BOSTON (CBS) – A pair of Massachusetts representatives reacted with skepticism to President Donald Trump’s softer toned remarks to Congress Tuesday night.
Though the tone of Trump’s speech has been received as more presidential, Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy said the president should be judged on more than just one address.
“The president needs to be judged by his actions and not his words. We’ve heard over the course of the campaign, over the course of a tumultuous transition, and I think erratic first couple of weeks in office that he’s taken almost every side on almost every issue,” Kennedy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu.
“To hear some softer words might, by some, be seen as progress. The fact of the matter is, as he’s uttering those words, he’s doubling down on some of the most divisive policies made over the course of the campaign.”
Rep. Seth Moulton, who has been critical of Trump in recent months, told Mathieu the president’s travel ban will be used by terrorists to find new recruits.
“That will inspire attacks against us here at home and against our troops overseas. And it continues to make it very, very difficult for our troops to get the intelligence sources, to get the Muslim allies, like those translators and soldiers who fought alongside us, to aid us in the war against terror,” Moulton said. “It’s another great example of Trump’s national security policies that actually directly harms our national security.”
Kennedy said he wants to see Trump show a “genuine desire” to work with Democrats in order to strengthen the middle class.
“As of now we haven’t seen it,” said Kennedy.
“We’ve got to see some details. We’ve got to see some actions, and more than just rosy words.”
Moulton, who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq, said Trump was “taking advantage of a veteran” by asking the wife of slain Navy SEAL Ryan Owens to attend the address. Owens was killed in January during a controversial raid in Yemen.
Carryn Owens was sitting with Ivanka Trump as the president spoke. When President Trump paid tribute to Owens’ service, a lengthy standing ovation followed.
“I thought he was taking advantage of a veteran,” said Moulton. “Although people applauded a lot, rightly for Ryan Owen’s service, the reality is that earlier in the day Donald Trump wouldn’t even take responsibility for the raid as Commander in Chief. He actually passed the blame for the raid off on the generals, as he said. So, clearly he doesn’t think that it was successful himself.”