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CNN: Trump Speech ‘Dark,’ ‘Radical,’ ‘No Lofty Rhetoric’

By  Robert Kraychik

Moments after President Donald Trump’s inauguration address, left-wing and Democrat-aligned CNN began its campaign against the 45th president.

Jake Tapper described Trump’s speech as “radical,” (emphases added):

I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most radical inaugural speeches we’ve ever heard. It was purely populist. It talked about the forgotten people. It attacked Washington while standing inside the center of Washington, D.C., surrounded by Washington insiders. There was nothing really particularly conservative about this Republican president’s speech. It was pure populism. and in fact, it looked at the United States and the role of the United States in a way that departures greatly from what we’ve heard from all of his predecessors on the stage: Obama, Bush, Carter. It talked about ‘America First’ as his priority. It was completely consistent with his brand I have to say… I think it will go down in history as one of the most radical speeches ever given by a president.

Dana Bash described Trump’s address as lacking “lofty rhetoric” while expressing alarm at Trump’s repetition of his “America First” campaign slogan (emphases added):

“[Trump] did not forget who brought him to this dance. No question about it. Very, very sharp. Very specific about looking inward to America. A very nationalistic populist speech talking about how he is going to make sure that he looks out for the people who feel left behind and focus on this country and focus on them and their needs first. No lofty rhetoric here. That’s not what this is about. It’s not who he is. Nobody expected that. Very short sentences. Very to the point. and there’s no reading between the lines in any of the speeches and the sentences he gave. He explicitly said ‘America First’ more than once.

John King described Trump’s vision as “dark” and “pessimistic,” adding some misleading pushback against the president’s comments on violent crime, illegal immigration, and aggregate employment (emphasis added):

“If you are a Trump voter, you heard from your new president what you wanted to hear, consistent with the campaign. Every decision, he said, would be ‘America First.’ Whether it’s a taxes decision, a infrastructure decision, a border decision, a national security decision. He said everything would be through the prism of ‘America First.’ But it was a dark, a dark view. Even a pessimistic view of where we are at the moment. The statistics would tell you illegal border crossings are down. Didn’t sound like that from the speech. The statistics would tell you we have 4.7% unemployment. He talked about how terrible things were and how horrible it was in the country. He spoke of gangs and drugs and ‘American carnage’ at a time, again, the outgoing president would tell you – not that there aren’t problems in America – but crime is largely under control in America. But this is trademark Trump. This is how he campaigned. It’s his brand of populism. What a scathing indictment of this town writ large, not just the Democrats, but of this Washington establishment, he said, [which had] enriched itself and benefited from politics but not the American people. He’s off to a start that’s very anti-establishment.”

Gloria Borger seemed surprised that Trump did not make any reconciliatory overtures to Hillary Clinton while fretting about Barack Obama’s political sensibilities (emphases added):

I think this was an unusual inaugural speech. It was a continuation of the campaign very much. I think it was kind of a fist bump of a speech. I couldn’t help but thinking about [Barack Obama] sitting there when he talked about the ‘American carnage’ that they had presided over. I’m not quite sure that that would have gone over well with them.”

I was also surprised that in some way he did not pay some tribute to Hillary Clinton. I expected as George W. Bush did to Al Gore when they had a hard-fought fight. I thought that would have been a unifying moment for him. He did not do it. To me this was [the] Donald Trump that we saw during the campaign and saying, ‘I didn’t win. You, the American public, did win.’”

Michael Smerconish bemoaned what he described as the lack of an “olive branch” offering to Democrats and the lack of reconciliation with Hillary Clinton:

“I kept waiting for that paragraph, that beyond just extending an olive branch given that sixty Democratic house members saw fit not to be here… To acknowledge Bill Clinton and not to in the same breath to say, ‘and of course Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton] was really surprising to me.”

Nia-Malika Henderson spoke of the millions of Americans she described as “afraid” of Trump while indirectly pushing the Democrat narrative of Trump having lost the popular vote:

“I don’t think it was a speech that is going to change the minds of any of those folks of the sixty-five million or so who do not like Donald Trump and are afraid of him in some ways.”

Watch the segment below.

CNN’s aforementioned anchors and analysts and present themselves as politically objective, non-partisan and unbiased. More broadly, CNN presents itself as an objective, non-partisan and unbiased news outlet.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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