The two female politicians became friends while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in the mid-2010s. Gabbard explained that she was advised that if she wanted to make friends in Washington, D.C., "go to the gym."
"There's so much partisan rhetoric, so much divisiveness, a lot of decisions that are being made solely based on what is good for the party rather than thinking, 'Hey, what's good for the people? How do we actually get together and solve problems?'" Gabbard further explained of her time in the nation's capital alongside Noem. "And I treasure my friendship with Kristi because that's what she and I found in common."
Noem, who is running for reelection as governor, explained that South Dakota could go to either party depending on who shows up to vote.
In a plea to voters, Gabbard told them to "look at the bigger picture" even if they disagree with the governor on some issues. According to her, governors "serve as a check and balance on federal mandates," and there is "such a clear contrast and a clear choice for voters here in South Dakota."
She added that Noem's Democratic opponent, Jamie Smith, will serve as a "rubber stamp" for President Joe Biden's administration.
A recent Hill-Emerson College poll of South Dakotans revealed that Noem holds a double-digit lead over her Democratic counterpart. In the survey, which included 1,500 respondents, 56% said they plan to vote for Noem, while 37% say they are supporting Smith. The survey was conducted between Oct. 19-21 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 points.
Gabbard recently renounced her membership in the Democratic Party, citing internal changes that no longer represent her values.
During the Wednesday event, Gabbard said the Democratic Party has been taken over by "radical, so-called woke ideologues" who have caused an "unfortunate, really fast downward spiral."
Since the renunciation, the former representative has been campaigning for Republican candidates across the country. Most recently, she joined Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt in Nevada to make one final push ahead of the midterm elections.
After the South Dakota event, Gabbard tweeted out an endorsement of Blake Masters, who is in a tight Senate race in Arizona against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ).