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An Optimistic Tone From the President; Democrats Not Impressed by Trump Speech; A Salute to a Fallen Hero. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 1, 2017 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. Democrats and republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Donald Trump strikes an optimistic tone, the U.S. President laid out ambitious domestic and foreign policy goals in his first address to Congress. But the speech did not get much applause from one side of the room. Many democrats remain skeptical.

Plus, we will have the reaction from hundreds of Americans who watched the speech, hear what they think of the president's plans.

Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

U.S. President Donald Trump says it's time to put aside the differences of the past and come together to fix the country's problems. He delivered his first address to Congress Tuesday, and the optimistic tone was a stark contrast to the gloom and doom of his inaugural address just five weeks ago.

Mr. Trump touched on a number of familiar themes, immigration reform, repealing Obamacare, and America first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: For too long, we've watched our middle class shrink, as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries. We financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children, in the inner city was Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, and so many other places, throughout our land.

We've defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross, and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate. And we've spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.

My administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security.

(APPLAUSE)

By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone.

(APPLAUSE)

We want all Americans to succeed, but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.

(APPLAUSE)

Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

(CROWD BOOING)

With reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care.

(APPLAUSE)

Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country.

(APPLAUSE)

The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance and that is what we are going to do.

(APPLAUSE)

CHURCH: Well, if the president wanted to reset with his speech the Democratic Party is using it to rebound. Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivered the official democratic response.

He argued republicans will leave millions without affordable health care. Democratic leaders say Mr. Trump is not a populist and is not in favor of the middle class. The Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, told CNN, Mr. Trump is all talk and no action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: He talks a good game on trade, but when he ran in the campaign, he said, well, he'd declare China a currency manipulator on the first day of his presidency.

[03:05:02] Well, it's 40 days in, we haven't heard a thing. They're backing off. On infrastructure, in the campaign, he talked about infrastructure. We haven't heard a peep about any plan on infrastructure. They say now they're going to do it next year.

Health care, investing in medical research, the budget he just proposed yesterday would have no choice but to slash medical research, slash education, and the problem with President Trump is, his speeches and the realities are very far apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Democratic Congresswomen wore white in honor of the suffragettes and in support of women's rights.

Well, joining us now from Los Angeles, former L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, and republican strategist Luis Alvarado. Thanks to both of you for being with us.

So, Wendy Greuel, many are suggesting the very different tone from Donald Trump in his Tuesday address represented a turning point, and the moment he became presidential. What's your response to that characterization?

WENDY GREUEL, FORMER L.A. CITY COUNCILWOMAN: Well, I think that is true. Tonight it was a very different tone. But what isn't different is the fact that we haven't seen the real details. The truth is still that 22 million people will be without health care if he gets rid of Obamacare.

And the truth is that he has a lot of spending he's suggesting, but it's unclear how that's going to be funded. As a previous city controller, I know that balancing the budget and understanding the cost is really important.

So I think that his remarks today demonstrated that he has taken to heart some of the criticism people have had, that he's not been very presidential in his first 40 days.

CHURCH: Luis Alvarado, what's your response to that not enough detail? And what do you say to the people who think it took Mr. Trump too long to become presidential?

LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, there's no question he's been petulant at best in the last few weeks, and out of control without direction. He needed to do something very fast. And in that case, he was very successful today. His tone was moderated. His words of being able to evade the hard questions was very successful.

The tone did change and that's what matters. Because at the end of the say we have to remember that he was elected president and there's a great majority of republicans that were getting nervous about how successful he was going to be able to govern.

And I think if we continue to see this Donald Trump today, with an intelligent strategy to how actually make those promises on the campaign trail effective, without bringing that much discomfort to the nation, then he will be a successful president. CHURCH: All right.

ALVARADO: But there's much to see, there's much to see, but at least today, he is a winner.

CHURCH: All right, well, let's listen for a moment to what President Trump had to say about Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I am calling on all democrats and republicans in Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: All right. We saw Nancy Pelosi there shake her head in response. So, Wendy Greuel, what did you think of the details President Trump referenced for his new health care proposals? People with pre-existing conditions will have access to coverage and help would be given to those who struggle to pay for it. Does that sound a little like Obamacare to you?

