Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, told Newsmax Thursday that he’s launching a $400,000 ad campaign attacking the Republican National Committee for barring him from participating in the first primary debate and has seemingly made the “RNC terror watch list.”
“My lawyer is a former chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and he argues that by failing to apply the debate criteria fairly to Elder with the RNC, the effect was to give an in-kind contribution to the eight people who made it on the debate stage,” Elder said during an appearance on Newsmax’s “National Report.” “We filed a complaint with the FEC. By the way, I wasn’t just denied a chance to debate; they put up a sign at the door, saying if Elder or his team shows up, don’t let him in the building. So, I’ve now made the RNC terror watch list.”
Elder said he was unaware that one of his polls was disqualified and tried to correct the oversight once he was made aware, but the RNC didn’t give him the chance. His ad campaign, titled “Larry Elder vs. The Establishment,” will launch this week in the key early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
“The ad simply says that we’ve met all the debate criteria — 40,000 individual donors, 200 had to come from 20 different states,” he said. “We had to submit three polls where I was at 1% or better — we submitted the three polls. At the last minute, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the [RNC], and the [RNC] debate [director] David Bossie says that one of your polls is not eligible, the Rasmussen poll because it is ‘affiliated with the Trump campaign.’
“I said, ‘Assuming that’s true, why is that my problem?’” he continued. “And they said, ‘Any poll affiliated with any campaign can’t be used by any other campaign.’ So we submitted a fourth one, and they said, ‘Well, you submitted it too late.’ Well, I wouldn’t have submitted it too late had I known one of them was going to be disqualified. So, as far as I’m concerned, we met all the criteria.”
Asked if he thinks he will qualify for the second debate, Elder said he’s running the ad campaign to help increase his poll numbers.
“I’ve got to get to 3% in three different national polls and 50,000 individual donors,” he said. “As far as the 50,000 individual donors is concerned, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, but getting it up to 3%, it’s going to be somewhat of a heavy lift. That’s why we’re doing the ad campaign and I’m asking people to go to my website, larryelder.com, because now I’ve incurred an unexpected legal expense.”
Commenting briefly on a proposal in California to pay reparations for Black residents, Elder said, “One slight problem is California wasn’t even a slave state.”
“Reparations is the extraction of money from people who were never slave owners to be given to people who were never slaves,” he said. “Barack Obama throughout his career opposed reparations. It’s nonsense. We ought to be talking about how we make people prosperous. And that’s quality schools, strong families, strong economy. That’s how you close the so-called wealth gap that people on the left are so concerned about.”
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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