North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum stressed his focus on securing the Republican Presidential nomination as former President Donald Trump continues to maintain his lead in the polls.
Trump’s overwhelming popularity has increased speculations about who he may select as a vice president should he be nominated.
Burgum was asked, during an interview on “CNN This Morning” if he would be willing to serve as Trump’s running mate in 2024.
“No, I would not,” said Burgum, per The Hill. “Happy to do lots of other things. I [had a] fabulous 30 years in the private sector, a lot of opportunities there.”
“I’m not running for a Cabinet position. I mean, I’m not selling a book, I’m not running [for] Cabinet,” he continued. “All I’ve ever done: CEO, entrepreneur, build businesses, attract talent, be successful, understand how the globe works, and lead stuff, like the miracle story, the success story of North Dakota.”
Burgum sold his technology company, Great Plains Software, to Microsoft in 2001 for over $1 billion. He stayed on with Microsoft as a vice president until 2007.
The 67-year-old launched his presidential campaign in June. He is currently serving his second gubernatorial term and is eligible to seek a third term in office.
“We need a leader who understands the real work that Americans do every day,” Burgum said in his announcement. “Someone who has worked alongside our farmers, our ranchers, and our small business owners. Someone who has held jobs where you shower at the end of the day – not at the beginning.”
Burgum is a long-shot candidate. He is polling at an average of 0.8% as of Aug. 28, according to FiveThirtyEight. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are currently polling in second and third place, although both are over 30 points behind Trump.
The governor was permitted to appear on stage at the Republican National Committee debate although his campaign’s tactic raised some eyebrows after Americans were offered $20 gift cards if they made a minimum $1 donation. The strategy reportedly cost a total of $760,000.
Burgum has personally invested $10 million into his campaign.
“I’ve never asked anyone to invest in what I’m doing unless I’m willing to put some skin in the game myself,” Burgum told Fox News in July. “You can’t win races if you’re just trying to win races yourself. You can’t accomplish anything. It takes a whole team. We’re looking forward to running a fully funded campaign, but that’s going to come from the people who care about America.”
Trump and Burgum have previously had a positive relationship. Burgum twice endorsed Trump, who said he respects the North Dakota governor – calling him a “high-quality person” in an interview after the RNC debate, per Valley News Live.