Tucker Carlson Grills Kristi Noem For Refusing To Sign Transgender Girls’ Sports Bill

On Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defended her decision to not sign a popular bill in her state that would have banned transgender girls and women from participating in female sports.

The governor made her comments during a sometimes aggressive exchange with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which he accused Noem of caving to special interests at the expense of her constituents. 

Exchange Gets Heated Between Gov. Kristi Noem And Tucker Carlson

Carlson was on the offensive and Noem on the defensive right from the jump. 

Carlson accused Noem that the bill almost passed with her support until “big business intercedes, [the] NCAA, Chamber of Commerce and Amazon and tell you not to sign it — and you change your mind.”

Noem replied, “Well, that’s not true, Tucker. I could sign the bill the way that it is today … but it wouldn’t solve the problem.”

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Gov. Noem said she sent the bill back to the legislature and claimed she would still sign after certain revisions were made.

“This bill would only allow the NCAA to bully South Dakota,” Noem claimed. “And it would actually prevent women from being able to participate in collegiate sports. So what I have done is I have asked the legislature … to change the bill.”

Noem claimed the bill as it currently stands would allow the NCAA to take legal action against her state.

“We have had to fight hard to get any tournaments to come to South Dakota,” she said. 

Noem continued, “When they took punitive action against us we would have to litigate, and legal scholars that I have been consulting with for many, many months say I would very likely lose those litigation efforts.”

Carlson To Noem: ‘And So You Are Caving To The NCAA?’

That is when Carlson interjected.

“Wait,” Carlson interrupted. “So you are saying the NCAA threatened you … they said ‘If you sign this, we won’t allow girls in South Dakota to play’ and you don’t think you can win in court — even though the public overwhelmingly supports you nationally?”

“And so you are caving to the NCAA?” Carlson asked.

Noem said Carlson’s framing was “completely wrong.”

“Listen, I’m sick and tired of the NCAA threatening states, challenging us and bullying us, so we are going to build a coalition of leaders, athletes and people who want to protect women’s sports,” Noem said.

The interview went on longer but needless to say, many on social media did not like what they were hearing from Gov. Noem.

Conservatives Weren’t Buying What Noem Was Selling

Many wondered if there were other reasons for her seemingly new position on this issue.

Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor for The Federalist opined that there may be a conflict of interest going on in the Governor’s office:

Former deputy assistant to former President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, seconded Hemingway, writing, “Governor @KristiNoem is just another RINO. Those who supported her for 2024 should read this article.”

Conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted, “What a huge mistake ~ I’m talked to several cons who have written her off. You can’t betray the base. Period.”

Conservative pundit Jesse Kelley noted, “What happened with Kristi Noem is a great example of why you NEVER fall in love with a potential presidential candidate too early.”

Of course, Gov. Noem tried to spin her interview with Carlson as a big win.

“You’re preaching my sermon. Only girls play girls’ sports,” she tweeted.

But very few conservatives – if any – were having it.

Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson tweeted, “RIP: Kristi Noem’s ambition to be President of the United States.”

Former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos wrote, “Governor Noem had a chance to stand out from the pack. Now, she’s just another one of the same group. 2024 is wide open.”

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Conservative columnist Inez Stepman tweeted, “What’s happening in SD right now is that Gov Noem is allowing private interests to dictate the cultural & legal policy of the state, over strong majorities of actual voters.”

If Gov. Kristi Noem actually believes her appearance on Tucker Carlson’s program was the beginning of her political rehabilitation in Republican circles, she might be in for a rude awakening the next time she attends a conservative event.


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John Hanson

is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He has been a special guest on Fox News, Sirius XM, appeared as the guest of various popular personalities, and has had a lifelong interest in right-leaning politics.

View Comments

  • I got the impression Tucker just wanted the law passed for the sake of making the statement, and cared less about if it stood up in court.

  • There are two and only two sexual biological genders, and for the few sexual abnormalities they are just that, biological sexual abnormalities!

  • That's what I got out of what she said. ..
    Was Tucker just helping her promote what she was doing by playing Devil's advocate or did he really not see where she stood?

  • They claim it's about compassion, but it's just another mechanism to divide and conquer. The real forces behind this couldn't care less about transgenders, or persons of color, or children, or the elderly, or women, or any of the other genders du jour - every highlighted catagory is used as just another prop with which to create division, envy, fear, and hatred for one another. They are masters of emotional manipulation and will use anyone and anything to advance their creeping totalitarianism. As long as America is consumed fighting over all these intentional divisions, the left who fan the flames of division continue steamrolling over the Constitutional rights of ALL the various factions involved. They've managed to place Americans at each others' throats instead of pulling together to fight the real enemy - the totalitarian leftist supremacism disguised as liberalism that has brought America to this point of intentional disintegration.
    I would expect better of conservative pundits than to play into the hands of the globalist left with a rush to judgement of one of our own who has done more than just talk the talk... if i were given to the same rush to judgement, i would be inclined to conclude that Tucker et al are more concerned with hits and ratings than in pulling together to ensure the survival of our Constitutional Republic.

  • So quick to eat our own.. at first perception, set up the circular firing squad.. The only Governor in the US to put the Constitution first & not cave knee-jerkedly to a novel plandemic lockdown; first bill she signed was Constitutional carry; and now Noem's been declared a RINO of the first order - yeah, she's just another Romney... Ok pundits, glad you chimed in, now get lost.

    Tucker's great, most of the time, but sometimes he gets a little too foxy for our own good. The lack of discernment with Sidney Powell, now the sideshow with Noem - a little too cannibalistic to accomplish anything but ratings, perhaps. How about listen to what Kristi says, give her a chance to back it up, and take it from there... except that's probably not flashy enough for prime time.
    I really do hope Noem comes back with a better bill that has staying power. She has demonstrated the courage to stand against the poisonous tide of a deteriorating culture driven by nefarious forces, and to sell her short without due process is as shallow as that culture - she deserves better than that - she deserves the chance to get it right.

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