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Pence, Burgum Announce WH Bids; ND Governor Doug Burgum Launches WH Bid; New Trump Ad Claims he's being Attacked by "Rabid Wolves" ahead of Possible Indictment. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 07, 2023 - 12:00   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Hello, everybody and welcome to "Inside Politics". I'm John King in Washington a very busy important day in the Republican race for President.

In the next two hours two new candidates as the field grows to 10 that is Anthony, Iowa where Mike Pence will announce officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination next hour. And in Fargo, North Dakota right now the First Lady of Idaho is on the stage. She's about to introduce her husband, the Governor Doug Burgum. He too, will enter the Republican race for President that will bring the field to 10.

We believe these are likely the final two entries in the crowded Republican field. We have reporters out on the trail to bring you the latest and let's start in Anthony, Iowa where Mike Pence again will make it official next hour. CNN's Kyung Lah is there. Eva McKend is standing by in Fargo. Eva we'll get through in a minute. Kyung, what are we going to see?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What you're going to see in about an hour is this official in-person rally begins for Mike Pence. This is the kickoff for his Iowa campaign where his campaign says they have to lean all in. This is where they will make their mark or be allowed to continue.

And they plan on trying to do that by going to all 99 counties. And this is where it starts inside this room in Anthony, Iowa where Mike Pence we are anticipating he will be introduced by his brother who was a Congressman from Indiana and he's going to really lean into the connective tissue between who Mike Pence the man from Indiana is and to the state of Iowa leaning in on religion on his deep Christian faith on his beliefs of core conservatism.

And he's going to harken back to Ronald Reagan. And what you're not going to hear John and that's what we're going to be listening for is what he says in regards to Donald Trump. What they are trying to do is to separate the man who was a Vice President in the Trump Administration to the man who now wants to challenge Donald Trump. So that is what we are waiting to see in his remarks which are about to take about 30 minutes the campaign is anticipating it will very much lean into Mike Pence, his own man, John.

KING: And history there a Former Vice President running against his former boss, the President for the nomination just history just right there to be fascinating piece of this interesting campaign. Kyung Lah we'll get back to you as the day unfolds.

Let me go now to Fargo, North Dakota very quickly and bring in Eva McKend. Eva as we wait again, the First Lady Kathy Burgum on the stage, Doug Burgum doesn't have much of a national profile. But he is a former technology executive. He's a billionaire. He's very conservative in issues like abortion, but he wants to run on that business experience saying America needs new leaders for the new economy. Tell us more.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: That's right, John. He is going to center his election pitch on the economy on energy policy on national security. He really argues that these cultural battles are not the way to win the election, that that is not the most pressing issue for Americans.

He is firmly conservative. He signed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country into law as well as curtailed transgender rights. But that's not what he's most comfortable talking about. And he's really going to lead on his business acumen.

You know, he says that he bet the farm a long time ago, he invested in a technology company that went on to be bought by Microsoft for a billion dollars. But his largest task ahead and we know that he's going to use some of his millions to do it is to introduce himself to conservatives in the critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire this week. He's well known in North Dakota, he has a job ahead is to introduce himself to voters elsewhere, John.

KING: In a field of 10. Eva McKend well again we'll go back to Fargo as soon as the Governor starts speaking give him his due on the big announcement day. With me in studio on this important day to share their reporting and their insights Laura Barron-Lopez at the PBS NewsHour, Zolan Kanno-Youngs of "The New York Times" and Leigh Ann Caldwell of "The Washington Post".

It's interesting day, the field if we can show will be a 10. We believe these are the final two entries in the race. You have Donald Trump as the far away front runner. You have Ron DeSantis, who is a distant second but he is well ahead of everybody else, not named Trump.

And then you have the other eight candidates trying to break through. The two who are making it official today both from the heartland Mike Pence of Indiana Doug Burgum of North Dakota are both more of a traditional Reagan Bush conservative.

They believe in politeness in conversation. They have very conservative views on issues like abortion, lower taxes less regulations sort of traditional farm state conservatives. Can that brand sell any more in Donald Trump's Republican Party when you have Trump and DeSantis? [12:05:00]

Two guys who are very comfortable, very happy to be cultural warriors and to be combative?

LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, EARLY 202 CO-AUTHOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes and to be duking it out against each other as well. It's hard to tell. According to current polling, it seems like that brand is no longer selling, and today's Republican Party, but they're going to try, you know, speaking to people around the Pence campaign.

They tell me that there's going -- they're going to make this campaign about contrast, not especially about personality, too. We'll see if that works. Pence, people say they want to keep looking forward. They don't want to look behind that's an apparent dig at Donald Trump who tries to re litigate the 2020 election, and all the investigations into Donald Trump.

