Trump gets praise for measured speech
Donald Trump’s muted prime-time address to Congress got positive reviews on Wednesday, but questions remained about the details and costs of his ambitious agenda.
Americans reacted warmly to Trump’s speech, in which he ditched the most bellicose of his rhetoric in favour of a call for national unity.
A CBS News/YouGov poll showed that 76 per cent of those who watched the speech approved of what they saw. Wall Street also voiced its appreciation, with the Dow topping 21,000 for the first time.
It was a much needed boost for the 70-yearold Republican president.
Trump — ever-aware of his image and popularity — fired a triumphant “THANK YOU!” message to his 25 million Twitter followers.
To keep the momentum, the White House postponed the unveiling of a controversial new ban on travellers from mostly Muslim countries, which would have dominated news coverage.
It also pared back Trump’s public remarks and held its daily press briefing off-camera.
The speech — staunchly nationalist, but delivered in a more measured tone — may help soothe a deeply divided country.
An estimated 48 million people tuned in to watch Trump’s speech, according to the Nielsen ratings firm, lower than the 53 million who watched former president Barack Obama’s first joint address in 2009.
Trump’s speech was welcomed by the hundreds of mostly Republican lawmakers.
“I think we were all really pleased last night to hear the president’s unifying message.
“It was refreshing for everyone after such a difficult election season,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.