- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rep. Sean Duffy said Thursday that he’s given his guest ticket for the State of the Union to the Army veteran who asked to take the ticket of those representatives boycotting the speech.

Ricky Taylor, who served two tours in Afghanistan, tweeted earlier this week that he would like to attend the speech since he is a Trump supporter. His Twitter handle is “Deplorable Vet,” a play on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s description of some Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” during the campaign.

“@FoxNews Everyone please help and retweet. I would like to take Maxine Waters seats at The State Of The Union Address. If they don’t want to go this Military Veteran would gladly go. I’d tell the President how much he means to myself, family, Military, and all of his supporters!” Mr. Taylor tweeted Monday.

Mr. Duffy, Wisconsin Republican, saw the request and decided to give the ticket usually reserved for his wife to Mr. Taylor. The Army veteran said Thursday that he’s happy to attend the speech with Mr. Duffy and never really believed Ms. Waters, California Democrat, would respond to his request.

“I don’t think I really fit Maxine’s narrative. I’m a black, Latino veteran, and she wants to portray Donald Trump’s supporters as middle-aged white men that live in trailers and have Confederate flags sticking out,” Mr. Taylor explained in an appearance with Mr. Duffy Thursday on Fox News.

“I pretty much knew I wouldn’t get a response,” he added.

Mr. Duffy assured that despite the looming threat of a government shutdown, the speech will go on as planned.

“We’re still going to have a State of the Union. There’s not going to be a government shutdown,” he said.

He added that Republicans in the House are hoping to pass a spending measure Thursday and move the debate over to the Senate to pressure Democrats to act before Friday’s spending deadline.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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