Democrats and Independents are planning at least five responses to President Trump's inaugural State of the Union address Tuesday night, a sign of a healthy appetite among the left to rebut Trump on his big night.
On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said that he is planning a response of his own on various social media platforms soon after the speech. It is the second year in a row Sanders has given his own response to the speech.
While Sanders delivers his response, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., is slated to give the official Democratic Party response to Trump. Kennedy was chosen last week for the official response by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Congressman Kennedy is a relentless fighter for working Americans,” Pelosi said in a statement. “While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country. His leadership has been vital in educating a next-generation workforce, in creating good-paying manufacturing jobs and in expanding opportunities for the middle class.”
The two Democratic leaders also announced that Delegate Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia will give the official Spanish-language response to Trump.
Additionally, two progressive figures within the party plan to give responses to the president. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a chief proponent of impeaching the president, is set to deliver a response on BET.
Former Rep. Donna Edwards is also slated to respond to the speech on behalf of Working Families Party, a progressive group. Edwards is a former member of Congress who gave up her seat in 2016 to run for the Senate, but lost to Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., in the primary. She is currently running for county executive of Prince George County.
The multiple responses are very similar to actions by Republicans in 2014, when four GOP lawmakers gave responses to former President Barack Obama's address. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official response, while Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., gave Tea Party responses. Meanwhile, Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., gave the Spanish-language response.