Donald Trump took great pains to convince the nation in the days leading up to his inauguration that he was writing his address himself. While this may be the case, he mostly relied on reusing the stump speech rhetoric that marked his presidential campaign.
After a brief acknowledgement of the “gracious aid” he had received in the transition period from a man whose very citizenship he had spent years questioning, Trump began with his standard attack on Washington as out of touch.
“Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential,” he noted, repeating the litany of problems he blamed on Democratic policies throughout the campaign. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
“I will never, ever let you down,” Trump vowed, repeating a line from his June 7, 2016 speech. “America will start winning again,” he vowed, echoing a June 18, 2016 promise. “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders,” he added, highlighting his key campaign promises.
“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth,” he vowed, slightly rephrasing a September 7, 2016 national security speech pledge to “ work with any country that shares our goal of destroying ISIS and defeating Radical Islamic terrorism, and form new friendships and partnerships based on this mission.”
Trump even echoed back to his recent spat with civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who he smeared as “all talk,” “no actions,” announcing to the nation that it “will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.”
Finally, he closed the speech with his tried-and-true stump speech ending: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again, and yes, together we will make America great again.”
But there’s a difference between this speech and the nearly-identical ones preceding it. Now, after more than 18 months of promises, he will have to prove that his own oft-repeated words are more than just “all talk and no action.”