Among the reasons why Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was selected to deliver the Republican rebuttal to Democrat President Joe Biden’s Feb. 7 State of the Union address is because, at 40, she’s the nation’s youngest governor while, at 80, Biden is the oldest president in the history of the United States.
But Sanders, in her 15-minute response, said age isn’t the only difference between the two. In a searing juxtaposition, she said the vision offered by a “new generation of Republican leadership” of America today and tomorrow is vastly different from that presented by Biden and the Democratic Party.
“The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal and crazy,” she said, noting that “Americans want common sense leadership” while in Washington, “the Biden administration is doubling down on crazy.”
“Tonight, let us reaffirm our commitment to a timeless American idea: that government exists not to rule the people, but to serve the people. Democrats want to rule us with more government control, but that is not who we are,” she said.
Sanders said she’s a vanguard of that “new Republican leadership,” while Biden is “too weak” to stand up to progressives who control the Democratic Party.
“His administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left, by a woke mob who can’t even tell what a woman is,” she said. Biden wants “to rule with more control. That is not who we are. I am for freedom; he is for more control.”
Sanders, elected as Arkansas’s first female governor in November 2022 and sworn into office in January, is the daughter of former three-term Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and served as former President Donald Trump’s press secretary for 2 1/2 years.
She said during Trump’s administration, the United States was energy independent, the economy was robust, and the “world was at peace.”
Now, Americans are contending with empty grocery store shelves, high energy prices, rising crime, “children taught to hate one another” because of their race, and a world that appears to be increasingly spiraling toward war, Sanders said.
“In the last two years, Democrats destroyed it all,” she said.
Offering a Different Vision
Biden’s “weakness puts world order at risk,” Sanders said, asserting that the president has failed to “stand up to China—a dangerous and unacceptable failure to defend our borders, defend our skies, and defend our people. He is unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.”
She said that Biden has made concessions to progressives who want to “defund the police … while violent criminals roam the streets” and to “collude with ‘Big Tech’ to strip away our freedom of speech.”
“We now have the worst border crisis in American history,” Sanders said. “As a Mom, my heart breaks for every parent who has lost a child to addiction” to drugs laced with fentanyl that are on the nation’s streets because “Biden has failed to secure the border and save American lives.”
She said the “new generation of Republican leadership” will ensure that “a quality education is the civil rights issue of the day” by spearheading an educational reform movement that provides parents with “a real choice” that will “end the cycle of trapping kids in failing schools. We will educate, not indoctrinate.”
Sanders vowed, “Republicans will not surrender this fight. We will do what is right, not what is convenient or politically correct. Under the leadership of Senate Republicans and [House] Speaker McCarthy, we will hold Biden accountable.”
Republicans are being galvanized by a “new generation brimming with passion,” ready to offer “new ideas to solve age-old problems” and “find a better way forward,” she said. “A new generation of Republican leadership are stepping up, not to be caretakers of the status quo but to be change-makers.”
Sanders said that under the GOP’s vision, “America will again be the land of the free and home of the brave.”
The vision offered by the Biden administration is starkly different, she said.
“Today, our freedom is under attack. The America we love is under attack. It is not normal. It is crazy and it is wrong,” she said. “Biden and the Democrats have failed you. They know it. You know it. It is time for a change.”