State of the Union Rebuttal Quiz: Who Said it?

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

National Journal
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 Time.com 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.)

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