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Let a sleeping dog lie? Kristi Noem continues to defend shooting her dog dead after story cost her VP chances

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has continued to defend her controversial tale of shooting a family dog, despite the incident seemingly costing her a shot at the vice presidency.

The former congresswoman, once considered the frontrunner to be selected by Donald Trump to join him on the ballot in November, said the “difficult decision” to kill the animal had taught her a lot.

Noem came under fire from politicians and members of the public alike after excerpts of her new book – No Going Back – were published last month. The snippets included an anecdote about a hunting trip with a 14-month-old wirehaired pointer named Cricket.

In the book, Noem described Cricket as “untrainable” and “less than worthless… as a hunting dog” and how a group of nearby workers had been shocked at the brutal execution.

In a Sunday interview with CNN, Noem still did not give an outright answer to whether she regretted killing the dog, but said that “challenging” decisions had prepared her for political office.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has continued to defend her controversial tale of shooting a family dog, despite the incident seemingly costing her a shot as the vice presidency
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has continued to defend her controversial tale of shooting a family dog, despite the incident seemingly costing her a shot as the vice presidency (CNN)

“That story’s a 20-year-old story of a mom who made a very difficult decision to protect her children from a vicious animal that was attacking livestock and killing livestock and attacking people,” she said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So it’s in the book because it was difficult for me.”

She added: “I’ve learned that challenging times and hard decisions are hard.

“And that when you get into public office, you’d learn from every single one of them and you use that knowledge to go forward and to make wise decisions that are best for America.”

The revelations about Cricket’s demise and the backlash that followed are believed to have severely damaged Noem’s chances of being put on the ticket by Trump. Politico reported last week the Trump campaign had requested personal information for eight possible vice presidential picks, though Noem was not named.

Despite numerous predictions that Trump would pick a woman as his running mate in the 2024 White House race, the list only includes one: New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Noem was once considered to be the frontrunner for Donald Trump’s vice president pick, but her prospects have faded since the dog killing story
Noem was once considered to be the frontrunner for Donald Trump’s vice president pick, but her prospects have faded since the dog killing story (AFP via Getty Images)

In her Sunday interview with CNN, Noem reiterated that Trump needed to pick “whoever helps him win” but strongly suggested that the candidate be a woman.

“I don’t care. I love my job in South Dakota. I care about the fact that I want him to win, and he knows that I will do that. All the polls tell him in these swing states that a woman on the ticket helps him win. The polls just say that about people,” she said.

“One in four Republican women haven’t made up their minds because they want to have a woman talking to them about the issues they care about.

“The women vote is extremely important, and I spent the majority of my time here in Wisconsin talking to women and talking to those people that are independent and on the fringe, and they’re leaning towards Donald Trump, but they also want to know that their perspective is going to be at the table when decisions are made.”


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