When it comes to the gamesmanship of State of the Union guests, the president of the United States has a distinct advantage, that being he can turn the cameras and the nation’s eyes to his invitees by mentioning them by name from the lectern.
And while Democrats may hope to distract from President Donald Trump’s message, or otherwise embarrass him with their selections, those invited by the president put a name and face on critical issues facing the country — issues like immigration or the opioid crisis.
On Monday, the White House announced the list of guests joining the president and first lady Melania Trump at the 2019 State of the Union address.
President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS' #SOTU guests all come from different walks of life. No matter their story, each has something important in common: They represent the very best of America.
Meet the special guests: https://t.co/A68ueVC88u pic.twitter.com/Lo5FzbU0Pj
— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) February 5, 2019
“This year’s guests come from all different walks of life, and each has an incredible story to tell. Many have overcome exceptional hardship,” the White House said in a release. “Some have served our country in the Armed Forces or in law enforcement. Others have endured personal tragedy because of America’s broken immigration system.
“No matter their story, each guest has something important in common: They represent the very best of America.”
With the president locked in a fight with Democrats and their media allies over border security, Americans affected because of our broken immigration system are among the 13 guests, just as Trump told The Daily Caller in an exclusive Oval Office meeting last week.
“I will say that some of them will be border-related, some of them will be people who have suffered very badly because we didn’t do what we should’ve done in a very dangerous part of our country, and so that’s going to be a part of it absolutely,” Trump said.
With the media downplaying crime brought upon Americans by those who have no business being in the U.S., three generations of the David family will be represented at the State of the Union to mark the tragic murder of Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, at the hands of an illegal immigrant in January.
Joining the president and first lady Tuesday evening will be the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.
Another immigration related guest will be Elvin Hernandez, a Special Agent with the Homeland Security Investigations division. Hernandez specializes in human trafficking and has conducted numerous successful international human trafficking investigations involving transnational organized crime groups, according to the White House.
Another guest of interest is Joshua Trump, a 6th grader from Wilmington, Delaware.
As a result of our caustic politics, young Joshua has been bullied in school due to his last name — he is not related to the president.
Among the other guests is a Holocaust survivor who is a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue, and the father of a Navy SEAL killed by a terrorist bombing.
Here’s a breakdown of the other 8 guests from The Daily Caller:
- Matthew Charles: A former drug dealer who was the first prisoner released under the First Step Act
- Grace Eline: A child cancer survivor
- Ashley Evans: A mother who is celebrating one month sobriety after spending much of her life addicted to opioids
- Roy James: Plant Manager of the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility, which closed down until it received assistance through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- Timothy Matson: A SWAT officer who suffered multiple gunshot wounds while responding to the October mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue
- Judah Samet: A member of the Tree of Life Synagogue and a Holocaust survivor
- Tom Wibberley: The father of Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, a Seaman killed on the U.S.S. Cole
- Alice Johnson: Received clemency from President Trump after serving nearly 22 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense
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