On Monday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem defended her decision not to sign a popular bill in her state banning transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports.
The governor made her comments during a sometimes aggressive exchange with Fox News host Tucker Carlson accusing Noem of indulging special interests at the expense of her constituents.
Tucker Carlson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem discuss their decision to send a bill banning biological men from playing girls’ sports back to lawmakers:
TUCKER: You gave in to the NCAA.
GOV. NOEM: I’m not interested in picking a fight [in court] that we can’t win “pic.twitter.com/rgWAUIUcCh
– Daily caller (@DailyCaller) March 23, 2021
The exchange between Governor Kristi Noem and Tucker Carlson is getting hot
Carlson was on the offensive and Noem on the defensive from the start.
Carlson accused Noem that with their support the bill nearly passed until “big business intervenes, [the] NCAA, Chamber of Commerce and Amazon and tell you not to sign it – and you’ll change your mind. “
Noem replied, “Well, that’s not true, Tucker. I could sign the bill as it is today … but it wouldn’t solve the problem. “
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Governor Noem said she had sent the bill back to lawmakers, claiming she would still sign after certain changes were made.
“That bill would only allow the NCAA to harass South Dakota,” Noem said. “And it would actually prevent women from participating in university sports. So I asked the legislature to change the bill. “
Noem claimed the current bill would allow the NCAA to take legal action against their state.
“We had to fight hard to bring tournaments to South Dakota,” she said.
Noem continued, “If they took punitive action against us, we would have a lawsuit, and legal scholars that I’ve consulted with for many, many months say that I would very likely lose these lawsuits.”
Tucker Carlson is the best primetime cable news host because no one on CNN or MSNBC would grill a Democrat like they just did with Governor Kristi Noem.
– Greg Price (@ greg_price11) March 23, 2021
Carlson To Noem: “So are you at the mercy of the NCAA?”
Then Carlson interjected.
“Wait,” interrupted Carlson. “So you say the NCAA threatened you … they said,” If you sign this, we won’t allow girls in South Dakota to play, “and you don’t think you can win in court – even though the public picks you up mostly supported at national level? “
“So are you giving in to the NCAA?” Asked Carlson.
Noem said Carlson’s framing was “completely wrong”.
“Look, I’m tired of the NCAA threatening, challenging and harassing us. So we’re going to form a coalition of leaders, athletes and people who want to protect women’s sport,” Noem said.
The interview lasted longer, but of course, many on social media didn’t like what they heard from Governor Noem.
Conservatives didn’t buy what Noem sold
Many wondered if there were other reasons for their seemingly new position on the matter.
Mollie Hemingway, executive editor of The Federalist, believed that the governor’s office may have a conflict of interest:
Noem’s “Top Advisor” is “controversial power broker behind the scenes” Matt McCaulley. Customers include Sanford Health, which owns the Sanford Sports Complex, an arena in Sioux Falls that aims to attract NCAA tournaments. Legislators concerned about conflicts of interest. https://t.co/w1ZyQtRHpm
– Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 23, 2021
Former Deputy Assistant to Former President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, endorsed Hemingway, writing, “Governor @KristiNoem is just another RINO. Those who supported her in 2024 should read this article. “
Governor @KristiNoem is just another RINO.
Those who supported her for 2024 should read this article
– Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) March 22, 2021
Conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted: “What a big mistake – I’ve spoken to several disadvantages that you have written off. You can’t reveal the base. Period.”
What a BIG mistake ~ I have spoken to several cons that have written them off.
You can’t reveal the base. Period.
Governor Kristi Noem ‘Abuse Her Executive Officer’ in Returning Bill Banning Trans Athletes from Women Sports https://t.co/7BwInxtUaL
– Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) March 20, 2021
Commented Conservative expert Jesse Kelley, “What happened to Kristi Noem is a great example of why you NEVER fall in love with a potential presidential candidate too soon.”
What happened to Kristi Noem is a great example of why you NEVER fall in love with a potential presidential candidate too soon. In politics, there are a million ways you can take your candidacy back and shoot it in the back of your head. Like she just did. https://t.co/dlUcADP36n
– Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) March 22, 2021
Of course, Governor Noem tried to use her interview with Carlson as a big win.
“You preach my sermon. Only girls do girls’ sports, ”she tweeted.
“You preach my sermon. Only girls do girls’ sports.” pic.twitter.com/PhgpLMGsDG
– Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 23, 2021
But very few, if any, Conservatives had it.
Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson tweeted, “RIP: Kristi Noem’s ambition to become President of the United States.”
RIP: Kristi Noem’s ambition to become President of the United States.
If you can’t stand up to the NCAA, you are too weak to be POTUS.
– Emerald Robinson @ (@EmeraldRobinson) March 23, 2021
Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos wrote: “Governor Noem had a chance to stand out from the crowd. Now she’s just one of the same group. 2024 is wide open. “
Governor Noem had a chance to stand out from the crowd. Now she’s just one of the same group. 2024 is wide open
– George Papadopoulos (@ GeorgePapa19) March 23, 2021
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Conservative columnist Inez Stepman tweeted: “What is currently happening in the SD is that Gov Noem allows private interests to dictate the state’s cultural and legal policies over the vast majority of actual voters.”
What is currently happening in SD is that Gov Noem allows private interests to dictate the state’s cultural and legal policies through the vast majority of actual voters. We have to stand up to instill corporate pressure and do it now, otherwise girls’ sport won’t be the last victim.
– Inez Stepman @ (@InezFeltscher) March 22, 2021
If Governor Kristi Noem actually believes that her appearance on Tucker Carlson’s program marked the beginning of her political rehabilitation in Republican circles, she could experience a rude awakening the next time she attends a Conservative event.
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