tv Gov. Kristi Noem Discusses the Republican Party CSPAN April 15, 2022 4:33pm-5:18pm EDT
reagan institute. we have proudly been the home of the reagan foundation in washington, d.c. since 2018. just across lafayette park from the white house. as is our tradition at the library, in honor of our men and women who defend our freedom around the world, please stand and join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. please be seated. thank you. before we get started, there are a few people in the audience i would like to recognize. former congressman and his wife janice. [applause] roger: matt jacobs, a former federal prosecutor running for california's buddy six congressional district seat, which includes the reagan library. [applause] roger: of course, my boss, the executive director of the ronald
reagan presidential foundation institute. tonight i want to welcome you to the reagan library for the latest installment of the reagan foundation speaker series, a time for choosing. it has been my honor to help manage this important program behind the scenes beginnings. i will be stepping forward more often to be introducing our special guest for this series. a presidential library is one of the ways we honor and remember american leaders of the past. tonight, because our speakers home state, i was thinking about one of the other ways we have immortalized four of our greatest presidents. mount rushmore. it is a symbol so powerful, not just in america, but around the world that ukrainian president zelenskyy invoked it during his
recent address to congress. two of the presidents gazing out of the mountainside, abraham lincoln and theodore roosevelt famously were republicans. and over time, the parties founded by lincoln, shaped by roosevelt, was revolutionized by reagan. today, we wonder who will take up the mantle and lead the party forward in the next decade. as we wonder, south dakota has captured the party's attention and imagination. this time, it's not because of the stonefaced leaders of the past, it's because of who sits some 200 miles away from mount rushmore in the governor's seat. that governor has garnered a national following, and we are honored that she's with us here tonight.
governor kristi noem, the first woman to hold that title since the state's founding in 1889, is serving her first term, and right now, running for her second. and if that's not enough, the governor will release her book, not my first rodeo, later this summer. and i'm pleased to announce she will be back at the reagan library for a conversation and book signing. y'all better sign up. [applause] roger: since her days in the state legislator in congress, where as a young hill staffer, i saw her up close, but especially, in recent years, she has defined herself as a champion of freedom at a time in so many americans feel frustrated from being told what to do and what not to do. ronald reagan knew that frustration.
he channeled it in the 1964 speech that launched his career. and from which we get the title of this speaker series, "a time for choosing." in it, he said the issue of the day was "whether to believe in our capacity for self-government, or when we abandon the american revolution and confess that a little intellectual leap in a far distant capital can plan our life source better than we can plan them ourselves." governor kristi noem, i think you've been channeling that sentiment. today the republican party is facing its own time for choosing, confronted with fundamental questions as it tries to move on from the recent past and articulate a vision for the future. what should the party stand for? what are republican philosophies we can all agree on? is there still room for a reagan optimism in today's gop?
since may we have heard from speaker paul ryan, vice president mike pence, secretary mike pompeo, governor chris christie, ambassador nikki haley, peggy noonan, and recently, senator tom cotton. tonight, governor noem will add her perspective. let me make one last point. despite the talk of legacies and monuments, this speaker series is not about the past, we are not asking what would reagan do? we are not trying to go backwards. president reagan is forward-looking, that's why he was successful, that's why he was transformative. and we believe a successful republican party will need to embrace the future as well. and to offer us a path to that future, please welcome the 33rd governor of south dakota, kristi noem.
