Here are some of the topics our 4 The Record panel debated on this week’s show.
- A caucus night that’s prompting calls for its demise.
- The impeachment acquittal as expected.
- The State of the Union address that turned into a show.
These are all things talked about with former Illinois Congressman Phil Hare, a Democrat, and Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann.
State of the Union
It was different to say the least.
President Trump snubbed a handshake with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi before the speech.
Pelosi ripped up the speech right after he finished.
He referred to his first three years in office as the great American comeback and provided examples of economic successes.
Critics on the left called it a game show especially when he interrupted the address to give controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Fact checkers at the Washington Post took issue with some of the president’s claims.
One is the claim the economy is the best it’s ever been.
You can’t doubt that it’s good. However, the annual growth rate of GDP has not exceeded three percent.
In the late ’90s, it grew by at least 4.5 percent a year and more in the 1950s and ’60s.
Trump’s claim of enacting record-setting tax cuts? Not factual.
Ronald Reagan’s tax cut of 1981 remains the largest.
The Trump tax cut comes in as the eighth largest over the last century.
One more: The president claimed the progress in domestic oil and natural gas production now has the country energy independent.
Incorrect. The United States still imports plenty of oil from Canada and the Persian Gulf.
There are more, but we’ll stop there.
President Trump made his grand statement that the State of the Union is stronger than ever.
Hare and Kaufmann addressed if it is stronger than ever or more divided than ever.
President Trump took a victory lap the day after his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.
He showed no contrition, unlike Bill Clinton after his trial.
The president ripped into his political rivals, praised his allies and once again maintained that his call to Ukraine’s president was “perfect.”
This despite that his own lawyers maintained it wasn’t a good thing to do, while arguing it didn’t rise to the level that warranted being removed from office.
Kaufmann and Hare discussed what’s going to stop the president from doing something like this again — or perhaps something worse.
Iowa Caucuses fiasco
State Democrats tried to use an app to tabulate the Iowa Caucuses results faster.
One problem: It didn’t work.
Clearly, it wasn’t tested properly.
Kaufmann defended Democrats in interviews because there is a paper trail, but this immediately escalated the calls to take away Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.
Hare and Kaufmann addressed if it is possible to maintain it.
Watch the video above for the full conversation.
Question of the week
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.