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Kamala Harris gave a pre-buttal to Trump’s State of the Union address

“I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our nation.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at a rally launching her presidential campaign in Oakland, California, on January 27, 2019 .
Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Tuesday’s State of the Union address didn’t just have multiple rebuttals, it also had a pre-buttal.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, one of several Democratic senators running for the presidency in 2020, took to Facebook Live about an hour before Trump’s official remarks to offer her vision for the country and take some shots at the president in the process.

“I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our nation,” she said. “No matter what we hear tonight, I want everyone to remember this. The strength of our union has never been found in the walls we build. It’s in our diversity and our unity and that is our power.”

Harris also sought to fact-check Trump’s speech before it even started, highlighting key policy areas he’s expected to touch on and offering counterpoints of her own.

“When you hear claims that the economy is doing great, don’t forget the working and middle class families who are struggling, the teachers who are working two and three jobs and the 800,000 workers who recently went 35 days without getting paid, all while this administration gives away 3 trillion dollars to big corporations and the top 1 percent,” she said.

“When you hear claims that America is stronger in the world, don’t forget the farmers and consumers hurt by this administration’s trade wars and don’t forget our allies who are now concerned that the United States of America may not keep our commitments,” she added.

After recently announcing her candidacy, Harris made a strong debut into a crowded 2020 field, though she’s already fielded some progressive blowback over her record as a prosecutor as the Democratic Party has evolved on criminal justice.

As her campaign announced earlier this week, Harris intends to visit all four early primary and caucus states — Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire — later this month. Her speech on Tuesday is just the latest indicator that she’s quickly ramping up her efforts to vie for the Democratic nomination.

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