Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds criticized President Joe Biden’s foreign and domestic policy on Tuesday in the Republican response speech to the State of the Union address. 

“This is not the same country it was a year ago,” Reynolds said. “The president tried to paint a different picture tonight, but his actions over the last 12 months don’t match the rhetoric.”

Reynolds, an Iowa native and grandmother of 11, said she felt the country has moved backward instead of making progress. 

“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,” she said. 

Biden’s presidency has been a series of foreign policy blunders, Reynolds argued, beginning with the Afghanistan withdrawal and most recently Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“Now, all Americans must stand united in solidarity with the brave people of Ukraine as they courageously defend their country against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s tyranny as they fight for their freedom,” Reynolds said. “But 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.” 

Reynolds said Biden’s poor domestic policy has made the U.S. weak at the global level.

“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 to lead. But we can’t project strength abroad if we’re weak at home.”

Reynolds critiqued the Biden administration’s fiscal, education, and immigration policies, as well as the president’s response to the pandemic. She touted her COVID-19 policies in Iowa, which included being the first state in the country to reopen schools for full-time in-person learning, and criticized Democrats who tell Americans to stay home or wear masks while often going maskless themselves. 

“You’ve heard the excuses. They were ‘just holding their breath,’” Reynolds said. “But it’s the American people who are waiting to exhale, waiting for the insanity to stop.”

Reynolds said the solution to problems facing America is not more government spending or control.

“We know that our problems require bold action, but we also know that bold action doesn’t have to mean government action,” she said.

To Reynolds, the strength of the country rests on Americans making their own choices to better their families and businesses. 

“The soul of America isn’t about who lives in the White House,” Reynolds said. “It’s men and women like you in every corner of this nation who are willing to step up and take responsibility for your communities, for your neighbors, and ultimately, for yourself. By that most important measure at least, the state of our union is indeed strong.”

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