In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump hammered home that the economy shows his success in office. Roaring stock markets, steady jobs growth and the GOP tax law all featured prominently in his speech to Congress.
"There has never been a better time to start living the American dream," Trump said.
After the speech, Democrats struck a different tone, arguing that Trump inherited a strong economy and has not done enough to help American workers. The responses from Democratic lawmakers signal how they could counter Trump should he and the GOP use the economy as their main pitch to voters in the 2018 midterms and beyond.
Republicans will partly count on a healthy economy to help them overcome Trump's dismal approval ratings during the elections this year. The GOP is trying to hold on to majorities in both the House and Senate as Democrats see an opportunity to gain ground amid anti-Trump sentiment.
In his speech, Trump tied strong economic indicators to his policies. He took credit for 2.4 million jobs created since the election, although the 2.1 million added during his first year in office represented the slowest pace in six years, according to NBC News.
Trump highlighted a record low unemployment rate among black and Hispanic-Americans, parts of a yearslong downward trend. He also claimed "tremendous" relief for middle class Americans under the new GOP tax law.