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Conservatives Are Starting to Question Trump’s Endorsements

SO WHAT

Trump’s status as the GOP kingmaker means his endorsements can make or break a race.

WHAT HAPPENED

Trump on Tuesday issued a statement endorsing South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

“She is strong on Borders, the Second Amendment, preserving land and Energy Dominance, Medical Freedom, and kept South Dakota open during COVID,” the former president said.

  • Trump also touted Noem’s support for “our great Law Enforcement, Military, our wonderful Vets,” and called her “a fighter for the incredible people of South Dakota.”
  • Noem responded the same day with a statement saying she was “honored and humbled” by Trump’s endorsement.
  • “Since being elected Governor, I have worked to bring President Trump’s America First agenda to the state level in South Dakota by cutting burdensome regulations, keeping government out of the way of South Dakota small business owners and job creators, and supporting South Dakota law enforcement,” the first-term governor added.

Noem is facing a GOP primary challenge from South Dakota lawmaker Steve Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls.

THE PROBLEM

A group of hardline Trump supporters have characterized Noem as a “RINO,” or “Republican in Name Only,” and she wasn’t the first Trump endorsee to get slapped with the label.

When Trump endorsed Morgan Ortagus, his former State Department spokeswoman, in a Tennessee House race last month, it sparked a “MAGA revolt,” per Politico.

  • High-profile “MAGA” personalities like Candace Owens, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C, were among those who questioned Ortagus’ “America First” bonafides.

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