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Thune Joins Rounds in Endorsing Scott; SDGOP Fixing Noem VP Spot?

Last week Senator M. Michael Rounds endorsed fellow Senator Tim Scott for President. Now the senior half of South Dakota’s Senate team is going to South Carolina today to cheer Scott’s formal announcement of his bid to beat Trump:

Sen. John Thune, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, is endorsing the presidential campaign of Sen. Tim Scott, according to a person familiar with his plans.

…Thune is making good on his hopes of turning the GOP away from Trump and presenting a more forward-looking vision for the party. Thune recoiled from Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, famously declaring that his election challenge would go down on the Senate floor like a “shot dog.” That drew a political threat from Trump, but Thune easily won reelection last year.

Since then, Thune made clear he did not think Trump’s style was suitable for the party, and said in November that “it’s clear that running on relitigating the 2020 election is not a winning strategy.” He has also praised Scott’s strengths as a candidate, concluding last year that Scott has “obviously helped a lot of people around the country in the last year, raised a lot of money and built a lot of relationships that can be very useful if he does” run [Burgess Everett, “Thune, No. 2 Senate Republican, Set to Endorse Tim Scott’s Presidential Bid,” Politico, 2023.05.21].

One of those useful relationships is Scott’s connection with Thune and Rounds’s friend Governor Kristi Noem. Scott and Noem entered Congress together in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Immediately after their 2010 victories, their House colleagues elected them freshman class leadership liaisons to make the Republican Party look more youthful and diverse. Scott endorsed Noem in last year’s South Dakota gubernatorial primary, and Noem endorsed Scott back in his South Carolina Senate primary.

Both of South Dakota’s Senators jumping on Tim Scott’s Presidential bandwagon can mean only one thing:

Tim Scott and Kristi Noem, together on a t-shirt for 2024.
Tim Scott and Kristi Noem, together on a t-shirt for 2024.

Scott and Noem both said in 2021 they’d support Trump in 2024 and had no plans to run for the White House themselves. But plans change, and the quick endorsements of Scott from both of South Dakota’s United States Senators indicates the SDGOP may be working hard to place Noem at Scott’s side to hitch a ride to the White House that she couldn’t get on her own horse… and to clear the path for some lucky local GOP bigwig (Jackley? Rounds?) to move into the Governor’s mansion a couple years early.


  1. scott 2023-05-22

    The Tea partiers were the start of what created so much bad in this country. These people have no solutions but only complain and blame. Republicans let their party be overtaken by the Tea Party and eventually Trump.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-05-22

    Liz Cheney leaving the Earth hater party then running as an unaffiliated candidate is the poetic justice America deserves.

  3. Mark Anderson 2023-05-22

    Well Scott would NEED a VP from a swing state and apart from Lewandoski, Kristi just isn’t a swinger.

  4. Loren 2023-05-22

    Thune, what a hero. Politico lists all the times Johnny disagreed with Trump, but they failed to mention all the times he went right along with the party line anyway. John could have made a difference after pussygate, after Mueller’s obstruction of justice findings, after abuse of power impeachment, after, insurrection impeachment, but NOOOOO. He hid under his desk and voted the party line. BTW, wasn’t Thune the guy that was only going to serve 2 terms? Yah, I trust Johnny and his “word.”

  5. ABC 2023-05-22

    Johnny lied.

    Be a Governor now. No election required.

  6. Eve Fisher 2023-05-22

    As soon as it looks like Trump’s going to get the nomination, if not sooner, Thune will change his tune and sign right back on with the Donald.

  7. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-22

    Scott is a Senator as are Thune and Rounds. Their endorsement of Trump is a hollow message to the Party faithful that they would rather the GOP Leadership forget Trump and move on to other candidates. I doubt that rank and file Republicans, over 50% MAGAS, will get the message. They like being victims, and Trump supplies Mega Amounts of grievances to satisfy their needs.

  8. 96Tears 2023-05-22

    Thune, Rounds and Dusty taking positions on Trump is like watching three inflatable tube men dance and wave erratically in front of a used car lot.

    As soon as Trump blows away his competitors for the RNC nomination, they will deflate and come to rest, flaccid, on the ground.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-22

    I should have said “Their endorsement of Scott is a hollow message to the Party Leadership…” Guess I’m losing my focus…must be medication for that.

  10. larry kurtz 2023-05-22

    Mr. Thune has flip flopped on Herr Trump so many times voters don’t know what to believe anything he says anymore.

    South Dakota’s senior US Senator conspired with Mark Zuckerberg and Robert Mercer to hijack the 2016 election for Donald Trump.

    He went to DC as one of America’s least wealthy politicians but after nearly two decades in the swamp and helping to pack the Federal Communications Commission with Trump stooges he’s rich.

  11. Mark Anderson 2023-05-22

    Well Thune did beat Tom Daschle. You know the first President Bush called ethanol “Daschle gas”. Now what has Thune done for the state of South Dakota that compares to what Daschle did. I know ethanol isn’t everything but Daschle got it done, just before he was defeated. It surely isn’t to Thune to tell is it?

  12. Richard Schriever 2023-05-22

    scott – incorrect – Reagan was the start of all that is evil with the GOP. The Tea Partiers were merely political hobos hitching a ride on his down-bound anti-government train.

  13. John Dale 2023-05-23

    Controlled oppo.

    Does it help or hurt that she just offed a Black Bear?

    This combination is very sour.

    South Dakota’s Deep State is positioning .. it’ll work, but not particularly well in my opinion.

    I believe Roger Stone has Noem locked down in some political Judo, so I would expect what she does to help Trump in the long run.

    They’re all adding up the numbers to determine how much more controlled oppo is needed.

    This is a real head-scratcher for sure.

    The really interesting thing to observe will be if/when the brass knuckles come out at the ballot boxes in PA, GA, WI, MI, and AZ.

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