[applause] gov. noem: thank you,. no pressure. [laughter] listen, thank you all for that wonderful welcome. it is such an honor to be here at the beautiful reagan library, to share my thoughts on our party and what our mission is today. there is no better place to have these conversations. i first visited the reagan library years ago. my husband brian and i stopped while we were on a business trip, and we were a bit lost at first. i admit, i walked into this library and i couldn't even believe i was actually here. we met peggy graham, president reagan's longtime executive assistant, and she shared with
us personal memories of a man that i had admired since i was a little girl. at one point i found myself alone at the memorial that's outside and, in a quiet moment, i reflected on a man whose leadership inspired the world at a time of turmoil. i remember being overwhelmed at all that he brought to this country and to the world. all i could do was bow my head and thank the lord for sending such a man of strength, and hope to lead our country. back in the gift shop i purchased one of his replica cowboy hats. i couldn't resist. that hat still hangs today in my office next to a portrait of president reagan and his signature cowboy hat, without wide, hopeful smile on his face. much more recently i had the opportunity to visit the reagan ranch, and that was a dream come true. because, while at this
magnificent library it felt impressive to me, when i got to the ranch it felt familiar. in a way it felt like coming home. growing up in the west, growing up in south dakota, my heroes have always been cowboys. my dad was a farmer and a rancher, a real-life cowboy who worked harder than anyone i had never known. he lived a life of integrity. he expected his children to be excellent. we don't complain about things, dad always told us, we fix them. free time on the ranch was really rare. we hunted in the mountains with our horses for our vacations, we checked cows on sunday afternoon and we watched john wayne movies. [laughter] gov. noem: the duke had a favorite line my dad love to repeat on long days on the ranch, we are burning daylight. and i remember there was a gate at our farm leading from the pasture where i let my horses
through to go to the barn. for years i led my horses back and forth through that aid. -- gate. above that gate was a sign that hung this quote. there is nothing so good for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse. [laughter] gov. noem: it wasn't until i was much older until i realized it was a favorite phrase of ronald reagan. if you want to know what president reagan meant to my dad, a man who worked in depended on god for his livelihood, that tells you all you need to know. political awakenings like in so many families as i addresses, when we wake up we rarely discuss politics and we never discuss it around the table. on our ranch our politics were lived, they weren't talked about. we knew that we had freedom and personal responsibility. we knew we needed both to make our corner of the world a better place to serve other people. and it wasn't any more
complicated than that. i was nine years old when president reagan was elected. and when i saw a picture of him in a cowboy hat, i was all in for the giver. [laughter] [applause] gov. noem: later i read of reagan's genuine sorrow at having to leave his ranch to return to the white house. i didn't know what that felt like until i became governor and i found myself feeling the same way. when home is heaven, you hate to leave. it's incredible honor to serve as south dakota's first female governor, but i'm also it's 33rd governor. and as you all know, ronald reagan was also serving as this states 33rd governor. it's a small similarity but one that's very special to me. the world is a very different place today than when president reagan was in office. i recently came across a speech reagan gave during the cold war
and it reflected so many of today's tensions. i feel his words resonate with us all now. here they are. to every person who trapped in security, -- tyranny, we send our love and support. your struggle is real. your dream is our dream. and someday soon, you too will be free. what is happening in ukraine today is tragic. i want to recognize the reagan foundation for awarding president zelenskyy's the reagan freedom award. president zelenskyy has demonstrated his bravery to the world by his willingness to speak truth and fight for freedom for the ukrainian people. may god bless him and make got bless the people of ukraine. [applause]
gov. noem: it may seem ironic that the very first freedom award was presented to mikael gorbachev by president reagan himself. what a hopeful time that was. decades later his successor is attempting to destroy his legacy. make no mistake, vladimir is an evil man who, like other dictators throughout history, despises freedom, and he hates those who seek it. we are watching daily assaults on democracy, and they are a reminder to all of us of reagan's famous words, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. we didn't pass it on to our children in our bloodstream, and must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in the united states when men were free. that is why in 2020, more than
any other governor in america, i traveled to 17 states to campaign for president trump's reelection efforts. i knew that elections have consequences and i did not want to wake up and have a leader who would not put america first. his administration restored america's dominance on the world stage, made us energy independent, feared our adversaries, and we were respected by our allies. he created an economy pre-pandemic that was one of the strongest this nation has ever seen. and i want it to continue. and he defended our borders. a country with no borders is no country at all. [applause] gov. noem: that is why i have deployed the south dakota national guard to help ensure that our southern border is secure. [applause] gov. noem: and now,
unfortunately, with the help of the mainstream media, joe biden was elected president of the united states. and sadly, america's president today is not fighting for our freedom. he's not protecting our freedoms. in fact, joe biden is doing the opposite. in our time tonight i will share a few thoughts on our international challenges that we face and then on what we need to do at home. and i will say at the start, if we defend democracy in ukraine but we lose our fundamental freedoms here at home, then we will have failed. joe biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy decision that he has been a part of for almost 50 years. if the leadership in the white house had reflected peace through strength by supporting our military, by standing strong against iran, north korea and china, by not facilitating a devastating, disastrous withdraw from afghanistan that resulted in the death of 13 american patriots, then we would not see and embolden putin.
