Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, delivering the Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, painted the picture of a country hardly emerging from a crisis and instead in the grips of several as she hammered the president's leadership notably on the world stage, the AP reports. Reynolds depicted Biden's year in office as having “sent us back” to fraught times more than 40 years ago as she made the case for the “alternative” approach of Republicans hoping to capture control of Congress in this year's midterm elections. "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 on our cities, and the Soviet army was trying to redraw the world map,” Reynolds said.
Republicans have hinted for months at two prongs of the three-sided broadside. But Reynolds’ critique of Biden for the Russian invasion of Ukraine signaled the party's commitment to casting Biden and Democrats as weak world leaders, compounding their withering criticism of the administration's handling of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan last fall. “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.’ He's failed on both fronts,” Reynolds, a devout Trump advocate, said, speaking from the rooftop terrace of Iowa Historical Building with the gold-domed Capitol in Des Moines in the background.
Reynolds, whose foreign affairs experience is limited to overseas economic development missions, said “weakness on the world stage has a cost. And the President’s approach to foreign policy has consistently been too little, too late.” “And now Russia has launched an unprovoked full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, an attack on democracy, freedom, and the rule of law," she said. Reynolds used her 14-minute address to portray the United States as on the “wrong track”—mired in inflation, crime and moral decay, not emerging from the two years of the global coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she blamed inflation and rising energy prices on spending by Biden and Democrats, who control Congress. “They plowed ahead anyway, raising the price at the pump by 50% and pushing inflation to a 40-year high,” she said.
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