North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) is suspending his campaign in the Republican presidential primary after failing to gain traction in the crowded field.
Burgum’s campaign was seen as a long shot from its conception. The governor entered the field with little national name recognition and faced questions over whether his bid was a vanity project.
The primary allowed Burgum to boost his national brand, giving him access to national television spots and a place on the presidential primary debate stage.
Burgum announced his decision to suspend his campaign in a Monday statement, saying he launched his campaign with the mission of bringing “a business leader and proven governor’s voice to the fight for the best of America.” He said the campaign focused on “divisive issues” that should be addressed at the local and state level before he entered the race instead of issues like the economy, energy policy and national security.
“Solving these issues is foundational to every American’s safety and prosperity. Our leadership and understanding of how the global economy really works has shifted the conversation toward the critical need for America to get its economy sprinting versus crawling, become energy-dominant and win the Cold War with China,” Burgum said in the statement.
Burgum was able to qualify for the first two of the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) primary debates, standing on the stage along with some of the higher-tier candidates. But he was unable to meet the requirements to make the third debate last month and was almost certain to not qualify for the fourth debate Wednesday.
He generally received no more than about 1 or 2 percent in most polls.
Burgum slammed the RNC’s “clubhouse” requirements for the debates for “nationalizing the primary process” and taking power away from voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote. He said the RNC’s requirements are not related to performing the job of president.
“The RNC’s mission is to win elections. 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 said. “These arbitrary criteria ensure advantages for candidates from major media markets on the coasts versus America’s Heartland.”
Burgum said he decided to run for president based on “caring deeply” about every American and wanting to improve trust in the country’s leadership and democracy.
“We are deeply grateful for each and every person who supported us with their ideas, prayers, advocacy, encouragement and enthusiasm,” he said.
Updated at 11:22 a.m.
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