South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem accused President Joe Biden in a speech on Wednesday of highlighting international weaknesses, saying he had been “wrong in every major foreign policy he has been a part of for nearly 50 years” and accused leaders hans. style has encouraged leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Addressing the crowd at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California – where she was asked to outline the Republican vision as part of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute’s Time for Choosing Speaker Series – Noem made a point-by-point critique of Biden’s foreign and domestic policy. She warned that Democrats “revolve around government” when they turn to “socialist policies” and argued that the GOP must reaffirm its image as a party of freedom.
Condemning Putin’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine, Noem said the world “looked at daily attacks on democracy and are a reminder to all of us of President Reagan’s famous words:” Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. ”
“Unfortunately, today the President of the United States is not fighting for our freedom. He is not protecting our freedom. In fact, Joe Biden is doing the exact opposite, “Noem said on Wednesday. “If the White House leadership had reflected ‘peace through strength’ by supporting our military, by standing strong against Iran, North Korea and China, by not facilitating the devastating, tragic evacuation from Afghanistan that led to death 13 American friends of the fatherland. “Then we would not see Putin encouraged.”
She argued that Biden’s energy policy – including its decision to revoke the license for the Keystone XL pipeline – had further weakened the United States’ position in the world by making the United States even more dependent on nations for oil and gas.
Comparing the leadership style of Biden and his predecessor, Noem noted that she traveled to 17 countries to fight for former President Donald Trump – more trips, she said, “than any other governor in America” - in part because she knew he would regain American dominance in the international arena. (Although Noem is widely considered a potential White House rival in 2024, she has said she would support Trump if he runs again and has kept quiet when asked about her own ambitions.)
But Noem did not mention Trump’s frequent praise of Putin during his presidency or the fact that he delayed nearly $ 400 million in US military and security assistance to Ukraine as he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden’s family business dealings. eventually led to Trumps. first charge.
In her speech on Wednesday, she called Putin “an evil man who, like other dictators over the years, despises freedom and hates those who seek it.” She praised Zelensky and said he had “shown the world his courage by being willing to speak the truth and fight for the freedom of the Ukrainian people.”
As in many of her other speeches to conservative audiences over the past two years, Noem expressed her loose approach to the South Dakota epidemic of the crown, including her early opposition to the mask and vaccine agency, and never questioning any company in the state. its to close during the pandemic.
She has often described the approach as an effort to preserve the rights and freedoms of her constituents – and pointed out on Wednesday: “We did not give a mandate. In her speech, she accused other government officials of “gaining constitutional authority over American families, workers, and students when a pandemic excused them to do so.”
“Look from state to state and compare the differences between Republican and Democratic leaders. “In democracies, families are financially devastated by power of attorney and closure,” Noem said. “After losing valuable time in the classroom, kids have declined; economies have been paralyzed by regulations and restrictions. ”
As she has attracted the attention of the public nationwide and within the Republican Party, Noem has been at the forefront of discussions about cultural wars on issues such as abortion, LGBTQ rights and education – and she described that effort on Wednesday night.
She signed a bill in mid-March that would require pregnant women to make at least three trips to the clinic to obtain abortion drugs, although the claim will not take effect until the impending federal court case is resolved.
In February, Noem signed legislation on “fairness in women’s sports” which states that “only female students, on the basis of biological sex, may participate in any team, sport or sporting event intended for women, women or girls. The law, which will take effect this summer, defines “biological sex” as the sex listed on the birth certificate “issued at or near the student’s birth.
On Wednesday night, she called it “the nation’s strongest bill to protect girls’ sports,” and said: “It’s about fairness – about giving young women a chance to succeed.
Noem has also been a frequent critic of critical racism – a theoretical framework for researching the history of inequality and racism in the United States – and this week she signed an executive order restricting the teaching of “inherently divisive concepts” in K-12 schools.
Critical racism is generally not included in primary school curricula, but last month Noem signed a bill banning public universities from requiring students or teachers to adopt or follow what the law defines as seven “divisive terms”.
Although critics of recent legislation at home have argued that it would restrict freedom of expression and the ability to teach a variety of theories, Noem said on Wednesday that it was leftists who “want to protest when someone raises legitimate questions” about theories such as the critique. racism. ”