North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum leapt into an already crowded 2024 GOP presidential race in June, joining household names like former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. But a recent poll indicates he has a much smaller national profile. According to a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month, 90% of American voters “haven’t heard enough about” the North Dakota Republican. That statistic doesn’t seem to phase him.
“We’re well-known in the private sector,” says Burgum, who owned Great Plains Software before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. “We’re up on the air in Iowa and New Hampshire,” says Burgum, who spent nearly $3 million on ads since his launch, more money than any other candidate, according to a report from NBC News.
Burgum is also on the air on Forbes Newsroom, where he sat down with Forbes for nearly 40 minutes to give his take on some of the biggest issues facing Americans as we inch closer to the 2024 election. Most striking? The Republican governor believes the United States is “in a cold war with China” and “actually at war with Russia.” How would he handle each of these countries if he were commander in chief? When it comes to China, “it has to start with energy policy,” he says, adding “we have an opportunity as an energy powerhouse to really control that discussion.” As for Russia, he believes “it’s not about us just having a bigger defense budget, it’s about us … being the energy powerhouse that provides energy to our allies.”
Throughout Burgum’s conversation with Forbes, he kept coming back to the idea of cutting the red tape to solve many of the nation’s issues, from the turbulent economy to the influx of migrants at the southern border. “The answer’s got to be innovation, not regulation.”
Earlier this year, as North Dakota’s governor, Burgum signed into law some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion measures, effectively banning most abortions in the state. According to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday, 57% of Americans oppose the 2022 Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. With that stat in mind, the governor does not think he is out of step with the American people, emphasizing he believes it’s a state issue. If elected to the nation’s highest office, he vows that he would not sign a federal abortion ban, and instead leave it up to the state.
In both 2016 and 2020, Burgum endorsed Donald Trump for president. Now, he’s running against the man he once supported. When asked what he believes makes him the stronger contender, Burgum replies “our country’s been built on hard work — it’s been built on people who get up and do the jobs they have to do. I understand that — that’s how I grew up.”
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