NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — We are less than one week away from the Republican Debate, which Doug Burgum made after following several campaign strategies.

One plan helping him was his cash cards approach, where he offered $20 cash cards to donors in order to make his way to the debate stage.

He says he’s just playing the game, but will he win with this political approach?

“I kind of chuckle when I hear that, because first of all, you know, this clubhouse rule that the RNC made was totally designed to favor people who had previously held national office, someone who, you know, been pundits on national cable channels, people that have been in politics their whole life and have got 100% name recognition. That was designed to keep outsiders, like a small-town kid from North Dakota out of that kind of race. But we never complained about it, we never questioned it,” Burgum said.

He says he was the seventh person to reach the debate stage and did so at half of the cost of hiring some of the national firms that do online fundraising.

“I think, again, it just shows the kind of difference between people that think about the way the government runs and people in the private sector entrepreneurs. It’s the same way we can take costs out of the federal government, I think there’s a lot of things we could do for 1/5 the price of what the federal government already does,” he said. 

Burgum says many people have been generous with their supporting donations.

“A lot of people went to our site and said, ‘Hey, I love what I saw, you know, here’s more than $1. Here’s a larger donation, we’ll buy a T-shirt or buy a hat. We’ll do something. We want to hear your voice on the debate stage,’ and a lot of those folks then come back and give more later,” Burgum said. 

He went on to compare his strategy to an online retail start-up.

“You’ve got a promotion to get people to come once and if they like what they see, they come on back, and that’s how big businesses get built. So, we’re just running a scrappy entrepreneurial campaign, and I think that competition is great for the country and great for the Republican Party,” Burgum said.

But many people want to know who is supporting and fundraising his campaign. Bill Gates seems to be the biggest in question.

Reporter Adrienne Oglesby questioned, “Now we asked our viewers what they would ask you, if they could interview you, and the biggest question seems to be, ‘Is Bill Gates supporting your campaign? Has he helped with any of the fundraising?'”

“The answer is no, he has not helped with any of that, but it’s interesting that that’s even a question. We’ve got over 50,000 donors that have supported our campaign, we’ve got a broad base of support,” he answered. 

Burgum says that it will be his roots in his hometown of Arthur, North Dakota as a business leader, someone who knows tech, and who understands agriculture and energy that will help him succeed. To him, this is what will set him apart on the debate stage.

The first Republican presidential primary debate is approaching, as it’s next Wednesday, August 23.

Adrienne Oglesby’s Part 2 to her interview with Governor Burgum will be Friday, August 18 on KX News at 6, where they discuss how the campaign plans to win in Iowa and New Hampshire, and if he would accept a cabinet position if offered.