Sarah Huckabee Sanders rebutting State of the Union shows Trump’s grip
The politician chosen to give the partisan rebuttal of the State of the Union is seen as a rising star in the party. By choosing Sanders, who at 40 is America’s youngest governor, Republicans are signaling that her brand of divisive cultural conservatism represents their party’s future — and that deep ties to Trump are not seen as prejudice even if the party has signaled a desire to move past it.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future with the failures of President Biden and the Democrats,” Sanders said in a statement last week. “We are ready to begin a new chapter in America’s history – one that will be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs and opportunities for all.”
As the new governor of a deeply red state that Trump won in 2020 with 62% of the vote, Sanders sparked culture wars on day one by signing executive orders to ban the term “Latinx” from state documents and to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools, although there is no evidence that the academic discipline was taught in public schools in Arkansas.
“Today I will also be signing an executive order preventing the political indoctrination of school children in Arkansas,” Sanders said, a mother of three young children, said during her inauguration speech. “As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to thrive in the modern world – not on brainwashing our children with a leftist political agenda.”
Sanders followed in the footsteps of his father, Mike Huckabee, a staunch conservative long before the Trump era. When she announced her candidacy for governor, she immediately rose to front-runner status based on her last name and her ties to Trump.
Trump publicly backed Sanders’ gubernatorial bid, and she remained an unabashed ally of the former president, though she never fully accepted his baseless claims that the 2020 election had been handed down to him. stolen. During the Republican gubernatorial primary in May 2022, Sanders suggested, without evidence, that there was fraud, but fell short of saying it cost Trump the election.
“We know there is fraud in every election. How far it went, I don’t think will be something that will ever be determined,” she told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “I think the country would be infinitely better off if Donald Trump were the president right now, and I think anything we can do as we enter the next election cycle to strengthen our electoral process and ensure greater electoral integrity is something we should strive for.
GOP congressional leaders called Sanders’ speech a hearing for a new generation, juxtaposing the millennial with the 80-year-old Biden.
“As President Biden continues to repeat old mistakes and fail Americans, a rising generation of Republican governors are standing up for families, delivering new solutions, and winning. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the nation’s youngest governor and a powerful advocate for popular, common-sense conservative principles that will put our country back on a better path,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a press release last week. .
Last year, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina delivered the answer to Biden and before that, Nikki Haley, then governor of South Carolina, refuted the GOP after the last State of the Union speech of the President Barack Obama in 2016. Scott and Haley have expressed interest in running for president in 2024 against Trump, who has already declared himself a candidate.