Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) discusses national security and foreign policy in D.C. amid 2024 speculation

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 4:51 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Wednesday, Governor Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) spoke about policy to combat China at a Washington, D.C. think tank dedicated to pushing the policies of former President Donald Trump.

Noem has not announced she’s making a presidential run, but Wednesday’s speech adds to the speculation that’s already swirling about what move she may make.

Noem told the room, “I would say maybe a little bit of a different conversation for a governor to be sitting in front of you talking about national security or foreign policy.”

Noem highlighted her resistance to issuing COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and her policies aimed at the Chinese government, such as banning her state’s government officials from using TikTok, and a current attempt to block investors based in China from buying South Dakota farmland.

Noem said, “if a purchase comes from a country that hates us, and hates America and wants to destroy us, well then it’s not going to go forward.”

Former Trump Administration spokesman Hogan Gidley is now with the America First Policy Institute. He answered what he thinks Wednesday’s talk means for the speculation on whether Noem will seek the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

“Well look, I don’t know if it’s going to do anything but fuel that fire,” Gidley said. “I think there are a lot of conservatives out there who are looking for different leaders. Maybe kicking those tires and if she decides to jump in the race, there’s no doubt that she will get some serious looks.”

Noem didn’t take questions from the media Wednesday After last year’s midterms she told the New York Times that former President Trump doesn’t offer the Republican Party the best chance to reclaim the White House. Last month, Noem told CBS News that she’s not convinced she needs to run for president and wasn’t in a rush to make a 2024 decision.

Jessica Taylor, the Senate and Governors Editor for The Cook Political Report, said of Noem’s Wednesday speech, “There’s no downside to trying to raise your profile ahead of 2024, especially in a way in which you can stay in Trump’s good graces. Something like speaking at (America First Policy Institute) isn’t going to antagonize ‘Trumpworld’ as much as more overt testing of the presidential waters.”