GOP candidates condemn RNC after failing to debate

Four Republican backbenchers who failed to qualify for the first GOP presidential debate of 2024 this week criticized the Republican National Committee for its rules, with several contenders emerging call hermanipulated.”

“This is bullshit,” complained conservative radio host Larry Elder in a video he posted online. “In my opinion it is designed to ensure that [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis is the nominee — someone other than Donald Trump.”

Elder, who tried unsuccessfully to overthrow California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said he intends to file a summary lawsuit to stall the debate. Businessman Perry Johnson, another GOP candidate, also said he intends to do so to take legal action against the RNC.

The prime-time debate is scheduled for Wednesday in Milwaukee and will be broadcast on Fox News.

Radio host Larry Elder is among the candidates who failed to qualify for the first Republican presidential debate in 2024.
Radio host Larry Elder is among the candidates who failed to qualify for the first Republican presidential debate in 2024.

SERGIO FLORES via Getty Images

The RNC announced in June that to qualify for debate, each candidate had to reach at least 40,000 unique donors and score at least 1% in three national polls, or 1% in two national polls and 1% in an early national poll.

Few candidates had difficulty reaching the donor threshold. Some of them even used creative and eye-catching measures to hit the mark. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, for example, offered $20 gift certificates to those who had donated at least $1 to his campaign, a luxury enjoyed by a wealthy, self-funding candidate.

For low-profile candidates in a Trump-dominated race, however, getting the election result proved to be a more difficult task. Elder complained that the RNC doesn’t count polls from Rasmussen, a pro-Trump polling firm, while former Texas Rep. Will Hurd protested the committee’s decision not to include polls that polled independents and Democrats who are willing were to vote for a Republican.

“The lack of transparency and confusion surrounding the RNC’s debate requirements are at odds with the democratic process. “The American people deserve better.” Hurd said in a statement on Tuesday.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez didn’t make it either. Suarez had previously named candidates who did not make it into the debate should drop out of the race – himself too.

“I run against it [people] who have been national figures for years. I’ve been a national figure for 60 days.” said Suarez earlier this month. “So luckily for me you’re pretty new so you have a different threshold, different time frame and we have to compete at the same level.”

The cost of not holding the debate for backbench candidates is extremely high. They are already struggling to attract attention and now they have no chance of making it on stage.

While Trump is skipping the debate — and has announced he will also be suspending all future Republican debates — eight of his Republican rivals will be battling for second place at the Milwaukee event.

They include: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Former Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Tim Scott (SC), Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Gov. of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, Former Gov. of New Jersey, Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Related Articles

Back to top button