Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison joins other Democrat leaders in refusing to honor fallen Navy Seal and his widow.
Updated 1:20pm, March 2, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017.
In what has been declared by many as the best moment of his speech, Trump paid tribute to fallen Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens and honored Owens’ widow, Carryn. Owens wept throughout the two minute standing ovation given to her and her husband’s service to the country by the guests and members of Congress.
Trump introduced Carryn Owens saying, “We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy special operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation.” The crowd interrupted Trump with extended applause and Democrats and Republicans gave Owens a standing ovation while she sat with tears on her face.
Trump went on, “I just spoke to General [Jim] Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country and for our freedom — we will never forget him.” This statement caused the crowd to once again rise to their feet and applaud for two full minutes.
However, not all those in attendance stood or clapped for the widow and fallen SEAL. While many Democrats stood for the first round of applause, few stood or applauded during the second standing ovation. Notably, Minnesota Representative and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison along with Representative and former Chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) neither stood nor clapped along with the crowd the second time, and neither did many of the other Democrats in attendance.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 1, 2017
In an article written for the Daily Wire, political pundit Ben Shapiro writes,
“Democrats initially stood for the widow. But then they sat.
As his widow wept and mouthed to heaven, “I love you, baby,” Trump led a round of applause that lasted two minutes.
And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) apparently sat there and didn’t cheer as the incredible moment progressed, along with Senator Bernie Sanders and others – see this video at approximately three minutes in, as the cameras pan the crowd. Look at the right hand side of this screenshot:
Maybe it was more important for Democrats not to cheer in Trump’s presence than to cheer a hero.”
CNN political analyst, Van Jones, declared “Trump became President in that moment.”
During a post-speech discussion on CNN, Jones said, “He became president of the United states in that moment. Period.” Jones continued, “For people hoping that he would remain a divisive cartoon which he often does, they should be a little worried tonight. That thing you just saw him do, if he finds way to do that over and over again, he’ll be there eight years.”
Ellison responded to Trump’s speech with a statement posted on his House.gov site:
“As long as the President is committed to dividing Americans and making life more difficult for millions of Americans, I will remain committed to standing in his way. You can count on that.”
Minnesota Democrat Representative Tim Walz (MN-01) also weighed in on President Trump’s speech to Congress. In a press release, Walz said that he and the administration share the goals to get veterans the care they deserve and lowering the cost of healthcare. Walz criticized Trump, stating:
“Populism without a plan isn’t leadership, and unfortunately, the address lacked significant policy detail and specific plans on how to move forward. That said, it is clear that we don’t agree on how to move forward with improving our health care system. The answer is not to tear it down without offering a sound plan to replace it. Instead, the answer is to build upon the gains of the Affordable Care Act by repairing the parts where folks are falling through the cracks.”
Walz added, “As we move forward with the business of governing, I hope that we can set aside politics and work together to find common ground on comprehensive solutions to the serious issues we are facing as a nation.”