Conservatives condemn Kristi Noem for ‘twisted’ admission of killing dog | Republicans

Conservatives condemn Kristi Noem for ‘twisted’ admission of killing dog | Republicans


Conservative pundits have condemned the South Dakota governor and possible Trump running mate Kristi Noem, amid widespread horror over her admission in a new book that she killed both an “untrainable” dog and an unruly goat during a single day in hunting season.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, a Trump White House staffer turned critic, said: “I’m a dog lover and I am honestly horrified by the Kristi Noem excerpt. I wish I hadn’t even read it. A 14-month-old dog is still a puppy and can be trained. A large part of bad behaviour in dogs is not having proper training from humans.

“Dogs are a gift from God. They’re a reflection of his unconditional love. Anyone who would needlessly hurt an animal because they are inconvenient needs help.”

The Guardian revealed Noem’s story, which is contained in a book out next month. In No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, Noem describes her frustrations with Cricket, a 14-month-old wirehair pointer who Noem says ruined a pheasant hunt and killed a neighbouring family’s chickens.

“I hated that dog,” Noem writes, saying Cricket was “untrainable … dangerous” and “less than worthless … as a hunting dog”.

“At that moment,” Noem says, “I realised I had to put her down.”

Noem describes taking Cricket to a gravel pit on her farm and shooting her. Remarkably, Noem then describes how she also chose to kill an unruly, unnamed, un-castrated goat, first botching the job then finishing the animal off with a third shotgun shell.

The news roiled the race to be named running mate to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, of whom Noem is an ardent supporter.

Sarah Matthews, another Trump aide turned opponent, said: “When I saw tweets about Kristi Noem murdering her puppy, I thought to myself, ‘Damn, one of the other VP contenders’ teams found some oppo,’ until I realized SHE wrote about it in HER book.

“I’m not sure why anyone would brag about this unless they’re sick and twisted.”

Rachel Bade, senior Washington correspondent for Politico, said: “Not sure who advised Kristi Noem that it was a good idea to boast about killing her 14-month-old puppy but I’m willing to bet this would be a big problem for her if she [was] chosen for VP. Makes [2012 presidential nominee Mitt] Romney’s dog-on-the-car-roof story look quaint.”

Meghan McCain, a pundit whose father, the late Arizona Republican senator John McCain, made one of the most famous running mate selections in history when he chose the extremist Sarah Palin in 2008, wrote on X: “You can recover from a lot of things in politics, change the narrative etc. But not from killing a dog.

“All I will distinctly think about Kristi Noem now is that she murdered a puppy who was ‘acting up’ – which is obviously cruel and insane. Good luck with that VP pick[,] lady.”

Noem responded by doubling down.

“We love animals,” she said, “but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down three horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years.”

The governor also promised “more real, honest and politically incorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping”.

But in political and media circles, most gasps were of horror – alongside mourning for Cricket and the unnamed goat.

Joe Biden’s re-election campaign seized on the story, tweeting pictures of the president and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, happily interacting with dogs. The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, called Noem’s words “truly disturbing and horrifying”.

“Our message is plain and simple,” the DNC said. “If you want elected officials who don’t brag about brutally killing their pets as part of their self-promotional book tour, then listen to our owners – and vote Democrat.”

Dan Lussen, a hunting dog trainer, told Rolling Stone a 14-month-old dog was a “baby that doesn’t know any better”, adding that unruly dogs were the result of a lack of guidance, training or discipline by the owner.

The pressure group Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – said: “Most Americans love their dogs, and we suspect that they will consider Governor Noem a psychotic loony for letting this rambunctious puppy loose on chickens and then punishing her by deciding to personally blow her brains out rather than attempting to train her or find a more responsible guardian who would provide her with a proper home.

“Governor Noem obviously fails to understand the vital political concepts of education, cooperation, compromise and compassion.”

Celebrity dog lovers joined the condemnation.

The actor Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, posted a picture with his two dogs and said: “Despising animal cruelty should be bipartisan.”

Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, addressed Noem directly: “You are so full of shit it’s not even funny. You just couldn’t be bothered to train that puppy. And if [s]he truly couldn’t be a birddog, I am quite sure [s]he would have been a great pet for a family that didn’t need to shoot birds to give [her] something to do. #psychopath.”

Back in politics, Rick Wilson, a former Republican operative, called Noem “deliberately cruel” and “trash”. Later, the Lincoln Project, the anti-Trump group Wilson co-founded, released a short video ad.

Over shots of dogs looking lovable but acting rambunctiously, a solemn voice said: “Dog owners know our furry friends can be a lot to keep up with.

“But when those tough moments come, you have options. Shooting your dog in the face should not be one of them. And if you do happen to shoot your dog in the face, please, don’t write about it in your autobiography.

“This has been a public service announcement directed at any Republican who may be considering murdering their dog.”





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