Trump
“Members of Congress, the president of the United States,” Pelosi declares, prompting Trump’s supporters in the chamber to chant “four more years!” Trump also ignored Pelosi’s attempt at a handshake.
9:03 pm: The president enters the chamber
Trump has arrived and he’s shaking hands as he makes his way down to give his speech.
8:57 pm: Chief justice appears as impeachment trial nears end
Chief Justice John Roberts just arrived in the House chamber under somewhat unusual circumstances: The chief will continue preside over the president’s impeachment trial in the Senate on Wednesday.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist skipped President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1999, under similar circumstances.
In addition to Roberts, Trump appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Elena Kagan, an Obama appointee, are also in attendance.
8:55 pm: Democratic women wear white
Democratic female House members are wearing white tonight to honor the early 20th century women’s suffrage movement that resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C, front) poses for a group photo with members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus prior to the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on February 4, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Alex Edelman | Getty Images
8:44 pm: Limbaugh attends SOTU after cancer revelation
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has been spotted in the House chamber at the State of the Union address. Limbaugh announced on his program Monday that he has been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” He said he will take time off his normal broadcast schedule to seek treatment.
Radio personality Rush Limbaugh sits in the First Lady’s box ahead of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 04, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
8:40 pm: Excerpts from the Democratic response
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic Party’s response to Trump’s speech tonight. Here are some excerpts:
During my campaign, people told me to fix the damn roads – because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous. And car repairs take money from rent, child care, or groceries.
And we – the Democrats – are doing something about it.
I was holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle. I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom’s insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy.
It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system, and our child care system. And it changed me.
I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems.
So, as a state senator, I worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand health care coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act.
It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.
It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market. What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs.
American workers are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin. And Ohio. And Pennsylvania. All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed.
I’m so inspired by young people.
They respond to mass shootings demanding policies that make schools safer.
They react to a world that’s literally on fire with fire in their bellies. To push leaders to finally take action on climate change.
They take on a road filled with potholes with a shovel and some dirt.
2020 is a big year. It’s the year my daughter Sherry will graduate from high school. It’s also the year she’ll cast her first ballot, along with millions of young Americans.
The two things are connected. Because walking across the graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time.
Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, smiles during an event at the General Motors Co. Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019.
Jeff Kowalsky | Bloomberg | Getty Images
8:37 pm: You can stream the speech on CNBC
Watch our live stream here.
8:32 pm: Former Rep. Katie Hill spotted at the Capitol
Hill is a former House member from California who resigned last year after “revenge porn” photos surfaced, amid allegations that she had an affair with a subordinate. Hill’s resignation prompted a public debate over whether Hill was a victim or not, and whether House Democrats should have supported her more.
8:20 pm: Speech excerpts released
Three years ago, we launched the Great American Comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results.
In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American Decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!
The vision I will lay out this evening demonstrates how we are building the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society – one where every citizen can join in America’s unparalleled success, and where every community can take part in America’s extraordinary rise.
From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy —slashing a record number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for FAIR and RECIPROCAL trade agreements.
In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people DROPPED OUT of the workforce. In just three years of my Administration, 3.5 MILLION working-age people have JOINED the workforce.
Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far. .
We are restoring our nation’s Manufacturing Might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the PREVIOUS two administrations, America has now GAINED 12,000 NEW factories under my Administration.
Many politicians came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA – only to do absolutely nothing. But unlike so many who came before me, I KEEP MY PROMISES. Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement into law.
Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the USA.
To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion dollars in the United States Military. […] We created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force.
The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a GREAT Education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. […] NO PARENT should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.
A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on earth. […] We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
8:15 pm: Venezuela’s opposition leader will be Trump’s guest
The White House on Tuesday confirmed that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido will be among the president and first lady’s guests tonight. Guaido’s attendance likely benefits both Trump and his guest. For Trump, Guaido represents a physical representation of the Trump administration’s hard line against Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro, whose government has been heavily sanctioned by Washington. For Guaido, who was prohibited in January from seeking reelection as head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, appearing at the State of the Union as a guest of the president sends a strong signal to allies and foes back home that he and his opposition government still enjoy official U.S. support.
8:05 pm: Trump’s 2020 message vs. Iowa caucus results
Trump could try to inject energy into his reelection drive and will likely talk up a healthy U.S. economy and recent trade triumphs. At the same time, more of the delayed Democratic caucus results could trickle in from Iowa as voters start to pick who will face him in November.
7:58 pm: AOC and other key Dems will boycott the speech
The president’s address is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET. He will address a joint session of Congress, but several key Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, will boycott the speech.
7:55 pm: Welcome to CNBC’s State of the Union live blog
President Donald Trump will give his third State of the Union address tonight, the night before the Senate will likely vote to acquit him of the two charges he faces in his impeachment trial. Expect to see a victorious Trump touting his administration’s record on the economy and national security, with speech lines tailor-made for the 2020 campaign.
All times above are Eastern time.
CNBC’s Mike Calia and Amanda Macias contributed to this live blog.