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2012 State of the Union / POLITICS

State of the Union Responses

photo of Kenneth Chamberlain
January 24, 2012

With Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels scheduled to give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, he'll join a long list of other politicians who have given responses to presidents' addresses during the past 46 years. Below are those governors, members, and others who gave the official responses to State of the Union addresses, based on information from the House of Representatives' Office of the Clerk:

 

 

Lyndon Johnson

1966

Sen. Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., and Rep. Gerald Ford, R-Mich.
This was the first organized televised State of the Union response.

1967

Dirksen and Ford

1968

  • Rep. William Steiger, R-Wis.
  • Sen. Thomas Kuchel, R-Calif.
  • Rep. Ford
  • Sen. Charles Percy, R-Ill.
  • Rep. Richard Poff, R-Va.
  • Rep. George Bush, R-Texas
  • Rep. Robert Mathias, R-Calif.
  • Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn.
  • Sen. Hugh Scott, R-Pa.
  • Sen. John Tower, R-Texas
  • Rep. Charlotte Reid, R-Ill.
  • Sen. Peter Dominick, R-Colo.
  • Rep. Albert Quie, R-Minn.
  • Rep. Melvin Laird, R-Wis.
  • Sen. Robert P. Griffin, R-Mich.
  • Sen. George Murphy, R-Calif.

1969

No response to President Johnson’s speech, which was delivered six days before President Nixon's inauguration.

 

Richard Nixon

1970

  • Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis.
  • Rep. Donald Fraser, D-Minn.
  • Senator Mike Mansfield, D-Mont.
  • Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, D-Wash.
  • Sen. Edmund Muskie, D-Maine
  • Rep. Patsy Mink, D-Hawaii
  • Rep. John McCormack, D-Mass.

1971

Sen. Mansfield

1972

  • Sen. Proxmire
  • Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho
  • Sen. Thomas Eagleton, D-Mo.
  • Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas
  • Rep. Leonor Sullivan, D-Mo.
  • Rep. John Melcher, D-Mont.
  • Rep. John Brademas, D-Ind.
  • Rep. Martha Griffiths, D-Mich.
  • Rep. Ralph Metcalfe, D-Ill.
  • Rep. Carl Albert, D-Okla.
  • Rep. Hale Boggs, D-La.

 

1973

No response. Inauguration of President Nixon.

1974

Sen. Mansfield

 

Gerald Ford

1975

Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D-Minn., and Rep. Carl Albert, D-Okla.

1976

Sen. Muskie

1977

No response to President Ford’s final annual message.

 

Jimmy Carter

1978

Sen. Baker and Rep. John Rhodes, R-Ariz.

1979

Sen. Baker and Rep. Rhodes

1980

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Rep. Rhodes

 

Ronald Reagan

1981

No response. Inauguration of President Reagan on Jan. 20.

1982

  • Sen. Donald Riegle, D-Mich.
  • Sen. James Sasser, D-Tenn.
  • Rep. Al Gore, D-Tenn.
  • Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
  • Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
  • House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, D-Mass.
  • Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo.
  • Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md.
  • Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, D-La.
  • Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif.

1983

In a prerecorded televised program:

  • Sen. Byrd
  • Sen. Paul Tsongas, D-Mass.
  • Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.
  • Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.
  • Rep. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
  • Rep. Barbara Kennelly, D-Conn.
  • House Speaker O’Neill
  • Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Les AuCoin, D-Ore.
  • Rep. Paul Simon, D-Ill.
  • Rep. Timothy Wirth, D-Colo.
  • Rep. W.G. “Bill” Hefner, D-N.C.

1984

  • Sen. Biden
  • Sen. David Boren, D-Okla.
  • Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
  • Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
  • Sen. Byrd
  • Sen. Clairborne Pell, D-R.I.
  • Sen. Walter Huddleston, D-Ky.
  • Rep. Dante B. Fascell, D-Fla.
  • Rep. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
  • Rep. William Gray, D-Pa.
  • House Speaker O’Neill
  • Rep. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

1985

In a televised discussion among randomly selected Democratic voters:

  • Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton
  • Florida Gov. Bob Graham
  • House Speaker O'Neill

This was the first response since 1966 which featured responders who were not members of Congress.

1986

  • Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine
  • Missouri Lt. Gov. Harriett Woods
  • Virginia Gov. Charles Robb
  • Rep. Daschle
  • Rep. Gray

1987

Sen. Byrd and House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas

1988

Sen. Byrd and House Speaker Wright

 

George H.W. Bush

1989

House Speaker Wright and Sen. Bentsen

1990

House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash.

1991

Sen. Mitchell

1992

House Speaker Foley

 

Bill Clinton

1993

No response. Inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

1994

Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.

1995

New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman

1996

Sen. Dole

1997

Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.

1998

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

1999

Reps. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., and Steve Largent, R-Okla.

2000

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

 

 

George W. Bush

2001

No response. Inauguration of President George W. Bush.

2002

Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.

2003

Washington Gov. Gary Locke

2004

Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

2005

Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

2006

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine

2007

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.

2008

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius

 

Barack Obama

2009

No response. Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

2010

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

2011

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

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