South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said on Sunday that she will support former President Trump if he runs again in 2024 but declined to say if she wants to be his running mate.
“I think that there’s a lot of people out there who would like his running mate. I’m focused on getting reelected,” Noem told CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana Bash.
“I don’t operate in that hypothetical either,” Noem continued. “I would be shocked if he asked. And right now, I’m just so focused on South Dakota. We’re doing great things, and we’ve got a lot more to do the next four years.”
When asked if Trump bore any responsibility for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, Noem declined to say but called the attack a “horrific day.”
“I think we all need to examine this country and where we’re going,” she said after Bash repeatedly pressed her on the issue.
Trump is widely speculated to make a third bid for the White House in 2024. But as former Vice President Mike Pence increasingly breaks with Trump over Jan. 6, questions have swirled over Trump’s potential running mate.
Noem and other Republicans also are rumored to be considering a presidential run or posturing for a possible opening on a GOP ticket with Trump if he ultimately mounts a bid.
“It is clear she is running for president or vice president,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said of Noem during an interview with Bash minutes later on Sunday. “She’s scared to death of the base.”
Kinzinger, who previously served in Congress with Noem, said she is now “something very different.”
“This is not the Kristi Noem I served with,” Kinzinger said. “Kristi whom I served with was conservative, dedicated the truth. I at the time would have thought [she] would have put her country above her political career at any moment.”