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Burgum seeks to raise Biden debate expectations ahead of Trump showdown

Burgum seeks to raise Biden debate expectations ahead of Trump showdown
Burgum seeks to raise Biden debate expectations ahead of Trump showdown



North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a leading contender to be Donald Trump's vice presidential nominee, sought to raise expectations for President Joe Biden's debate skills ahead of the CNN presidential debate THURSDAY.

When he needs to, he can step up, the Republican governor told CNN's Kaitlan Collins during the State of the Union on Sunday, pushing back against what he called a real effort by the Biden team in an attempt to lower expectations.

Citing Biden's long political experience, Burgum said: “This guy has the ability and we saw it, we saw it in the debate four years ago.” We saw him in the State of the Union this year and when he needs to, he can step up.

Burgum joins Trump and other Republican allies who have sought to predict a formidable debate from the president ahead of the June 27 debate. Despite questioning Biden's mental health on the campaign trail, Trump said last week that he believed Biden would be a worthy debater, pointing to his 2012 vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan.

I watched it with Paul Ryan, and he destroyed Paul Ryan, Trump said. I don't underestimate him.

This week's head-to-head clash will be the first presidential debate between an outgoing president and a former president. It will also be the first debate since 2020 featuring either Biden, who did not face a serious challenge for the Democratic nomination, or Trump, who skipped those held during the Republican primary race.

A Biden campaign memo released Sunday said the president would seek to focus on abortion, democracy and Trump's economic plans during the debate. The president and his team spend the weekend before the debate at Camp David, reviewing briefing files and holding mock debate sessions.

Even as Trump held informal briefings with his advisers and allies, he also maintained an active campaign schedule.

Asked Sunday about running for Trump's vice presidency, Burgum said: “He's got a lot of good choices and I think everyone across the country maybe knows my background, which is both success in business and success in executive power as government.

But it is his choice on the criteria he wants, he added.

Burgum, who sold a software company to Microsoft for more than $1 billion in stock before becoming governor of North Dakota, also left the door open to contributing his own personal wealth to the campaign. he was named. Federal campaign finance laws allow candidates to contribute unlimited amounts to their own campaigns.

If we were asked, we'll see what happens, he said.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kate Sullivan contributed to this story.




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