President Donald Trump’s powerful State of the Union address resonated across the nation Tuesday night as more Americans tuned in to hear the president than did for former President Barack Obama when he gave his second State of the Union address.
The president’s speech averaged a 16.3 rating among ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. That showing is up roughly 10 percent from Trump’s first State of the Union address in 2018, which had a 14.8 rating.
When Obama gave his second State of the Union address in 2011, he had a viewing audience estimated at 30.9 million people.
Trump’s first address topped 45 million people, meaning that with the ratings increase he recorded Tuesday night, this year’s speech should easily surpass Obama’s second State of the Union address.
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Nielsen based its preliminary ratings of Trump’s speech on 12 broadcast networks and cable channels, CNN reported. The preliminary rating was 32.1, up from 30.7 a year ago. The Nielsen rating estimates the percentage of homes that were tuned in to the president.
During his speech, Trump addressed not only key issues such as illegal immigration but also foundational divides he said were a threat to America’s way of life.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” he said.
“America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he said.
Trump also made clear that the foundational right of all Americans is the right to life.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” the president said. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”
Trump then referenced the controversial comments from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in support of infanticide.
“And then, we had the case of the governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth,” the president said.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said.
He also called for a fight against sky-high prescription drug prices.
“It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place,” Trump said. “This is wrong, unfair — and together we can stop it.
“I am asking the Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients. We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down.”
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