Voice of the "ordinary," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to give GOP response to Biden's State of the Union

After Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Sanders will speak on behalf of "ordinary taxpayers"

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published February 2, 2023 5:58PM (EST)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday, marking his first speaking engagement in front of a Republican led House. Following that appearance, newly elected Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders will lead the GOP's response via a broadcast from Little Rock, during which she'll be offering counterpoints as to "what America needs."

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday," Sanders said in a tweet on Thursday. "What America needs – and what Republicans are offering – is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave."

In the announcement of Sanders' "Republican Address to the Nation," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy referred to the Arkansas governor as someone who is "fighting on behalf of parents, small businesses and ordinary taxpayers," urging viewers, and Biden himself, to listen to her carefully.

"She is bringing new ideas for a changing future, while also applying the wisdom of the past, including from the leadership of her father," McCarthy furthered in his announcement. "She is a servant-leader of true determination and conviction. I'm thrilled Sarah will share her extraordinary story and bold vision for a better America on Tuesday."

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also offered his own alley-oop to Sanders, mixing in a jab at Biden in the process.

"While President Biden keeps repeating old mistakes and failing Americans, a rising generation of Republican Governors are fighting for families, advancing new solutions, and winning," McConnell said

As the youngest governor in America, Sanders is being championed by the GOP as a totem for a new generation of Republicans, but Democrats are less enthusiastic about her upcoming appearance.

"We watched her lie to us every day for years. Hard pass," tweeted journalist Aaron Rupar in response to McCarthy's announcement.

In a tweet from liberal Pitt Griffin, he points out how Sanders' version of progress differs from that of her opposition.

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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