House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on Wednesday that Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
"Americans are still struggling from inflation, a border crisis, record crime, and a failing school system," said McCarthy in a press release. "As House Republicans work to fix these problems in Congress with our Commitment to America, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is addressing them head-on with her conservative agenda outside of Washington."
Sanders, who served as press secretary during the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, is the first woman and 47th governor of Arkansas. She was inaugurated on Jan. 10 and is the youngest governor in the country at age 40.
"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 [Joe] Biden and the Democrats," Sanders said in the press release. "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."
Sanders is a close and trusted confidant of former President Donald Trump, whom she has advised on communication strategy, along with personnel and policy matters. She is the third woman and the first mother to hold the position of White House press secretary.
"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," said McConnell in the release.
"The American people deserve better than Democrats' runaway inflation, surging crime, open borders, and failing schools," he added. "I am excited for the nation to hear from Gov. Sanders on Tuesday and witness a sharp contrast with this exhausted and failing administration."
The Republican governor is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. She was involved in his first campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1992. She later was the field coordinator for her father's 2002 reelection campaign for governor of Arkansas.
Under President George W. Bush, she worked as a regional liaison for congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education, as well as a field coordinator for Bush's reelection campaign in Ohio in 2004.
She has worked for several communication strategy operations for Republicans, ultimately leading to her involvement in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
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