Noem charged into Iowa on Friday singing a battle hymn and armed with barbed comments for her fellow GOP governors. At a conservative gathering in Des Moines, she told the crowd she "really hates this America” under President Joe Biden's leadership, then led them in singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
But Noem didn't just take aim at political foes. She also unleashed sharp-edged comments on those within her own party, accusing fellow GOP governors of “rewriting history” by claiming they kept their states open during the pandemic.
“To pretend that they didn’t take actions that they had no authority to take isn’t standing on truth,” she told reporters Friday.
It's easy to see why the 49-year-old governor, who is known as a scorched-earth campaigner in her home state, is elbowing out anyone trying to claim a more hands-off approach to the pandemic. She doesn’t have the experience of working alongside Trump, like Mike Pence, Nikki Haley or Mike Pompeo — all of whom have visited the presidential-proving ground of Iowa in recent days. Other potential rivals like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have the advantage of governing states that figure prominently in national politics.