even now president biden doubled down on our weakness. he's crippling our domestic energy supply. in fact, he shut down the keystone xl pipeline, which was to come through our state, while allowing nordstream 2 to oppo -- to continue to operate. fighting continues to rely on russia to broker a nuclear deal with iran while militias launch rockets at americans in iraq. biden is asking the dictator in venezuela to pump more oil. at the same time that he muscles american energy producers. it is absurd. and worse, it empowers america's adversaries while making us weaker. these are clear threats to the security of the united states, but there are more, china's ruthless communist leaders are not only strengthening their military, they are manipulating their currency, stealing our ip, using regulations to create on filler trade practices and --
while the u.s. is held to a different standard. they also have their sights set on our food supply. they are buying up our chemicals, our fertilizers and our processing facilities that put groceries on our shelves. when another country grows our food, they control our food. when another country controls our food, they control us. this is all a part of china's plan to control the united states. it is the president's job to address these challenges. joe biden either cannot or he will not be the leader that america needs. when it comes to domestic policy, things aren't any better. we are burning daylight on inflation, surging gas prices, keeping supply chains in tact in securing our food.
joe biden's indecision and weaknesses having irreversible consequences for american families. for workers and for our children. we need a leader with vision and with strength. and one that can correct our nations current course, and we need it fast. the great american story has been turned into a dark chapter. pain and fear and doubt are echoing of carter years. some say that it's worse because democrats have a much more sinister motivation for embracing socialist practices than they did decades ago. today, democrats are all about control. abigail adams wrote, the habits of the vigorous mine are formed in the contending with difficulties. great necessities call out great virtues. we confront great necessities today. leading our country through them
will require all that is the best of us as a party and as a people. our party was born during a national crisis, the civil war. under lincoln, our republican party freed the slaves and preserved the union, which means, from our earliest days, the purchase of the republican party has been preserving the dignity of every american's life and holding our people together in times of turmoil. so we need to ask ourselves, as conservatives, what are we trying to conserve? put simply, the greatest country in human history. our founders built something that the world had never seen before. they took the best of western civilization from jerusalem to athens to rome to london and they brought together faith, reason, law, and a representative government. and in philadelphia, in 1787, they put all of that together to
craft the constitution of the united states. they set out a bill of rights, making clear certain rights could never be infringed on. the right to speak and assemble. the right to worship and act on those beliefs in a private square. the right to arm ourselves. in the right to a fair and equitable criminal justice system. they acknowledge that our rights come from our creator, and free people honor their creator when they exercise those rights and govern themselves wisely. but, our rights and our freedoms that come under attack in an unprecedented way in the last two years. our public officials have grabbed unconstitutional power over american families, workers and students when a global pandemic gave them an excuse to do so. the media instilled fear, national health experts manipulated data and ignored science. dr. fauci outright lied, repeatedly. he used his title in his
position as a political weapon against the american people. and sadly, i watched people in this country roll over and give up their freedoms. because america told them that they could not hold gatherings, they gave up their freedom of assembly. because the government told them that they could not go to church, they gave up their freedom of religion. because the government allowed citizens to be canceled and their opinions silenced, they gave up their freedom of speech. the left wants to criminalize dissent. when someone raises legitimate questions on any number of issues from election integrity to covid-19 to climate change to critical race theory that's being taught in our schools, if you dare speak up you get professionally ruined, or worse yet, prosecuted and punished. the republican party must be the party of freedom. republicans must rollback joe biden's assault on the bill of rights.
freedom of speech, assembly and religion, the freedom to bear arms, the ability of the states to retain their own prerogative are all essential to our society's basic fabric and prosperity. the american people are the most creative and innovative in human history. these natural gifts flourish under freedom. they wither without it. it matters who is in charge. and as a party, we as republicans will have failed if we do not make it very clear what the consequences are of having democrats in charge. look from state to state and compare the difference between republican and democrat leaders. and democrat states families are devastated financially. from mandates and closures. having lost precious time in the classroom, kids have fallen behind. economies have been crippled by regulations and restrictions. law and order has been
eliminated by leaders who embrace criminals and embolden them by disrespecting law enforcement and the judicial system. people in those states are losing hope. it's heartbreaking. but now i want you to look at south dakota. because when i ran for governor, i told south dakota and's that we would be an example to the nation. that because we were a smaller state we could do things faster and more efficiently. as does this brandeis said the states are the laboratory of democracy. our state could be a pilot process for the nation. and that conservative reforms prove that they create more success and opportunity for people. i had no idea that our opportunity to be an example for the nation would come because of a pandemic. and i would wager the very few here followed me during my eight years in congress. [laughter]
gov. noem: you got to know me because liberals started kicking me in the head every night for the decisions i was making during the pandemic. from elizabeth warren to rachel maddow at night after night on the national news, they set i was reckless, that i was a responsible and dangerous. at one point on a sunday morning show, george stephanopoulos asked new york's former governor cuomo to give me advice. [laughter] [applause] gov. noem: yes, governor cuomo. the one who sent vulnerable seniors to their deaths in nursing homes and then covered it up. now, i made my decisions differently, i listen to the experts, i studied this science, we researched the data, but that i took it a step further, i talked to my general counsel and
