House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced the pick on Thursday, garnering rave reviews from fellow Republicans. The opposition’s response to a State of the Union address is typically delegated to a rising star in the party to offer a countervailing policy agenda to the nation. This year’s matchup on Tuesday night will pit Biden against a high-profile member of former President Donald Trump’s White House.
She is the
✓ Youngest governor in America
✓ First female governor in Arkansas history
✓ First father-daughter governance in history
Everyone—including President Biden—should tune in. pic.twitter.com/8FlP4p8OIL
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) February 2, 2023
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday,” Sanders said in a tweet. “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.”
I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday.
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.
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) February 2, 2023
McCarthy later announced Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) will deliver the Spanish-language GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union address.
Humbled and honored by the opportunity to deliver the Republican Address to the Nation in Spanish following the State of the Union.
My message is simple: The American Dream is a dream worth fighting for.
Mi mensaje es sencillo, el sueño americano merece ser defendido. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/PSglNMJm02
— Rep. Juan Ciscomani (@RepCiscomani) February 2, 2023
Sanders served as an adviser on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and later became his White House press secretary for two years. She left the Trump administration in the summer of 2019 and then ran a successful campaign in the 2022 election cycle to become governor of Arkansas, a role once held by her father Mike Huckabee.
After being sworn in last month, Sanders quickly got down to business, signing an executive order banning the use of “Latinx” in government documents. She also banned Critical Race Theory in K-12 public schools.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Sanders declined to endorse Trump for president in his 2024 run, though she stressed they have a “great relationship” and surmised the United States “would be infinitely better off if he was in office right now instead of Joe Biden.”
Among the Republicans celebrating Sanders delivering the GOP rebuttal this year was Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who delivered the Republican response to Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress in 2021. “Let ‘em have it, [Sanders],” Scott tweeted. “America is ready to return to normalcy and common sense. I can’t wait to hear you deliver the GOP’s blueprint for how we’ll continue to hold Biden accountable for his failures as president.”
Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA), who delivered the GOP rebuttal last year, tweeted, “[Sanders,] I can’t wait for your Official GOP Response to Biden’s SOTU Address. I am so proud to call you a friend and a fellow Governor! Republican Governors are delivering on our promises, and you are just getting started!”
In a tweet, Mike Huckabee praised McCarthy for making a “brilliant choice” and quipped that he is “TOTALLY objective” in making this assessment.