Kristi Noem pumps up vice presidential rumors with answer to pointed policy question – Washington Examiner

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) fueled vice presidential rumors after avoiding a direct answer to a pointed question critical of former President Donald Trump.

At a House Agriculture Committee meeting on the threat of China to American agriculture, Noem was asked about the possible effects of new tariffs floated by Trump.

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump, left, embraces South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at a campaign rally Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

“I think that that is a proposal that people are still looking at and having conversations about,” she answered.

Rep. David Scott (D-GA) pushed Noem on the proposal, asking if farmers in her state were prepared for the financial consequences of the move, Politico reported.

“And that is a great conversation for you to continue to have as well with the Republican members here as well to weigh in, to make sure we get the best policy in place,” she answered. “Because policy is what matters and the debate and the discussion is incredibly important.”

Noem’s evasive answer reflects her standing in the vice presidential sweepstakes — she has been floated as a top candidate to be Trump’s running mate for months. She appeared alongside Trump at a recent rally, further fueling speculation.

Noem openly criticized Trump for his trade policy while he was still in office, saying that it was hurting farmers in her state. Her silence on the issue now hints at her caution to not offend the former president and risk her spot as potential running mate.

In August, Trump announced his plans for a universal tariff on foreign goods, continuing his preference for tariffs from his first term.

“To achieve this goal, we will phase in a system of universal, baseline tariffs on most foreign products,” Trump said in a video announcing the plan. “On top of this, higher tariffs will increase incrementally depending on how much individual foreign countries devalue their currency. They devalue their currency to take advantage of the United States, and they subsidize their industries or otherwise engage in trade cheating and abuse. And they do it now like never before, and we had it largely stopped, and it was going to be stopped completely within less than a year.”


He argued that increased tariffs would reduce taxes, benefiting American producers.

“As tariffs on foreign producers go up, taxes on American producers will go down and go down very substantially. And that means a lot of jobs coming in. Not only will this system end our gaping trade deficits — and they are massive right now — and bring back millions of American jobs — it will also bring trillions and trillions of dollars pouring into the U.S. Treasury from foreign countries and allow us to invest that money in American workers, American families, and American communities,” Trump added.