Gov. Noem Fires Back at President Obama's Statements

Quoting an excerpt from former President Barack Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land,” which will be released on November 17, South Dakota GOP governor Kristi Noem slammed Obama for complaining about America, stating that his stewardship had left the c

Quoting an excerpt from former President Barack Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land,” which will be released on November 17, South Dakota GOP governor Kristi Noem slammed Obama for complaining about America, stating that his stewardship had left the country in disarray.

Noem noted an excerpt from the book, published in The Atlantic, in which Obama once again resorted to his habit of pontificating, this time writing, “I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America. I wrote my book for young people — as an invitation to bring about through hard work, determination, and a big dose of imagination, an America that finally aligns with all that is best in us.”

Noem fired back on Twitter, “What a ridiculous message. Obama had 8 years, including 2 with full control of Congress. He sent our jobs to China, left our healthcare system in disarray, our foreign policy in shambles & our people divided. Instead of blaming Trump, Obama should consider what led to 2016.”

As The Washington Examiner reported, “Obama wrote that he had planned to finish writing the memoir in a year after leaving the White House, but ‘didn’t fully anticipate’ the ‘way events would unfold during the more than three and a half years.’”

Claiming Americans were “spooked by a black man in the White House,” Obama also stated, “Across the nation, people from all walks of life have poured into the streets to protest the deaths of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of the police. Perhaps most troubling of all, our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of crisis—a crisis rooted in a fundamental contest between two opposing visions of what America is and what it should be; a crisis that has left the body politic divided, angry, and mistrustful, and has allowed for an ongoing breach of institutional norms, procedural safeguards, and the adherence to basic facts that both Republicans and Democrats once took for granted.”

Unlike Obama, Noem has repeatedly demonstrated an indefatigable defense of conservative American values and limiting the scope of government. In April, defending her policies regarding the coronavirus, she stated:

Our constitution ensures that the citizen’s right is protected. I agree with the role of our government as set forth in our state and in our national constitution. I took an oath to uphold these constitutions. My role with respect to public safety is something I take very seriously. The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety. They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms – they are free to exercise their rights to work, worship, and play – or to stay at home, or to conduct social distancing. The calls to apply a one-size-fits all approach to this problem in South Dakota is herd mentality, not leadership.

A few weeks later, her grateful citizens threw her a parade.

On July 4, in response to the riots across the nation, she asserted, “Across America these last several weeks, we have been witnessing a very troubling situation unfold. In real-time, we are watching an organized, coordinated campaign to remove and eliminate all references to our nation’s founding and many other points in our history. Rather than looking to the past to help improve our future, some are trying to wipe away the lessons of history, lessons that we should be teaching to our children and to our grandchildren. This approach focuses exclusively on our forefathers’ flaws, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity to learn from their virtues.”

In August, Noem declined to accept additional federal funding for the $400 weekly unemployment insurance boost, issuing a statement which read, “South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses. South Dakota is the only state in the nation that didn’t have extended benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation.” She concluded, “South Dakota is open for business – that applies to our business owners and their employees.”

In September, Noem tweeted a picture of herself shooting, captioning it, “This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota,” prompting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to cite coronavirus statistics to attack Noem. Noem fired back, “Stop spreading fear. Only 8% of South Dakota’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients. We have and will continue to manage our resources to care for the people who need help. The people of South Dakota have accomplished this WITHOUT draconian lockdowns. #FactsNotFear.”

On November 8, asked by ABC News host George Stephanopoulos whether she was ready to work with “President-elect Biden” to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Noem replied:

I appreciated that President Trump gave us the flexibility to do the right thing in our state and [we’ll] continue to do that. He let me do my job. … But the other thing that I think is going on here, George, is that this is all premature. This is a premature conversation because we have not finished counting votes. There are states that have not been called, and back in 2000, Al Gore was given his day in court. We should give President Trump his day in court.

“Let the process unfold because, George, we live in a republic,” she continued. “We are a government that gets its power from the consent of the governed. That is the people. They give their consent on Election Day. Election Day needs to be fair, honest, and transparent, and we need to be sure that we had an honest election before we decide who gets to be in the White House the next four years.”