Sarah Sanders on Mackinac Island: Expect 'destructive chaos' if Democrats win in 2020

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Mackinac Island — In a speech that featured several personal anecdotes, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders encouraged Michigan Republican leaders to unite and fight the “chaos” she warned Democratic leadership in Washington would cause. 

“The chaos that will ensue, the destructive chaos that will take place if we allow the Democrats to win in 2020 will be real,” said Sanders, before pivoting to an endorsement of John James, who is challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Gary Peters.

In this April 4, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders talks with reporters outside the White House in Washington.

“He is a tremendous, tremendous person,” she said. “I’m so glad he’s running.”

Sanders was one of the first keynote speakers to take the stage during the 33rd biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference that runs through Sunday. 

The Arkansas native, who served roughly two years as President Donald Trump’s press secretary before stepping down this summer, shared stories of how she balanced life as a mother of three with her duties at the White House. 

Sanders, who brought her husband and children with her to Mackinac Island, said she tried to take her children along on White House events while press secretary. 

During one such outing, her son Huck, while waiting to meet the president in the Rose Garden, climbed through a rose bush and pressed his face against the Oval Office window. A couple weeks later, 4-year-old Huck took up Sanders' unattended cell phone and sent emojis out across the official press secretary Twitter feed, she said. 

As chaotic as the balance between personal and professional could be, it paled next to the chaos a Democratic win would bring to Washington, Sanders said. 

“You have to get involved, you have to get your hands dirty if you want to make sure you protect this great and beautiful country,” she said. 

Sanders ended her address by urging unity in the face of the division and challenges facing the country.  

“America has a choice,” Sanders said. “We get to decide whether we are the people that do something, whether we stand in the face of evil, whether we decide to be the country that God has put us on a path to be or whether we walk away from that.”

Fox News hired Sanders in August to provide political commentary and analysis. She has been rumored to be considering a run for governor in Arkansas and was encouraged by Trump to do so when she departed from the White House in June. She is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, who was the state’s governor from 1996 through 2007. 

She said she attended the Republican conference on Mackinac Island once before with her father. 

Sanders’ address will be followed by several other national GOP leaders Saturday, including Vice President Mike Pence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, and U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas.