North Dakota Gov. Burgum: Presidential debate is an opportunity for CNN to ‘ask some tough questions’

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North Dakota Gov. Burgum: Presidential debate is an opportunity for CNN to ‘ask some tough questions’

Potential vice presidential candidate and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum suggested CNN could live up to the slogan “the most trusted name in news” by asking tough questions at the debate.

Burgum discussed CNN hosting the upcoming presidential debate between President Biden and former President Donald Trump while appearing on the network’s “State of the Union With Jake Tapper and Dana Bash” Sunday morning.

“I think this is a real opportunity for CNN, ‘most trusted name in news,’ to ask some tough questions, including the one…because this is a rematch. We had this debate just before the election four years ago, Joe Biden looked into the camera and said that Hunter Biden‘s laptop was a smear campaign, Russian disinformation, called it garbage. And now we know that none of that is true,” Burgum said. 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

He added, “And I think there‘s an opportunity that America is waiting, I mean, CNN has got an opportunity to ask tough questions of both these candidates.”

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Burgum claimed there has been “a real effort on the Biden team to try to lower expectations” ahead of the debate. By contrast, he suggested Trump make efforts not to underestimate the president. 

“The guy’s run for office more than a dozen times, he’s run for president four times, he’s been campaigning since President Nixon was in office,” Burgum said. “This guy has got the ability. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen him in debates four years ago. We’ve seen him in the State of the Union this year, that when he needs to, he can step up.”

Biden v Trump

President Biden and former President Trump are set to have their first presidential debate on CNN Thursday. ((AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson and Evan Vucci))

Burgum has been rumored to be a top contender for Trump’s vice president in recent months. Though he’s said he “had a lot of discussions” with the former president, Burgum has not provided any updates or comments on the vetting process.

He also avoided giving a direct answer about his chances when asked by CNN.

“I think we have to just look at the fact that President Trump can win this race regardless of who is vice president. He‘s got the luxury of not having to pick someone,” Burgum answered.

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Doug Burgum

Doug Burgum has been evasive when asked about his chances of becoming Trump’s running mate. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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He continued, “I think that‘s up to President Trump. President Trump understands the criteria that he wants. He‘s going to make that choice at the time he makes it. He‘s got a lot of great choices and I think everybody, everything, the whole country, maybe knows my background, which is both success in business and success in the executive branch as governor. But that‘s his choice on what the criteria that he wants.”

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