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The conservative politician slammed the Republican National Committee on his way out after he failed to qualify for the upcoming presidential debate
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is suspending his presidential campaign, with the Republican making the announcement in a statement released Monday morning, saying he had not met the polling threshold required for him to participate in the next debate.
In the statement, Burgum, 67, slammed the Republican National Committee's debate requirements, asserting that they "are nationalizing the primary process and taking the power of democracy away from the engaged, thoughtful citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire."
“It is not their mission to reduce competition and restrict fresh ideas by ‘narrowing the field’ months before the Iowa caucuses or the first in the nation New Hampshire primary," he wrote in the statement. "These arbitrary criteria ensure advantages for candidates from major media markets on the coasts versus America’s Heartland. None of their debate criteria relate to the qualifications related to actually doing the job of the president.”
In launching his campaign, Burgum joined a crowded Republican field of candidates that included former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The second-term governor and wealthy software entrepreneur was sworn in as North Dakota's 33rd governor in December 2016, and ran again for the seat in 2020, winning the race handily. Burgum was endorsed by Trump during both his gubernatorial elections, and he endorsed Trump back during his first two presidential runs.
Burgum has not yet endorsed anyone in the 2024 race since withdrawing.
During his time in the governor's office, Burgum has signed a number of controversial measures, including a bill that would ban nearly every abortion in North Dakota, only allowing slim exceptions (such as cases of rape or incest) at up to six weeks’ gestation.
Burgum also signed into law a number of anti-trans measures, including a bill that criminalizes trans healthcare for minors and another that allows public school teachers to misgender transgender students and colleagues (that bill also prohibits transgender students from using school restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity).
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In 2020, however, Burgum criticized the Republican Party's stance on LGBTQ+ issues, calling the rhetoric behind some of the party's policy statements "hurtful and divisive."
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