Purdue political expert breaks down Trump’s speech to Congress

Josh Scacco, an assistant professor within Purdue's Brian Lamb School of Communication, joined us in studio on News 18 at 11 to speak about the key points of President Donald Trump's speech to Congress. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — President Donald Trump gave his first prime-time address to Congress Tuesday night, laying out his legislative plans. News 18 invited a Purdue political expert to talk about the speech and discuss Trump’s agenda.

Josh Scacco, an assistant professor within Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication, joined News 18 at 11 to speak about the key points of President Trump’s address.

Trump touted his first 40 days in office and called himself a “mediocre messenger.” He spoke about health care and tax reforms, urged Congress to work together on immigration reform and also discussed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

But this speech took a different tone from those in the past, and Scacco said this wasn’t the president we’ve come to know. He said the speech was normal and could have been given by any president — Democrat or Republican in terms of tone.

“His policies veered in between Republican policies on tax cuts and school choice to more Democratic-leaning policies on thinking about things like infrastructure as well as paid family leave,” Scacco said. “So it’s really hard to pinpoint him tonight. But I think this is classic Donald Trump. He goes in, defies expectations and that becomes the story — that he was not the way he was the day before.”

Trump stated in his speech, “Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed.”

Scacco said presidents like to make these types of expectations and promises, and they try to keep those promises. Up to this point, he said Trump has done well to follow through with keeping his promises.

“Right now, polls show that individuals across the United States believe that he’s trying to keep his promises,” he said. “However, he now confronts Congress and we know in a lot of ways Congress was designed by the founders to slow things down. So, tonight’s speech was designed to coax members of Congress along.”

Watch the full interview with Scacco to hear if he thinks lawmakers got on board with Trump’s plan following his address to Congress.