President Donald Trump has often touted his credentials as a Washington outsider and a businessman in helping him to get him elected to the highest office in the land, but in reflecting in his first year in office, the president says he’s learned that governing requires something that business does not: Heart.
“I’ve really learned a lot,” the president said of his first year in office during a lunch with television correspondents ahead of his first State of the Union address. “You know, governing — when you’re a businessperson, you don’t have to worry about your heart, the heart. You really do what’s best for almost purely monetary reasons. You know, you make your money. You competing against people. In many cases, you don’t like them, you want to beat, and all that stuff.”
He continued: “So having a business background and a successful business background is great, but oftentimes you do things that you would never do in business because you have to also govern with heart.”
The president pointed to immigration as a particular issue that weighs on his heart as the nation’s chief executive and comes as he wrestles with the fate of the so-called “Dreamers”, the nearly 700 thousand people who were still children when they came with their parents to the United States as undocumented immigrants. A March 5 deadline looms for Congress to reach a legislative solution after the president terminated an Obama-era program that offered them protection from deportation.
The president noted that decisions that would have been simple for him as a businessman are more complicated as the president.
“From a purely economic standpoint — if I was doing this purely from an economic standpoint, I would sit down and tell you in one second what I’d be doing, okay? It’s so simple,” he said. “But I’m not. I’m doing it because millions of people are affected. I mean, I just — I put myself in their position. Millions and millions of people are affected, So it’s much different, in that way, than I thought it would be.”
ABC News’ David Muir, who was in the lunch, also asked the president if he had a message for his voters one year after assuming the presidency. The president said he would like to see an end to divisiveness.
“I want to see our country united. I want to bring our country back from a tremendous divisiveness, which has taken — not just over one year, over many years — including the Bush years, not just Obama,” Trump said.
ABC News will begin livestreaming coverage of the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night starting at 8:15 p.m. EST. Then at 9:00 p.m. EST you can watch the full State of the Union Address followed by the Democratic response on abcnews.com, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and the ABC News app.