State of the Union Rebuttal Quiz: Who Said it?

Mike Lee? Rand Paul? Cathy McMorris Rodgers or Ileana Ros-Lehtinen?

 Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) speaks at a rally supported by military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans, regarding the government shutdown on October 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Lucia Graves
Add to Briefcase
Lucia Graves
Jan. 28, 2014, 6:24 p.m.

Last Thursday, shortly after former Arkan­sas Gov. Mike Hucka­bee made his com­ments about how Demo­crats think wo­men can’t con­trol their li­bido and there­fore need the gov­ern­ment to pay for their birth con­trol, Re­pub­lic­ans trot­ted out Cathy Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers to de­liv­er the of­fi­cial Re­pub­lic­an re­sponse to the State of the Uni­on. Amer­ic­ans prob­ably know Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers from Googling her sev­er­al days ago, for­get­ting who she was, then read­ing this blog post on or maybe Wiki­pe­dia.

GOP aides swear, and we be­lieve them, that the se­lec­tion of Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers, the No. 4-rank­ing House Re­pub­lic­an, happened weeks ago and had “ab­so­lutely noth­ing” to do with Hucka­bee’s creepy com­ments. And yet there were so many creepy com­ments be­fore Hucka­bee’s speech, and the tim­ing is so un­for­tu­nate, that it will be dif­fi­cult for Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers to es­cape the Re­pub­lic­an push-back against the “war on wo­men” fram­ing. We wish her the best go­ing in­to the post-SOTU me­dia cycle!

In ad­di­tion, there were three oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans com­pet­ing for Amer­ica’s un­der­whelm­ing at­ten­tion to these sorts of re­but­tals. There’s Sen. Mike Lee’s tea party-ori­ented re­sponse, Sen. Rand Paul’s totally un­af­fili­ated, na­ked at­ten­tion-grab of a re­sponse, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Le­htin­en’s Span­ish-lan­guage re­sponse, which ac­tu­ally makes quite a bit of sense. Some quotes pulled from the sun­dry re­sponses are be­low. Can you tell the dif­fer­ence between the GOP’s four spar­ring re­but­tal­ists?

1)    “In the few minutes I have to­night, I’d like to speak es­pe­cially to those Amer­ic­ans who may feel they have been for­got­ten by both polit­ic­al parties.”

2)   “The most im­port­ant mo­ments right now aren’t hap­pen­ing here. They’re not in the Oval Of­fice or in the House Cham­ber. They’re in your homes. Kiss­ing your kids good­night.”

3)   “We are not defined by our lim­its but by our po­ten­tial.”

4)   “You are prob­ably as frus­trated as I am about an ever-grow­ing gov­ern­ment that some­how thinks it is OK to lie to, spy on, and even tar­get its own cit­izens.”

5)   “Obama­care — all by it­self — is an in­equal­ity Godz­illa that has robbed work­ing fam­il­ies of their in­sur­ance, their doc­tors, their wages, and their jobs.”

6)   “We must choose a new way, a way that em­powers the in­di­vidu­al through edu­ca­tion and re­spons­ib­il­ity to earn a place along­side their fel­low Amer­ic­ans in the most pros­per­ous na­tion ever con­ceived.”

7)   “Throughout the last five years, Pres­id­ent Obama has prom­ised an eco­nomy for the middle class; but all he’s de­livered is an eco­nomy for the middle-men.”

8)   “I be­lieve in an Amer­ica with a strong safety net, but one that doesn’t suf­foc­ate our re­solve to bet­ter ourselves and our coun­try.”

9) “We be­lieve in a gov­ern­ment that trusts people and doesn’t lim­it where you fin­ish be­cause of where you star­ted. That is what we stand for — for an Amer­ica that is every bit as com­pas­sion­ate as it is ex­cep­tion­al.

10)   “We’ve all talked to too many people who have re­ceived can­cel­la­tion no­tices they didn’t ex­pect or who can no longer see the doc­tors they al­ways have. No, we shouldn’t go back to the way things were, but the pres­id­ent’s health care law is not work­ing.”

11)   “Wheth­er you’re a girl in Kettle Falls or a boy from Brook­lyn, our chil­dren should be able to say that we closed the gap…. The true State of the Uni­on lies in your heart and in your home.”

12)   “In Amer­ica, the test of any polit­ic­al move­ment is not what that move­ment is against, but what it is for. The Founders made a point at Bo­ston Har­bor, but they made his­tory in Phil­adelphia’s In­de­pend­ence Hall.”

13)   “Gov­ern­ment spend­ing doesn’t work. It doesn’t cre­ate jobs. Only the demo­cracy of the mar­ket­place can find those cap­able of cre­at­ing jobs.”

14)   “When it comes to health care, we know the best way to re­peal Obama­care is to de­liv­er bet­ter solu­tions.”

15)   “In the mar­ket­place, most small busi­nesses fail. If gov­ern­ment is to send money to cer­tain people to cre­ate busi­nesses, they will more of­ten than not pick the wrong people and no jobs will be cre­ated.”

Lee: 1, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14

Paul: 6, 13, 8, 15

Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers: 2, 3, 9, 10, 11

Ros-Le­htin­en: 0 (Sorry folks, that’d be too easy.)

What We're Following See More »
North Dakota Pipeline Protests Turn Violent
1 hours ago

The protest over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline turned violent overnight as the police and National Guard sought to remove the protesters, surrounding them with assault vehicles and officers in riot gear. The law enforcement officers used pepper spray and fired bean bags for more than six hours. In response, the protesters "lit debris on fire and threw Molotov cocktails in retreat." One woman pulled out a gun and fired at officers, narrowly missing before being arrested. The protesters claim the pipeline would be constructed on land belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

House Leadership Elections Slated for Nov. 15
1 hours ago

The House has scheduled leadership votes for Nov. 15, the day after members return from their election recess. "Since mid-September, members of the House Freedom Caucus have weighed whether they should ask leadership to push back the elections so they can see how House Speaker Paul Ryan performs at the end of the year," but leaders don't seem inclined to grant their request.

Feds Announce Rapid GDP Growth in Q3
1 hours ago

Gross domestic product "expanded at a 2.9% annual clip from July through September. That’s a marked improvement from the first half of the year when the U.S. grew just barely over 1%." The robust numbers make it more likely that the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates at its next meeting.

Oregon Militiamen Found Not Guilty
1 hours ago

"A federal jury on Thursday found Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and five co-defendants not guilty of conspiring to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs through intimidation, threat or force during the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The Bundy brothers and occupiers Jeff Banta and David Fry also were found not guilty of having guns in a federal facility." In a strange "coda" to the decision, Bundy's attorney Marcus Mumford was tackled and tasered by marshals in the courtroom as he argued that Bundy should be free to go.

Clinton Eyes Biden for Secretary of State
1 hours ago

Hillary Clinton is eyeing Vice President Joe Biden to be her secretary of state, and her campaign is trying to figure out the best way to broach the idea with Biden. Biden has a lifetime of foreign policy experience, serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; he can also put eight years as vice president on his foreign policy resume. Biden has previously stated that he would not work in a Clinton administration, so it might be a tough sell for the Clinton camp.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.