SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Governor took the stage at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) moments after a panel led by conservative activist Candace Owens.
Noem took the stage at 1:17pm, telling the crowd that they sound ‘all wound up’. Noem began by telling those in attendance how honored she was to be at the event ‘with all the patriots’, nearly adding “in the state of South Dakota,” before correcting herself, “of Florida! The free state of Florida!”
Following the slight verbal stumble, Noem transitioned to a joke. “Listen,” she said. “You could be in South Dakota, but I’ll be honest with you; the temperatures are a little bit low in South Dakota (12 degrees at time of writing) right now in February. In fact, they’re almost as low as Joe Biden’s approval ratings.”
Noem then transitioned to a more serious topic; that of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Our hearts and our prayers are with the people of Ukraine,” she said. “We’re thinking of those families, their children and the people who are being targeted right now. The hell of war has come to their country.”
The invasion, Noem then said, serves as a reminder of the consequences of leadership. “The last 48 hours have shown us what happens when America projects weakness,” she said.
Noem said that President Joe Biden has projected weakness, and that a strong president would immediately start the Keystone XL Pipeline, reopen federal lands for drilling, revoke bans on oil and gas drilling in the ocean on the continental shelf and sign an Executive Order to cut all regulations on domestic energy production and transportation.
Noem continued her assessment of what she believes a strong president would do.
“They would immediately — work with European allies and partners to replace their supply on Russian oil supplies with American energy,” said Noem, pausing for applause. “And, they would hit Putin right where it actually hurts.”
The way to hit Russian President Vladimir Putin where it hurts, said Noem, is to enact heavy sanctions on Russian energy, and cutting Russia off from western banking and financial systems, including SWIFT.
SWIFT is an international banking communications network based in Belgium, which is overseen by the G-10 central banks in 11 countries, not the President of the United States. However, such action has been discussed.
Noem said that if Biden cannot cut Russia off from SWIFT and institute the sanctions she discussed, he should resign.
In terms of Russian sanctions levied by the U.S., Biden on Thursday said the U.S. would sanction major Russian banks and impose export controls on Russia to curtail Russian high-tech imports said the U.S. would sanction major Russian banks and impose export controls on Russia to curtail Russian high-tech imports.
Noem continued her speech, moving on from Ukraine to lash out at the Democratic Party, tech, Hollywood, the media and “experts” in quick succession. “They’re all the same crew that brought us mask mandates and vaccine mandates,” she said, adding that in her view, these experts ignored science and trampled civil liberty.
In this quick-fire condemnation of her enemies, she decried Critical Race Theory (CRT), inflation, violent crime and “the disaster in Afghanistan.”
“Despite all these failures, they look down on you,” said Noem, still referring to the nebulous group of Democrats, tech, Hollywood, the media and ‘experts’. “They look down on anyone who thinks for themselves.”
Following this assertion, Noem invoked the idea of the ‘Silent Majority’. “Most American agree with you,” she said, pointing to the audience. “They’re just afraid to say it out loud.”
Prior to her speech, KELOLAND News was told by Noem’s communications director that her speech would “focus on this pivotal moment in American history,” and “highlight where we’ve been as a nation, where we are today and where we want to go.”
This theme was revealed when Noem harkened back to the past. “Now we are not the first generation to face such a pivotal time,” she said before asking; “as conservatives, what do we want to conserve?”
Noem then answered her own question, telling those gathered before her that they are saving the “greatest country in human history.”
The talk of American exceptionalism continued, as Noem talked about the formation of America on the foundation of ‘western civilization’, and invoked the bill of rights, though only mentioning the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th amendments.
Noem went on to say that “every one of those rights is under attack,” and that the National School Board Association worked with the White House to get the FBI to identify parents as domestic terrorists.
This claim by Noem is in reference to a memo sent by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to threats targeting school board members, teachers and other employees in the nation’s public schools. In the memo, Garland wrote that there had been “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”
The one page memo does not brand parents as terrorists, and instead directs the FBI to work with state Attorneys General to meet with federal, state, local, Tribal and territorial leaders in order to discuss ways to address threats against employees of the education system.
The connection to the phrase ‘domestic terrorism’ comes from a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to the White House asking for assistance in dealing with threats of violence, in which the NSBA compared the threats to a form of domestic terrorism.
Noem also provided her ‘cliff notes version’ of a conspiracy that Hillary Clinton paid a British agent and a tech executive to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign, saying “Trump was right.”
This claim stems from a recent development in the investigation started by Trump into the FBI’s probing of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
A court filing, submitted by special counsel John Durham, alleged that a tech executive identified in the news as Rodney Joffe used his company’s access to gather derogatory information about Trump. Durham is currently prosecuting Joffe’s former attorney Michael Sussmann, who is accused of lying to the FBI about his representation of a client in 2016.
Neither Joffe nor the company he worked for have been charged with any wrongdoing. The sole connection between the Joffe and Clinton is the fact that Joffe’s former attorney, Sussmann, had also previously worked for Clinton’s campaign.
Following her dip into conspiracy, Noem moved onto her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “In 2020, when most states were shutting down their economies and they were forcing unconstitutional lockdowns, we did something very different in South Dakota,” she said.
This portion of her speech reflected what she said in her 2021 CPAC speech almost word-for-word. Noem continued to talk about her pandemic response. “I refused to use unconstitutional powers. We never issued mask mandates, we didn’t mandate vaccines, we never kept anybody from going to church and we kept kids in the classroom.”
Noem went on to note that she never had anyone arrested or fined for exercising their basic rights.
Noem’s assault on ‘experts’ continued as she outlined what she sees as the difference between conservatives and “the left”.
The left divides us based on our differences; conservatives, we unite around our shared values. The left crushes free speech; conservatives celebrate free expression. The left says America is racist and that it’s evil; conservatives know America’s not the sum of our past mistakes. The left says only an elite class of so-called experts is smart enough to solve our problems, but conservatives know that everyone can contribute and that experts are often the last group who should be put in charge.Kristi Noem, CPAC 2022
Following a two minute story about George Washington driving the British out of Boston on St. Patrick’s day, Noem outline her vision for what Americans need to do.
“Number one, speak the truth,” she said. “The left lives on lies. It’s part of their power to frighten people into falling in line. Take that power away.”
The second thing Noem implored he listeners to do is to never give up, telling them that they won on mask mandates, and that they’ll win on abortion at the supreme court.
Reflecting on her time in Washington as a Congresswoman, Noem recounted walking past the National Archives, and reading the inscription on the building that says “The glory and romance of our history are here preserved in the chronicles of those who conceived and builded [sic] the structure of our nation.“
Noem encouraged the audience to think about those words before telling them that the left doesn’t know what glory and romance are. “We should talk about them more,” she said.
Noem finished out her speech with yet another appeal to the audience. “We will win if we remember what we are conserving; if we keep relentlessly focused on defending freedom, and if we never give up. Thank you so much today for allowing me to be with you. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”
This was Noem’s second year speaking at CPAC. In 2021, she took the stage to talk about job growth, unemployment numbers and her response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read the full transcript of her speech here: