South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says Trump choosing a woman VP would help him win

Gun Rights

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas, U.S. May 27, 2022. 
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, once a strong contender to be former President Donald Trump‘s vice presidential pick, suggested on Sunday that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee should choose a woman running mate.

“Having a woman that is helping him campaign makes a difference. Listen, I could be home in bed or feeding my horses or rocking my grandbabies,” Noem said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But I’m in Wisconsin because I believe President Trump needs to win.”

Noem added that women voters tend to prioritize small business policy, along with child care and health care, an issue that Trump has lagged President Joe Biden, according to polling in recent months.

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In March, a Quinnipiac University poll found that Trump’s support from female voters had dropped by 5% in the wake of the civil lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll related to sexual assault and defamation claims.

Since then, the former president has also been convicted on 34 felony counts in a New York trial about a hush money payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump’s support from women also posed a threat to his election chances in 2016, especially after the leaked “Access Hollywood” tape that caught the GOP candidate making crude remarks about nonconsensual sexual advances on women.

“All the polls tell him in these swing states that a woman on the ticket helps him win,” Noem said Sunday.

Noem’s comments also come as she reinforces her loyalty to Trump, despite reportedly being excluded from his vice presidential shortlist.

Trump has narrowed his search to four top contenders, according to NBC News: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Ohio Sen. JD Vance

“I don’t care. I love my job in South Dakota,” Noem said Sunday about those reports.

Noem once had optimistic prospects as a potential Trump running mate, but recent backlash involving a controversial anecdote in her new memoir downgraded her position. The snippet described a situation several decades ago where Noem decided to shoot and kill her 14-month-old puppy, Cricket, due to misbehavior that she claimed posed safety concerns.

Noem has repeatedly stood by her decision to kill Cricket, including in the Sunday interview: “That story is a 20-year-old story of a mom who made a very difficult decision to protect her children from a vicious animal that was attacking livestock.”

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