Washington – Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday sought to draw distinctions between her fellow Republicans and President Biden after his State of the Union addresscharacterizing the differences between the GOP and Democrats as extending beyond politics, but rather as a choice between “normal and crazy.”
Sanders, who in November was elected Arkansas’ first female governor, delivered the Republican response to Mr Biden’s speech from the governor’s mansion in Little Rock. She ran for governor after serving as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump.
“The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left,” Sanders said. “The choice is normal or crazy. It’s time for a new generation of Republican leaders.”
Sanders claimed Mr Biden and his fellow Democrats had “let down” the American people and said it was “time for a change”.
“America is the greatest country the world has ever known because we are the freest country the world has ever known, with strong and resilient people,” she said.
Sanders focused his response on many of the “culture war” issues that have driven conservatives, and largely resisted the message of unity and bipartisanship that ran through Mr. Biden’s speech. Instead, she attacked the president as the “first man to hand over his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is.”
“In radical left America, Washington taxes you and sets fire to your hard-earned money, but you’re crushed by high gas prices, empty grocery store shelves, and our children learn to hate each other at because of their race, but not loving each other or our great country,” she said.
Sanders criticized Mr. Biden for his border policies, saying they led to a flood of fentanyl crossing the border, and accused the administration of being beholden to “waking up the fantasies.”
“Every day we are told we must participate in their rituals, salute their flags and worship their false idols, while big government teams up with big tech to take away the most American thing there is – your freedom of expression,” she said. said. “It’s not normal. It’s crazy and it’s wrong.”
Declaring Mr Biden “unfit” to serve, Sanders sought to pit the Republicans’ agenda against the Democrats’, and promised the GOP would resist political correctness to “do the right thing”. She then outlined an outline of an education program to be unveiled Wednesday that will increase starting salaries for Arkansas teachers.
“It’s time for a new generation to lead. This is our time. This is our opportunity,” she said.
Sanders concluded his speech by saying that American freedom is “under attack” and again stating that it is time to change the direction of the nation.
“A new generation of Republican leaders are stepping up, not to be guardians of the status quo, but to be agents of change for the American people,” she said. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future in their hands. And with God as our witness, we will show the world that America is still the place where freedom reigns and where freedom will never die.”
Those selected to deliver the President’s State of the Union response are generally considered rising stars in political circles. GOP Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is mulling a presidential race, delivered the answer in 2021 and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is expected announce his candidacy for the White House next week, delivered in 2016.
Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona delivered the Republican response in Spanish.
— Kristin Brown contributed to this report