GREUEL: Sounds a lot like Obamacare to me. And I think, you know, his description of it being disastrous really is inaccurate. I think everyone agreed there's probably room for improvement, but I think the most important part is that 22 million people are getting health care today that didn't have it.

And you saw in many of the town halls all across the country, the fact that people were there talking to their Congress members, saying, do not take away my health care. It saved my life. And I think that, you know, today, we did not hear from the president exactly how he was going to change it, how it was going to work with the existing Obamacare, to go into some new system, and that people wouldn't fall through the cracks. I think the devil is in the details.

CHURCH: Yes. And Luis, Mr. Trump said in his speech that he would repeal and replace Obamacare. That is the mantra, but is he listening to people? It does sound like elements of Obamacare will remain, such as those with pre-existing conditions having access to health care. Is that a repeal, or is that going to end up being tweaking Obamacare, and how will President Trump pay for all of this?

ALVARADO: And the question is, is the great negotiator going to be able to negotiate a solution that America is going to be able to accept? And the program is still broken. I happen to be one of those that my premium doubled and many in the middle class are the ones that are paying for this unfairly.

And that's why he got elected. Because Obamacare was done, was passed without a single republican vote.

[03:10:00] And the reality is if President Trump is successful in creating a replacement that actually doesn't offer that much discomfort, then that has to be an incredible challenge for democrats. And how do they actually reconstruct a government that they can sell back to the American people. As they go back to the polls two years from now to fill some of those Congressional seats.

CHURCH: Yes. He has admitted himself it's more complicated than he thought, right. I do want to listen for a moment to what the president had to say about the rule of law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question. What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?

(APPLAUSE)

Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Wendy, President Trump is suggesting that some in Congress don't believe in enforcing the laws. Who is he referring to? And what do you make of these comments?

GREUEL: Well, I think that he is trying to confuse people about what the situation is. I think there's general consensus that if you have committed a crime and you are in that area of violent crime, that you will be deported.

But there are many others who are here, whether they are illegally or legally, who has become part of our economic system. And you ask republican or democratic business leaders, who will tell you that our businesses are surviving because of that immigrant workforce.

And to suddenly say, we're going to get rid of 12 million individuals, out of our workforce, I think would be disastrous. And so, I think that, for me, that this has to be something where you talk about immigration reform. Everyone has talked about that. But I think unfortunately, he's trying to throw red meat rather than actual solutions.

CHURCH: Luis, what did you make of the president's comments there about enforcing the laws? Has America not been enforcing its own laws?

ALVARADO: Well, you have to pay attention to what he said 24 hours ago, when he made some comments about actually finding a path for legalization for some of those Americans, and having some big heart for the dreamers.

So the reality is, you can't really pinpoint him. And I think America's learning his government style is like his management style, where you can't actually take his word verbatim. And then the question is, is that part of a negotiation strategy? I assure you that Congress is a little nervous about this, because they're going to have to figure out re-election in about two years, and they're going to have to defend some of those seats.

But it's interesting to see what the policy is going to look like once the ink hits the paper. And then how is he going to be able to sell it, and who is actually going to stand with him? Because many republicans do not support him. And actually were part of his team because they wanted a more stricter, more right-wing answer to the immigration problem, and I don't know if Donald Trump is ready to commit to that kind of policy.

CHURCH: All right, let's see how this is all being received. And according to a new CNN/ORC poll of speech watchers, President Trump's first address to Congress received largely positive reviews from viewers, with 57 percent who tuned in saying they had a very positive reaction to the speech.

And overall, about 7 in 10 said the speech made them feel more optimistic about the direction of the country. So, Wendy, what's your reaction to those numbers? Does this represent a turning point, do you think?

GREUEL: Well, as we started in the beginning, that he is trying to be more presidential, that he is talking about, you know, rising all boats, as they talk about all tides. He started off his speech talking about not having any kind of -- or addressing anti-Semitism and civil rights issues.

He is trying to reach, I think, farther across the aisle than he had previously in the first 40 days, and particularly, more so than he did during the campaign.

So I think if you are looking objectively at his speech, you would say, look, we want to create more jobs, we want to be able to have America be the place where people have opportunities and a safe place in which to raise your children. All of that is good. The devil, as I mentioned earlier, is in the details and ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity.

CHURCH: And Luis, very quickly from you, could this represent an increase in his approval rating, do you think?

