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story.lead_photo.caption President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. listen. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

WASHINGTON -- Members of the all-Republican Arkansas congressional delegation stood and applauded repeatedly during President Donald Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening.

In interviews afterward, they all gave the new commander in chief rave reviews.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers called it "a speech that lots of Americans could feel good about."

"I thought it was a message of unity and strength. I think he talked to the American worker and really brought a message concerning jobs, the economy, what he's going to do to fix that, which is so, so very important," Boozman said. "He talked about national security, the importance of securing the border but also having a strong defense. ... These are things that are on people's minds."

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U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Dardanelle said Trump's address was "outstanding, uplifting, specific [and] very well-delivered."

"He spoke to the aspirations and expectations of the vast majority of Arkansans," he said.

Cotton said he was pleased to hear Trump talking about overhauling the nation's legal immigration system; it's a message Cotton has also been emphasizing this year.

"We've talked at great length about it," Cotton said. "We agree a lot."

The senator said Trump's conciliatory tone was welcome after an election that was sometimes polarized and divisive.

House members from Arkansas also gave the president's speech high marks.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro called it "a pretty bold message," noting that it echoed many of Trump's previous


"He's been consistent with that message from the get-go, so nobody should be surprised at what he had to say," he said.

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The tone, however, was more conciliatory, Crawford suggested in a subsequent email.

"I think tonight he officially turned the page from candidate Trump to President Trump. He laid out his vision for growth and prosperity, national defense, immigration, education and more and asked members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to come together and work with him to move our country forward."

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs said Trump's message was "very presidential."

"I think he gave not only Congress and the people in the audience here, but I think he gave America a vision for where we can go and what we can do, and I was glad to hear what he had to say," he said. "I'm excited to get up tomorrow and go to work again."

With Republicans in control of the White House as well as Capitol Hill, there's a lot of work ahead, Westerman said.

"We're in a position now where we have to get things done," he said.

U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock was also impressed.

"I thought Donald Trump delivered the best speech that I've heard him deliver tonight. I thought it was aspirational and gave Americans hope in their future," he said. "I thought it hit the important areas that he campaigned on and that we now need to deliver policy improvements on in the area of the economy and national security."

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers also approved of Trump's message. "I was very, very impressed with it. I consider that speech to be one of the best -- maybe the best -- I've ever heard him give," he said.

Trump is "the person that is going to lead America right back to the front, to the leadership position of the free world, and that's what America wants," he added.

Womack, who shook the president's hand as he departed, was less impressed with the Democrats' reactions to the speech, he said.

Trump reached out to them and that "the other side just, almost in his face, rejected him, sneered at him. So obviously we still have some divisions that we're still going to have to work through," Womack added.

Metro on 03/01/2017

Print Headline: Trump thrills Arkansans; Speech spot on, state’s D.C. delegation says


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Archived Comments

  • TuckerMax
    March 1, 2017 at 7:55 a.m.

    So, our DC delegation is prepared to raise the deficit to pay for all this? Obama pleaded with Republicans to fund infrastructure investment, and they ignored him. Note the balance here: A failed Congress attempting to make a President fail. In that 6+ years they never learned how to do the job. That's our Congressional delegation for you. Only Obama did not fail. Congress shot itself in the foot and now look like blithering hypocrites. If the shoe fits ....

  • hah406
    March 1, 2017 at 8:03 a.m.

    Boozman was right. It was a feel good speech. They had an immigration reform bill a few years ago, bipartisan support, but the hard right in the GOP house wouldn't go for it. They are doing the same with healthcare, refusing to support anything but straight repeal. And they sure aren't going to raise the deficit to fund any infrastructure projects. At any rate, Trump has thrown down the vision, let's see the legislature do it's job for once.

  • TimberTopper
    March 1, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.

    I got up this morning expecting 2 chickens for my pot. However, they haven't been delivered yet. I wonder which of these guys I should call, regarding my chickens?

  • Foghorn
    March 1, 2017 at 8:28 a.m.

    They're not a delegation; they're an abomination. 'Aspirational' is not 'Actionable.' Not one of these boot licking, lackey lemmings can name a single actionable item from the speech because it didn't contain anything actionable. At least Obama gave us the audacity of hope. Trump and the AR wrecking crew in DC can only represent a paucity of hope.

  • wowy
    March 1, 2017 at 9:19 a.m.

    President Trump gave one of the greatest speeches in the history of speeches last night. He gently kissed the helpless democrats on the cheek, then politely bent them over the Oval Office chair and laid the wood to them all the while giving them the benefit of a reach around.
    We have a great Republican delegation. They have climbed to the very top of the dung heap of those dim-witted democrats and their failed policies and self serving cronyism. They are now ready to crow!!

  • hurricane46
    March 1, 2017 at 9:24 a.m.

    Wowy please, take your meds, I have just one question, how do Bozo and Tommy breathe with their noses so far up Trumps butt?

  • Foghorn
    March 1, 2017 at 9:36 a.m.

    Wowy - You may be on to something. Dung beetles are usually found munching away on dung heaps, which perfectly describes the AR congressional abomination. They and you continue to bend over, welcoming of Trump's 'wood.' Do you crow when he unloads?

  • mrcharles
    March 1, 2017 at 10:04 a.m.

    Uncle Joe was surprised at the arkie gushing, as they , well most want to do dirty deeds with cuba which fearless leader opposes. I guess in the presence of an anointed one they forgot that little detail. Convenient aint it bubba.

    Batman wow pow zow, perhaps his speech is a little below the sermon on the mount or the one on the plan?

    The gop including our delegation of Nurse Ratchets afternoon group may have crossed the threshold of violation one of those commandant so putting a g-d before the g-d of Judah as directed by the g-d of most high. As to the rest of the gop their overall excitement are close to that of a 18 year old male , testosterone running a 11 on a scale of 1 to 10 being let loose at the playboy mansion with the run of the place. Comical in their knowing.

    hurricane, you know those old gop guys they with their wide stances in the stall, are the ones who if they showed up to babyset your children you would call the police.

    They actually remind me of a photo of a madrassa [ thought they did allow mixed sexes there] with the little children like demented parrots , heads bobbing up and down regurgitation talking points, giving little thought to what they are saying or its effect, but being of pure nature , believe salvation is from the mere recitation of magic words.

    Glad the widow of the slain seal was there. Not glad that she became the widow of the slain seal, and this should be investigated at least till Jesus comes back when we will be too busy.

  • Packman
    March 1, 2017 at 10:27 a.m.

    Amazing. Marvelous. Stupendous. The speech deserves every superlative one might imagine, and more. Paraphrasing Chris Wallace, last night Donald Trump became President Trump in the eyes of America.
    Meantime all those harpies in white became the epitome of Mean Girls to those same eyes. How utterly reprehensible and disgusting that they refused to stand and show respect as the sobbing Carryn Owens looked skyward and mouthed the words "I love you, baby", to her military hero husband.
    And they wonder why Trump won. Morons. Libs are f'ing despicable morons. There will be no "safe" Democrat seats in 2018. The Democrat Party has been reduced to a collection of has-beens (Pelosi, Shumer, Clinton), nutjobs (Warren, Franken, Waters) and Mean Girls (Planned Parenthood, Sarah Silverman, Rosie O"Donnel). The implosion of the Democrat party is sort of sad because, as President Trump said, a vibrant 2-party system is a good thing as it provides necessary checks and balances. Hopefully, Democrats won't wander in the wilderness too long.

  • wowy
    March 1, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

    Doubledumb you tell me, it's your pie hole.