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POLL: Bernie Sanders vs. Joe Kennedy: Whose Speech Was Better?

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 2017.

Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Joe Kennedy are giving response speeches after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address tonight. But whose response speech is better? Kennedy gave the Democrats’ official response, aired on practically every major news station immediately after the State of the Union address. Meanwhile, Sanders’ speech isn’t being sponsored by any party, but he’s speaking on behalf of the millions who voted for him in the primary. His speech was broadcast on social media. After you watch both speeches, take our poll at the end of the story and let us know your thoughts.

First, here is Kennedy’s speech:

And here is Sanders’ speech: (Note that there are a few minutes early on when the feed cuts out, but it goes back online and Sanders’ speech will continue after that break.)

Despite being the great nephew of John F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy III was relatively out of the spotlight until he introduced Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic National Convention. Now the Massachusetts Representative is becoming more and more well known in many circles.

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III welcomes Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on stage on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention.

And Sanders, meanwhile, needs no introduction. The Independent from Vermont almost captured the Democratic nomination in 2016. His popularity was unprecedented. After he didn’t win, he supported Hillary Clinton’s nomination. Now, many people are urging him to run again in 2020. He is considering it but hasn’t yet committed.

Bernie Sanders SOTUBernie Sanders SOTU A bird lands on Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders podium as he speaks on March 25, 2016.

Some people believe that both Kennedy’s and Sanders’ responses were great, and they balanced each other out in the end:

Although Sanders and Kennedy are alike on many policy stances, there are some key differences. One is Kennedy’s stance against marijuana legalization. Marijuana Moment reported that in 2015, JK3 (as he’s sometimes called) was one of 10 House Democrats to vote against a measure that would protect medical cannabis patients and providers from being prosecuted by the federal government. He was also one of 24 Democrats who voted against a measure to block the Justice Department from interfering with state marijuana laws. He also voted against amendments to increase veterans’ access to medical cannabis.

Kennedy, like Sanders, supports the Affordable Care Act, but isn’t quite as sure about single-payer bills. He’s pickier based on what’s in the bill. He says he supports single-payer in theory, but wasn’t sure about certain details in Coyners’ recent bill, for example. Kennedy was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton during her campaign.

Elizabeth Guzman, a member of the Virginia state legislature, delivered a Spanish-language response tonight, officially sponsored by the Democrats. Rep. Maxine Waters from California gave a response during a BET news special. And Donna F. Edwards, a former Maryland Congresswoman, gave an address for the Working Families Party. For the sake of brevity, we’re focusing this particular poll on Kennedy, Sanders, and Trump. But if you thought Waters or Edwards did the best of everyone, we’d love to hear you share that in the comments below.

Between Kennedy vs. Sanders, who do you think gave the best speech?

Take Our Poll

Do you have any other thoughts about their speeches? Let us know in the comments below.

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