Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference on Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it’s creating a new generation of leaders.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced the role for Sanders, 40, the nation’s youngest governor, on Thursday.

“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 in a statement.

Sanders, the first woman elected governor of Arkansas, said she relished the opportunity to contrast the GOP’s vision for the future against that of Biden and his fellow Democrats.

“We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America — to be written by a new generation of leaders,” she said.

The daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders has signed several executive orders that have been cheered by conservatives since taking office last month. They include restrictions on public schools teaching critical race theory and a ban on TikTok on state devices.

She’s also said her priority is getting Arkansas’ majority-Republican Legislature to approve education reform legislation that she’s indicated will include some form of using public money to pay for private schooling or home schooling

Before becoming governor, Sanders served as White House press secretary for President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019. She left the White House in 2019 to return to Arkansas, and had Trump’s endorsement in her bid for governor.

Biden, 80, will deliver the address on Tuesday Feb. 7.