constitutional experts because i wanted to fully understand what authority i had and what authority i did not have. because i believe that when leaders overstep their authority, especially in a time of crisis, that's when we break now, south dakota was the only state in the nation that never once closed a single business. [applause] i never even defined what an essential business was, because i don't believe governors have the authority to tell you your business isn't essential. [applause] we never stopped people from going to church. we didn't mandate anything. i stood in front of my people and told them i was going to trust them. i would give them all the
information that i have, but i was going to let them use personal responsibility to make decisions for their families, and that we would get her unprecedented challenge together. now, south dakotans were worthy of that trust. today, south dakota, we have the number-one economy in the country. [applause] we had the least amount of businesses close from the pandemic, the least amount of hours lost by workers during the pandemic, the least amount of wages lost by any employee during the pandemic. when the president offered elevated unemployment benefits, i turned him down. [applause] i said, thank you for the flexibility, but we don't need it. our people want to work. we have taken in historic revenues from our thriving economy, even though south
dakota has no income taxes, no corporate taxes, personal or property taxes. i know, you are all murmuring. all we have is a 4.5% sales tax. -- all we have is a 4.5 cent sales tax. we have paid off debt, funded trusts and reserves to historic levels. we have invested in dams, railroads, infrastructure. i had a vision to bring-speed internet access during my years as governor, we fully funded that project in one year. [applause] we cut taxes, regulations, i signed constitutional carry and i have waived all the fees for any permits. [applause] now, in south dakota, it won't cost you to exercise your second amendment rights. my state will even pay for your
federal background check. [laughter] [applause] south dakota leads the nation in educational outcomes for children because our kids were in the classroom throughout the pandemic. while democrats played on fear, we trusted the constitution and freedom. we gave people hope. we held public events to celebrate it. for independence day in 2020, we showed america and the people that live here that america is good and honorable and we revere our past leaders, that we can and should learn from our history, not tear it down. we did what republicans have said for years believe. -- said for years they believe.
we did it and it worked. our state is thriving and our people are happy. last year, we lost over 100,000 americans to drug overdoses. in south dakota, we focused on the drug problem and in 2020, 2 states had planning overdose deaths, new hampshire and south dakota. new hampshire's rate dropped by .5%. south dakota's dropped by 16%. [applause] when states defunded police and they disrespected law enforcement, i began a messaging campaign directed to law enforcement officers. i said, if you want to live where people respect you, come to south dakota. in one week, more than 900 law enforcement officers raised their hands and said, i want to live in south dakota. [applause] since then, thousands have made their homes in our state.
i also signed into law the strongest bill in the nation to protect girls' sports. it is about fairness. [applause] it is about fairness and giving young women opportunity to succeed. we also banned critical race theory in our public schools. [applause] and we took action at our universities. since i took office, i have signed into law over a dozen pro-life bills. [applause] south dakota has a aaa credit rating and fully funded pension plan, constitutional requirement to balance our state budget. don't you wish you lived in south dakota? huh?
[applause] these policies were inspired by republican values and principles. these values make us strong at home. they also make us strong in a dangerous world. in congress, i served on the armed services committee and i traveled abroad -- israel, jordan, the uae, saudi arabia, afghanistan, china, norway, greece, italy, egypt and many more. of those trips, there is one i will never forget, my visit to south korea and the demilitarized zone. i can picture south korean soldiers lined up along their border facing north. north korean soldiers were just yards away, their feet firmly in north korean soil. and between those two enemies stood our troops, americans
keeping peace. the north korean soldiers tried to antagonize our warriors, spitting on them, shouting, taking pictures, trying to break their composure. yet our men and women stood strong. they were stoic and firm. if ever there was an example of the role america plays in the world, it was right there in front of me. peace through strength every day, always, and that strength begins at home. and we use that strength as a foundation on which to stand amongst other nations as the world's most powerful. as a party, we have been tested. there are examples of republicans rising to the challenge of the day, but unfortunately we as a party have failed. we fight amongst ourselves,
concerned about political polls while losing folk's on our families living under the burden of bad laws. when i became governor of south dakota in 2019, i introduced a bill that would require more civics and history in our classrooms. i felt our children did not understand the gift they had been given, being born in this great country. republicans killed that legislation. they felt it would be a hardship to change the curriculum that had already been established. they did not want to divert the energy away from other studies deemed more important. some republicans voted against it to oppose me. they wanted somebody else to be governor. they were interested in fighting me or not rocking the boat with the teachers union and weren't even focusing on our children. two years later, crt has infiltrated our schools and parents are rising up to fight for their kids. these same legislators have joined with me to pass
legislation banning crt and they support teaching american history in our classrooms. [applause] when it comes to putting the hard work in to govern, the republican party has refused. instead of educating the public, people talk in soundbites. we shout each other down or we jump on twitter. instead of thinking about vic long-term consequences of our actions, we get worried about the next election. during the pandemic, i found i couldn't just make decisions for my people, i needed to explain why i was making decisions. i held a press conference one time on the constitution, what power it gave the government, to myself as governor, but the power it gave to them, the people. i gave a press conference on our state motto, which is under god, the people rule.
