‘This is B.S.’: Republican suing over exclusion from presidential debate

By Joe Kovacs

Larry Elder at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Larry Elder at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (Video screenshot)

Radio host and presidential hopeful Larry Elder says he’s suing the Republican National Committee after officials told him he would not be allowed on stage for the first debate among 2024 White House candidates.

“This is absolutely B.S.,” Elder said in a video he posted Tuesday morning from Los Angeles International Airport on his way to Milwaukee where the debate will take place at 9 p.m. Eastern Wednesday evening.

Elder, who is also a best-selling author and longtime WND columnist, was informed he did not meet the qualifications to be on the stage, despite his assertions he had met them all.

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The RNC required all challengers to meet a 40,000 unique donor threshold, meet certain minimum polling criteria, and sign a loyalty pledge to support the eventual nominee.

“Even though I submitted three polls where I was at least 1%, I was informed that one of the polls is not eligible,” Elder said.

“It’s the Rasmussen Poll. Even though it’s the most accurate poll in predicting that Donald Trump would win in 2016, they say it is affiliated with Donald Trump, and therefore it is not eligible.

“And I said to Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, ‘It’s not affiliated with me.’ She said, ‘Any poll affiliated with any candidate is not eligible.’ And no one told me that until just now. So we’re filing an emergency injunction to get me up there.”

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks at the Republican National Convention on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (RNC video screenshot)
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks at the Republican National Convention on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (RNC video screenshot)

“I said from the beginning that it appeared the rules of the game were rigged, little did we know just how rigged it is,” Elder said in another release. “For some reason, the establishment leaders at the RNC are afraid of having my voice on the debate stage. Just as I had to fight to successfully be on the ballot in the California recall election, I will fight to be on that debate stage because I fully met all of the requirements to do so.”

“It is designed, in my opinion, to ensure that [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis is the nominee – anybody other than Trump. This is B.S. I will see you in Milwaukee.”

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In yet another message, Elder said: “The RNC Committee on Debates meets in Milwaukee today. Are they even aware their leaders are keeping voices off the stage that qualified? I’m calling for a discussion and a vote of the full committee on the rigged polling criteria set by the anti-conservative, anti-Trump RNC establishment.”

The RNC released its official list of participants on Monday, noting the debate will feature Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

RNC reveals which GOP presidential candidates will be on debate stage

Former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas is also precluded from the debate, and is protesting the RNC decision not to include polls that surveyed independents and Democrats willing to vote for a Republican.

"The lack of transparency and confusion around the RNC's debate requirements is antithetical to the democratic process. The American people deserve better," Hurd said Tuesday.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez also will be absent from the event. He previously had indicated contenders not making the debate stage should drop out of the White House race, himself included.

"I'm running against [people] who have been national figures for years. I've been a national figure for 60 days," Suarez said earlier this month. "So, fortunately for me, you're sort of new so you have a different threshold, a different time frame and we're going to have to compete at the same level."

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Former President Donald Trump has confirmed he won't attend Wednesday's debate, and also suggested he might skip all future debates due to his domination in Republican polls.

Fox News is hosting the event, with network hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum the moderators. The debate will be live-streamed on Rumble.

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