8:15 PM: Pregame:
Donald Trump has painted himself into a corner: The Pelosi/Schumer Left has determined that they will stop any legislation from being considered if it doesn't directly deal with ending the partial government shutdown.
On the other side Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and other True Trumpers have made it clear that all the other potential immigration reforms notwithstanding, a wall is central to this debate. As Coulter said on Friday: "The chant at every campaign rally wasn't, 'Enforce E-Verify!' 'Tax remittances! We want that stuff too - but we also want a wall.
Donald Trump anointed himself the Great Dealmaker. Let's see . . .
9:01 PM: Technical issues:
Trump delivered the speech apparently reading from a teleprompter that was next to, not part of, the camera. It was off-putting but there might have been a technical glitch that required that.
It was quickly written and contained few, if any transitions.
The speech ended at 9:11 PM.
Donald Trump did not declare a national emergency.
He said that illegal immigration is harming US minorities most - not because of jobs, but because of drugs coming across the border.
The main body of the speech dealt with criminal activity of illegal immigrants. He talked about two murders - one of a policeman - California. He mentioned one vicious crime that occurred in different areas of the country.
This is something Democrats typically do very well - choose a few egregious examples and suggest they are something that happen all day every day.
He said that criminal activity doesn't begin on the U.S. side of the border. Mr. Trump talked about children and women coming to the border are at the mercy of human traffickers - Coyotes, they are called.
He said hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have been arrested for criminal activity. There wasn't any time range so it will be difficult to fact check that.
The speech was quickly written and didn't contain many transitions. Trump talked about the humanitarian aid his administration has requested, as well as greater resources of buildings, and personnel.
Last on his list of what needs to be done is building a wall which he said, "will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall." He also said that the wall would, "very quickly, pay for itself." He added it would also be paid for "indirectly" US-Canadian-Mexican trade agreement.
He then turned political saying Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer "backed a physical barrier until I became president." There is probably some truth to that. He incorrectly claimed that Democrats will not pay for border security. They won't pay for a wall, but they are open to other elements of border security.
He ended by calling this a "crisis of the heart and of the soul." He asked Americans to call Congress. I would have had him say the phone number: 202-224-3121 (or 202-225-3121).
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi crowded behind a lectern with an impossible job - responding to Trump's speech about five minutes after he was done with no advance text to know what they were responding to.
Truth is: Nothing of what they said stuck in my mind.
If either of these presentations changed more than seven minds - in either direction - I would be truly shocked.
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