But also it's a really difficult thing for Mike Pence, who has a much nuanced campaign to run. He's trying to separate himself from Donald Trump by while also highlighting the things he thinks they're good about the Trump Pence Administration. Nuance is hard and politics.

KING: Nuance is hard and politics. And so we're about to hear from Governor Burgum we'll talk about him after we do hear some of his speech. Let's focus on Pence for the moment. This is history. It's just history, a Former Vice President has never run for the nomination against a Former President and not since Grover Cleveland is that the President tried to return to the presidency.

So you have many ripples of history there. You mentioned the fact that can he have the nuance? This is a launch video for Mike Pence and where he does not mention Donald Trump by name, but he does try to take some of the credit for the Trump years.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: And I'll always be proud of the progress we made together for a stronger, more prosperous America. But today, our country's in a lot of trouble. President Joe Biden and the radical left have weakened America at home and abroad, but different times call for different leadership. Today, our party and our country need a leader that will appeal as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature.


KING: I've been at this a long time. And if you roll back a few years, he's a perfect Iowa candidate, doesn't mean he wins. But on paper support with evangelical -- support among evangelicals speaks their language because it's a farm state guy.

Again, back to the question number one, does that Republican Party still exist? And does Mike Pence have a lane? When if you're a never Trumper he worked for Trump? If you're a Trump voter, Trump says he betrayed him. LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that it's going to be really hard for Pence to show that he's willing to take on the Former President when he is -- when he's putting out launch videos like that, when we know that his campaign speech, you know, his launch speech is not going to really talk about Trump by name at all.

And so sometimes he decides he wants to go there when it comes to January 6 and talk about the fact that his life was threatened, his family felt threatened. And then the majority of the time, he doesn't and so is he overshadowed by a candidate like Chris Christie, who, at least so far appears to be far more willing to go directly at the Former President.

KING: That's what makes it so interesting. Zolan I'm asked you to stand by because I want to take us back to Fargo, North Dakota. Now this is perhaps the longest of the long shots a man with very little national profile, a man who is even noted made his money with a software company but he was once a chimney sweep.

He wants to make the case that he started at the bottom of the economic ladder, made it to the top and he believes that's what we need in government. But this is also a very conservative government. Let's listen. This is Doug Burgum.

GOV. DOUG BURGUM (R-ND): Catherine I love you. Our state loves you. And I know America is going to love North Dakota's amazing First Lady. Together Catherine and I have so much gratitude for all the Burgum than helping us family members.

We get our siblings or cousins, second cousins, third cousins, nieces, nephews, even on -- tear all the way from California. So we know we're going to get one vote in California. But all those close friends, all of you that are here today, looking back in the risers, and I'm I think that 1/3 of my Arthur class of 16 and standing back there, high school. So thank you, Glen, Dave, and Gavin, everybody that's back there.

But thanks to all of you that have encouraged us. You've supported us and you believe in us throughout our lives. This is definitely a family decision. And we are grateful. We also today we got a whole boatload of elected officials here.

Fellow statewide state legislators, mayors, tribal chairs and tribal leaders from our five sovereign nations with whom we share geography, all of you that are elected today you're in the arena and we're grateful for each of you for your service. Thank you.

But especially we want to thank today the people of North Dakota, who we are so honored to serve. You took a chance on us in 2016 and that was another race where everybody said we're starting out as a long shot in the dark horse.


So we think it's a good place to be. But I want to thank you all because reelecting us in that landslide in 2020 our 40 plus point, victory margin was the largest in the country of any 11 Governor races that year. You were the ones that all made that happen. Thank you. Thank you so much.

And again, thank you all for being here today that are watching here in the room and those in the overflow areas. But want to thank you for being here. There's so many we know friends around the country that are watching online. Today is just the start of showing how much we can achieve when we all work together.

I grew up in Arthur, tiny town of 300 people part of the other 300 people that didn't grow up there too. But our parents were a gift. They taught us not just by their words but by their actions. Dad, World War II Navy Veteran taught us the importance of service to country and the community.

Mom, she taught us the importance of caring, deeply, listening thoughtfully respecting everyone. And from the earliest days, Dad and Mom, not sure why but they supported my entrepreneurship, my risk taking, whether it was crazy ideas like launching a newspaper when I was eight years old, in elementary school, or Wilderness Canoe trips or hitchhiking to Alaska as a teenager.

But it was a cold Saturday night in January, and we were ready to head out to play neighboring town kindred when they pulled me off the bus to tell me that our dad was dying. I was a freshman in high school. That was tough.

But North Dakota was the kind of place for your neighbors rally around you. It was also interestingly, the birthplace of the Good Samaritan Society of America. At that time, we'd like to kind of brag that Arthur had a population of 400, not 300. We got to that big number because we proudly counted the over 100 residents in the Good Samaritan Home.

