With his Republican Party retaking the office of the president on Friday, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce sounded proud and hopeful in social media posts and a news release.
“The inauguration of President [Donald] Trump this morning is the ultimate example of our democracy in action,” Pearce, R-N.M. said in the news release. “Today should be an example for the months and years to come.”
The other four members of New Mexico’s delegation in Washington are Democrats, and their responses were different.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich didn’t send out a news release. Instead he sent a fundraising email that talked about the coming battle.
“I will fight every single day in the Senate to protect the policies that we know make America a better place for everyone,” he said, making a pledge to protect health care coverage, public lands, and the environment.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján said he was “troubled by the tone and tenor” of Trump’s inaugural address.
“Our Constitution provides for checks and balances on the president’s power,” Luján said in a news release, “and I intend to use the full weight of my office, and my vote on the floor of the House, to oppose any policies put forth by the president or other members of his administration that do not follow the law, discriminate against one group or another, or restrict the rights of our fellow citizens.”
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s response was more measured.
“Our nation is bigger than any one person. I am a proud American, and I felt it was important to attend today’s inaugural ceremony,” he said.
“President Trump made many promises today about where he will take the country. I hope that he is sincere in his calls for unity, and that he will take a different tone as president than the divisiveness and recklessness we’ve seen from him up to this point,” Udall said. “So many Americans are scared and angry at this moment in our history. Now is not the time to despair, but rather to come together and organize to fight for what is right.”
Udall pledged to “hold the president accountable,” to “work to educate President Trump and his administration about the laws and policies that matter to New Mexicans,” and to “fight for New Mexico priorities and the values that our democracy was founded on.”
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor in 2018, posted on Facebook that Trump “failed to recognize the magnitude of this moment” and “missed the opportunity to unify a divided country.” She said the president “reiterated an isolationist philosophy that goes against America’s core values. He continues to play to people’s worst fears, and in doing so, he jeopardizes America’s standing in the world.”
“Nevertheless, I am prepared to work with the president and his team, and help them understand the challenges we face in New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “… I am always hopeful for the future of New Mexico, and I will do everything in my power to ensure our state is always represented in Washington.”
Pearce, on the other hand, said he saw the nation come together to peacefully transfer power after a “brutal” election.
“Now more than ever, we need to set aside our differences and work together to improve the lives of the New Mexican people,” Pearce said. “Finding what unites us, improving access to affordable and safe housing, creating stable and good paying jobs, and expanding personal opportunity for prosperity. I look forward to working with my colleagues in New Mexico, the House, and President Trump to move our nation forward and better it for generations to come.”