DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynold addressed the nation on Tuesday evening after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, providing the Republican response. From the rooftop deck of the State Historical Museum in Des Moines with the State Capitol building as a backdrop, Reynolds criticized Biden’s first year in office and outlined how she and other Republican governors have governed differently.
“As a mom and a grandmother of 11, who’s worried our country is on the wrong track, we’re now one year into his presidency, and instead of moving America forward, it feels like President Biden and his party have sent us back in time to the late 70s and early 80s when runaway inflation was hammering families, a violent crime wave was crashing our cities, and the Soviet Army was trying to redraw the world map,” Reynolds said.
She said Biden has failed to keep his promise to make America respected worldwide and unify Americans at home.
Reynolds also said that Americans should not forget the president’s actions leading up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We shouldn’t ignore what happened in the run-up to Putin’s invasion, waiving sanctions on Russian pipelines while eliminating oil production here at home, focusing on political correctness, rather than military readiness, reacting to world events instead of driving them. Weakness on the world stage has a cost. And the president’s approach to foreign policy has consistently been too little too late. It’s time for America to once again project confidence. It’s time to be decisive. It’s time to lead. But we can’t project strength abroad if we’re weak at home,” she said.
Reynolds said Democrats had spent the last year either ignoring issues Americans faced or making them worse.
“They were warned that spending trillions would lead to soaring inflation. They were told that their anti-energy policies which sent gas prices to new heights, but they plowed ahead anyway, raising the price of the pump by 50% and pushing inflation to a 40 year high,” she argued.
Reynolds said, “Enough is enough.”
“Americans are tired of a political class trying to remake this country into a place where an elite few tell everyone else what they can and cannot say what they can and cannot believe. They’re tired of people pretending the way to end racism is by categorizing everybody by their race. They’re tired of politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let government control their kids’ education and future. Frankly, they are tired of the theater, where politicians do one thing when the cameras are rolling and another when they believe you can’t see them,” she argued.
Reynolds said Americans are “waiting for the insanity to stop.”
“We now live in a country where violent crime is out of control. Liberal prosecutors are letting criminals off easy, and many prominent Democrats still want to defund the police. You know, it seems like everything is backward. The Biden Administration requires vaccines for Americans who want to go to work or protect this country, but not for migrants who illegally cross the border. The Department of Justice treats parents like domestic terrorists, but looters and shoplifters roam free. The American people are left to feel like they’re the enemy,” she stated.
Reynolds said the United States is not the same country as just one year ago. She said Biden’s rhetoric during his address did not match his actions over the past year.
She said Republican governors are providing an alternative.
“Republican governors and legislators are showing Americans what conservative leadership looks like, what it means to respect the people we serve, to hear them out, to stand up for them and walk alongside them. We know that our problems require bold action, but we also know that bold action doesn’t have to mean government action. It’s Americans making their own decisions for their own families and future,” Reynolds said.
She criticized the nationwide school closings and how parents were treated when they complained. Reynolds added that Iowa was the first state to require that schools reopen.
“I was attacked by the left. I was attacked by the media. But it wasn’t a hard choice. It was the right choice. And keeping schools open is only the start of the pro-parent, pro-family revolution that Republicans are leading in Iowa and states across this country. Republicans believe that parents matter. It was true before the pandemic, and it has never been more important to say out loud – parents matter. They have a right to know and to have a say in what their kids are being taught,” Reynolds said.
She pointed out that while spending keeps increasing at the federal level, Republican governors and state legislators balance budgets and cut taxes. Reynolds pointed to signing HF 2317, a bill that phases in a 3.9 percent flat individual income rate and exempts retirement income under $32,000 from the state income tax.
“Behind me stands Iowa’s capitol, where we display our state motto, ‘Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.’ And those aren’t just empty words. It’s a belief that the greatness of this state in this country lies in our people, not government. You shouldn’t have to wake up every morning and worry about the next thing that government is going to do to you, your business, or your children. If we as elected leaders are doing our job, then the government is working well but operating in the background. It’s supporting the ingenuity and spirit of our people, not drowning them out. It’s keeping them safe, not restricting their freedom. That’s what I believe. That’s what Republicans believe. And that’s what Republicans are doing,” she said.
Republicans praised her remarks while Democrats criticized them.
“Governor Reynolds showed the nation what Iowans have known for a long time: she’s a reliable, conservative leader who is getting the job done,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a released statement. “While the federal government was focused on shutting down the country and trampling Americans’ rights, Gov. Reynolds pushed back and stood her ground to keep Iowa businesses open, get kids back in the classroom, and defend the freedoms and liberties of Iowans.”
“Gov. Reynolds laid out the vision Republicans have to offer the American people. Republicans stand with America’s parents, demand energy independence, and have the economic agenda to unleash the power of the American people. This is what’s on the ballot in 2022 and the hardworking men and women of this nation will rise up to wholelly reject the Democrat party and their candidates,” he added.
State Rep. Ross Wilburn, D-Ames, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said Reynolds was divisive after lauding President Biden as a unifier who exhibits “courageous and compassionate” leadership.
“Kim Reynolds bragged about a massive tax giveaway for corporations and millionaires that leaves working families behind. Her record is clear – she’s chosen her corporate donors when Iowans all over the state are struggling to keep up with high costs and make ends meet. Kim Reynolds divides Iowans while President Biden works to unify our nation. It’s time to put people over politics and create an Iowa, and an America, where everyone can thrive,” he said.