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Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem took a swipe at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Twitter Wednesday after Biden vowed to assist struggling Americans.
The former vice president tweeted a promise to the American people the day before, saying, “My message to everyone struggling right now is this: Help is on the way.”
Noem shot back by reminding followers that an offer to “help” coming from Biden, or any government official for that matter, ought to be received with a healthy amount of skepticism.
The South Dakota governor quoted classic remarks made by former President Ronald Reagan during a 1986 press conference, in which he said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”
As the Daily Wire noted, Reagan made the comments while speaking about farmers who had been injured by the government’s “help.” Here is the quote with some surrounding context:
Some sectors of our farm economy are hurting, and their anguish is a concern to all Americans. I think you all know that I’ve always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” A great many of the current problems on the farm were caused by government-imposed embargoes and inflation, not to mention government’s long history of conflicting and haphazard policies. Our ultimate goal, of course, is economic independence for agriculture and, through steps like the tax-reform bill, we seek to return farming to real farmers. But until we make that transition, the government must act compassionately and responsibly.
The same insinuation may be true today if what Biden considers to be “help” is a national mask mandate and stricter lockdown enforcement amid the coronavirus pandemic. Americans struggling financially under lockdowns would likely not view those policies as helpful.
Noem has said she would not comply with a national mask mandate should a Biden administration impose one. Instead of mandates and lockdowns, the governor has opted for a freedom first approach to combating the virus.
Since the start of the pandemic, she has been outspoken against political leaders taking advantage of the health crisis to assume more power for themselves.
“I took an oath when I was in Congress obviously to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don’t have to do that,” the governor said during an April interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “If a leader will take too much power in a time of crisis, that is how we lose our country.”