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Let Her Talk and Talk—Noem Inhuman, Incoherent on CNN

Perhaps the surest way to make sure Kristi Noem doesn’t win another election is to keep putting her on the national news programs. Far from boosting her brand, every interview South Dakota’s biggest TV star does on CBS, ABC, and now CNN proves that, far from a thinking, caring human being, she is just a Republican election robot.

Noem beamed in to deflect questions from Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday. The main attention-getter was Noem’s persistent refusal to directly respond to Bash’s question relating to the immediately infamous case of a ten-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and impregnated six weeks ago, who was denied an abortion in Ohio, and who had to travel to Indiana to terminate her life-threatening pregnancy. After asking the very straightforward question, “Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby?” Bash had to try to break in and redirect Noem from her deflection points (“…nobody’s talking about the pervert… it’s a child…every dingle life is precious…”) five times before Noem finally said the actual answer: “But, in South Dakota, the law today is that the abortions are illegal, except to save the life of the mother.”

When Bash tried to clarify the moral point of whether, “you would be OK with that, a 10-year-old girl having to have a baby?” Noem said she isn’t. So given she is in a powerful position where she could change a law she finds immoral, Noem cried her crocodile tears:

BASH: So, will you try to change the law to have an exception in a situation like that

NOEM: It breaks my heart. I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother. Got a 1-year-old little granddaughter named Ms. Addie. I can’t even imagine. What I would say is, I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy. And so there’s more that we have got to do to make sure that we really are living a life that says every life is precious, especially innocent lives that have been shattered, like that 10-year-old girl [Gov. Kristi Noem, interviewed by Dana Bash, transcript, CNN: State of the Union, 2022.07.03].

Again, Bash tried to drag Noem back to answering the question about her ability as South Dakota’s Governor to change a law that she appears to agree would force an immoral outcome for a pregnant ten-year-old rape victim. Noem then slipped into a flatly pro-choice response:

BASH: Yes. And it’s incredibly complicated. And I get it. But I guess my question is, given how heartbroken you seem to be about the situation, maybe the question is this, because what I keep thinking about is, how is — a 10-year-old girl physically…

NOEM: No.

BASH: … probably can’t even carry a baby without being, never mind emotionally and mentally sort of tormented, but physically hurt. Would you consider that the life of a mother at risk?

NOEM: And I think that’s something that — yes, that situation, the doctor, the family, the individuals closest to that will make the decisions there for that family. [Noem/Bash, 2022.07.03]

Wait—what? The doctor, the family, the individuals closest to the girl “will make the decisions”? Noem just said South Dakota law forbids such decisions. What does she mean?

Perhaps sensing she had gotten off track, Noem wheeled around to lose us in federalism.

That’s what’s interesting about the time we live in right now, is every state will have different laws on the books. The decisions will be made by the legislators that are closest to the people. That’s appropriate. It’s the way our Constitution intended.

And I think that South Dakota’s laws may look very different than California’s, may look very different than New York’s, where that governor has said she wants to become a destination known for providing abortions.

BASH: Well…

NOEM: That’s not our story here in South Dakota.

And I think every governor, every state will make a very different decision on what their laws look like [Noem/Bash, 2022.07.03].

If logical consistency is to be had in Noem’s robot spew, she may be saying that, yes, South Dakota’s law is immoral, but we like immoral laws, and as long as some other states still allow the caretakers of a ten-year-old rape victim to arrange for the termination of her forced and risky pregnancy, it’s fine for South Dakota to maintain its immoral prohibition on helping that child.

But if that’s Kristi’s logic, then a national abortion ban denying such a humane choice in every state would be bad, right?

BASH: On that note, if Republicans take back Congress in Washington, would you support a national ban on abortion?

NOEM: You know, we will see what Congress does and what those discussions are.

I have never, Dana, operated in hypotheticals. I have told people what my values are, how I would lead. And then I follow through on that. That’s just something that I have always done. Running for elected office, you represent your people, but you also represent the person that — the values that you hold and how you see your job as governor.

We saw that during COVID. We saw that with all the decisions that were made in different states as far as impacting people’s families and their businesses. South Dakota made very different decisions than every other state.

I trust the people. I trust the Constitution. I hate the energy policy that this administration is bringing and harming our families. I hate the food insecurity that they’re creating and the national security crisis that we have going on.

Joe Biden has been devastating for this country. And I’m going to continue to fight to defend the people in South Dakota [Noem/Bash, 2022.07.03].

The logical response to Bash’s question, given everything Noem had just said about federalism, should have been, “No, I would not support a national ban on abortion.” But Noem instead saw an opportunity to launch into talking points absolutely unrelated to that question—coronavirus response, energy policy, food insecurity, Joe Biden.

