South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) had a tense interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Monday over claims she "caved to the NCAA." Rather than signing a bill that would have banned transgender girls and women from competing against biological females in sports, Noem returned it to the legislature for "style and form" changes, arguing to Carlson the current version "wouldn't solve the problem."
Noem joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to defend her decision, saying conservatives must be "strategic" in the fight to defend Title IX, which is why she's formed a national coalition to do just that.
"When have you ever known me to cave, Glenn? I didn't go through this whole last year, being the only one to keep my state open in the entire nation, to fight for what was right, and have everybody piling on, to cave on something like this," Noem asserted. "So, I'm trying to be smart and solve a problem. And I think a lot of times, we get bullied. We get bullied by the Left, but the Right can bully, too. And they're not looking at the facts. So in this situation, the coalition that I'm forming is to go after the NCAA. They have been bullying states for a long time with their policies by forcing us to allow men to participate in women's sports.
"I'm a small state. South Dakota is small," she continued. "We have to fight hard to even get any tournaments or games in the state of South Dakota. And I recognize the NCAA can come in and crush me, and can make an example out of me, and point to South Dakota and say, 'See, no other state better challenge us whatsoever.' So that's why I'm trying to be smart about this and build a coalition of athletes, of states, of governors, of attorneys generals, and show the NCAA that we're going to fight to make sure that only girls can play in girls' sports."
"We have to stand and up defend the rights that we have, and the federal law that we have in place, that women are women and only women should play in women's sports. And we can do that in a way that picks a fight — and fails — or we can do it in the smart way, and build momentum, so that we can actually win," Noem explained, adding that she's been fighting this issue "for years" now.
"If people would do their homework for once, and go back and look, [they would see that] years ago, I fought the USDA and the federal government when they were trying to force rodeos to let boys into girls' events and to make girls participate in boys' events. And I fought them alone. And got South Dakota to be able to still keep boys' and girls' events separated," she added. "So there there's no gray area for me on this. I've proven myself for years on this issue. And I'll continue to do this, regardless of who decides that they want to try to attack me and bully me."
Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:
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