Tonight, Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will be giving the Democrats’ official response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. You can watch the response on live stream (and later on a rewatchable full video) via the video above. Trump’s speech will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern and is expected to last no longer than 90 minutes, but likely closer to an hour. The Democrats’ response will begin shortly after Trump’s speech ends. That means you should keep a close eye on this video sometime around 10 p.m. Eastern just so you don’t miss anything. The video will be fully replayable after the response ends.
Kennedy, 37, is serving his third term in the House. He’s the great nephew of JFK and the grandson of Bobby Kennedy. But despite his famous background, he’s been relatively unknown until he introduced Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic National Convention. He also recently got quite a bit of attention when he responded to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s statement that the Republican’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act was an “act of mercy.” Kennedy said: “With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture. The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful, but by how we care for the least among us.”
Kennedy is against repealing the ACA, favors immigration, and refugee and LGBTQ rights. He’s pro-choice and in favor of gun restrictions. But one thing he’s at odds with many Democrats about is his stance on marijuana. Kennedy doesn’t believe marijuana should be legalized. If it’s used as medicine, he believes it should be regulated like medicine.
Although many people support Kennedy giving the post-SOTU speech, some have spoken out against it, believing it should have been a person of color or a woman. They say that Kennedy, as one of the richest members of Congress, just wasn’t quite the right choice.
Others, meanwhile, think that Kennedy might the be the DNC’s future. Still others believe that future is still around in Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, many other Democrats are just skipping the State of the Union entirely. So far, the Democrats who have decided not to attend include Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Bobby Rush, Rep. Danny Davis, and Rep. Albio Sires.
What do you think about Kennedy giving the official response? And what did you think of his speech? Let us know in the comments below.