First-term New York congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended her first State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, and she made clear on Twitter the following morning that she was not impressed by Donald Trump. Nor was she impressed by one prominent Republican pundit, who, as the Washington Post reported, attacked the 29-year-old representative’s facial expression during Trump’s speech — criticizing Ocasio-Cortez, whose only role during the speech was to sit in the audience, as having “a bad night.”
“AOC had a rare bad night, looking not spirited, warm and original as usual but sullen, teenaged and at a loss,” wrote Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, on her Twitter account.
Ocasio-Cortez quickly responded on her own Twitter feed, saying that there was nothing in Trump’s speech to be cheerful about.
“Why should I be ‘spirited and warm’ for this embarrassment of a #SOTU?” she wrote. “Tonight was an unsettling night for our country. The president failed to offer any plan, any vision at all, for our future. We’re flying without a pilot. And I’m not here to comfort anyone about that fact.”
“It is unclear how Noonan would judge a ‘bad night” for the congresswoman, as she sat in the audience during the speech, amid a sea of her white-clad peers, and did not have a speaking role,” wrote Talking Points Memo reporter Kate Riga.
At one point during the speech, according to a Mediaite analysis, Trump appeared to make a reference to Ocasio-Cortez, declaring “America will never be a socialist country.”
Ocasio-Cortez had a response to that Trump comment as well, as the Inquisitr reported, saying, “I think it was great. I think he’s scared. He sees that everything is closing in on him.”
Other Twitter users also weighed in to support Ocasio-Cortez, including Will and Grace star Debra Messing.
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) February 6, 2019
Good morning to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. forever keepin it real. ilu. pic.twitter.com/guxDXWmnLu
— Denice Frohman (@denicefrohman) February 6, 2019
Public Service Announcement regarding gender roles:@AOC: she should smile more instead of looking so sullen!@LindseyGrahamSC: he's a statesman for expressing his opinions so vividly! pic.twitter.com/KgR6V8sIa3
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) February 6, 2019
Ladies, don’t look serious while a man tries to tell you what you can do with your bodies. Smile like an idiot no matter what, and the world is your oyster!
— Laurie Brookins (@StyleWriterNYC) February 6, 2019
Some right-wing figures on Twitter, however, delighted in continuing the attacks on the first-term representative’s facial expressions, including actor and prominent Trump fan James Woods.
Grumpy little thing… pic.twitter.com/EWEurxjwtd
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 6, 2019
Conservative radio host and author Michael Malice suggested that Ocasio-Cortez was “vulnerable,” and that is why Democrats feel the need to defend her.
Peggy Noonan triggering the left this AM is hilarious.
People wouldn't be so quick to white-knight for @aoc if they thought she wasn't vulnerable and taken down a peg.
— Michael Malice (@michaelmalice) February 6, 2019
While an instant CNN poll following Trump’s speech found that 76 percent of viewers “approved” of what they heard Trump discuss in the State of the Union — as CNN itself pointed out, the results may have been skewed because the viewership of the State of the Union were heavily weighted toward Republicans. “Viewers were roughly 17 points more likely than the general public to identify as Republicans, and were largely fans of the president,” CNN reported.
In fact, 61 percent of speech viewers said that they approved of Trump’s job performance in the Oval Office — compared to just 40 percent of all voters in the most recent CNN approval rating poll.