Sun. May 26th, 2024

GOP: Noem up in smoke; Scott, Burgum rise in Trump VP race

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May18,2024

Republican senators say South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) viability as a vice presidential candidate has gone up in smoke after she admitted to shooting a 14-month-old puppy, and they are looking to other contenders to round out former President Trump’s ticket.

Republican lawmakers who have spoken to Trump say he will be “strategic” in his choice and that loyalty will be a top consideration.

Several GOP senators are touting Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) as their pick for Trump’s running mate.

These lawmakers argue Trump should pick someone who is Black, Hispanic or a woman to broaden the Republican ticket’s appeal to key demographics in this year’s election.

And many would like Trump to pick a running mate who could reassure mainstream and moderate Republicans who didn’t vote for him in the primary or who stayed home in 2020.

But GOP senators say Noem, who was previously thought to be on the short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, has destroyed her chances after revealing she shot a 14-month German wirehair pointer named Cricket because it was poorly behaved.

Kristi Noem describes killing dog after bad hunting trip in new book

“She’s just done, too much drama,” said one Republican senator who stays in touch with Trump.

The senator said Trump has expressed interest in North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) and has spoken approvingly about his moderate position on abortion, an issue Democrats want to put front and center.

Burgum, who had a short-lived run in the presidential primary, also has a net worth in excess of $1.1 billion, putting him on an elite level in terms of his personal wealth.

Trump has spoken disapprovingly of Kari Lake, according to the source, because she lost her 2022 gubernatorial bid in Arizona and is now viewed by Senate GOP strategists as having an uphill path to winning retiring Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-Ariz.) seat.

“I think he will want to have somebody who is not going to upstage him, who will be loyal to him, who will bring him something. That’s why I think Tim Scott will be an attractive pick for him because I think Tim’s very loyal, very well-spoken and smart,” the senator said.

Noem has scrambled in recent days to do damage control even as her stock plummets, arguing the dog was “extremely dangerous.”

But her explanations are falling flat with fellow Republicans.

“I think shooting a puppy is very hard to explain to anybody and I think that hurt her pretty badly,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was the GOP nominee for president in 2012.

Other Republican senators expressed shock and disbelief that Noem shot a young dog for rambunctious behavior that many dog owners can identify with. And they’re astounded she showed the poor political judgment to reveal the incident in her new book.

“Bipartisan outrage! I was just amazed that for once there was not a Blue America, there was not a Red America, there was one America,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said of the outpouring of criticism and condemnations of Noem’s decision to put down Cricket.

“That’s just like crazy. Why would you do that to a puppy? It’s just crazy,” he said.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, was also utterly perplexed by the revelation.

“I can’t imagine that, doing that. I was pretty stunned when I read it,” she said.

Noem included the story in her book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” to illustrate her willingness to make tough decisions.

Inaccuracies found in Noem’s new memoir ahead of release

Noem described the lead-up to her decision to kill the dog, which she hoped could be trained to hunt pheasants. The dog ran afoul of the governor by ruining a hunt by going “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life.”

The dog, according to Noem, then committed the bigger sin of killing several chickens belonging to a local family and whipping around to bite her when she tried to restrain it.

But to GOP lawmakers, the disobedient behavior did not rise to the level of a capital offense, even in the eyes of Noem’s home-state colleagues.

“I know one thing: dogs, puppy dogs, are pretty popular,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who added that South Dakotans love their dogs as much as other Americans.

“Puppy dogs are part of the family. We have dogs that misbehave and in a lot of cases because of training,” he said. “For those of us that hunt, we love our hunting dogs. And when we go hunting with other people, we tell them, ‘Look, heads up. You don’t shoot any pheasants on the ground because we don’t want you getting near one of our puppy dogs.’”

Rounds, who initially endorsed Scott for president and only endorsed Trump in a roundabout way in March when he said he would support the GOP nominee for president, said Trump would be wise to tap Scott or Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) as his running mate.

He thinks either of those two choices could help entice Republicans who are not big fans of Trump to still vote for the GOP ticket in November.

Rounds said “moderate Republicans who otherwise might not vote at all” could be “brought back in based upon on who [Trump] asks” to join him on the ticket, giving thought to the running mate’s expertise — such as Cotton’s on national security issues.

“I think Tim Scott would be an excellent choice,” he said. “I think Tom Cotton would be an excellent choice, he brings a huge amount of national defense capabilities.”

A second GOP senator who requested anonymity to discuss Trump’s vice presidential selection process said it would be a mistake to pick another white man to head the ticket.

“Even Trump is smart enough to say two white men on the Republican ticket in 2024 is a bad idea when you have really good alternatives,” said the senator, who declared: “Tim Scott is No. 1.”

Cassidy, who is holding out hope that Trump may tap Nikki Haley, his former primary rival, as the vice presidential candidate, agreed that expanding the ticket’s appeal to Trump skeptical voters would be a smart move.

“I think Nikki Haley would be a great selection. That comes immediately to mind,” he said.

He said “intuitively you know that’s the case” that diversifying the GOP ticket could help appeal to minority or women voters.

“If you look at polling, women voters are turning away so it makes sense to me,” he said.

Cassidy, who was one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial, has only said he plans to vote for a Republican in the presidential race.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

Related Post

One thought on “GOP: Noem up in smoke; Scott, Burgum rise in Trump VP race”
  1. As a conservative myself, I believe that Governor Noem’s recent actions have severely damaged her reputation and viability as a potential VP candidate. It’s crucial for the Republican party to choose a candidate with broader appeal, like Senator Scott, who can unite various demographics and reassure moderate Republicans. Governor Burgum’s moderate stance on important issues could also make him a compelling choice for Trump’s ticket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *