A Democratic lawmaker in Arkansas rallied to defend newly-elected Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders amid criticism from California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Taking to Twitter, Newsom attempted to criticize Sanders for verbally being anti-crime while governing a state that ‘has one of the highest murder rates.’
‘While @SarahHuckabee touts public safety, here is what she skips over: Arkansas has one of the highest murder rates in the nation,’ the California governor tweeted.
In a swift response, Arkansas state representative Andrew Collins countered: ‘1. She’s been Governor a month. 2. There are drivers of crime like poverty, lack of education, and lack of opportunity, that Arkansas needs to fix in order to reduce violent crime. They’re generational. And they aren’t unique to Arkansas. 3. Don’t trash my state.’
Collins represents District 73, which includes Riverdale, Pleasant Valley and Pinnacle.
Newsom’s criticism came after Gov. Sanders gave the Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Sanders said the country was at a tipping point where Americans were faced with a choice ‘between normal or crazy.’
‘Being a mom to three young children taught me not to believe every story I hear. So forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President Biden. From out-of-control inflation and violent crime to the dangerous border crisis and threat from China, Biden and the Democrats have failed you,’ Sanders said.
‘The choice is between normal or crazy,’ she added. ‘It is time for a new generation of Republican leadership.’
‘Democrats want to rule us with more government control, but that is not who we are,’ she also said. ‘It’s time for a change.’
The Republican governor, who previously served as White House secretary in the Trump administration, also contrasted Biden’s age to her own and said he surrendered ‘his presidency’ to more progressive voices in his party.
‘At 40, I’m the youngest governor in the country. At 80, he’s the oldest president in American history. I’m the first woman to lead my state. He’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can’t even tell you what a woman is,’ Sanders said.
‘In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,’ she continued.
The following day, Sanders unveiled a bill that proposed major overhauls to the state’s education system, including the elimination of Critical Race Theory from schools’ curriculums, offering school choice, and raising teacher minimum wages to $50,000 per year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas ranks 5th in homicide mortality rate while California ranks 26th. The ranking is from 2020, the most recent year that data is available.
The same data set shows, however, that California is ranked #1 in total murders (2,368 deaths) while Arkansas falls to 22nd (654).
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.