State Watch

Reynolds response hammers Biden for ‘weakness on world stage’

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) hammered President Biden for his “weakness on the world stage” in the Republican response to Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Reynolds, speaking from Des Moines, touched on Russia’s unfolding invasion of Ukraine and the United States’ “disastrous” withdrawal from Afghanistan in August before knocking Biden’s approach to foreign policy as “too little, too late.”

“Weakness on the world stage has a cost. And the president’s approach to foreign policy has consistently been too little, too late,” Reynolds said. “It’s time for America to once again project confidence; it’s time to be decisive. It’s time to lead.”

Reynolds specifically criticized the Biden administration for its posture prior to Russia beginning its invasion of Ukraine, including holding back sanctions on Russian pipelines — likely a reference to Nord Stream 2, the pipeline intended to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Biden on Wednesday announced sanctions against the company behind the pipeline and its corporate officers, only after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered troops into the areas.

Reynolds also pointed out the “alarming rate” at which North Korea is testing missiles and took a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for warning U.S. athletes participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics last month not to anger the “ruthless” Chinese government.

Reynolds’s response also hit the administration on hot-button issues at home, including the role parents should play in education and the record inflation in the U.S.

The governor said the American people are “tired of politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let government control their kids’ education and future,” wading into the controversial debates regarding mask mandates in schools and the part parents should play in determining school curriculum.

Allowing parents to play a role in the classroom became a popular rallying cry among conservatives and propelled Republican Glenn Youngkin to victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race in November. He made parents and education a key focus of his campaign.

Reynolds said Republicans are leading the “pro-parent, pro-family revolution” in Iowa and across the country.

“Republicans believe that parents matter. It was true before the pandemic and has never been more important to say out loud: parents matter,” Reynolds said. “They have a right to know, and to have a say in, what their kids are being taught.”

The Iowa Republican also hammered Biden and Democrats in general for elevated prices in the U.S. Annual inflation hit 7.5 percent at the end of January, marking the fastest rate since February 1982.

Reynolds jabbed at the Democrats’ roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate package, dubbed the Build Back Better Act, which came to a standstill in December after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not support the legislation.

“Thankfully the president’s agenda didn’t pass, because even members of his own party said enough is enough,” Reynolds said. “Well, the American people share that view. Enough is enough.”

The governor argued that Biden has failed in his two goals of making the U.S. respected on the world stage and uniting Americans.

“Even before taking the oath of office, the president told us that he wanted to ‘make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home,’” Reynolds said. “He’s failed on both fronts.”

Tags Glenn Youngkin Joe Biden Joe Manchin Nancy Pelosi Vladimir Putin
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