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Larry Elder to Newsmax: Ban From Debate Over Poll Is ‘Bizarre’

GOP presidential candidate Larry Elder continued his assault on the Republican National Committee rules that barred him from last week’s first debate, telling Newsmax on Sunday that being omitted over the use of one particular national poll is “bizarre.”

Elder also took aim at the fundraising gimmicks employed by two candidates to qualify for the debate, calling it “corrupt.”

But central to Elder’s beef with the RNC was his use of a Rasmussen Reports survey to show he had 1% support heading into Wednesday’s debate in Milwaukee.

“I have no idea why Rasmussen is not a valid poll,” Elder said on “Wake Up America Weekend.” “If you go on the RNC Twitter file, they quote Rasmussen all the time. Rasmussen was the most accurate poll in 2016, predicting that Donald Trump would win.

“Also, my understanding is before Rasmussen even conducted its poll, they contacted the RNC on another matter to make sure they were polling the requisite number of Republican-leaning voters and it seems to me if the RNC had a problem with Rasmussen at the time, they would have said, Oh, by the way, guys, you’re not eligible. But they said nothing.”

And that, Elder maintained, threw off his timing to submit a substitute survey that met the RNC’s criteria.

“I submitted another poll having me above 1% they said, Oh, too late. Well, if I had known you would have disqualified the other one, maybe I could have submitted that one on time,” Elder said. “So, the whole thing is absolutely, to use your word, bizarre.”

Elder also took umbrage with the tactics used by biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum to qualify for the debate.

“One of those on the debate stage [Burgum] offered a $20 gift certificate for a $1 donation. Another one [Ramaswamy] offered a commission for people to go out and get other donors. And then those donors would get a commission to get other donors. It seems to me that’s … certainly corrupt; it’s not illegal, which undermines the entire reason for the criteria,” Elder said.

Elder filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday, accusing the RNC of not sticking to its own standards and applying them evenly.

Elder also pointed out that in addition to the debate, he was also barred from the Milwaukee venue itself.

“So now I guess I’m on the RNC terror watch list,” he quipped.


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Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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