Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Thursday that Sanders will give the Republican address to the nation from Little Rock, Arkansas, after the conclusion of Biden’s speech. The president is scheduled to offer remarks before a joint session of Congress next week, on February 7.
In a joint statement, McConnell and McCarthy both touted Sanders as a representative for a new generation of Republicans.
She gained national prominence when she served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump, but she was no stranger to politics with her father, Republican Mike Huckabee, serving as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007.
Sanders worked for two years in the George W. Bush administration and later ran her father’s 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and then was campaign manager for his 2016 White House bid. She made history last year as the first woman elected as governor of Arkansas.
Within 48 hours of being sworn in as governor, Sanders signed a flurry of executive orders, with one targeting critical race theory “to prohibit indoctrination” in schools and another banning the use of the term “Latinx” in official state documents.
In the joint statement Thursday, Sanders expressed gratitude for the opportunity to give her party’s response and “contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats.”
“We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America – to 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 opportunity for all,” she said.