Some lawmakers, however, said they “had enough” and walked out of the House chamber in protest. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) suggested that the speech contained falsehoods, “It’s all fake.”
I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake.— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) February 5, 2020
“I just walked out of the [State of the Union.] I can’t stand a liar. This man’s presidency is a national tragedy,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote on Twitter.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who also walked out, said the speech was a display of “lies, bigotry, and shameless bragging about taking away food stamps.”
I walked out of that speech. The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live—it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president.— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 5, 2020
In an interview on MSNBC after the speech, Tlaib said Trump’s reference to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the final straw that led her to walk out.
“I think, you know, even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger. Just as a woman in America, the fact that he, you know, rightfully was accused and having an incredibly strong woman come before the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person that was appointed to the Supreme Court is just — I couldn’t stand still and not do anything about it, and I needed to walk away from that.”
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) was also spotted leaving the chamber during the speech.
“I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct [and] subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio Cortez wrote in a tweet announcing her decision to not attend the address.