Trump to ask Democrats to ‘heal old wounds,’ plead ‘the decision is ours to make’

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: President Trump is planning to use his second State of the Union address Tuesday night to ask Democrats to join him to “bridge old divisions, heal old wounds.” 

Administration insiders said that he will challenge liberals to choose a path of unity or continue on the road of division. 

“The decision is ours to make,” he is expected to say, according to an excerpt provided by the White House. 

But it is unlikely that he will have any takers among Democrats for his speech titled “Choosing Greatness.” 

That is because he is expected to focus part of his address on the battle over building a border wall with Mexico and expanding a crackdown on illegal immigration and asylum policies. 

On Monday night, for example, top Democratic leader Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois dismissed talk of unity on the issue, telling Georgetown University students, “There is common ground [on immigration] but I don't think we can find common ground with this president.” 

In advance of his 9 p.m. address, Trump associates were playing up his plan to reach out to his political opponents, many of whom are already starting their 2020 presidential campaigns to replace him. 

Some themes expected to be offered Tuesday night at the joint session speech come with a goal of joining together. 

One ally said the president will urge Congress to reject the “politics of resistance and retribution and instead adopt a spirit of cooperation and compromise.” 

A quote provided by the administration from the speech touches on that. Trump is expected to say, “Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.” 

The key issues he will reference will be immigration, jobs and trade, infrastructure, lowering healthcare costs, and reducing troops on foreign battlefields. 

To sell it, he is expected to recall his pre-White House reputation as a deal-maker and problem solver, and touch on bipartisan projects he and Democrats have worked on, such as criminal justice reform.

Max Magid