Huckabee Sanders attacks ‘left-wing culture war’ in SOTU response

In one of her first acts as governor, Sanders garnered national attention for a directive banning the term Latinx across the Arkansas government. In her Tuesday response, Sanders similarly waded into culture war subjects that have animated conservatives in the Biden years, inveighing against “false idols” of the left and other conservative punching bags.

“That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong,” she said.

Huckabee is also expected to hit the president for his stewardship of the economy and the Biden administration’s handling of immigration policy.

Those broadsides are not far apart from the depiction of Biden and his fellow Democrats presented by her previous boss, former President Donald Trump, underscoring the lasting impression he has made on the Republican party.

Trump — the only major declared Republican candidate for the White House — released his own short response to Biden’s speech in which he painted a bleak picture of the country and accused the president of allowing illegal immigrants to “storm” the country and letting drug cartels smuggle “poison” across the border.

Trump also highlighted inflation, the rise in murder rates, and said the Biden administration is “trying to indoctrinate and mutilate our children” — a reference to sexual orientation and gender identity issues that have animated the party.

By contrast, Sanders’ excepts echoes those same themes without quite the same edge, and nods to a softer touch that Republicans have at times grasped for as a way to modulate the former president’s agenda into an enduring coalition.

“Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities. Where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising,” Sanders says in her remarks.

Nevertheless Sanders’ speech stands in contrast to the tone left by her predecessor, Republican Asa Hutchinson, a regular presence on Washington Sunday shows who in the past has condemned some of Trump’s rhetoric, his most controversial policies while and members of the former governor’s fellow lawmakers in Arkansas.

Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.

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