i gave a press conference on the need for perspective, encouraging people to shut off the tv and go for a walk. people need leaders who are willing to spend hours researching and working and communicating on issues important to our families. when i was elected to the legislature years ago, i had a neighbor give advice i have never forgotten. he said, remember, every day you are in legislative session, our way of life is in jeopardy. and his message was clear, what we do matters, what we don't do matters, what we say matters. every bill introduced in south dakota in my administration has to go through a bill analysis by staff. there are several questions that must be answered. what will happen if this bill becomes law? what will happen if this bill
does not become law? how much will this bill cost the taxpayers if it is enacted? the answers to these questions give me information i need to decide whether i want to support the bill or sign it. the last question says, what will be the impact of this legislation on the next generation? i don't think what we will do should only think about the consequences a week from now or a year from now. i want to know what the long-term consequences are for the next 10, 20 years. we must know the president we are setting with each policy and the impact on our kids and grandkids. while our actions as leaders are far-reaching, so are the words that we use. the way we talk to each other has consequences. my advice to the republican
party is to get over yourself. we all have people in our lives that we have stopped talking to. we have been offended or believe they are too far on the other end of the spectrum from us and there is no sense in wasting words speaking to them. and we need to get over ourselves and start listening. no one feels like anyone listens to them anymore. listen carefully. ask questions. build a relationship. when i married my husband, members of his family were democrats. today, most are republicans. [laughter] this did not happen because i blew them up at the thanksgiving day dinner table. it happened because we built a relationship, asked questions, talked, loved each other and
we found we had more in common than not. if we do not do this as a republican party, we are missing an opportunity to restore america to what its founders intended -- a nation of free men and women. if ronald reagan were leading the party today, some would say he is way too conservative for our times. there would be other republicans who would attack him for being willing to work across the aisle to fix problems and make progress. the republican party is the answer to the challenges of today, but only if we remain true to our principles and follow through on our promises to the people. and we must convey our message in a way that brings hope. our world is desperate for optimism and republicans, what we believe works. it creates opportunity, success, and freedom for all. if we can convey that optimism,
we will draw people to us, we will bring hope for the future for all americans. to close, i want to borrow some words from one last cowboy, teddy roosevelt. it is not in the still calm of life or in the repose of a specific station that great characters are formed. we have seen great character before in our history. i come from the plains, the wide-open places of purpose and possibility, but at the other end of our state lies the granite faces of washington, jefferson, roosevelt, lincoln. they remind us to have grit, tenacity and values to preserve a more perfect union. yes, we believe in great character, but i don't think it
can be found in great leaders. america is bigger than our leaders. when the founders gathered in philadelphia in 1787, they spelled out where the government gets its power -- the people. james madison said the people of -- people are the only legitimate fountain of power. if america's public servants return to that belief and embrace it and do it, america will be free, prosperous. we will be safe again. but if we don't, then we won't. what we loved about president reagan is what our country is desperate for, leaders who believe in the goodness of america, who see hope or its future and are willing to gather our resources, will and courage to make it real. america is burning daylight.
it is up to us republicans to bring that message. it is not for us to give up, it is for us to reach deep, to get up every day and to build a country where men and women are free to think, speak, create, build and believe. if we do this, we will call forth that strength is the birthright of every american. we will meet the test in our times here at home and beyond the shining sea. i believe that we can. so, thank you. and may god continue to richly bless the united states of america. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪
>> all this month, watch the top 21 winning videos from our cease and studentcam video documentary. every morning, "washington journal" will announce the studentcam winners. online at studentcam.org. ♪ >> book tv every sunday on c-span2 features leading authors discussing the latest nonfiction books. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, coverage of the virginia festival of the books in charlottesville with discussions on colonialism, medical and legal justice, and nuclear peace. at 10:00 p.m. on afterwards, former texas republican congressman willard with his
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