GOP Response Accuses Biden of Taking Country Back in Time

Following President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds slammed Biden and Democrats for "sending us back in time" and failing to unify Americans.

"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.

Throughout her speech, Reynolds accused Biden and Democrats of "ignoring the issues facing Americans or making them worse."

Domestically, Reynolds said that Democratic spending bills and renewable energy policies—which she called "anti-energy policies"—have led to "soaring inflation" and increased gas prices. She also said that Biden's stalled Build Back Better (BBB) package would bankrupt future generations, pay "people not to work" and provide "billions in tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires and Democrat-controlled states."

"Thankfully, the President's agenda didn't pass because even members of his own party said enough is enough," she said referring to Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two who prevented the passage of BBB.

"Well, the American people share that view," Reynolds said. "Enough is enough."

Kim Reynolds Republican response Biden's State Union
In the GOP response to Democratic President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds blasted Biden for taking America back to the 1970s and 1980s. In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, Reynolds addresses the virtual convention on August 25, 2020. Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images

Reynolds then offered Republicans as leading a "pro-parent, pro-family revolution" to serve as a counterpoint to Democratic values. A similar theme was successfully used in the election campaign of Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and is likely to figure prominently in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, according to political analysts.

Reynolds blamed Democrats for increasing "learning loss, isolation, anxiety and depression" among young people through pandemic school closures.

She also complained that Democrats "demand that your children wear masks while they go maskless," a possible reference to the fact that members of Congress were not required to wear masks during the State of the Union.

She then accused Democrats of "trying to remake this country into a place where an elite tells everyone else what they can and cannot say."

Invoking GOP attacks on schools allegedly teaching critical race theories—that is, the historic underpinnings of institutional racism—Reynolds said, "[Americans are] 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 the government control their kids' education and future."

Reynolds also said that "many prominent Democrats still want to defund the police," although Biden's speech specifically said, "The answer is not to defund the police, the answer is to fund the police."

Regarding foreign policy, Reynolds blamed Biden for an increase in human trafficking and drug sales by not securing the U.S. and Mexico border. She also said that Biden has shown weakness by, "reacting" to world events instead of driving them and delivering "too little, too late."

She added that Biden's August 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal "did more than cost American lives—it betrayed our allies and emboldened our enemies." She also noted that Russia has invaded Ukraine, North Korea has resumed testing missiles and U.S. athletes were warned about the dangers of speaking against China at the Beijing Olympics.

Earlier on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) preemptively issued a press release on "the real state of the Union" which featured police officers and other Americans airing grievances about crime, inflation, undocumented immigrants and drug use.

"The American people know the truth," the release stated. "They see the rising crime across the country, the fentanyl streaming across the southern border. Many are losing their financial security because they're being forced to pay more for groceries, gas, hotels, and just about everything else, and they lament the losses America's children have incurred as a result of institutional failures."

Multiple Republicans also announced that they would boycott Biden's address before it took place, including Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.), as well as U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie (Ky.), Chip Roy (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Mary Miller (Ill.) and Bob Good (Va.). Several said that they would not attend because they refused to abide by a requirement to undergo a COVID-19 test ahead of the speech.

"For the first time in American history you now have people having to produce paper to go in somewhere, to sit somewhere, to go to the State of the Union," Rubio complained during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida on Friday.

"What's happening now in America is what happens after 20 years of infusing this Marxist thought process into every aspect of our lives and now we've come face-to-face with it," Rubio said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.