Conservative believers gathered in Dallas last weekend for a mini-conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Attendees got just a taste of what the 2024 Republican presidential primaries will look like.
Among the speakers was South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who is believed to be a likely presidential candidate in 2024. But Noem was clearly not there to play nice with other potential candidates.
While Noem did not mention Florida Governor Ron DeSantis by name, Noem accused the Republican of "rewriting history" when it came to how they dealt with COVID-19 in their respective states.
South Dakota did not have mandates. We trusted our people, gave them all the information, and told them personal responsibility is the best answer. https://t.co/46QTDPxnYl
– Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) July 11, 2021
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GOP Gov. Track records during COVID
DeSantis, Noem, and many other GOP governors have been lauded for questioning the effectiveness of COVID lockdowns, while Democratic states like New York and California, with higher death rates, stayed in longer lockdowns.
South Dakota was one of only seven states in the nation that did not have closure orders. All seven were led by GOP governors.
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In her speech, Noem attacked DeSantis – who, in the absence of a Trump campaign, is the alleged front runner: “Let's talk about it rewrite History. We have Republican governors across the country pretending they haven't closed their states, closed their beaches, mandated masks, issued no shelter. "
Noem continued, “Now I'm not fighting with Republican governors. I'm just saying that we need leaders with courage. That your first instinct is the right instinct. "
DeSantis imposed a suspension but canceled the order in April 2020.
He placed assignments from home and also closed Florida's schools and colleges in March 2020. He later told the Miami CBS subsidiary that, with hindsight, he thought this was a mistake. The schools in Florida reopened in October 2020.
"I look at Joe Biden's America and don't recognize the country I grew up in." https://t.co/EVfKIKGzae
– Dinesh D & # 39; Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 11, 2021
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Noems less than perfect conservative Bonafides
Noem is not without examination even by many conservatives.
In March, Noem had the chance to sign "The Women’s Fairness in Sports Bill". The law would have banned transgender women and girls from playing on female sports teams.
Initially, Noem had said she supported the bill, but later sent it back to lawmakers for changes that would exclude college sports. Noem claimed she sent it back for "style and shape changes".
Proponents said such an exception would water down the bill and that Noem would give in to the NCAA.
The bill languished on Noem's desk and eventually died at the end of the legislature. During an irritated interview with Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson, Noem claimed the style and shape changes would prevent major sports companies like the NCAA from suing South Dakota.
Carlson accused Noem of giving in to "big business" like the NCAA, the Chamber of Commerce and Amazon.
Noem eventually signed an executive order banning transgender athletes from playing on female sports teams.
The protection of women’s sport was very different in Florida.
In June, Governor DeSantis signed a ban on transgender athletes from playing on female sports teams. He made it very clear that he would not be intimidated by the NCAA or any other company or organization that might attempt to deny the state tournaments or other revenue.
"The price of a tournament is to deny hundreds of thousands of young girls and women across Florida an equal opportunity – I'm much more willing to stand with the girls and go to Hell with these events."
Governor Kristi Noem amazes the supporters by sending back a bill that would exclude transgender athletes from women's sportshttps: //t.co/UHhgUKA4Kx pic.twitter.com/xRSLhEuWmI
– The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 22, 2021
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The way to 2024
In the world of presidential politics, 2024 may seem a long way off, but many strategists, both Republicans and Democrats, will say that the 2024 campaign began the day after the 2020 campaign ended.
It is also noteworthy that the usual straw poll of the President was carried out at CPAC. It wasn't even close. Donald Trump came with 70% of CPAC attendees saying he should be nominated in 2024.
Ron DeSantis came in last with 21% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R), former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) each with just 1%. Trump's numbers improved from the CPAC straw poll in February when it stood at 55%.
Former President Trump brought down the house at the CPAC on Sunday, where he gave a loud speech criticizing the Biden administration for its immigration policies and attempting to blame Republicans for defusing the police and the left wing culture.
Former President Trump at #CPAC: "A poll found that at least 10% of Joe Biden's voters would have changed their vote if they had known about the Joe and Hunter Biden scandals, enough to reverse the results of numerous states." That's a @ TheMRC poll: https://t.co/IviFnYN3Ar pic.twitter.com/DZLNLVxi7x
– NewsBusters (@newsbusters) July 11, 2021
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