You probably haven’t heard of all of them, but at least 13 people that we know of are running for president. Considering that Trump and Biden were once at the bottom of their respective parties' polls, we continue speaking with 2024 candidates. Today, some lesser known presidential hopefuls and a few things you may not know about them even if you’ve heard their names.
The following is a transcript of a report from "Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson." Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.
Today we’re meeting The Software Guy, The True Conservative, and The Speaker.
The two Republicans see the border crisis as a top domestic concern, and China as a looming foreign threat. But there are key distinctions between them.
You might think of Doug Burgum as The Software Guy. He’s governor of North Dakota. Started a company called Great Plains Software. It was acquired by Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001.
Doug Burgum: I’ve had a front-row seat as an entrepreneur running global businesses, and also, as governor, to see how much the federal government not only gets in the way of people's lives, in terms of infringing on personal freedoms, but what it does in terms of raising the cost of everything but doesn't add any value, particularly when you've got ideological programs like we see around the economy, and energy, and national security that the Biden administration is pushing.
Burgum insists it’s fully possible for him to lodge a come-from-behind effort to win the Republican nomination.
Burgum: 2016, open seat for governor, jumped in as the outsider, down 60 points in the poll. And everybody said we couldn't win, the same way they said, "You can't build a global tech company in Fargo." And we ended up winning that fall by over 40 points in the governor's race, won the primary by 20 points, and then got re-elected in 2020 by over 40 points. Those are the — in 2016 and 2020 — largest margins of any gubernatorial wins in the country.
A key platform? Burgum has a plan to break up the federal bureaucracy through attrition and modernization.
Sharyl: Because I think if you ask the average voter, they would say despite all the will in the world, no president is going to be able to break up the federal bureaucracy when surrounded by the federal bureaucracy.
Burgum: Well, I think there's a pretty simple way right now, and demographics is our aid, because we've got so many baby boomers that in their last five to 10 years of working in government, and as they retire, they do not need to be replaced if we've gone and taken whatever the paper process they were doing and digitize it. You can take 5 to 10% out of any organization just through attrition pretty quickly, particularly where we're at in terms of the re- retirements. And then not hire them with a 22-year-old that we put on a pension, and then that 22-year-old's going to live to be 100 years old because of all the advances in medicine, and we'll further go broke, in terms of how we are, you know, raising our federal costs.
Asa Hutchinson brands himself as the True Conservative in the GOP race. He was the youngest U.S. attorney appointed by Reagan, a member of Congress, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and a top border security official under George W. Bush. And was governor of Arkansas.
Sharyl: So I feel like there's a divide not only in America between Democrat and Republican, but in the feelings about what the Republican Party should be about, who they support, and how effective the party has been in the past 10 years or so. What's your view on the, I guess, establishment Republican Party?
Asa Hutchinson: You've got Donald Trump, you've got Vivek Ramaswamy, and you've got Ron DeSantis, and even Nikki Haley, that do not want to reflect the traditional values of the Republican Party. And they've said they don't want to go back to a pre-Trump party.
Sharyl: And again, name a couple of the traditional values you're talking about when they say — or they're talking about.
Hutchinson: Well, it's the principles Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, in which we're the party of equal opportunity, of individual responsibility, of a limited role of government, and a strong America.
Sharyl: Wouldn't they say they're for all of those things though if we ask them?
Hutchinson: They will vary, they may. But they are very clear that it's not the Republican Party; it's the Trump party. And so this election is about the heart and soul of, not just our country, but the Republican Party. And you've got a narrower group of isolationists, which is Donald Trump, Ramaswamy, and you've got DeSantis. All want to limit the role and leadership of the United States of America. And traditional Republican views is not to limit the leadership of the United States of America, but to uphold it based upon our national character. And yet you've got leaders of our party that want to pull us back. And when you pull us back, that means that we are going to be more isolated from those markets across the globe. And that's the wrong direction for our party and America.
On the Democrat side is Marianne Williamson, who began 40 years ago giving speeches on spiritual psychotherapy before becoming an AIDS activist.
Sharyl: If you look at what people have said or written about you and your positions in the context of running for president, what is the impression they're giving, and how would you like to either correct that or confirm that it's true?
Marianne Williamson: They make me out to be a joke. There's a term, "contempt prior to investigation." People who have never even read my books opine about them. People who have never attended any of my seminars or lectures go on and on about them. Crystal lady. Crystal is not mentioned in any of my books, any of my lectures. Wacky, kooky. And I think it's interesting, the reason why the establishment corporatist forces and the Democratic Party call me unserious — they call me unserious because they know how serious I am.
Sharyl: Let's say you get elected president. Your first day in office, what are some of your executive orders or priorities?
Williamson: I want to cancel the Willow project. I want to cancel any contracts where union-busting companies are having contracts with the U.S. government. I want to de-schedule marijuana from a Schedule I drug. I want to order, yet again, another audit of the Pentagon. I want to start working on a conclave of the best minds that we have in the United States on early childhood, because I want to establish a United States Department of Children and Youth, and I want to hear from those who know the most. And I want to also start plans for a United States Department of Peace.
Sharyl: What is, I'm sorry, the first thing you said, Willow project? What is that?
Williamson: The Willow Project is an $8 billion oil extraction project. ConocoPhillips in the north slopes of Alaska. I will declare a climate emergency. We must begin immediately a just transition from a dirty economy to a clean economy. This is not the time to be ramping up fossil fuel extraction. It's time to be ramping it down.
Sharyl (on-camera): Like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who left the Democrat Party to run as an independent, Williamson says Democrats are, quote, "rigging" the election so that voters have only one candidate to vote for: President Biden.
Watch story here.