CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Almost seven decades of U.S. presidential State of the Union Addresses and speeches to Joint Sessions of Congress. The difference is where we start today on CNN 10.
Last night, President Donald Trump gave his first speech to a joint congressional session. Why was it called that for the president's annual message instead of a State of the Union Address? Because President Trump's been in office less than two months, and like any first president in his first year, he's not expected to know or to be in authority on the actual State of the Union.
But the setup, the location, the attendance, it all looks the same as the State of the Union Address.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States!
AZUZ: It was delivered in the House of Representatives. It was in front of representatives, senators, Supreme Court justices, the president's cabinet. And it follows the annual tradition of a president speaking to other U.S. leaders and the nation as a whole.
Tradition is key, though, because the U.S. Constitution doesn't require most of what takes place in an annual address. It says only that the president shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union. It doesn't have to be in person, doesn't have to be every year, it doesn't have to be on TV. The Constitution's framers didn't have TV. So, they wouldn't have had the view that much of the world could have had last night when President Trump outlined his vision for America's future.
Here are some highlights.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All the nations of the world — friend or foe — will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.
A new national pride is sweeping across our nation. And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp. What we are witnessing today is the renewal of the American spirit. Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.
I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.
For too long, we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries. We've financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, and so many other places throughout our land.
We've defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross, and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.
The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls, and the confidence to turn those hopes and those dreams into action.
From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears, inspired by the future, not bound by failures of the past.
I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold, and daring things for our country. I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment. Believe in yourselves. Believe in your future. And believe, once more, in America.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States.
AZUZ: OK, that wasn't the only political speech of the night. Something else that's not required by the Constitution, but it's been a tradition since the 1960s is the opposing party's response to the president's annual message.
President Trump is a Republican. So, after his address, a Democrat and former governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, gave his party's response.
STEVEN BESHEAR, FORMER KENTUCKY GOVERNOR: Real leaders don't spread derision and division. Real leaders strengthen, they unify, they partner, and they offer real solutions instead of ultimatums and blame.
Look, I may be old-fashioned, but I still believe that dignity, compassion, honesty and accountability are basic American values. And as a Democrat, I believe that if you work hard, you deserve the opportunity to realize the American dream, regardless of whether you're a coal miner in Kentucky, a teacher in Rhode Island, an autoworker in Detroit or a software engineer in San Antonio.
Our political system is broken. It's broken because too many of our leaders think it's all about them. They need to remember that they work for us and helping us is their work.