Longshot Republican hopefuls Larry Elder and Perry Johnson threatened Tuesday to sue the Republican National Committee to stop Wednesday night’s debate, claiming they met the requirements to appear onstage.
Elder said Tuesday that he had the required 40,000 individual donors, including 200 from 20 states, and had satisfied the RNC’s polling requirement of clocking at least 1 percent support in three national polls or 1 percent in two national polls and two polls from an early contest state.
The conservative radio show host – who lost to California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the state’s 2021 recall election – said that the Rasmussen polls he submitted to the RNC were tossed out due to the firm’s ‘ties with former President Donald Trump.’
‘I intend to sue the RNC to halt Wednesday’s presidential debate,’ Elder posted to Twitter. ‘I said from the beginning that it appeared the rules of the game were rigged, little did we know just how rigged it was.’
The RNC shot back in a statement with spokesman Keith Schipper saying, ‘The RNC worked over two years to deliver a transparent and fair primary process that will put our eventual nominee in the best position to beat Biden.’
Longshot Republican hopefuls Larry Elder (left) and Perry Johnson (right) threatened Tuesday to sue the Republican National Committee to stop Wednesday night’s debate, claiming they met the requirements to appear onstage
Elder posted on X, also known as Twitter, that he intended to ‘sue’ the Republican National Committee over not being included in the first GOP debate
‘Criteria to qualify for the first debate was clearly presented to campaigns and RNC leadership and members of the debate committee were in constant communication with candidates and campaigns throughout the qualifying period,’ Schipper said.
A person familiar with the process said that several of Rasmussen polls Elder submitted didn’t have the required sample size, while another was financed by a PAC associated with one of Trump’s PACs.
In his statement, Elder pointed out that Rasmussen was ‘one of only THREE polling firms who accurately predicted the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.’
Elder also said he had ‘no knowledge about whether Donald Trump has worked with Rasmussen previously.’
‘For some reason, the establishment leaders at the RNC are afraid of having my voice on the debate stage,’ Elder said. ‘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.’
Elder wasn’t the only GOP hopeful grumbling about being left off the debate stage.
Johnson, a Michigan businessman who previously tried to run for the state’s governor, also threatened to take legal action after being told he didn’t qualify for the first GOP debate.
Former Rep. Will Hurd also criticized the RNC’s polling requirements after not making the cut. He reiterated Tuesday that he wouldn’t sign the RNC’s ‘blood oath to Donald Trump’
‘The corrupt and rigged RNC debate process has been a trainwreck from the beginning,’ Johnson said in a statement. ‘Our campaign hit every metric put forward by the RNC and we have qualified for the debate.’
‘It is clear that from the beginning, the RNC knew who they wanted on the stage and who they wanted to ban from the stage. Simply put, this is a flawed decision of a poorly run process of a corrupt organization,’ Johnson continued.
‘This morning, I am working with my team to take legal action against the RNC,’ he said.
Johnson had loaned his presidential campaign more than $8 million and offered donors a $10 gas card for a $1 donation in order to boost his donor numbers and thus qualify for the first debate.
The source familiar with the process told DailyMail.com that Johnson was one survey short from qualifying for the debate stage.
He also didn’t check with the RNC to see if the polls counted – and one he included wasn’t technically a nationwide survey, only polling voters from about two-thirds of the states.
Former Rep. Will Hurd also criticized the RNC’s polling requirements after not making the cut.
In a social media post Tuesday morning, the ex-Texas congressman said ‘the RNC discounted polls that included independents and Democrats willing to vote for Republicans.’
‘The lack of transparency and confusion around the RNC’s debate requirements is antithetical to the democratic process,’ Hurd also said. ‘The polling standards are arbitrary, unclear and lack consistency.’
While Elder signed the RNC’s required oath to eventually support the Republican nominee, Hurd – one of a trio of anti-Trump Republican candidates – has refused.
He reiterated that point Tuesday.
‘I have said from day one of my candidacy that I will not sign a blood oath to Donald Trump,’ Hurd said.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, another longshot contender, also said that he satsified the debate requirements – but did not.
Suarez said at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month that those who don’t qualify for the first debate should drop out.
‘I agree that if you can’t meet the minimum thresholds, you shouldn’t be trying to take the time involved away from being productive,’ he said.
Later Tuesday ‘Suarez will have an announcement about the future of his campaign,’ his spokesman told Bloomberg News.
Suarez eventually posted a statement to the site formerly known as Twitter that explained that he believed two polls would count that ended up not satisfying the RNC’s requirement.
‘I am sorry that this debate will not include my perspectives from the largest growing voting block in our country – young, conservative Hispanics. Additionally, Republicans will not be able to hear my story of how conservative principles of keeping taxes low, keeping people safe and focusing on creating prosperity for all created the most successful big city in America,’ Suarez said.
‘I respect the rules and process set forth by the RNC, and I look forward to working with my party to ensure we win back the White House and restore the path to a brighter future for our country,’ he added.
Trump continues to be the way-out-in-frontrunner in the Republican presidential race and plans to skip Wednesday night’s debate in Milwaukee.
Eight GOP hopefuls ended up making the stage including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Amb. Nikki Scott, Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.