A snub.  A speech.  A State of the Union torn to shreds.

The bitter divisions of politics in America were on full display Tuesday night as President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union Address to Congress and nation, as the President seemingly ignored a handshake offered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who responded by very publicly tearing apart Mr. Trump's printed speech as he finished.

"Ripping up the president's speech is a new low, even for Speaker Pelosi," said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), as Republicans roundly denounced the Speaker.

"I was disappointed in the Speaker of the House's action," said Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL). "Very, very disappointing."

"I am disgusted and insulted by the viciously partisan action of Nancy Pelosi tearing up the speech," tweeted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. 

Here is what it looked like.

As President Trump arrived in the House chamber - where lawmakers had voted to impeach him just before Christmas - Mr. Trump climbed the dais to his speaking position, and handed formal copies of the speech to both Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Pelosi.

Pelosi quickly extended her hand - offering a handshake to the President - but he turned away. Whether he did not see the offer, or he just ignored it, was not immediately clear.

But a photograph tweeted out by the Speaker left little doubt as to what Democrats believe happened.

After that handshake misfire, the Speaker trimmed back the usual introduction for the President.

While Republicans and the White House denounced Pelosi for literally tearing the President's speech apart, Democrats shook their heads over GOP lawmakers breaking into a chant of, "Four more years!" on the House floor.

"I thought it was a terrible speech," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA). "This was a campaign rally."

"That was a disgrace," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). "It was a 2020 campaign speech from beginning to end, filled with political stunts unworthy of the House chamber."

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author

X