Economy, National Security Are Burgum’s Key Issues in 2024 Run

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
November 17, 20232024 Elections
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Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says the U.S. economy, energy, and national security are among the top issues he’s discussing with his potential supporters as he continues along the 2024 presidential campaign trail.

NTD’s “Capitol Report” spoke with Mr. Burgum in Florida as he continued to make the case for Republicans to support his presidential campaign, and asked him about the top issues he’s connecting with voters on.

“The three things that we’ve been talking about since the day we announced is economy, No. 1; energy policy, which is intertwined with all of our economic problems; and of course, national security, and that includes border security,” Mr. Burgum said.

He added that current events in the world, such as the Israel–Hamas war, have caught a lot of attention in recent weeks. Still, he said the focus of average American families consistently comes back to the economy and making ends meet.

“How they make it from paycheck to paycheck is really catching their attention,” he said.

Mr. Burgum said the executive branch under President Joe Biden has contributed to these economic challenges by imposing new regulations he says create costly “red tape” for U.S. businesses.

“As a governor, I have a front-row seat. We’re fighting 28 different initiatives by the Biden administration, you know, six from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, half a dozen from the Bureau of Land Management, EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency), even more than that, they just keep coming and coming,” the governor told NTD News. “These aren’t laws passed by Congress. These are regulations driven by ideology, driven by unelected bureaucrats, that are hurting American competitiveness. And they are driving up the cost of everything.”

Mr. Burgum said America’s economic concerns are manifested in other issues as well, such as border security. He noted the leaders of some “sanctuary cities”—jurisdictions that avoid cooperating with federal enforcement efforts to deport illegal immigrants—have begun to balk at the heightened numbers of illegal immigrants that have come to their cities in recent years.

“It tells us that at the end of the day, it all comes back to economics,” Mr. Burgum said. “You can’t absorb six states’ worth of people, and then figure out that you’re going to pay for them out of your existing sanctuary city budgets. That doesn’t work. And so they’re waking up to the fact that the open border policy is making their cities less safe and less prosperous. And hopefully, now we can get a change.”

Burgum Says He’ll Empower Border Patrol as President

Continuing on the issue of border security, Mr. Burgum said he’ll make it a point to go down to the U.S. southern border.

“When I’m your President, I’ll be down at the border. It took Joe Biden two years to get there. I’ll be down there in the first two weeks.”

Mr. Burgum said he’d be open to using diplomatic, economic, and military means to address border security, but said he’d start by changing the mission of America’s existing border security officials.

“They’re doing paperwork. They’re sitting back at a tent, at a soft-sided facility, processing people into America, because that’s their order,” the North Dakota governor said. “And when you ask them, they say, ‘Give us the direction, give us the resources, give us the technology. We can close the border, we’ve done it before.'”

Mr. Burgum said he’d also support more funding for U.S. border officials and jabbed at President Biden for supporting a plan to hire about 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents over a decade, while the number of full-time U.S. Border Patrol agents stands at about 19,600.

President Biden recently submitted a proposal to provide $14 billion in additional funding for U.S. border security this year, including funding for new Border Patrol agents and to increase staffing to process asylum cases. Some Republicans have been apprehensive about approving President Biden’s request, which puts that $14 billion for border security funding into a larger $105 billion request that includes $61.4 billion for additional Ukrainian military assistance in their ongoing war with Russia.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has said addressing the current border security concerns doesn’t require “throwing more money” at the problem, but rather changing policies and disincentivizing people from crossing the southern border. Other Senate Republicans have laid out some border security changes they want in exchange for approving President Biden’s $105 billion funding request; conditions including resuming border wall construction and tightening the standards by which border crossers may apply for asylum or are otherwise allowed entry into the United States through a parole process.

Burgum Says China Empowered By Biden’s ‘Appeasement And Weakness’

When asked about his views on China, the North Dakota Republican directed even more criticism at the sitting U.S. president.

“We are in a cold war with China. We’re in a proxy war with Russia. We’re in a proxy war with Iran. And all of that is because of Joe Biden’s appeasement and weakness. Weakness brings conflict. We need to be strong. We need to support our allies around the world. Whether it’s Ukraine, Israel, or Taiwan, we need to stand with them,” Mr. Burgum said.

Mr. Burgum further faulted the Biden administration for not expanding U.S. fossil fuel production and selling some of that energy product to South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Mr. Burgum said rather than supporting these U.S. allies, the Biden administration has left their energy needs underserved and allowed them to become more dependent on other nations less friendly to the United States.

“The Biden administration never even brings up food and energy in their discussions with China. What do they talk about? They talk about, you know, 2050 CO2 goals, which China doesn’t care about,” Mr. Burgum said.

“They’re opening up a coal plant every week in China. And then they’re the world’s largest polluter. We’re the cleanest country in the world,” he continued. “And we’re building energy policies where … we’re gonna get batteries from China made in a plant, a battery plant or a solar panel plant, that’s powered by coal. I mean, I’m not sure what the Biden administration is thinking. It’s almost like their energy policies were written by China.”

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