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North Dakota Gov. Burgum emerges as a potential VP pick for Trump, may be able to draw moderates

Burgum launched a GOP presidential bid for 2024, but suspended his campaign and endorsed Trump in January. 

Published: May 11, 2024 11:37pm

With his appeal to moderate voters, North Dakota GOP Gov. Doug Burgum is emerging as a potential vice presidential pick for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The latest signals came Saturday evening when Trump flew the 67-year-old Burgum on his jet to a rally in Wildwood, N.J., and put him front and center on stage, where he forcefully made the case for a second Trump term.

“President Trump respects state’s rights. He cut regulation. He lowered taxes," he argued. "Working under the Biden regulatory regime is like having a gale-force wind in your face."

Trump heaped his own praise on Burgum, citing his deep expertise on an issue important to voters.

“He probably knows more about energy than anybody I know,” the former president said.

Then he offered a big tease. “So, get ready for something, okay? Just get ready," Trump said, without elaborating.

Sources recently told Axios that Trump likes Burgum's gubernatorial experience and the fact that he doesn't get involved in drama.

Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump also reportedly hosted Burgum and his wife, Kathryn, at Mar-a-Lago for an Easter Brunch.

Burgum launched a GOP presidential bid for 2024, but suspended his campaign and endorsed Trump in January. He also announced that he would not seek a third term as governor. 

Before jumping into politics, Burgum was most well known for being the cofounder of "Arthur Ventures," a company that leads investments in B2B software companies in the U.S. and Canada. 

Overall, Burgum has a conservative record when it comes to his position as governor. He signed a law that bans abortion after six weeks, but doesn't support a federal ban and that the issue should be left up to the states. 

He has been outspoken about illegal immigration and has sent the North Dakota National Guard to the U.S. southern border to assist with the crisis of multiple people coming in. 

When Burgum was on the presidential campaign trail, his main priorities included making energy more affordable and cutting taxes. 

Burgum has been critical of Trump in the past and said that he didn't believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen, a talking point the former president repeated. 

"I believe that Joe Biden won the election," Burgum said during a 2023 interview, according to NBC News

Burgum recently did a wide-ranging interview with CNN where he said the main issues for the upcoming 2024 election are national security and public safety. 

"2016 was about immigration," Burgum said. "Now it's about national security and public safety and open borders is something the majority of Americans are concerned about.”

He also added that unrest breaking out in other countries and inflation are also major concerns from Americans. 

"The first rule of VP selection is reminiscent of a doctor’s Hippocratic oath – 'first do no harm,'" Kyle Kondik, the managing editor at Sabato's Crystal Ball, told Just the News. "Burgum seems like a fairly inoffensive choice, and I think that would be fine for Trump. At this point I don’t think Trump needs much help on his right – he did back in 2016, which is why Mike Pence was a decent choice."

When Burgum was asked on CNN if he would serve as Trump's vice president if asked, he said that him being on the "VP List" is speculation and the main reason he is supporting Trump is due to his energy policies because of the positive impact they have had on his state.

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