GOP Presidential Candidate Larry Elder to Sue RNC, Contends He Met Debate Requirements

Larry Elder, former Republican gubernatorial candidate for California, speaks at the Republican Party Of Iowa's annual Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, US, on Friday, July 28, 2023. The dinner, a showcase event for Iowa Republicans, is a staple gathering for Republican presidential candidates with all eyes on Donald Trump …
Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Larry Elder announced he will sue the Republican National Committee (RNC) to get on the debate stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wednesday night, contending he has met all of its requirements and “establishment leaders” are trying to stifle his voice.

“I said from the beginning that it appeared the rules of the game were rigged,” Elder stated in an emailed press release on Tuesday. “Little did we know just how rigged it is.” 

“For some reason, the establishment leaders at the RNC are afraid of having my voice on the Debate stage,” Elder added. “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.”

To make the debate stage, a candidate must have secured 40,000 individual donors by Monday night as well as 200 individual donors from at least 20 different states. The campaign said it exceeded both of these requirements.

Moreover, a candidate must “poll at least 1% in three national polls OR 1% in two national polls and 1% in one early state poll from two separate ‘carve out’ states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) recognized by the RNC” by Monday night. 

Elder’s campaign contends he has satisfied these requirements but “[o]nly after receiving our completed qualification package, did the RNC inform us that they were not accepting Rasmussen Polls as qualifying toward the debate.”

The RNC cited alleged ties between Rasmussen and former President Donald Trump, though Elder has “no knowledge about whether Donald Trump has ever worked with Rasmussen previously,” his campaign stated in the release. It added that Vivek Ramaswamy and another candidate also had issues submitting Rasmussen polls and argued if the RNC clarified this with the field, they would have identified other qualifying surveys. 

The release added that Elder was not even offered as a candidate in some polls that the RNC accepts:

In addition, it became clear during the final few days of qualifying for the Debate that Larry Elder was NOT EVEN LISTED as a candidate option in many of the RNC’s “qualifying” polls. How can a GOP poll be considered a qualifying poll for all candidates if not all candidates are listed in the poll? This factor alone should be disqualifying, and the poorly-designed poll requirement by the RNC should be lifted.

Elder will file a challenge centered around the “overly vague rules surrounding which polls, exactly, qualify a candidate for the Debate” in an effort to make the stage. He is set to hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday in Milwaukee.

RELATED — Larry Elder: I Have a Patriotic, Religious, and Moral Obligation to Do What I Can for This Country



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