South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem visited Iowa to show her support for former President Trump. During her speech in Sioux City, Noem emphasized Trump’s qualifications and praised his work on tax cuts, policies, trade agreements, and foreign policy.
She also took the opportunity to express her concerns about Nikki Haley, who previously served as South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration. Noem accused Haley of being inconsistent in her support for Trump, stating that she had previously claimed she would never run against him but is now doing so. Noem questioned Haley’s trustworthiness and criticized her for changing her stance based on political convenience.
Noem further discussed foreign policy, highlighting the difference she believes Trump would have made in the Middle East and relations with Russia, Ukraine, and North Korea. She claimed that Trump would have taken a more assertive stance and prevented some of the ongoing conflicts we see today. Noem’s visit to Iowa coincided with Trump’s upcoming campaign appearance in Sioux Center.
This visit followed an interview with Newsmax, where Noem was asked if she thought picking Nikki Haley as Trump’s running mate would be a mistake. Noem replied affirmatively, expressing her disagreements with Haley and her uncertainty about which version of Haley would show up each day. However, Noem clarified that she would still support the ticket because Trump is the president and ultimately makes the decisions.
Noem also criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been endorsed for president by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. She accused DeSantis of closing down businesses and beaches in response to political pressure, suggesting that he caved in when faced with challenges to constitutional freedoms. Noem stressed the importance of not allowing candidates to rewrite history and argued that someone succumbs to political pressure should not be the leader of the free world.
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon speculated that a fierce battle over the direction of the Trump campaign would occur in the spring. He predicted an attempt to push Nikki Haley onto the ticket, claiming that she could attract the 15% of Never Trumpers in the Republican Party. Bannon strongly opposed Haley’s involvement, comparing her to a viper and warning that she would try to exert excessive control within the administration, much like Dick Cheney did during the Bush administration.
During an interview with CBS News, Noem denied auditioning for Trump’s vice presidential spot but stated that anyone in the country should consider such an offer. She reiterated her commitment to helping Trump win and expressed her reservations about Nikki Haley, emphasizing her doubts about Haley’s authenticity and consistency.