With me right now is somebody who threw his hat in the ring last week to officially be running for President of the United States for the GOP nomination.
First, it is North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. Doug, welcome back. Good morning, Brian.
Great to be with you. So what was week one like? Well, the first five days were amazing. We had this fantastic launch in North Dakota, and then Thursday, Friday in Iowa, Saturday, Sunday in New Hampshire, had a great reception, met lots of people that were excited to have us in the race and excited to have us coming back. So we're off and running, and one thing we've learned is that the Republican primary voters out there are very concerned about the economy, very concerned about Biden's energy policy, and very concerned about national security, including the border and everything going on with China, Russia, North Korea.
And that's what we're running on, those three things, the economy, energy, and national security. So we had some great conversations with citizens and, of course, coming from a small town in North Dakota. We met a lot of people from small towns in Iowa, New Hampshire, and really understand that there's a lot of the best of America going on out there.
There's still lots of places where neighbors are helping neighbors instead of neighbors fighting with neighbors, and pretty energizing to get out for the First Lady Catherine and I to meet those people and see what's going on on the ground. So tell everyone your story, where you came up. Your dad died when you were in ninth grade?
Yep, that's right, Brian. My dad was a World War II vet after Pearl Harbor. He went down the road from Arthur, North Dakota, where he was born and raised, a little town of 300 people, and went into the gym in Castleton and signed up for the Navy. You'll get a kick out of this as an author, but he ended up, he had a college degree from North Dakota State, so he went through the 90-day wonder program.
They turned in college grads and naval officers. He got assigned to a destroyer, built in Bremerton, Washington. It was part for my mom for over two years during World War II in the Pacific, and lived to tell about it, but the ship he was on was the USS Wren. And you would know Solomon Wren from your book, Thomas Jefferson and the Triple E Pirates, because he was one of the young men that volunteered to go on that daring raid with Lieutenant Decatur to For the Philadelphia?
Burn up the Philadelphia. So that's where the USS Wren, and I guess his good fortune carried through because my dad was on, there was 151 destroyers at Okinawa, 129 of them got hit by kamikazes, and he was on one that made it through, made it all the way through to Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. That was his 28th birthday, but came home and raised three kids and incredible guy taught us about community, taught us about commitment to community and service to country, but like I said, died when I was a freshman in high school. So my mom went back into the workforce as a widow with three kids, and then after college, I had inherited a little bit of land from him, and I mortgaged that farmland, literally bet the farm to provide the seed capital for a company. It was a tiny startup that became Great Plains Software. 18 years later, we were an overnight success story. We built it into a company with 2000 people with over 100,000 customers in over 100 countries around the world, and that company was acquired by Microsoft.
I stayed there for seven years and helped build Microsoft and then sort of tried to retire, but that led to multiple more startups and more software companies and more job creation and more interesting things going on. And then in 2016, we had an open seat for governor, had never run for office before and decided to jump into the race. We were the long shot. We were the dark horse. We were the first to know and heard of. We were down 69, 10 in the poll before we decided to run.
We said, let's jump in anyway. Competition is good for the Republican Party, the state level and the national level. And six months later, we won the primary 60-40 and went on to win in the fall of almost 80-20.
And then in 20, that was 2016. In 2020, we got reelected by the largest margin of any governor race in the country that year, over 40 points. And we've been focusing here on driving conservative principles, limited government. We had the largest tax cut in the history of the state.
Just passed about six weeks ago. We finally solved the horrible conundrum of pension reform. We've got that fixed in North Dakota. That was a three decades effort that we got accomplished.
We've been focused on cutting red tape, which is we've had 51 to 52 red tape reduction bills are passed. And then the other thing, which is a full time job in North Dakota is pushing back on the Biden administration because whether it's water to the USA or whether it's their, you know, their attempts to illegally ban drilling for oil and gas. In North Dakota being a huge energy state, one of the largest in the country, we produce 1.1 million barrels of oil a day. That's more than most OPEC countries. And so we're constantly in a battle with the federal government. And we also have got two air bases and 150 missiles in North Dakota. We understand the important role of national security in our state. And so this is why we're running on the economy and on energy and national security.
So, yeah, I mean, right now, if you look at the CBS poll, likely voters, it's Trump 61, DeSantis 23, Scott Pence with four and Haley with three. Everybody else is just 1%. I mean, everything you said is so convincing. And it's I mean, what are you one of the most successful Americans in the country? You're an example of an American success story. You're somebody that made all the money and wants to use some of that management experience to help the country.
That's what it truly should be, service. But how do you get your voice heard in an environment where no one has been able to outshine Trump for good or bad? He dominates all headlines. Well, I think we're smiling on our team this morning because there was a poll that came out last night that had us at 1% and we expected to be at zero. So we're blowing past expectations. We've been in this race for five days. We love the spot we're in because, yeah, we got low name recognition, but everybody that knows us in North Dakota, you know, a state where I pulled in bigger numbers than Trump in the state of North Dakota, people that know us love us.
