Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced her endorsement of former President Donald Trump on Friday night in Rapid City, South Dakota, at the South Dakota Republican Party’s (GOP) Monumental Leaders Rally, calling him “the fighter that our country needs.”
“It is my honor to present to you the man in the arena,” Noem said of Trump in an ode to President Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech. “He is a man of significance. He is the leader, the fighter that our country needs. He has my full and complete endorsement for president of the United States of America. I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country.”
Much anticipation was built around Noem’s endorsement and Trump’a appearance in the Mount Rushmore State on Friday, with speculation mounting around her as a potential running mate for the 45th president, should he win the nomination. Noem noted she has received “a lot of questions from people across the country about tonight’s events.”
She explained that South Dakota GOP Chairman John Wiik organized the rally and had invited other candidates to come, and while they turned down invitations, Trump pledged to show up:
Chairman John Wiik had this fantastic idea to bring Republicans in our state together to rally us around our shared values and principles. I loved the idea and told him I would do what I could to help. We started discussing inviting all the candidates running to be President of the United States. Tim Scott was asked… and he declined. Vivek Ramaswamy was invited, and he turned the chairman down. Other candidates were asked, and all told us they had better things to do. But when President Trump was invited to come be with you tonight, he said, “I’ll be there!”
You see, that’s why people love President Trump. He doesn’t listen to consultants, or the media, or the political elite to tell him who is important and what his priorities should be. To him, every American is worth fighting for. No one is better than anyone else. No one deserves to be treated differently than anyone else. And he will never forget about us, the little people in the little states that are the backbone of this country. He shows up for every American and fights for us every day.
Noem pointed to the crisis at the U.S. Southern border, Trump’s actions to tackle illegal immigration at the border during his term in office, and his calls for “peace through strength,” dubbing him the “only person in the race that I trust to do what needs to be done on these issues.”
According to prepared remarks obtained by Breitbart News, Trump thanked Noem in response.
“I want to thank one of the most successful governors in the entire nation, South Dakota’s own Kristi Noem. Kristi is a warrior for American values, she’s tough on China, and unlike other governors, she NEVER locked South Dakota down,” Trump was set to say.