ALVARADO: Yes. The question now is going to be, will the democrats become the obstructionists that the republicans were in 2008 and beyond? And will democrats want to come to the table and negotiate and find actually some solutions to the problems.

[03:14:59] If Donald Trump actually has some concrete, reasonable solutions will democrats step up to the plate and make America great as President Trump really wishes this country to be?

CHURCH: All right. We'll see what happens going forward. Wendy Greuel and Luis Alvarado, thank you to both of you for joining us. I appreciate it.

GREUEL: Thank you.

CHURCH: One of the most emotional moments of the speech came when President Trump introduced the widow of a U.S. Navy SEAL.

(APPLAUSE)

Carryn Owens' husband Ryan was killed last month during a raid in Yemen. Mr. Trump approved the action just days after taking office. He said Ryan died as he lived, a warrior and a hero who battled terrorism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I just spoke to our great General Mattis, just now, who reconfirmed that -- and I quote -- "Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Now, before his speech, the president appeared to put responsibility on his generals for Owens' death. In an interview that aired on Fox News on Tuesday, Mr. Trump repeatedly emphasized the role others played in planning the mission against an Al Qaeda target.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, this was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, just, they wanted to do. They came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected. My generals are the most respected that we've had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: The White House did not respond to CNN's request to clarify the president's comments.

Well, Mr. Trump has faced resistance on certain foreign policy aspirations, namely his support of Russia, and criticism of NATO. How those two key issues factored into his address. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Don Riddell with your CNN world sport headlines.

Tuesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, Michael Phelps testified before a Congressional hearing on improving anti-doping measures. The 28-time Olympic medalist said he doesn't believe he's always been in competitions where the whole field was clean.

Phelps said that he doesn't know how athletes avoid anti-doping testing, adding he was tested 13 times before the last Olympics. He asked the house, energy, and commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigation for help to ensure the system is fair and reliable.

[03:20:07] Tuesday was the first leg of the Copa Italia semifinal. This one a high caliber match-up with Napoli at Juventus. The guests actually leading at half-time on what would be a potentially useful away goal. But after the break, Juventus got two penalties from Paulo Dybala and a tap-in and from Gonzalo Higuain. Juve won at 3-1. The second leg is at the start of April.

Finally, the world number one, Andy Murray was back in action for the first time since he was knocked out of the Australian Open. Murray shook off the rust from a six-week break and cruised to an easy straight-sets win over Tunisia's Malek Jaziri in the first round of the Dubai Championships.

The same, though, can't be said for the defending champion, Stan Wawrinka, who was knocked out by Damir Dzumhur.

That's a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump now says he's a big supporter of NATO, but throughout the campaign, Mr. Trump criticized the alliance, calling it obsolete and demanding that member nations pay their fair share.

He's toned down that rhetoric since taking office, and his speech to Congress on Tuesday reflected that, but he also claimed that his tough-guy approach has paid off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two world wars that dethroned fascism...

(APPLAUSE)

... and the Cold War and defeated communism. But our partners must meet their financial obligations. And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.

In fact, I can tell you, the money is pouring in. Very nice. Very nice.

(APPLAUSE)

We expect our partners, whether in NATO, the Middle East, or in the Pacific, to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the costs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Now, one thing the president did not mention specifically was Russia. But he may have been alluding to his hopes for a future relationship with Russia when he laid out his foreign policy plans. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: America's willing to find new friends and to forge new partnerships where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: So let's turn to Matthew Chance now, who joins us live from Moscow. Matthew, no specific mention of Russia, but as we just heard there, President Trump says he's willing to find new friends and forge new partnerships. Could he be talking about Russia here? Any response there, any reaction?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously he could be talking about Russia. It was purposely vague comment. But in the past, of course Donald Trump as a candidate and even more recently than that has talked about the possibility of coordinating with Russia in Syria, in the fight against international terrorism, certainly a shared national interest between Russia and the United States in fighting that global threat.

And I think that the suggestion is, and certainly this has been commented on in the Russian press, that this was an oblique reference to that. But very interesting that Russia wasn't mentioned by name. That's also been picked up here.

And you know, the suspicion is that this is all part of the fact that Russia has become toxic politically for Donald Trump. Already a couple of his staff members have had to resign because of their perceived proximity to the Kremlin, or to interest in Russia, and President Trump appears to be being very careful to stay away from naming the country in addressing his intended policy directly.

