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Can Trump elect a tearful vice president? Insiders say Doug Burgum’s tears could rule him out as VP race heats up

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Gov. Doug Burgum fights back tears during a news conference on the pandemic as he asks North Dakotans not to wear masks as an ideological dividing line.

Doug Burgum’s looks, loyalty and business prowess have propelled him to the top of Donald Trump’s list of potential vice presidents.

But does North Dakota’s governor have a fatal flaw?

Since announcing his candidacy for the governor’s residence in 2016, his public appearances have been characterized by a tendency to choke.

Her eyes became teary as she spoke about the loss of her father and the mask policy during the pandemic.

His mouth has closed and his words have stopped during televised town halls and newspaper editorial board meetings.

Gov. Doug Burgum fights back tears during a news conference on the pandemic as he asks North Dakotans not to wear masks as an ideological dividing line.

And she has fought back tears, her lips trembling, as she talks about the power of gratitude, as well as the destructive potential of methamphetamine addiction.

That human face might help him connect with the voting public, but it could undermine his chances with the one person who will decide whether or not he becomes Trump’s running mate.

The former president sees it as a sign of weakness in men.

“I just don’t think men crying in public fits Trump’s image or the moment,” said conservative host and Trump confidant John Fredericks.

And you don’t just have to take his word for it.

In Tim O’Brien’s 2005 biography, ‘TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald,’ Trump himself is quoted as saying: ‘I don’t believe in crying.

‘It’s just not my thing. I have nothing against someone crying, but when I see a man cry I see it as a weakness. I don’t like to see men cry.

Burgum is among four “finalists” Trump is reportedly considering. The other three are Senators Marco Rubio, Tim Scott and JD Vance.

Vance trounced the others in a poll of conservatives over the weekend, but insiders say Burgum may have the edge in Trump’s eyes as the only one who wouldn’t try to “MAGA” his boss or steal the show.

Can Trump elect a tearful vice president Insiders say Doug

Burgum campaigning for Trump in Laconia, New Hampshire, in January after dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination.

Burgum campaigning for Trump in Laconia, New Hampshire, in January after dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination.

Burgum hasn’t actually cried in public, but he’s come pretty close.

In his first State of the State address as governor in 2017, it only took him until the second minute to choke up.

“I have personally experienced the power of gratitude and I have seen it change results, change organizations,” he said, his voice breaking and slowing down, “and I have seen how gratitude changes lives.”

It happened again later in the speech, when he told the story of a homeless meth addict. His bottom lip trembled as he fought back tears as he described how the 19-year-old slept handcuffed to a homemade bicycle for fear it would be stolen.

In 2020, he cried when he appealed to North Dakotans not to make pandemic masks a political issue.

“If someone wears a mask, they don’t do it to represent what political party they belong to or what candidates they support. They may do it because they have a five-year-old child who is receiving cancer treatments…”, he says before stopping, fighting back tears.

“They may have vulnerable adults in their lives who currently have COVID that they are fighting, and so on.”

The local newspaper Foro highlighted his emotional delivery during an editorial board meeting in 2017.

Burgum fights back tears as he talks about his father's death at a 2023 town hall event.

Burgum fights back tears as he talks about his father’s death at a 2023 town hall event.

Burgum was among senior Republicans and potential vice presidential candidates who supported Trump during his corporate fraud trial in New York that ended last month.

Burgum was among senior Republicans and potential vice presidential candidates who supported Trump during his corporate fraud trial in New York that ended last month.

“Burgum’s voice was filled with emotion twice, once when he told the story of a Native American elder who told him that drug abuse was the biggest problem in his community,” he wrote. “The other time she arrived while he was talking about the suicides of two children under the age of 14 at the Turtle Mountain Reservation.”

Expressing emotion may be humane in such situations, but those who know Trump say he believes the president and his vice president should exude strength, not fragility.

“It’s no secret that we consider crying to be a sign of weakness in men,” he said.

“You’re talking about a guy who is much warmer behind the scenes than he is publicly and there have been times in the past where staff have recommended showing a little more of that warmth publicly. And there’s a reason he doesn’t like to do that.

The issue arose with one of Trump’s Supreme Court picks when Brett Kavanaugh broke down during Senate questioning over sexual assault allegations.

“I wonder how #45 will react to Kavanaugh crying,” tweeted Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a former Apprentice contestant who followed Trump to the White House.

For its part, Trump’s campaign denied speculation about who the former president would choose as vice president.

Brian Hughes, a senior adviser, said: “As President Trump himself has said, the primary criterion for selecting a vice president is a strong leader who will be a great president for eight years after his next four-year term concludes.”

“But anyone who tells you they know who or when President Trump will pick his vice president is lying, unless that person’s name is Donald J. Trump.”

A spokesman for Burgum did not respond to a request for comment.

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