And hilariously, after saying she has never dealt in hypotheticals, Noem responds to Bash’s restatement of the question by dealing in the hypothetical:

BASH: Just real quick, is it a state right, abortion? Or should it be a state right or not?

NOEM: It’s a decision that should be made at the state level, absolutely.

BASH: OK [Noem/Bash, 2022.07.03].

Talking with Kristi Noem is like talking with a drunk: she can’t stay on topic, and you can’t count on anything she says to connect with anything she said just a moment ago. If the goal of the national news programs is to inform citizens of the vital issues of the day, then interviewers like Bash should refuse to waste air time with Kristi Noem. Perhaps the only vital issue we learn every time Kristi Noem opens her mouth for the cameras is that she is an inhuman self-marketer, committed only to her own celebrity, not to moral policy or logically coherent speech.

27 Comments

  1. Nix 2022-07-05 08:38

    Mr Cory,
    I cannot respond to this any better than your last paragraph.
    Well said.

  2. Donald Pay 2022-07-05 08:42

    “Talking with Kristi Noem is like talking with a drunk” is the perfect description of Noem-speak.

  3. sx123 2022-07-05 08:43

    Now I’m going to have to actually watch this interview to see the level of bumbling… was trying to avoid.

    Religion (and authoritarianism) create an artificial moral dilemma in this case of the 10yr old rape victim where there shouldn’t be a dilemma.

    Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I believe there is some cognitive dissonance going on in the governor’s mind, leading to the inability to answer the questions coherently.

  4. John 2022-07-05 08:51

    She likely fell off her horse and hit her head one too many times.

  5. P. Aitch 2022-07-05 09:25

    America Is A Magnet
    There are places in USA that carry a positive charge and places that carry a negative charge. Like a magnet neither charge is above or below the other charge. They are what they are and a properly functioning magnet needs both positive and negative charges.
    Ever been to a place where you just feel off? Doesn’t meld with you and the place irritates. That’s because you’re a positive person being surrounded by negatively charged people.
    South Dakota is a negative place. The Governor is charged with negativity and 70% of the residents are generating negative energy and working to become more negative. Places with negative energy are wonderful places for those with like minds and goals.
    Changing a positive charge to negativity happens like Hemingway observed. A little at a time and then all at once. But mostly, it happens rarely.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-07-05 09:51

    Kristi Noem is the Anita Bryant of Kimberly Guilfoyles.

  7. Guy 2022-07-05 09:55

    Kristi: me, me, me, me, me, me, me,, me, me, me… look at me…listen to me…it’s all about ME!!!

  8. bearcreekbat 2022-07-05 10:41

    I also noted how Noem attempted to blankly talk over Dash whenever Dash tried to get Noem to actually answer a question. I guess Noem learned this obnoxious technique from watching Fox celebs like Hannity and others that immediately start interrupting and talking over any guest that begins to raise a valid concern about the harm caused by the right wing position.

    Another question I wish Dash would have asked Noem is:

    It appears that under SD’s current murder laws (and SDCL 26-11-4 authorizing the State to charge a child as an adult) that this 10 year old pregnant female and anyone helping her could be charged with 1st degree murder if she obtained an abortion in SD. I note that SD law does provide a defense, however, namely that “there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female.” My question is: Is this an affirmative defense that must be raised by the 10 year old, similar to “self-defense,” or is the State required to negate this defense as part of their initial burden of proof?

    Although Noem most likely would have dodged this question, it seems important to know whether the argument that the abortion was necessary to save the woman’s life is one that only comes up after a child 10 or older, or an adult woman, and her medical team are indicted and charged with 1st degree murder.

  9. WillyNilly 2022-07-05 10:55

    When Kristi went to Washington she was sent to the Republican School of How to Stay in Office Forever While Doing Nothing for Constituents. One of the classes is how to respond to interviewers and make it all about ME, ME, ME. It includes how to talk over others while pushing the usual Republican line of BS and falsehoods.

  10. mike from iowa 2022-07-05 11:27

    Forcing a raped.pregnant, 10 year old child to carry to term will likely cause the child to suffer mental and emotional health problems of the kind magats claim women who had abortions suffer from. Another self fulfilling prophecy.

    Gentle reminder the US covid death count stands at 1.2 million, Noem Nothing gets credit for 2900 of them, just by doing nothing, as her name implies.

  11. 96Tears 2022-07-05 11:30

    Excellent last graph, Cory. Noem kept turning in midstream with her blather to avoid the questions, particularly when Bash pushed for a yes or no answer on forcing a 10-year-old to term with an unwanted pregnancy. Noem seemed to be trying to run down the clock. I thought Rep. Adam Kinzinger provided some needed insight. He saw Noem’s statements as all part of an act that didn’t resemble the person he served with in the House:

    “I’m blown away this is not — I served with Kristi Noem in the House, and it’s like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’ This is not the Kristi Noem I served with. The Kristi Noem I served with was conservative, dedicated to truth, and I at the time would have thought she would have put her country above her political career at any moment.”