And of course that led to some confusion here in Russia about what the policy of the Trump administration toward Russia is going to be, Rosemary

CHURCH: Yes. And as we mentioned, President Trump has called NATO obsolete but now he's apparently embracing it. What was the reaction in Russia to that shift in approach?

CHANCE: Well again, it's been noted. And of course it's not the first time that Donald Trump has spoken positively about NATO, which would be a U-turn from his remarks when he was the candidate. I mean, remember that Donald Trump hasn't emerged to be the president of the Russians thought they were going to be dealing with.

[03:25:03] They listened to a candidate Trump who was speaking very positively about building a detente, building a relationship with Russia, criticizing NATO expansion, calling it obsolete at one point, speaking about coordination in Syria over international terrorism, looking again he said when he was a candidate, at recognizing Crimea as being a legitimate part of Russia.

Really, I mean, since he came to office, certainly in the first hundred days of his office, we've seen really no progress on any of those fronts. In fact, the position on Crimea, for instance, on Ukraine, seemed to have returned to the one that was held by President Obama, the previous administration, critical remarks about Crimea and Ukraine over the past couple of weeks, in particular from various elements of the trump administration.

And so, Russians are a bit disillusioned and a little confused as I say about what kind of president this is, what kind of policy the United States has towards Russia.

CHURCH: Yes. Dealing with mixed messages there. Our Matthew Chance, joining us with that live report from Moscow, where it's nearly 11.30 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, hours before his address, Mr. Trump's ambassador to the U.N. denounced Russia and China for vetoing a Security Council resolution. It would have imposed sanctions on Syria for using chemical weapons. Nikki Haley said blocking those issues measures was indefensible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: So for my friends in Russia, this resolution is very appropriate. It is a sad day on the Security Council when members start making excuses for other member states killing their own people.

The world is definitely a more dangerous place. Today, the international community can look no further than the Security Council for contributing to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And this is the seventh time Russia has vetoed a Security Council resolution targeting Syria in the past five years. Russia's deputy ambassador suggested that sanctions would only undermine peace efforts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR SAFRONKOV, RUSSIA'S DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE U.N. (through translator): the problem is that the co-sponsors have chosen an odious and erroneous concept which is totally unacceptable. The fact that the resolution wasn't supported by six of 15 Security Council members should make the co-sponsors seriously think.

The statements we have heard at least no doubt, the draft was put on a vote based on a doctrine of western states. Now having to deal with the outrageous statements against Russia and China and the other states, God shall judge you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And coming up next, republicans are praising President Trump's first address to Congress, but democrats not so much. The opposition party's response, that's coming up next.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm Rosemary Church. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his first address to the U.S. Congress Tuesday night. The speech was much more subdued than others from him before, and for the most part, Mr. Trump stuck to the script on the teleprompter, something he doesn't often do. Here are some of the highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas city, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

(APPLAUSE)

We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border.

As we speak tonight, we are removing gang members, drug dealers, and criminals that threaten our communities, and prey on our very innocent citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak. And as I promised throughout the campaign, it is not compassion, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm going to bring back millions of jobs, protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration.

(APPLAUSE)

The current outdated system, depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on taxpayers. Switching away from this current system of lowered skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit- based system.

We will have so many more benefits, it will save countless dollars, raise workers' wages and help struggling families, including immigrant families enter the middle class, and they will do it quickly. And they will be very, very happy indeed.

(APPLAUSE)

I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals. To improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation's security, and to restore respect for our laws.

If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens, then I believe republicans and democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Republicans praised the speech, but democrats saw it

differently. The official party response accused him of waging war on refugees and immigrants and deserting working people.

Well, joining me now, live from London, Politico reporter, Silvia Borrelli. Good to have you on the show again. So what did you think of President Trump's first address to the U.S. Congress? And what did you make of the change of tone? Could this be what he needed to boost his approval ratings, do you think?

SILVIA BORRELLI, POLITICO REPORTER: Well, this was a very different Trump from the Trump we've heard so far, and as you were saying earlier, he stuck to the teleprompter. So this is teleprompter Trump versus Trump on Twitter.

So, really, this could be a U-turn, and as we said in the past days, he was trying to hit the reset button, because his first 40 days in office haven't been easy.

