Britt: Speaker Told Me Not to Worry About SOTU Response

She says she was 'pumped' to be portrayed by Scarlett Johansson on 'SNL'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2024 8:05 AM CDT
Britt: Speaker Told Me Not to Worry About SOTU Response
Sen. Katie Britt speaks during a news conference last month.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

Sen. Katie Britt says House Speaker Mike Johnson told her she had nothing to worry about before she delivered her much-mocked response to President Biden's State of the Union address last week. In an episode of fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's podcast released Wednesday, she said she was "excited" when she was asked to deliver the response but asked for time to think about it, the Hill reports. "And the funny thing is he's like, you know, 'Don't worry about, you know, people are going to tell you horror stories about all of these things that happen and people's career being blown up over it,' and he's like, 'It'll be fine. It'll be fine,'" she said, describing Johnson as "kind" and "welcoming."

The 42-year-old senator from Alabama said she agreed to deliver the rebuttal after speaking to Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but she "still kind of thought, 'Is this even for real?' I mean, I haven't even given a floor speech yet." Britt, who delivered the speech from her kitchen, was mocked for her overly theatrical delivery. She told Cruz that she knew she would be satirized on Saturday Night Live but she was "pretty pumped" that Scarlett Johansson was chosen, Deadline reports. The skit can be seen here. Britt said she told her kids that "it could have been worse. You have Black Widow. They bring in someone from the Avengers to play me in the cold open. I'm here for it."

Britt said she felt the scrutiny was over the top. "My crime was putting too much passion, too much heart and soul behind the issues that I genuinely care about, and they slaughtered me across the airwaves," she said, per ABC News. But she also enjoyed a meme that compared her to Princess Kate. "One of my favorite things was, there was a meme that said, 'Why is Alabama Kate Middleton so mad?'" she said. "And I thought, this is the highest compliment, can we print this out and frame it and put it on my desk?" (Britt has also been criticized for using a sex trafficking story from more than 15 years ago to attack Biden's border policies.)

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