And so we like the position we're in. And we're just going to have to get out there and tell our story. When I first got in that tiny software company and I bet the farm, I went to Comdex, huge trade show. You know, I thought I'd done all the research.
There was no internet then. I thought, oh, there's like a half a dozen companies in this business. We're going to just walk in here and we're going to march right to the top.
I picked up the trade show. Look, there were 64 companies delivering the same kind of software for small and mid-sized businesses we were trying to do. And so you learn on day one, you know, you don't, you know, when you're just starting your company, the first thing you don't do is attack, attack the someone who's got the biggest market share, the biggest name recognition. You got to tell your own story. And that's what we're going to focus on doing right now.
Gotcha. Governor Burgum was with us right now. So one of the big challenges, China, I think it's uniting Democrats and Republicans, how they plan on tackling the challenge. That's where the rubber hits the road. We see that they're dominating Central America and South America. See where they're trying to get a foothold in Africa.
We see they're trying to split Western Europe away from us. And now we find out that this administration's revealed, the Wall Street Journal revealed that they have a spy, they have a huge spy base in Cuba, 100 miles off our coast. So here is John Radcliffe, because this administration is trying to say, well, this is something we inherited.
John Radcliffe, who was DNI for Trump, said this, cut 38. China is in a cold war with us and we are not in one with them. And as a result, China is winning that cold war because this administration and you know, you've touched on this before, Maria, there could be a number of reasons for it. It may be an issue of cowardice. It may be an issue of competence in terms of the president's abilities or it may be an issue of complicity.
None of those are good, but clearly China is gaining the upper hand and will for the next two years in this administration. Do you feel the same way? You think this administration is asleep or watching this because they're desperate to get talks going? To me, it makes us look pathetic. Well, I agree. Absolutely. I've been saying for months that we're in a cold war with China. It's just that no one's acknowledging that.
So, I mean, I agree with that absolutely completely. And my personal experience with China, first time I was there was 1980. They had just opened up.
The second time I was there was 1989. I was on our way back from Australia. We were trying to set up our little software company to sell software overseas. I swung through China on the way back as kind of a, I wouldn't say half as a joke, but I had heard that you could buy software, American software in a street market. We weren't even selling our product overseas at that time. I went into the street market.
I said, do you have great plane software? They said, yes. They went over and got a five and a quarter inch floppy disk.
They were selling it for a buck. Our software sold for $5,000 a module. So, I've spent the last 30 years watching China pirate every piece of intellectual property that I've made and all of our competitors have made. And on this regard, they can't be trusted. And so, the war we're in, we're in a cyber war. We get attacked every day as the state of North Dakota by North Korea, Russia, China, trying to get at our systems in the state of North Dakota. That's just a constant state and the Biden administration doesn't acknowledge that every state is kind of on their own trying to do their own cybersecurity. There's not a national cyber defense program. We can't call the DOD and say, hey, the North Koreans are trying to get into a little school district by the Canadian border to get at the addresses of the parents who serve in the North Dakota National Guard who are providing the ground protection for those missiles.
I mean, it is just a complete lapse of responsibility. And again, the federal government spends all their time on stuff that is not in the constitution. It's not what the federal government is supposed to do, but national security and border security are explicit in those limited roles of the federal government. And when I'm president, absolutely, I've learned this as a CEO, I'm not going to be spending time on stuff that can be delegated to states, delegated to the city, or delegated to a local public library. When the president of the United States, whose time is just like a CEO, is super scarce, you've got to focus on the things that are the most important to the most number of Americans.
Governor, would they write to indict President Trump? Well, the thing that I've learned from being on the ground in New Hampshire and in Iowa is that voters are very concerned about a double standard. They see the news, they understand, they know that Joe Biden had documents sitting in his garage, and they're just saying, hey, are we in a spot in our country where that we've got a completely double standard, one standard for Republicans and one standard for Democrats. And so I think when you have that deep concern, and that's an erosion in the trust of an important institution, if Americans start to believe that the rule of law is not being applied equally in this country, that's actually more serious than any charges.
I mean, that's the start of a division in where we're going. And one of the things that has to happen, again, when I'm president, we're going to be applying the law equally. We have to restore trust in these institutions.
You cannot have a democracy where people don't trust what's going on. All right, Governor, best of luck out there. We look forward to catching up with you along the way and to tell your story. Guys like you, I think, just benefit the country when you can use your expertise and your success and kind of spread the wealth around with your knowledge. So I'm so glad you're in the race and it's been great hearing your story. Great. Thank you, Brian. Look forward to being back on with you again.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-12 17:50:14 / 2023-06-12 17:56:04 / 6