[03:35:03] And he has, to some degree, achieved what he wanted. Because as we saw most of the American people said the message was reassuring, the republicans liked it, and although he was a bit light on policy, he was heavy on his usual nationalistic messages and you know, the immigration rhetoric, the fact that America needs to bring jobs back, the borders need to be made more secure, but the tone was completely different.

So now the question is, how is he going to carry the ball forward? Is this going to last? Is he going to work with Congress, both republicans and democrats, to change things and to actually approve bills, or is this going to last until his next tweet?

CHURCH: Yes, and we did get some detail, didn't we? Let's take a listen to what the president had to say about his replacement plans for Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the health care exchanges.

(APPLAUSE)

Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts, but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: So President Trump called to repeal and replace Obamacare, but he's clearly keeping elements of it. So is this a repeal or a tweak? BORRELLI: Exactly. Well, the devil is in the detail. And we're going

to have to see how he ends up actually changing it, or substituting it, as you said.

So, the point here is that he probably did not go into too much detail, although he did roughly outline a plan, because either he's not sure, or he did not want to get into this, you know, complicated dialogue or discourse with both sides of Congress at this stage. But it did sound like some things he was saying are very similar to what Obamacare looks like right now.

CHURCH: Right. And as we've said, I mean, most people would agree, he was sounding very presidential. He put out a lot of things that made a lot of people happy, but the president didn't include any details suggesting how he might pay for his numerous proposals. How problematic is that?

BORRELLI: Well, I mean, of course that's been an ongoing issue, because the republicans don't normally like to increase spending. The military plan and upping defense spending that he's mentioned is something that would require an increase in spending.

And now it's just something that still needs to be outlined, and that probably he knows is still controversial on both sides of the House actually. So I think that's why he avoided going into the details and it's going to be hard for him going forward. And that's why one speech is not going to be enough to actually turn the situation around and make things easier going forward.

CHURCH: All right. Politico reporter Silvia Borrelli, thank you so much for joining us, we appreciate it.

BORRELLI: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, President Trump used his address to call attention to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He invited three guests whose family members were allegedly killed by criminals living in the U.S. illegally and told their stories.

He also described a new office called VOICE that will support victims of crimes committed by undocumented (TECHNICAL PROBLEM).

[03:40:00] (TECHNICAL PROBLEM)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, on the economic front, President Trump wants to create new jobs with an ambitious plan to rebuild the country's roads, bridges, and tunnels. He said he'll ask Congress to approve a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with financing from public and private sources. He also outlined his measures to make the U.S. more welcoming to businesses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: To accomplish our goals at home and abroad, we must restart the engine of the American economy. Making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much, much harder for companies to leave our country.

(APPLAUSE)

Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.

(APPLAUSE)

[03:45:09] It will be a big, big cut. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class. We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers. Have to do it.

(APPLAUSE)

Currently when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes, but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing or almost nothing.

Since my election, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Soft Bank, Lockheed, Intel, Wal-Mart, and many others have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the United States, and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the election on November 8th. A record. We've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of fantastic, and it is a fantastic new F-35 jet fighter, and we'll be saving billions more on contracts all across our government. We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential federal workers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And our emerging markets editor John Defterios joins us now from Beijing. Great to see you. So, John, beyond making America more competitive, the U.S. trade deficit has been a sore point for Donald Trump when he campaigned for president. How did he address it this time around?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think, Rosemary, he was more presidential in his tone, less belligerent as some were suggesting when he gave his inaugural address. But he did mention trade on three occasions. He actually doubled that, if you include lost jobs in America.

As you noted, the trade deficit with China, in particular, has been stubbornly high, over $300 billion in fact for the last five years. And President Trump talked about the NAFTA agreement; that he'd like to rework with Mexico. And as you noted in the sound that you played from his speech there,

the number of companies that have left the shores of the United States and have gone to China, and I would add here to Southeast Asia as well.

We know that he wants to go with America first, manufacture in America, and President Xi Jinping here in China is well aware of that. Let's play a short clip here with the president suggesting it's time in his view to level the playing field. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I believe strongly in free trade, but it also has to be fair trade.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEFTERIOS: And this was a reference, if you will, Rosemary, to the World Trade Organization which is based in Geneva. President Trump and his team don't think that the WTO moves fast enough. He was also being rather clever when talking about the number of companies that have left the United States since China has joined the World Trade Organization, that was back at the end of 2001.