Good Sam in those days, they took everyone in regardless of age or abilities. And so a way our whole town was about taking care of each other about helping those in need about neighbor, helping neighbor. Every small town in America is like that but Arthur, especially.

If somebody was in need a neighbor was always there to help out. We see that across the entire State of North Dakota today. If a farmer has a serious health issue, all the neighbors rally to get the crops planted and harvested. In every spring in North Dakota like this spring in ranch country, neighbors help neighbors with spring roundups and brandings.

I'll never forget the way our town lifted up our family and supported us all when mom had to go back to work after dad died. Other dads like Joe Peltier and my Uncle Al Burgum and Lester Zimmerman all made sure I was doing OK.

Mom was driving to and from Fargo for work and every night after basketball or football practice. When mom was still working late in Fargo I'd go to Helen (ph) William's house for a fabulous dinner, homemade rolls and a wonderful chocolate milkshake. I'll always remember her generosity and kindness. And her daughter Julie Barner is here today, Julie.

It shouldn't be a surprise that small town values have guided me my entire life. Small town values are at the core of America. And frankly, big cities could use more ideas and more values from small towns right now.

Along with cousins and friends, I worked every summer at our family's green elevator, including some jobs like shoveling out rotten green out of the pit. Those jobs should be featured on Discovery Channels Dirty Jobs, actually.

One time we were all so dirty and we smelled so bad from that rotten grain. We went across the main street to go to the Arthur Cafe and Walkman came out and said no we'll serve you out here on the curb you guys can't come in.

I worked on the farm for Jack -- swathing grain every harvest all through high school and all through college and to help pay for college I even worked as a chimney sweep. The minimum wage in North Dakota was $2.30 and I figured out that I could earn $40 an hour sweeping a chimney. I loved working outside. I loved climbing.


And I got to wear a top hat and tails when it was 20 below. And of course, this is a time when there was an energy crisis going on. OPEC had quadrupled oil prices. And a lot of people were burning wood in their homes. So the threat of chimney fires is real.

The clean chimney prevents those fires, so as a chance to help people. And for me, the career had a real appeal. Because when you're a chimney sweep, you have an opportunity to move up fast and always stay in the black. Thanks for laughing, not groaning because I from for my kids, I had to have at least one dad joke in this presentation.

But I believe then and I still believe now and I believe that deeply that unlimited opportunity exists everywhere in America. I literally bet the farm to help turn a small startup into a billion dollar company in North Dakota.

People thought I was crazy, a software company in North Dakota. But we ignored those who said North Dakota was too small, too cold and too distant to build a world class software company. We did it anyway. We built Great Plains Software and a company that served 140,000 businesses in 132 countries.

And we did it with team members for more than 220 small towns across North Dakota. At the time we went public, we were one of the top five most successful NASDAQ IPOs ever, only in America.

Four and a half years later, by the time we joined forces with Microsoft, we had just over 2000 team members 1200 of them based right here in Fargo 400 team members across the rest of North America, and 400 Great Plains team members based around the globe.

It's a tribute to the commitment of our partners and our team members and our investment and their absolute courage to take a stand against the conventional wisdom that said it just couldn't be done. Some people call this an amazing overnight success story. The truth is we were an overnight success story 18 years in the making.

When you start a software company here, you need to be willing to go against the grain and reimagine what's possible. And that's exactly what we did when we ran for Governor in 2016. We shook things up a bit. We cut $1.7 billion in spending our first year in office to cut red tape and streamline services.

Working with other statewide elected and the legislature we balanced the budget every year. We bolstered cybersecurity. We brought life back to our main streets. We made record investments in education, strengthen tribal relations, built infrastructure, unleashed energy production, and diversified the economy.

North Dakota is both growing and getting younger, one of the only states that's doing that. And we have the third lowest unemployment in the country and the highest workforce participation in the nation. And again, working with the legislature this past year, we achieved historic pension reform helped pass term limits and enacted the biggest tax cut in state history.

We know we can do the same for America. Right now the world, our economies are both changing rapidly, and how we respond will define our future. Technology is changing every job every company in every industry. And this change will become more rapid than ever before.

We need new leadership for the changing economy. We need a leader who understands the real work that Americans do every day, someone who's worked alongside our farmers our ranchers and our small business owners, someone who's held jobs where you shower at the end of the day, not at the beginning.

Someone who got decades of success are selling our technology oversees and knows the threats and the risks to our future from foreign state sponsored competitors stealing and pirating our intellectual property. We need a leader who's experienced firsthand that we win as a country when our innovators and entrepreneurs can soar and win every single person can grow and thrive.


