Eight Democrats plan to boycott Trump’s State of the Union speech
At least WASHINGTON — eight Democratic House members will skip President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday after Rep. Albio Sires announced Sunday he would not attend.
The New Jersey Democrat will boycott the speech “because many of his constituents are offended by the president’s rhetoric and behavior,” Erica Daughtrey, a spokeswoman for the congressman, told NJ.com.
Reps. John Lewis, Maxine Waters, Frederica S. Wilson, Gregory Meeks, Pramila Japal, Jan Schakowsky and Earl Blumenauer previously announced they will skip Trump’s speech.
Each has said Trump’s vulgarity, especially comments deemed hostile to non-white people, played a factor in their decision.
Wilson cited “recent racist and incendiary remarks about Haiti and African nations” as her reason to not attend.
Jayapal said earlier in announcing her plans to skip the speech that the president is “fueling the flames of divisiveness across our country” through “racism and the hatred coming out of the White House.”
Earlier this month, Trump criticized Haiti and called some African nations “shithole countries” in a meeting with lawmakers about immigration.
Sires, a Cuban immigrant, called the episode “disgusting.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas missed President Barack Obama’s final SOTU speech in January 2016 because he was campaigning for president in New Hampshire.