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Noem’s VP Hopes Diminish as Scott and Burgum Ascend in GOP Circles

Kristi Noem
Kristi Noem (Credits: NBC News)

Republican senators have written off South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem as a potential vice presidential candidate after she admitted to shooting a 14-month-old puppy for behavioral issues. Instead, they are touting Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) as a top contender to join former President Trump’s ticket.

Senators argue that Trump should choose a running mate who is Black, Hispanic, or a woman to broaden the Republican ticket’s appeal to key demographics. Additionally, they want someone who can reassure moderate Republicans who didn’t vote for Trump in the primary or stayed home in 2020.

Senators who have spoken to Trump say he will prioritize loyalty in his choice, and some have suggested North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) as a potential option. Burgum, who has a moderate stance on abortion, has a net worth of over $1.1 billion and could bring a unique perspective to the ticket.

US Sen. Tim Scott (Credits: Roll Call)

Noem’s admission has sparked bipartisan outrage, with many senators expressing shock and disbelief that she would shoot a young dog for rambunctious behavior. Her explanations have fallen flat, and her stock has plummeted among fellow Republicans.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said, “I think shooting a puppy is very hard to explain to anybody, and I think that hurt her pretty badly.” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) added, “Bipartisan outrage! I was just amazed that for once there was not a Blue America, there was not a Red America, there was one America.”

Gov. Doug Burgum (Credits: The New York Times)

Senators are now looking to other contenders, with Sen. Tim Scott emerging as a top choice. Scott is seen as loyal, well-spoken, and smart, making him an attractive pick for Trump.

Other options include Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who brings national security expertise to the table. Trump’s choice will depend on who can bring the most value to the ticket and help him win the election.

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