South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem questioned the grit and instinct of fellow GOP governors who enacted Covid-19 measures like mask mandates and business closures to stop the spread of the virus in their states last year, warning that some of them are now "rewriting history" about their records as the threat wanes across the country.
"We've got Republican governors across this country pretending they didn't shut down their states; that they didn't close their regions; that they didn't mandate masks," said the potential 2024 White House contender as she drew an implicit but obvious contrast to leaders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who took a more restrictive approach in their states. "Now I'm not picking fights with Republican governors. All I'm saying is that we need leaders with grit. That their first instinct is the right instinct."
"Demand honesty from your leaders and make sure that every one of them is willing to make the tough decisions," added Noem, who repeatedly touted her hands-off approach to Covid-19 throughout her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference -- highlighting the fact that she never ordered a "single business" to close.