WASHINGTON (CBS) — President Donald Trump received much praise from his administration following his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Cabinet members said Trump’s remarks were consistently optimistic.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson talked about a CBS News poll that showed Americans want more civility in politics.
“I’m very concerned about the divisiveness and the hatred in our country. I believe it is every bit as threatening as North Korea or ISIS,” said Carson.
The sharp division, not at all unusual for a State of the Union, was on full display in the House chambers.
“I thought it was really unfortunate to watch the Democrats literally sit on their hands when phrases like ‘In God We Trust’ and the national anthem were invoked,” said White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., criticized the president’s policies on Twitter, writing they’re a punch to the gut for American families.
Republicans seized the opportunity to tamp down the rhetoric.
“He spoke to issues on both sides of the aisle,” said Linda McMahon of the Small Business Administration.
During the address, Trump said the war on “beautiful, clean coal” is over. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Trump’s comments were “right down in our wheelhouse.”
“This is right down in our wheelhouse from the standpoint of we have a lab in Pittsburgh, a lab in Morgantown, West Virginia, that deals with how do you use coal in a substantially cleaner way,” explained Perry.
Meanwhile, the Delaware Valley has been rocked by the opioid epidemic.
“This is a personal problem,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “We are losing 151 Americans every day due to drug overdoses.”
On the job only three days, Azar says it’s a prime concern of the administration.
The problem is so widespread, Philadelphia recently announced a step toward launching safe injection sites.
“Those programs are simply at their beginning, so we don’t have the data to know whether those work or actually hurt,” said Azar.
Also in Tuesday night’s speech were plans for a $1.5 trillion investment in infrastructure. Pennsylvania has among the most structurally deficient bridges in the country.