    Yes, this was in response to Noem’s assaults on Cassidy Hutchinson, but Kinzinger seemed sincerely overwhelmed with the personality changes he witnessed. It made me wonder if some of the apparent “cognitive dissonance” that sx123 mentioned is really Noem asking herself “what? Do I really have to say things like this?” while she squirms for answers that won’t come back to haunt. She seems hung up somewhere between her Lew-inspired presidential aspirations with the Trump Cult and her father’s voice asking if she’s sold her soul to appease morons.

    Again, Kinzinger, in the same interview, may shed some light: “Dana, it is clear she is running for president or vice president. She’s scared to death of the base. … She used to be something very different.”

  12. Ed 2022-07-05 13:07

    Noem was an embarrassment to herself and to our state during that interview. Adam Kinzinger absolutely destroyed her with his response to her comments. She won’t survive the national spotlight very long with any more performances like that. No amount of makeup, false eyelashes, or hair dye can rehabilitate her after a performance like that.

  13. sx123 2022-07-05 13:30

    Finally watched the news clip…
    She pretty much avoids the question at hand and tries to redirect discussion to handling the rape, not the effects after the rape.
    She was thankful she hasn’t had to deal with this situation in her family, which is the case for a lot of problems in general, for everyone, but as governor, she’s supposed to be able to deal with these problems, even if not experiencing them herself.

    Why should abortion be handled at the state level? If one is really for local control, handle it at the personal level. Doesn’t get much more local than that.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-05 13:45

    Bear, I only read the transcript. It’s bad enough parsing Noem’s text; I can’t bear listening to her rude and ignorant speech.

    But you make a good point: she’s not engaging in real conversation. She’s not trying to respond to questions. She just wants her airtime for uninterrupted presentation of her planned talking points. Reporters trying to engage her in real discussion are a threat to her messaging and are to be talked over and ignored.

  15. Guy 2022-07-05 15:01

    Cory, Kristi reminded me of Sean Hannity in that interview. You know why people tune him out. Why bother listening to interrupting blabber mouths like Sean and Kristy? The sooner this state wakes up and boots her out of office, the sooner we can get back to real meaningful conversations and real solutions to pressing problems for South Dakotans.

  16. Mark Anderson 2022-07-05 15:38

    She sure is purdy Cory, that flaming brown hair, those eyes, who cares what she says, she’s Maga fried.

  17. Mark 2022-07-05 16:02

    She looks like she went back into the garage for more botox, must be gearing up for more TV. This was a ‘go on CNN so I can get more airtime on Fox/Newsmax/AON to share how mean they were!’

    Pathetic. As for Governors moving the needle, how bout Newsome tweaking DeSantis? And he didn’t have to spend his State’s money and planes to be heard. Shows how desparate Noem is and how much money she needs to spend to end up 9th in a straw poll somewhere in Texas or Florida.

  18. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-07-05 16:03

    Ed, your first two sentences were spot on, and I applaud you and 96 tears ability to watch this dog poop without blowing your brains out.

    However, your last two sentences are endearingly naive (please don’t take offense.) I’m a 66 y.o. woman and have NEVER seen a vacuous, vicious, brainless, incoherent, VAIN twat brought down by a male voting populace, whether high school or “higher.”

    I could be wrong. I would be DELIGHTED to be wrong. I cheerfully welcome booing and hissing if I’m wrong.

  19. Jake 2022-07-05 17:12

    She (and others) learned what they know at the knee of their idol the “Orange Crowned (Clowned) Kinglet!”

  20. larry kurtz 2022-07-05 18:24

    Hers is a long haul investment. Unless her veneer peels completely away Mrs. Noem is a force for raising the kind of money she was created to amass and she’s a formidable attack dog rewarded with the reddest of treats.

  21. 96Tears 2022-07-05 19:27

    Dr. Kurtz – Her soft spot is she is well known for running with scripted statements. She doesn’t wander more than 1 inch from the prepared script. Shove her in a spot where must think for herself, Noem is a deer in the headlights. She is transforming into a cartoon character. She still has soft spots which is why she would rather have a root canal than answer questions from reporters.

  22. larry kurtz 2022-07-05 20:42

    Hidden is the highway where Mrs. Noem could recognize Joe Boever’s dismemberment in the same context as Eric Westerhuis’ choices and Rich Benda’s walk in the woods.

  23. 96Tears 2022-07-05 22:06

    Very well put, LK.

    I don’t think she’s a classic narcissist beyond many others in politics. There is the mental disorder versus the common character malady among people who are small minded but think they’ve become anointed. I think she’s the latter.

