South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem firmly held her ground against an aggressive George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning’s This Week, November 8, as he grilled her over the presidential election results and coronavirus cases in her state.
Immediately preceding Noem’s appearance, Stephanopoulos had New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo on for yet another cushy interview. He actually asked Cuomo to put Noem and other Republicans in their place on accepting election results that are still being contested in court.
“What is your message to her and other Republicans who have so far not acknowledged and we heard Senator Blunt earlier, President-Elect Biden's victory?” Stephanopoulos asked. After Cuomo pompously lectured Republicans to stop dividing the country, Stephanopoulos brought on the South Dakota governor to lecture her, himself.
“You heard Governor Cuomo,” he touted before pressing Noem about rising coronavirus cases and the election: “COVID is rising in your state as well. Cases are up, hospitalizations are up. Deaths are up. Are you prepared to work with President-Elect Biden to get it under control?”
But Noem promptly put the journalist in his place:
Well, it is a regional increase that we're seeing. We are testing more and frankly I'm not going to take advice from Governor Cuomo. He has the second worst death rate per 100,000 people in this nation. He's at 173 deaths per 100,000 per capita. South Dakota is at 54. I appreciated that President Trump gave us the flexibility to do the right thing in our state and will continue to do that; he let me do my job.
She went on to argue that this discussion about President-Elect Biden was “premature” because they haven’t finished counting votes and the allegations of election fraud were still being battled in court. But Stephanopoulos didn’t want to hear it. He sputtered, “Governor Noem, do you have any evidence it wasn't an honest election?” claiming he had seen Republican officials come up with “zero evidence of widespread fraud.”
Noem pushed back saying this was “absolutely not true” as she went on to list some of the allegations Republicans have put forward of voter fraud and clerical errors that benefited Biden.
Stephanopoulos’s frustration was palpable as he continued to interrupt Noem: “No widespread fraud, governor! That's very different!”
Noem ended her argument saying that if Biden wanted to unite the country, he would make sure we had an honest election. The ABC anchor then went on to badger Noem, lecturing her that the numbers weren’t’ as close as the 2000 election.
But Noem again called out the media’s bias in their election coverage and explained why this election process was so important:
...[A]nd that's what I think is interesting is this declaration from some individuals saying it was an overwhelming victory for Joe Biden. It simply wasn't because you have so many of these states still in play. All I'm asking for, George, is that we don't break this country. When you break the process on which we elect our leaders you will break America forever so this isn't just about this election. This is about every election in the future...
Stephanopoulos smugly shut down the governor after this by touting how the governor "still had not provided evidence" of voter fraud and they were out of time.
On Twitter, the network continued showing their disdain and cluelessness about anyone outside their liberal bubble by tweeting out that Noem was the governor of an entirely different state:
Pressed by @GStephanopoulos on whether she has any evidence to support Pres. Trump’s election claims, GOP North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem does not provide any evidence, but also refuses to acknowledge that Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the presidency. https://t.co/RxWyF4Jwuf pic.twitter.com/VMNUeml0On— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 8, 2020
Read the transcript below:
This Week With George Stephanopoulos
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in Governor Kristi Noem. You heard Governor Cuomo. Governor Noem, thanks for joining us. COVID is rising in your state as well. Cases are up, hospitalizations are up. Deaths are up. Are you prepared to work with President-Elect Biden to get it under control?
GOV. KRISTI NOEM: Well, it is a regional increase that we're seeing. We are testing more and frankly George I'm not going to take advice from Governor Cuomo. He has the second worst death rate per 100,000 people in this nation. He's at 173 deaths per 100,000 per capita. South Dakota is at 54. I appreciated that President Trump gave us the flexibility to do the right thing in our state and will continue to do that, he let me do my job. But the other thing that I think is going on here, George, this is all premature. This is a premature conversation because we have not finished counting votes. There are states that have not been called and back in 2000 Al Gore was given his day in court. We should give President Trump his day in court. Let the process unfold because, George, we live in a republic. We are a government that gets its power from the consent of the governed. That is the people. They give their consent on election day. Election day needs to be fair, honest and transparent and we need to be sure that we had an honest election before we decide who gets to the White House the next four years--
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Noem, do you have any evidence it wasn't an honest election? You put out a tweet earlier saying that it was rigged. Any evidence of widespread fraud? I spoke with Republican Secretaries of State in Georgia, in Arizona. I've spoken with Republican officials across the country. They have come up with zero evidence of widespread fraud.
NOEM: And that is not true. That is absolutely not true. People have signed legal documents, affidavits stating that they saw illegal activities and that is why we need to have this conversation in court. The New York Times itself said that there were clerical errors.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No widespread fraud, governor! That's very different.
NOEM: We had computer glitches that changed Republican votes to Democrat votes. You look in Pennsylvania, dead people voted in Pennsylvania. So, George, I don't know how widespread it is. I don't know if it'll change the outcome of the election, but why is everybody so scared just to have a fair election and find out? We gave Al Gore 37 days to run the process before we decided who was going to be president. Why would we not afford the 70.6 million Americans that voted for President Trump the same consideration?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor, Governor Noem--
NOEM: If Joe Biden really wants to unify this country he would wait and make sure that we can prove it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Al Gore was behind by 500 votes in one state, Florida. Joe Biden is ahead in all the close states by multiple --
NOEM: And look at more moving parts we have today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: 10,000 votes in Georgia, 27,000 votes in Nevada. Almost 20,000 votes in Arizona. More than 30,000 votes in Pennsylvania. That is not close. That is not within the margin that elections are usually turned around on.
NOEM: And many, many more states are in play this time around. And that's what I think is interesting is this declaration from some individuals saying it was an overwhelming victory for Joe Biden. It simply wasn't because you have so many of these states still in play. All I'm asking for, George, is that we don't break this country. When you break the process on which we elect our leaders you will break America forever so this isn't just about this election. This is about every election in the future and the fact that the American people, the everyday people who get up and work hard that are suffering through this pandemic that have tragically lost family members, that they need to know at least America still functions and we care about doing things right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It starts with providing evidence. You still have not provided that but I'm afraid out of time today. Governor Noem. Thanks for your time.
NOEM: Let the process work and we will.