Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) took a page from President Obama's book when she delivered the Republican response to his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Rodgers spoke from a setting that resembled someone's living room, with a fireplace and family photo in the background. Like the president, she attempted to connect with viewers by sharing personal stories about humble beginnings and overcoming obstacles to reach success. She touted her experience working at McDonald's and saving money from 4-H fairs to pay her way through college.
The congresswoman also scored points for her sincerity when talking about her family. She discussed meeting her husband after starting her congressional career, delivering her third child eight weeks ago, and raising a child with Down syndrome.
Later, Rodgers' speech took a partisan tone. She claimed that while the president talks about income inequality, Republicans are focused on solving “the real gap” of “opportunity inequality.”
“We see this gap growing every single day,” she said. “The president's policies are making people's lives harder.”
However, the examples that Rodgers cited – a student dropping out of college because she can't afford tuition and neighbors struggling to find jobs – sounded much like the stories that Obama has shared in his remarks about inequality. Rodgers' speech failed to recognize those commonalities and reach across the aisle to solve Americans' problems.