Joe Kennedy III to Give State of the Union Response

Grandson of Robert Kennedy

Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., will deliver the response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.

“While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in announcing Kennedy’s selection.

Kennedy was first elected to represent Massachusetts 4th District in 2012 after former Rep. Barney Frank retired.

Kennedy is the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and the grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was killed in 1968 during his campaign for president. His great uncles were President John F. Kennedy and the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

His political pedigree goes beyond his family. While at Harvard Law School Kennedy met his wife in a class taught by future Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Kennedy told the Boston Globe he was honored to be considered.

“From health care to economic justice to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump’s broken promises to American families,” he said in a statement. “Our vision for this union is guided by a simple belief that equality and economic dignity should be afforded to every American.”

Kennedy has emerged as a voice on health care in the past year.

During Trump’s joint address to Congress last year, his guest was his then-intern Jen Fox, who survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and credited the 2010 health care law with saving her life.

Kennedy’s aunt Kerry Kennedy expressed confidence in her nephew on the big stage.

“His honesty, humility and empathy are just what Americans need to hear after a year of Donald Trump’s unparalleled scandals,” she said. “He’s going to do a great job.”

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.