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Republican presidential candidate conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder speaks to guests at the Republican Party of Iowa 2023 Lincoln Dinner on July 28, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. | Source: Scott Olson / Getty

One of the few Black Republicans running for president has threatened to sue over his exclusion from this week’s presidential debate, claiming organizers are “afraid” of his voice.

Larry Elder, a conservative talk show host who was trounced in last year’s gubernatorial recall election in California, said Tuesday on the app formerly known as Twitter that he wanted to “halt” the debate because he wasn’t included even though he is eligible to participate.

“I said from the beginning that it appeared the rules of the game were rigged, 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,” posted on X on Tuesday morning. “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’s post was appended with purported evidence that his candidacy met the threshold to be included in the debate.

Elder, who once told Candace Owens publicly that he believes slave owners were more eligible for reparations than the descendants of the actual slaves, was reacting hours after the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that just eight candidates had met the criteria to be on the debate stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The candidates – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott – each recorded donations from at least 40,000 individuals, garnered at least 1% in polling and signed a pledge to support whomever ultimately becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

On Friday, Elder said he was scrambling to secure thousands more donors and that he fully expected to be on the debate stage.

“There is no plan B,” Elder told Fox News. “Plan B is to make plan A work.”

But that was apparently a lie since Plan B appears to be going the legal route.

Elder’s last foray into politics ended abruptly in 2021 when he badly lost his bid to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom as voters overwhelmingly decided to stick with the incumbent over a right-wing extremist who has repeatedly been described as a Black white supremacist. Elder lost by nearly twice the number of votes cast.

Eder’s then-candidacy was marred by credible allegations including the revelation that an old police report said Elder once pulled a gun on his ex-fiancée while high on marijuana.

Aside from Elder, Wednesday’s debate will also notably be missing the presence of Donald Trump, who is fresh off his fourth criminal indictment in four months. Trump declined to participate well before last week’s indictment in Georgia for alleged interference in the 2020 election, even though he is the top polling candidate who has met all the RNC’s criteria. Several other Republican presidential candidates also did not meet the criteria and will not be on the debate stage Wednesday night.

If the debate goes on as planned, Scott will be the lone Black candidate on the stage. Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a Black man who is also seeking the Republican nomination for president, previously claimed he would never sign the pledge to support the party’s nominee, making him ineligible to participate in the debate.

This is America.


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