Doug Burgum, Republican Jewish Coalition, Las Vegas, NV
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2023 Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas, NV. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum tried to earn a spot on the GOP ticket by saying a bunch of crazy stuff.

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We were wrong about North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R). Well, we were kinda wrong… but mostly right. A while back, we wrote about him entering the GOP primary and said candidates like him are “White House hopefuls” in the same way a toddler on a bike is a “Tour de France hopeful.”

To be fair, in the same piece, we noted that it would be more accurate to describe him as a “VP pick hopeful.”

Fast forward a few months, and Burgum is now one of the leading contenders to join Donald Trump on the Republican ticket, which means he may make it to the White House after all… through the backdoor.

Of course, to get that spot, he’ll have to kiss Trump’s butt some more, which is the main requirement (in addition to a willingness to lie about the 2020 election and participate in a coup if necessary).

Burgum has been doing a good job of that as a surrogate who has frequently popped up on news shows and also made the pilgrimage to the New York courthouse where Trump was convicted of falsifying business records to hide the hush money payments he made to a porn star.

There are other “qualities” a Trump running mate will need, such as lying incessantly, hyperbole, and hypocrisy.

Burgum checked all of these boxes during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Asked why he frequently refers to Joe Biden a “dictator” (hyperbole), the governor pointed to the president’s use of executive orders, which is a power specifically granted to the commander in chief.

Burgum tried to weasel out of giving a straight answer by suggesting that Biden has used this authority more than any other president (lie).

In fact, he is nowhere close.

Almost three and a half years into his presidency, Biden has signed 139 executive orders. That figure is dwarfed by the number of executive orders other presidents have signed, like Franklin D. Roosevelt (3,721 executive orders), Woodrow Wilson (1,803 executive orders), and Calvin Coolidge (1,203 executive orders).

Oh, and some guy named Donald Trump signed 220 of them…

And that brings us to hypocrisy (which, like in this case, often goes hand-in-hand with unintentional comedy).

After having just spent a couple of minutes defending his use of the term “dictator” to describe Biden, he then said the president could do more to defend the border… through executive orders!

In other words, he is outraged that the president behaves like a dictator but also that he has not used his powers more often in some cases.

Burgum also laments that there is a double standard when it comes to this issue.

“Part of where this word [dictator] has come from is that there is a nonstop media attack on President Trump saying that he might take executive orders when he takes office,” he said.

Of course, the reason why “the media” does so is because Trump himself said he would be a dictator on the first day of a second term (but only on that day).

You can hardly blame journalists for quoting the guy.

And everybody knows that Trump will try to govern through executive order… especially if the GOP is not in full control of Congress.

Of course, it doesn’t matter to Burgum whether he makes sense because he is not trying to impress the American people… just one guy hanging out in Mar-a-Lago.

It looks as though that mission has been accomplished.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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