Party leaders urge best behavior during Trump’s joint address
(CNN) — Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are being urged to stay on their best behavior when President Donald Trump addresses Congress for the first time Tuesday night.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues Tuesday morning that they should “deal with this in the utmost dignity.”
“We cannot become them; we don’t like what they did to our President,” she said at the House Democratic Caucus meeting, according to a source in the room.
“We have to come out tonight the winner in terms of dignity,” she added. “We cannot be out-classed by Donald Trump. That would be the worst of all outcomes.”
Still, some members will try to get across a message, even if visually. House Democratic women, for example, will wear white to “honor the women’s suffrage and stand in solidarity with the women of our nation,” according to a Democratic aide.
On the Republican side, members have been instructed to not be late for the President’s 9 p.m. ET address and to arrive early — by 8:30 p.m. ET.
They were also told not to take any photos or “do anything,” according to Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina.
Jones said House Speaker Paul Ryan told members that if they didn’t follow the rules of the House, they would be removed.
There have been few disturbances during such joint addresses. Former Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, made headlines in 2009 when he shouted out “You lie!” during a speech by President Barack Obama. Wilson apologized for the outburst after the speech.
And Democrats booed President George W. Bush in 2005 during his State of the Union address when he called for Social Security reform.