Gov. Kristi Noem, who wrote of shooting her dog, to speak at California GOP convention

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, in the headlines recently for recounting in her new book how she shot her dog, is scheduled to speak Saturday at the California Republican Party’s convention in Burlingame.

Democrats slammed the state GOP over Noem’s planned appearance.

“She can come to California, but I can guarantee she won’t get anywhere near my pup Charlie,” said Rusty Hicks, chairman of the California Democratic Party. “You don’t need a public poll to know that a bad record on puppies or the truth won’t bring more people into your party. But let’s be honest, the California Republican Party has been barking up the wrong tree for a very, very long time.”

A spokesperson for the state GOP defended Noem’s luncheon speech.

“Gov. Noem is a proven leader in South Dakota and will provide a welcome contrast to what Californians experience under Gov. [Gavin] Newsom’s failed leadership that has driven our state to the top of all of the wrong lists,” said Ellie Hockenbury. “We look forward to her joining us at our 2024 convention, which will be the largest gathering of California Republicans in a critical election year.”

Tickets to the luncheon range from $300 to $575; the top price includes a photo reception with Noem. State GOP officials said it was too early to say how many people will attend the luncheon or the convention, which runs from Friday to Sunday. Lara Trump, co-chair of the Republican National Committee and daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, is scheduled to speak Saturday evening.

Noem has been under fire for her book “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” released last week.

The controversy centers around Cricket, a 14-month-old wirehair pointer. Noem describes taking Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs to train her, details of which were first reported by the Guardian.

But the dog was “untrainable,” Noem wrote, and ended up eating a farm family’s chickens. So she took Cricket to a gravel pit and shot her.

“I hated that dog,” Noem wrote, describing her as “dangerous” and “less than worthless … as a hunting dog,” according to the Guardian.

She also describes killing a goat the same day.

Noem’s book also suggests that she met North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and had been scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron — accounts reported as false by the Dakota Scout newspaper.

Amid the uproar that followed her account of shooting her dog, Noem posted on X: “Don’t believe the #fakenews media’s twisted spin. I had a choice between the safety of my children and an animal who had a history of attacking people & killing livestock. I chose my kids.”

The governor had been on the short list to be former President Trump’s running mate, but he had soured on her before the book controversies, according to CNN.

But Trump has defended Noem, including in a radio interview that aired Tuesday.

“She’s a terrific person. She had a bad week,” he said. “We all have bad weeks.”

“Couple of rough stories, there’s no question about it,” the former president said. “Until this week, she was doing incredibly well. And she got hit hard, and sometimes you do books, and you have some guy writing a book, and you maybe don’t read it as carefully, you know. You have ghost writers do it, they help you, and they, in this case, didn’t help too much.”

President Biden’s reelection campaign jumped on the comments. (Noem recently suggested that one of Biden’s German shepherds should have suffered the same fate as Cricket after biting numerous people at the White House. The dog was relocated.)

“At the Biden campaign, we are proudly anti-puppy-killing and don’t think those who murder puppies are ‘terrific,’” said campaign spokesperson James Singer.

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