Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) practices the Republican response she will give after U.S. President Obama's State of the Union address, on Capitol Hill Jan. 20, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty

Republicans stumble in SOTU responses

In a way, it may not have been entirely fair of Republicans to ask Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to deliver the party’s response to the State of the Union. It’s a very tough gig for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for a right-wing rookie whose entire congressional career has spanned a few weeks.
1/20/15, 10:26 PM ET

Ernst calls Congress to 'serious work'

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa delivers the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address with criticisms of Obama’s position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and strategy in fighting terror.
Ernst fans hoping for a breakthrough moment for the radical senator will have to wait for some other opportunity. The Republican’s delivery was stilted and her substance was much worse.
“Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.”
Ironically, while she was awkwardly reading these words, Ernst was delivering political talking points, not serious solutions. For anyone who cares at all about policy details or reality, Affordable Care Act obviously hasn’t “failed,” and if it’s borne of a “stale mindset,” that may be because the blueprint for the law was drafted by Ernst’s Republican allies.
Her speech went on to refer to the “Keystone jobs bill” – total number of permanent jobs created: 35 – while saying Washington can get working again “with a little cooperation from the president.”
Said the senator who called Obama a “dictator” whom she’d like to impeach.
Of course, Ernst wasn’t the only Republican to deliver a SOTU response last night. On the contrary, she was one of five.
Just like last year, President Obama’s State of the Union was soon followed by a GOP quintuplet: an official response, an official response in Spanish, a Tea Party response, a Rand Paul response, and a Ted Cruz response.
It was that last one that seemed to provide the most entertainment.
A video of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) messing up his response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was uploaded to YouTube and quickly removed Tuesday night.
In the video, Cruz spoke for just under a minute before pausing to try again. “Eh, lemme start over,” Cruz said before the video cut to the beginning of his remarks for a second time.
The senator’s office removed the YouTube clip, but not before plenty of folks made copies.
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) attempt was so misplaced, I actually felt kind of bad for him. The Kentucky Republican said, for example, he’s eager to “infuse our government with fresh ideas” – such as term limits, a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, and other failed proposals from a generation ago.
His definition of “fresh” might need a second look.

Joni Ernst, Rand Paul, State of the Union and Ted Cruz

Republicans stumble in SOTU responses