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Local Democrats & Republicans react to State of the Union speech

President Trump touched many topics in his 80-minute speech, from the economy to infrastructure and immigration.

"It was fabulous," said Terri Henderson-Jandt, a La Quinta Republican voter.

Henderson-Jandt was one of many local Republicans who tuned in to President Trump's State of the Union address. A speech she says that left her optimistic about the future. "He has recognized that he needed to calm down some. And to reach out more. And he did that with a great deal of finesse last night." 

Terry Imber, a Cathedral City Democratic voter, says he was not impressed by the speech.

"I don't like the way he speaks," Imber said. "It was just more of the same. He builds himself up. He's so euphonic and utopian and I don't believe it."

Other Republicans like Mike Cericola, a Palm Desert Republican, said he was impressed with Trump touching on different things, including foreign relations.

"President Trump, when he was talking about North Korea, he was like a true leader. Leading this great country and showing everybody around the world that America is not going to back down to foreign dictators," Cericola said.

Cathie Snyder, a La Quinta Democrat, said she decided not to watch the President's address.

"I'm having a difficult time with a lot of his rhetoric, especially on his twitter feed. And what he does to a lot of people," Snyder said.

For Imber and Snyder, they tuned in to watch the democratic rebuttal from Rep. Joe Kennedy the Third, the grandson of Robert Kennedy, who Imber volunteered for in the 1968 presidential campaign. 

"People were giving standing ovations, but in some ways, I think it was appropriate because they speak for the common man and they want to bring up the underdog," Imber said.

I thought he was very articulate. I thought he was very intelligent. I like that he was down to earth and when he started speaking Spanish, it really touched my heart," Snyder said.

Henderson-Jandt, however, the speech gave a similar message the Democrats have said before. 

"There is this sense that they hate us, hate Trump, hate the agenda, and in order to satisfy that, they pull all of the antics of not wanting to join in and that's because of jealousy," Henderson-Jandt said.

Regardless of how either side of the aisle felt about the speeches, both sides each say they have great hope for the future.

"The first thing we opened the doors this morning, we had a woman come in to change her registration from Democrat to Republican and that was after the speech. So, I think people are getting that we are on the right track with this president," said Joy Miedecke, President of the East Valley Republican Women Federated.

"We're going to get the vote out. 2018 Is going to be a critical year, in my opinion," said Elle Kurpiewski, Political Director for the Democratic Headquarters of the Desert.

Miedecke added they are focusing on registering more voters, especially for this year's midterm election. Kurpiewski says they have been keying in for voter registration for this year's midterm election. She and other Democrats say they expect to see Kennedy's stock rise within the Democratic party.


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