Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Arizona Rep. Juan Ciscomani will deliver Republican rebuttals to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the announcement Thursday.
“She is a servant-leader of true determination and conviction,” McCarthy said of Sanders. “I'm thrilled Sarah will share her extraordinary story and bold vision for a better America on Tuesday.”
The daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders rose to prominence during the Trump administration as White House press secretary from 2017 to 2019. Her tenure was marked by a contentious relationship with the White House Press Corps; in 2019, a report released by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed that she admitted to misleading reporters about the reason then-President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017.
Sanders, 40, was elected governor of the Razorback State in November, making her the first woman to hold the office, the first woman to serve in the same role as her father, and the youngest current serving governor.
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, a ban on TikTok on state devices, and a ban on the term "Latinx" from 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.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP's optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats,” Sanders said. “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.”
“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.
Later Thursday, McCarthy announced that Rep. Ciscomani, a freshman lawmaker who represents Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, will deliver the rebuttal in Spanish.
Ciscomani, 40, was born in Mexico and raised in Tucson, Ariz.
“Congressman Juan Ciscomani’s story is nothing short of inspirational: as a young boy, he and his family immigrated to the United States with the profound intuition that in America, anything is possible,” McCarthy said in a statement. “While Democrats’ woke politics would have you believe the worst in our nation, Juan and his family are a shining reminder of what we look like at our best. They are the American Dream, and Congress is all the better because of the unique perspectives and lived experiences that Juan brings to this institution.”
“I’m humbled and honored by the opportunity to deliver the Spanish response to the State of the Union address,” Ciscomani said. “My message will be simple and straightforward: the American Dream is a dream worth fighting for. The people of my district in Arizona and Americans across our country want accountability, responsibility and sensibility restored in our nation’s capital.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.