Noem rallies for Trump at CPAC

February 26, 2024

Joshua Haiar (South Dakota Searchlight)

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday in Maryland that the Republican Party is “not going back to the old days of the Romneys and Cheneys” because the party is “much bigger than that now.”

Mitt Romney was the party’s nominee for president in 2012, and Dick Cheney was vice president from 2001 to 2009. Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney, is a former congresswoman and a leading critic of Donald Trump.

Noem is on a shortlist of Trump’s potential running mates, the former president and current presidential candidate publicly confirmed earlier this week. Trump will speak at CPAC on Saturday.

Noem’s speech echoed the previewed themes of a book she plans to release in May titled “No Going Back.” Noem said Republicans “have a clear choice” between Trump and the Biden-Harris administration. Noem claimed Biden and Harris have “facilitated communist policies and socialist programs into our American democracy.”

Noem also promoted her own accomplishments.

“If America wants to be great again, I’d suggest taking a look at South Dakota and all we have achieved and then vote for President Trump,” she said.

Noem said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “government leaders in other states used fear to control people, to promote their agenda of socialism and control. That has not been our story in South Dakota.”

Noem highlighted her alignment with Trump’s vision for America, underscoring their shared views on the southern border and China.

“There are two kinds of people in this country: those who love America, and those who hate America,” she said. “Those who hate America are working every day to destroy it.”

The Democratic National Committee responded to Noem’s speech with an emailed statement that said Noem will “do or say anything” to be chosen as Trump’s running mate. The DNC also criticized Noem’s support of South Dakota’s abortion ban, which includes an exception for the life of the mother but not for victims of rape or incest.