    Her blind spot is she doesn’t know when she’s drifting outside her league. If I were a confidante of this governor, I would advise her that The Lew is not her friend. He’s a simple parasite which you see commonly in politics.

    I’m trying to visualize Kristi Noem as the daughter of Ron Arnold, whom I had met many moons ago. He was a respected, salt-of-the-earth community leader in that part of Hamlin County when the school districts were struggling with budgets and consolidation. This was a time in the political world when everyone knew we all had to put our pants on one leg at a time, even the anointed ones. As a father of daughters of my own, I can imagine there was a special relationship between Kristi and her dad.

    What I find troublesome is her cheap, self-serving, political and false exploitation of the issue surrounding her father’s death. For a revered daughter to make that kind of cold blooded calculation tells me there is a dark side in Kristi that leads to a pathological behavior that seems to explain her policy positions, her comments on the CNN interview as well as her positions as governor that chooses to run people over to grab a cheap headline or get a soundbite on Fox. She seems willing to stomp on the bones of her victims from her COVID politics to get a cheap round of applause among the Trumpanzees.

    I’ve talked about her with Democrat friends who knew back when she was on the FSA board. They thought she was kind of a wallflower back then. She seemed grateful that the Daschle organization steered her onto the board and invited her to a Mt. Rushmore retreat for future leaders. Nobody then thought she would turn into this calculating, self-serving and phony Taliban extremist we see today.

    She is a clear and present danger in American politics. She is light years out of the league for getting a national nomination. But for here, in South Dakota, right here, right now. She is dangerous. As Adam Kinzinger said Sunday, “She used to be something very different.”

  24. BobJ 2022-07-06 07:24

    “Wash your hands” of all responsibility to the people of SD. She is so self serving, anyone who cannot see it is blinded by the red in their green eyes.
    A lot of good discussion here.
    Read her Wikipedia, there are probably some things you have forgotten.
    Once she became an inner member of the trump cult, she did change. Quest for power, through self aggrandizing, very trumpy. In her mind, only trump can beat her in a presidential run. She is wrong, but when has she been right?

  25. All Mammal 2022-07-06 15:24

    I wish these news anchors would prepare a little better for Governor Kristi by stating what they know she will say, which completely makes her normal response sound that much more childish, and preemptively providing SD stats that negate her intended response, and then ask her directly,

    “Governor Noem, we already know and have heard you say all lives are precious and we know you have many, many forthcoming debates to take place in the special legislative session. We also heard you promise prison guards you’d personally fix the discrepancy on their paychecks. We know they have since resigned from their posts, leaving your state’s prisons unmanned, hence thousands of inmates currently living in unsafe, inhumane conditions. We want to know what are you doing for the lives at risk right now in SD directly due to your leadership. Governor Noem, how do you, as SD’s only governor, you are SD’s only governor they have working in the capacity of governor, right? Ok. Please give a definitive answer, one that a teacher can actually accept as an admissible answer for a test question, to what you are doing to keep people the good Lord has breathed life into, alive in SD-who are, as we speak, at risk of ‘adulthood abortion’, if you will, in your state prison system? And then I want to ask you the same thing in regards to the missing children of your state, but first if you would be so kind to answer what you are doing currently, when not outlawing potential personal decisions, to keep people in your direly understaffed prisons safe and, most importantly, alive?”
    She would get pissy and blurt out, “Joe Biden!”
    The more of her intended, scripted response the reporter can put into the interview question, the better. Keeps her from getting her resting, b-face airtime and leaves less room to avoid actually responding to the question or responding with cop-out non-answers.

  26. oldtimerDON 2022-07-06 17:34

    BF has it nailed about how Noem does well in SD. Noem is having her moment in the sun and raking in the green. The lew will dump her like the cheap trash she is as soon as the big T no longer can use her.
    The comment from CH is right on the money and a real problem in critical races. Trump is a master of using the media. Noem is not a very pupil.

  27. RST Tribal Member 2022-07-06 20:41

    As I watch horse lady Noem run away from South Dakota issues and promises at full gallop, I thought that is a good democrat ad, then the falsehoods started. She is showing walking through a business, probably the same business she went to see while tribal leaders were at the state capital presenting the State of Indian Nations to leadership.

    The inept inbred Republicans want 10 year girls to have babies after being raped; where are their moral compasses? Those same inept inbreeds stopped listening to voters on issues, like; dirty money, weed, pipes in the ground, health care for all or education (both teachers and studies).

    Tossing out one of their own who was the top law enforcement officer in the state is the most of what was accomplished in almost 4 years by the inept inbred Republicans with the help of the few democrats . Of course, he had to kill a human to get the boot.

    November 2022 is time for all to vote. Let’s help the horse lady saddle up, pack her special desk and head west. Maybe she can trick horse ride in Las Vegas as she probably has residency with her frequent visits.

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