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Mar 7, 2024, 5:15pm EST
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Semafor Signals

Youngest-ever Republican woman senator to give party’s SOTU rebuttal

Insights from The Hill, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. Sen. Katie Britt, R-Al., speaks at a press conference on Dec. 7, 2023.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
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Republicans have tapped a freshman senator from Alabama to deliver the rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech on Thursday, hoping to introduce the rising GOP star to a national audience.

Sen. Katie Britt, 42, is an outspoken critic of the Biden administration mooted by some as a possible pick for vice president on former President Donald Trump’s ticket. Ahead of the speech, she called Biden “out of touch and off the pace.”

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“The Republican Party is the party of hard-working parents and families, and I’m looking forward to putting this critical perspective front and center,” Britt said in a statement. “There is no doubt that President Biden’s failed presidency has made America weaker and more vulnerable at every turn.”

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Republicans seek to contrast Britt with Biden

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Sources:  
The Hill, Speaker Mike Johnson

Republicans have been quick to note the stark contrast Britt’s speech will pose to Biden’s: The youngest-ever Republican woman senator following remarks from the country’s oldest-ever president. “She’s young, female and full of energy — opposite of everything Joe Biden is,” Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), a fellow member of the Senate GOP’s freshman class, told The Hill. “The contrast between the two, it’s so different.”

The party also sought to emphasize that Britt is the mother to two teenagers, with Speaker Mike Johnson noting that “as the only current Republican mom of school-aged kids serving in the Senate, Katie is fighting to preserve the American Dream for the next generation.”

Democrats put the focus on reproductive rights

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Sources:  
AL.com, The New York Times

Britt’s address comes weeks after Republicans scrambled to respond to the Alabama Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling that frozen embryos are legally children. The senator, who has described herself as “100 percent pro-life”, came out in support of IVF, though she has previously said that life begins at the point of conception. As they seek to center reproductive rights as a top issue this election year, Democrats have painted Britt as an anti-choice extremist.

“Republicans have been running, dodging and hiding their extreme position against IVF. all week, but today they chose to catapult their anti-freedom extremism to center stage by tapping anti-choice extremist Katie Britt to deliver their State of the Union response,” said Alex Floyd, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

Britt has been floated as a possible Trump vice president

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Sources:  
The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The New York Times

Britt has been “bandied about as a possible vice-presidential pick for GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump,” The Wall Street Journal reported, making this national appearance all the more important for her political future. Britt endorsed Trump in a December op-ed, a year after he announced his campaign, writing that “despite the dark clouds that haunt our country’s horizon, I believe with every fiber of my being that our nation’s best days are yet to come.”

However, The New York Times noted on its list of possible vice-presidential picks, “there is little indication Britt has been mentioned inside Mar-a-Lago as a possible running mate.”

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