A new ad from Gov. Kristi Noem is fueling presidential rumors.
The South Dakota Republican, who’s campaigning this year for a second term steering her heavily red state, has been running ads on Facebook in recent weeks that detail the family struggles she endured as a child after the death of her father, showcase her steering of South Dakota through the COVID crisis without implementing shutdowns, and tout the state’s current economic standing and the increase in families moving to the plains state.
“Here, freedom runs free. So saddle up, we’re just getting started,” Noem says in the spot.
But what’s sparking 2024 presidential speculation is less about what’s in the ads than where they’re being viewed.
Among the states where the ads are getting clicks are Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first three states to hold contests in the Republican Party’s presidential nominating calendar.
According to ad library from Meta — the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and other services and products — Noem was the ninth-biggest spender on Meta ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina during the July 5-11 period, and the tenth-biggest spender in Iowa during the same period.
Political pundits view Noem, who’s a strong supporter and ally of former President Donald Trump, as a potential Trump running mate if the former president launches another White House run in 2024. And they see the conservative governor as a presidential contender if Trump decides against seeking the White House again.
In interviews over the past year, Noem has consistently downplayed any notions of harboring national ambitions, repeatedly saying she’s only “interested in staying right here at home” in South Dakota.
But she gave an address in April in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s “Time for Choosing” speaking series that’s attracted a number of high profile GOP leaders who are seen as likely 2024 contenders. And stops in Iowa and South Carolina last summer and in New Hampshire in the autumn of 2020 by Noem raised eyebrows.”
Noem told Fox News during her Iowa trip that Trump “had America right where we needed her. His policies were right. So I’m counting on him running.”
A month ago, Noem told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade when asked about 2024 that “people bring it up enough that you have to have thought about it.”
Asked about the new digital ads, a source close to Noem told Fox News “Gov. Noem proved in South Dakota that conservative principals work. Some talk conservative while others govern that way, and that’s why South Dakota has the best economy in the nation and one of the fastest population growths.”
And the source highlighted that Noem would soon be making a trip to the northeast. While no details were shared, the visit could potentially include a stop in New Hampshire.
He’s been flirting with making another presidential run since leaving the White House a year and a half ago, but Trump appeared to give his strongest signal yet of his intentions.
The former president seemed to indicate in an interview published Thursday by New York Magazine that his 2024 decision is about when – not if.
“I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after,” Trump said in an interview published Thursday, seemingly referring to the midterm elections in November.
The comments, which grabbed plenty of attention, seemed to confirm previous reporting from a handful of news organizations including Fox News that the former president and his top political aides have been mulling the timing of when Trump should announce a 2024 bid. And Fox News confirmed a report a few days ago from Politico that Trump’s been discussing his 2024 plans with top donors at small dinners in recent months.
Hogan, Hutchinson, stop in New Hampshire
Two term-limited GOP governors viewed as potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders made stops in New Hampshire last week as they made their way to the National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting, which was held this year in Portland, Maine.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan met with several business groups on front lines of economy and showcased a new inflation relief plan from the pro-Hogan public advocacy group An America United, during a jam-packed 36-hour visit early in the week that was first reported by Fox News in this column last Sunday.
Hogan told Fox News in Manchester on Monday that he will potentially launch a Republican presidential campaign if he sees “there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity.”
But he cautioned that he would not run just for the sake of running, emphasizing “I’m not going to go on a wild goose chase or a suicide mission.”
Hutchinson made a brief stop in New Hampshire on Wednesday.
He told Fox News he wants a role in helping to shape the future of the GOP “that might lead to a presidential campaign down the road.”
“I want to be able to offer something that is unique, that people can rally around. And if that is effective, then I’ll be there. But we want to test those waters. We want to measure the response,” he said.
Hogan and Hutchinson, who are both Republican critics of the former president, told Fox News they’d be making trips to Iowa in the coming months.
It won’t be formalized until early next month, but Milwaukee, Wisconsin, appears to be the winning city to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.
The Republican National Committee’s site selection panel on Friday to recommend Milwaukee as the host city. That decision will likely be formalized by the full RNC membership when the national party committee holds its annual summer meeting in nearby Chicago August 2-5.
“The Site Selection Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee to host the 2024 Republican National Convention and it is a testament to the forthright and professional behavior embraced by Milwaukee’s city leaders throughout the process. A final decision will be made by Chairwoman McDaniel and the full RNC in the coming weeks,” RNC senior adviser Richard Walters said in a statement.
Milwaukee and Nashville, Tennessee were the two finalists out of a large list of cities vying to host a quadrennial event that brings with it national attention, tens of thousands of visitors, and hundreds of millions in spending for the local economy.
Nashville would still be selected by the full RNC, but it suffered a setback in recent when its city council pulled and did not vote on a framework agreement to host the convention.
Milwaukee was scheduled to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, but the in-person gathering was nearly entirely shuttered amid the early months of the now two-and-a-half-year long coronavirus pandemic.
Wisconsin is a key general election battleground state that President Biden narrowly carried over former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Both parties see holding their conventions in crucial swing states as a way of potentially boosting their strength in those states”