Former presidential candidate Doug Burgum endorses Trump on eve of Iowa caucuses

North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum endorsed Donald Trump for president on the eve of the Iowa caucuses after dropping his own bid for the presidency last month.

Burgum, who became the first of Trump’s former GOP rivals to endorse him for president, joined Trump on stage at a campaign rally Sunday. 

“Four years ago, I was speaking on behalf of President Trump at the Iowa caucuses in Sioux City, and today, I’m here to do something that none of the other presidential primary candidates have done,” Gov. Burgum said. “And that’s endorse Donald J. Trump for the president of the United States of America.” 

Donald Trump Campaigns In Iowa
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, center, endorses former President Donald Trump, while joined by North Dakota first lady Kathryn Burgum at a campaign event at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, on Jan. 14, 2024.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Burgum dropped out of the race after struggling with the Republican National Committee’s debate requirements. He was able to qualify for the first and second debates, but failed to qualify for the third one. Two days before the fourth debate, the governor announced he was suspending his campaign. 

“The RNC’s clubhouse debate requirements are nationalizing the primary process and taking the power of democracy away from the engaged, thoughtful citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire,” Burgum said in ending his candidacy. 

Burgum is a social conservative, who has signed into law a six-week abortion ban and legislation to restrict transgender rights. He’s also a fiscal hawk who has cut state spending while enacting the largest tax cut in North Dakota history.

A day after he dropped out, Trump praised Burgum’s business background during an interview with a local North Dakota radio show and raised the possibility of a cabinet position Burghum in his administration, if he wins. Asked about a future job for him, Trump replied, “Well, I do. And you know, we have a thing called a cabinet and there are a lot of great positions in that cabinet. Bigger than anything that you have in the private sector.” 

“When you look at the size of some of the agencies and places that get run in this country, and you multiply it out, they’re big and they’re important and they have to be well run. And I would,” he said. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for Doug.”

Fin Gómez contributed to this report.

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