Immediately after President Obama's State Of The Union Address was delivered Tuesday night, the GOP aired their traditional rebuttal. In the hot seat this year was House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.,) who delivered a speech that criticized the President's job record and focused on the role of family and religious values in the lives of everyday Americans. Rodgers' rebuttal was one of four responses from the Republican Party, who have taken a four-pronged approach to Obama's speech that some say mirror the splintered factions of the party.
Rodgers' rebuttal was the official GOP response, but two more were offered from Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Mike Lee. A Spanish-language variant of her speech was given by the first Cuban American elected to Congress, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has served since 1989. The choice of two women to be the face of the Republican response to Obama's speech is a not-so-subtle attempt to appeal to women and minorities, two demographics typically more likely to resonate with Obama's stated values.
Tonight the President made more promises that sound good, but won’t solve the problems actually facing Americans. We want you to have a better life. The President wants that too. But we part ways when it comes to how to make that happen. So tonight I’d like to share a more hopeful, Republican vision… One that empowers you, not the government… It’s one that champions free markets – and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you. It helps working families rise above the limits of poverty and protects our most vulnerable.
The response address outlined what Rodgers claimed was a better, more hopeful future for Americans under the Republican Party, one that would see an expanded and restored middle class, and jobs regained.
Indeed, the Democrat Party is in danger of losing the Senate to the Republicans in the elections later this year, and so the stakes are high. In a statement, Ros-Lehtinen said that her speech would reflect the same values as Rodgers'. "The Republican message is simple," she wrote. "Less wasted money, more jobs and smaller government would help the economy and increase jobs."