ABC “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz pressed North Dakota Gov. and former Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum over his endorsement of former President Trump in the wake of his false election claims and mockery of Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s name.
Asked in a Sunday interview how he could support “someone who falsely claims that the election was stolen over and over and over again,” Burgum said, “As you and I would both agree, free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy and in states like North Dakota, we’ve got 100 percent confidence in that happening.”
“But whether it’s 1960, the year 2000, 2016, there was concern raised by the Hillary Clinton campaign. In 2020.. This is something, as a country, that we’ve got to work hard to face..and I think we’re slowly —” Burgum continued.
Raddatz interjected, pointing out Burgum had said the election wasn’t stolen, yet was supporting a candidate who repeatedly asserted it was.
“Well, I – I know that we’ve got – certainly we’ve got irregularities. When we went through COVID, and we had these mail-out ballots, that creates all kinds of opportunities for mischief,” Burgum responded. “When you’re bailing out more ballots to a – in a state than there are registered voters, you know, I think we have… that’s a problem.
Raddatz shot back and asked, “Do you think the election was stolen now? Now when you look back.”
Burgum said he was “not saying that,” but rather the country needs to “look forward,” and ensure Americans’ confidence in elections.
“We know that the social media companies and the media companies have admitted that they suppressed stories leading into the – the November 2020 election, that they’ve admitted to all that. And so Americans lack confidence in this, and that’s why – that’s why we’ve got to make sure going forward that we have confidence,” Burgum continued.
Burgum endorsed Trump for president last week after dropping out of the presidential race last month. He has touted Trump for his policies on the economy, border, and energy, arguing the former president “can make a difference.”
The conversation between Burgum and Raddatz then shifted to Trump’s recent barrage of attacks on Haley.
Trump has come under fire for sharing a conspiracy theory on social media that Haley was ineligible to run for president and referred to her birth name, Nimrata. The former South Carolina governor, whose parents are from India, has noted she was born in Bamberg, S.C., and eligible for the White House.
Asked by Raddatz why Trump is doing this, Burgum said, “Well, I just…all I know is that I believe this election, the primary election is going to be over after Tuesday. President Trump is leading in all 50 states. We’ll be talking… tonight. I think that’s the time –”
Raddatz interrupted, “No, please answer the question, sir. Answer the question about why you think Donald Trump is doing that.”
Burgum said he thinks “it’s politics,” and pointed to attacks against Trump from the Biden campaign.
“He [Joe Biden] didn’t talk about the open border, where we’ve got a massive invasion and now we’ve had more fentanyl deaths than four Vietnams in our country under Joe Biden the last three years. No, he talked about attacking his opponent. That’s politics around the world and it’s politics in America,” Burgum said.
Raddatz then asked if Burgum believes this is the “kind of politics” Trump is using, to which Burgum referenced the “vicious things” previous White House hopefuls said about President Biden.
“This is all in the norm inside of – for north – for politics in our country. But once we agree as parties, we get behind candidates. The Democrats got behind Biden in 2020,” Burgum said. “I’m confident Republicans are going to get behind President Trump because they’re concerned about the direction that this – the world – the world is going and the direction the United States is going.”
Trump, Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will go head-to-head in New Hampshire this week as polling shows Trump with a lead over both the candidates. A polling index by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ shows Trump with a 11.1 point lead over Haley in the Granite State, while DeSantis trails far behind.
Trump easily won in Iowa last week, with DeSantis trailing behind him by nearly 30 points and Haley close behind.