He said 60,000 companies have left America since that period of time. He didn't say they came here to China, but it's a fair bet they have moved to the developing world where there are lower wages overall. He wants to reverse that by building manufacturing plants and having a number of the American companies that he mentioned there expand their operations, Rosemary.

CHURCH: OK. So, free but fair trade, what is China expecting from President Trump when it comes to trade action?

DEFTERIOS: Well, we've heard a number of different topics raised, Rosemary, as Donald Trump was on the campaign trail. And since he's come to office, he's underscored this a few times. I think it's also worth noting that President Xi is expecting some sort of action over time.

And his top diplomat was in Washington on Monday and Tuesday, and I'm sure trade was on that agenda as well. He has a new commerce secretary in the United States. Wilbur Ross, who took office right before the president's speech. He was approved for the U.S. Senate. And he said that he's looking at enforcement cases right now, perhaps that go to the WTO, but he did not single out China just yet, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. John Defterios, great to speak with you. Joining us there from Beijing where it's nearly 5 p.m. Many thanks.

DEFTERIOS: Thanks.

CHURCH: Well, republicans loved Donald Trump's speech, democrats didn't. But up next, we will show you how thousands of Americans watching at home reacted to the speech minute by minute. It's fascinating. Don't go anywhere. [03:50:06] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Your first day of the meteorological spring across the northern hemisphere. And you take a look conditions around the parts of the United States of course have been so mild for so long, the pattern changes a little bit.

Some severe storms to tell you about around parts of the eastern corner of the U.S., in fact, upwards of 103 million people in a risk for severe weather come Wednesday afternoon. The highest risks from Nashville towards Lexington, onto Cincinnati come Wednesday afternoon with a line of storms moving in off towards the east.

The pattern again, the strongest storms we think sometime late into the afternoon hours. You got a little bit of daytime heating to destabilize the atmosphere and everything in place there to produce snow showers.

Chicago, it will begin a cooling trend. It was a historic, historic last couple of months and it has been across Chicago where we have had no snowfall in the month of January, no snowfall in the month of February for the City of Chicago. That has never happened for those two months in 146 years of record-keeping. It just happened in the past few hours as March began.

But you notice in Chicago on the 1st of March, maybe a few flurries coming in just in time there. Temps though, too warm to support anything sticking around. And notice we get shots of cold air, but just short-lived, and exits out of the area of the northeastern U.S.

So, the temps, look at such, Washington, 24, down to 8. Atlanta, 24 down to 16 degrees. The Caribbean, San Juan, looking at 29, a few showers, blustery weather as well coming into your Wednesday. And we'll leave you with the conditions in the south.

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Donald Trump's first message to Congress as U.S. President is getting some pretty positive reviews. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a home run. But in the official democratic response, the former governor of Kentucky slammed the president.

CNN's Tom Foreman has reaction from thousands of Americans who watched the speech at home.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well over 39,000 people joined us online, casting almost 15 million votes of whether they liked or disliked what was said. Line goes up if they like it, it goes down if they don't. Democrats in blue, independents in purple, republicans on top there in red.

And he got all the lines pointing in the right direction early on when he talked about hate crimes. Watch the lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:55:08] FOREMAN: Well, you saw it, he got all three groups into the positive zone here, and this is about as close together as they get all evening long. Much harder to come about when he talked about policy overall. He got a little bit of agreement when he talks about veterans; he got some agreement when he talked about police officers, jobs.

One of his biggest areas of tightest agreement, though, is talking about prescription drugs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance, and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs, and bring them down immediately.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Once again, nice agreement there, but did people agree on how to go about that? Not if you look at their reaction to his talk about Obamacare. Watch the lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Tonight I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Big applause line in the chamber, but the democrats didn't like it. Independents didn't like it. And notably, our republican participants didn't like it either.

Overall, this arrangement never changed. Democrats always liked it the least, independents in the middle, the republicans always on top. And interestingly, men always liked what he had to say all evening long more than women did.

CHURCH: Tom Foreman with that fascinating report there. And thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter @rosemarycnn. We'd love to hear from you.

Early Start is next for our viewers here in the United States. For everyone else, stay tuned for more news with our Max Foster in London. Have yourselves a great day.

[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)