To unlock the best of America, we need a leader who's clearly focused on three things, economy, energy, and national security. And that is why and that is why today I'm officially announcing I'm running for the President of the United States of America.

KING: Doug Burgum he's the Conservative Republican Governor of North Dakota just declaring officially his candidacy for President of the United States the Republican nomination is first. Let's bring the conversation back in the room with our great reporters Laura Barron- Lopez, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Leigh Ann Caldwell.

Interesting there, number one the longest of long shots and he concedes it. Number two, he thinks his history helps him. He was a longshot when he ran into primary for Governor back in 2016. I believe it was. The question is can you break through if you're anybody not named Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis?

Democrats will -- he signed one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws. Democrats will hit him for that. What he's trying to do here is say I'm a technology guy, I came up from the bottom I used to work on a farm I was a chimney sweep. Then I made a billion dollar company.

I understand today's economy, I understand artificial intelligence. I understand global trade. I understand software, technology, computers, those are voices we need in the political conversation. My question is again, can you break through?

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Can it break through to this GOP right? It's almost a message that you are a platform that you would expect maybe 10 years ago depicting or showing America and this kind of sunny sort of vision and portrayal, talking about this kind of rise from chimney sweep to, you know, executive at Microsoft, which would obviously, you know, resignation, given the concerns around artificial intelligence and the growing prevalence around artificial intelligence.

It will be a challenge for any of these candidates to run on that message when I think Trump has shown that, you know, a base of the GOP tend to be exciting, engaged by a fighter and someone who appeals to the grievances really of the party at this point. That being said, during his time as Governor, he has also participate in some of those culture war policies restricting Trans' rights as well as strict abortion laws.

KING: In a deep red state where it's been less -- I'm not saying it's not controversial. I know the Democrats out there objected, but they're just not as many of them. So it's done more quietly. It's almost very polite what you get there. How many times do you say small towns just in the first five minutes?

Well, there are 99 counties, a lot of small towns in Iowa. And if you're anybody in the long shot in this race, that's where you're going to have to break through. You have to break through either in Iowa or New Hampshire. The question is, can you? Do you need a Trump implosion for somebody like that to break through? Or can we have an in this day and age a Jimmy Carter?

CALDWELL: You probably need a Trump implosion. And that's probably why a lot of these candidates are jumping in the race and why there's so many in the race in case that Trump implosion actually happens. Of course, anything can happen in a Republican primary.

We're still almost a year away from any vote being cast in this Republican primary. But the more voices in the field, the Trump people think that that is good for Donald Trump. It fractures the Republican base, while other people say it's good to -- what's the more voices are better to challenge Donald Trump.

KING: Like as she said to me worth the 10 now. Mike Pence will be next hour that was Doug Burgum the Governor of North Dakota gives us a lot to talk about in the months and months and months ahead. Seven months I believe we get the first row seven or eight months right around there.

Up next for us the idea would there be a Trump implosion? Well, a new Grand Jury witness from the Trump inner circle that testimony in Florida today follows where the special counsel has also questioned from Former Chief of Staff.



KING: Just into CNN a theatrical new ad from Donald Trump's campaign the timing quite interesting claiming the Former President is being attacked by animals. This as his team braces, of course, for potential indictments from the Special Counsel. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They already know he'll crush Biden. So like a pack of rabid wolves attack. So let's impeach him. Let's get tainted radical left prosecutors to charge him. Let's conspire with Hillary in the FBI with fake stories about him all to distract from Biden's incompetence, weakness and money grabbing corruption. But here's the thing. He'll never blink.


KING: CNN's Kristen Holmes joins us now with the latest. Kristen just watching that for the first time the fact check machine is broken. There are several things in there that would not pass the truth test. What else do you know?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is accurate but one thing that will pass the truth that is very much a picture of Jack Smith, who is the Special Counsel investigating Donald Trump on two fronts, one being January 6 and the election and 2020 the other being his handling of classified documents.

And this very much seems as though it is a preemptive strike particularly when given the context. I have talked to a number of Trump advisors who say that they are bracing for a potential indictment in that investigation into the handling of classified documents.

As we know we have reported time and time again that Jack Smith investigation seems to be wrapping up that we know last night we learned from a source familiar that Trump's Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appeared before the grand jury something we had long said what happened in the final stages of this investigation.

But that is what we are looking at right now and we can plan to see this again. They are going to try to paint this once more as political and election interference John. KING: Attack he is nothing if not consistent when it comes to that. Kristen Holmes appreciate that important reporting and insights. Also today, a Former Trump aide testifying or as testified before a federal grand jury in Florida, Taylor Budowich is a Former Trump Spokesman. He is appearing as a part of that special Council Jack Smith's probe into classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. Budowich now runs "Mega Inc" that is a pro-Trump Super PAC that is helping his former boss in the 2024 election.