Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Response to the State of the Union address

The response to the State of the Union address is a rebuttal speech, often brief, delivered by a representative (or representatives) of the opposition party following a presidential State of the Union address. When the president is a Democrat, the rebuttal is given by a Republican, and vice versa.

The practice began in 1966 when Republican U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois) and U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan) appeared on TV to offer a response to the address by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.[1] The opposition party's response has varied in format, ranging from a prerecorded 45-minute TV program in 1970[2] to a call-in show in 1972 where a panel of congressmen answered unrehearsed questions from callers.[1] Since the late 1980s, it usually has been a televised speech given soon after the State of the Union address.[1]

Three people have given both a response and a State of the Union address: Democrat Bill Clinton and Republicans Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.

List of responsesEdit

Date President Response given by[1]
January 12, 1966 Lyndon Johnson U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois)
U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan)1
January 10, 1967 U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois)
U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan)
January 17, 1968 U.S. Senators Howard Baker (Tennessee), Peter Dominick (Colorado), Robert Griffin (Michigan), Thomas Kuchel (California), George Murphy (California), Chuck Percy (Illinois), Hugh Scott (Pennsylvania), and John Tower (Texas)
U.S. Representatives George Bush (Texas), Gerald Ford (Michigan), Mel Laird (Wisconsin), Bob Mathias (California), Dick Poff (Virginia), Al Quie (Minnesota), Charlotte Reid (Illinois), and Bill Steiger (Wisconsin)
January 22, 1970 Richard Nixon U.S. Senators Scoop Jackson (Washington), Mike Mansfield (Montana), Ed Muskie (Maine), and Bill Proxmire (Wisconsin)
U.S. Representatives Donald Fraser (Minnesota), John McCormack (Massachusetts), and Patsy Mink (Hawaii)2
January 22, 1971 U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield (Montana)
January 20, 1972 U.S. Senators Lloyd Bentsen (Texas), Frank Church (Idaho), Tom Eagleton (Missouri), and Bill Proxmire (Wisconsin)
U.S. Representatives Carl Albert (Oklahoma), Hale Boggs (Louisiana), John Brademas (Indiana), Martha Griffiths (Michigan), John Melcher (Montana), Ralph Metcalfe (Illinois), and Leonor Sullivan (Missouri)
January 20, 1974 U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield (Montana)
January 15, 1975 Gerald Ford U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota)
U.S. Representative Carl Albert (Oklahoma)
January 19, 1976 U.S. Senator Ed Muskie (Maine)
January 19, 1978 Jimmy Carter U.S. Senator Howard Baker (Tennessee)
U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 23, 1979 U.S. Senator Howard Baker (Tennessee)
U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 23, 1980 U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (Alaska)
U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 26, 1982 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senators Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Alan Cranston (California), Gary Hart (Colorado), Bennett Johnston (Louisiana), Ted Kennedy (Massachusetts), Don Riegle (Michigan), Paul Sarbanes (Maryland), and Jim Sasser (Tennessee)
U.S. Representatives Al Gore (Tennessee), Tip O'Neill (Massachusetts)2
January 25, 1983 U.S. Senators Joe Biden (Delaware), Bill Bradley (New Jersey), Robert Byrd (West Virginia), and Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts)
U.S. Representatives Les AuCoin (Oregon), Tom Daschle (South Dakota), Bill Hefner (North Carolina), Barbara Kennelly (Connecticut), George Miller (California), Tip O'Neill (Massachusetts), Paul Simon (Illinois), and Tim Wirth (Colorado)2
January 25, 1984 U.S. Senators Max Baucus (Montana), Joe Biden (Delaware), David Boren (Oklahoma), Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Dee Huddleston (Kentucky), Carl Levin (Michigan), and Claiborne Pell (Rhode Island)
U.S. Representatives Barbara Boxer (California), Dante Fascell (Florida), Bill Gray (Pennsylvania), Tom Harkin (Iowa), and Tip O’Neill (Massachusetts)
February 6, 1985 Governor Bill Clinton (Arkansas), Governor Bob Graham (Florida)
U.S. Representative Tip O’Neill (Massachusetts)3
February 4, 1986 U.S. Senator George Mitchell (Maine)
Governor Chuck Robb (Virginia)
U.S. Representatives Tom Daschle (South Dakota) and Bill Gray (Pennsylvania)
Lieutenant Governor Harriett Woods (Missouri)
January 27, 1987 U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
U.S. Representative Jim Wright (Texas)
January 25, 1988 U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
U.S. Representative Jim Wright (Texas)
January 31, 1990 George H. W. Bush U.S. Representative Tom Foley (Washington)
January 29, 1991 U.S. Senator George Mitchell (Maine)
January 28, 1992 U.S. Representative Tom Foley (Washington)
January 25, 1994 Bill Clinton U.S. Senator Bob Dole (Kansas)
January 24, 1995 Governor Christine Todd Whitman (New Jersey)
January 23, 1996 U.S. Senator Bob Dole (Kansas)
February 4, 1997 U.S. Representative J. C. Watts (Oklahoma)
January 27, 1998 U.S. Senator Trent Lott (Mississippi)
January 19, 1999 U.S. Representatives Jennifer Dunn (Washington) and Steve Largent (Oklahoma)
January 27, 2000 U.S. Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Bill Frist (Tennessee)
January 29, 2002 George W. Bush U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt (Missouri)
January 28, 2003 Governor Gary Locke (Washington)
January 23, 2004 U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (South Dakota)
U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (California)
February 2, 2005 U.S. Senator Harry Reid (Nevada)
U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (California)
January 31, 2006 Governor Tim Kaine (Virginia)
January 23, 2007 U.S. Senator Jim Webb (Virginia)
January 28, 2008 Governor Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas)
January 27, 2010 Barack Obama Governor Bob McDonnell (Virginia)
January 25, 2011 English: U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
Spanish: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)
January 24, 2012 Governor Mitch Daniels (Indiana)
February 12, 2013 U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida) – English and Spanish
January 28, 2014 English: U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington)
Spanish: U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)
January 20, 2015 English: U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa)
Spanish: U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo (Florida)
January 12, 2016 Governor Nikki Haley (South Carolina)

1First organized, televised response to a presidential State of the Union message
2Denotes prerecorded program
3Randomly selected Democratic voters participated in this televised discussion

Non–State of the Union responsesEdit

In addition to responses to official State of the Union addresses, there have been five official responses to non–State of the Union speeches which were delivered soon after presidential inaugurations.

Date President Address type Response given by
February 9, 1989 George H. W. Bush First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (Texas)
U.S. Representative Jim Wright (Texas)[1]
February 17, 1993 Bill Clinton First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Representative Bob Michel (Illinois)[1]
February 27, 2001 George W. Bush First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (South Dakota)
U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt (Missouri)[3]
February 24, 2009 Barack Obama First address to joint session of Congress Governor Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)[4]
February 28, 2017 Donald Trump First address to joint session of Congress English: Former Governor Steve Beshear (Kentucky)
Spanish: Activist Astrid Silva (Nevada)[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Opposition Responses to the State of the Union Messages" (PDF). Senate.gov. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York: Basic Books. p. 47. ISBN 0-465-04195-7. 
  3. ^ "The Democratic Response". PBS.org. February 27, 2001. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Transcript of Gov. Jindal's GOP response to Obama speech". CNN. February 24, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Democrats Pick Ex-Kentucky Governor To Respond To Trump Speech To Congress". NPR. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
General reference