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Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver Republican State of the Union response

The former Trump press secretary will speak after President Joe Biden's address Tuesday night.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath outside the Arkansas Capitol on Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders after taking the oath outside the Arkansas Capitol on Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock.Will Newton / AP

Arkansas governor and former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.

"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 in a statement. Sanders will deliver her remarks following Biden's speech on Tuesday, set to begin at 9 p.m. ET.

Sanders in November became the first woman elected governor of the largely Republican state.

"The youngest governor in America, Sarah is fighting on behalf of parents, small businesses, and ordinary taxpayers," McCarthy said.

"I’m thrilled Sarah will share her extraordinary story and bold vision for a better America on Tuesday. Everyone, including President Biden, should listen carefully," McCarthy added. 

McConnell called Sanders "a powerful advocate for the popular, commonsense conservative principles that will put our country back on a better course."

"I am excited for the nation to hear from Governor Sanders on Tuesday and witness a sharp contrast with this exhausted and failing Administration," McConnell said.

Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, stepped down as White House press secretary in 2019. Former President Donald Trump encouraged her to run for governor in her home state after she stepped down.

Delivering a response for the opposition party has been seen as a stepping stone for politicians in the past.

In 1985, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton delivered the Democratic response to President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union address.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., a potential 2024 presidential candidate, responded to Biden's address in 2021. In his address, Scott said while the president "seems like a good man," the "actions of the president and his party are pulling us further apart."

Another likely 2024 candidate for the GOP, then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's final State of the Union speech in 2016.