Larry Elder announced yesterday that he will be dropping out of the GOP primary race to back Donald Trump.
“As I look at the path forward, and after careful consideration and consultation with my campaign team, I have made the difficult decision to suspend my campaign,” Elder said in a statement announcing the end of his campaign.
I’m sorry, did anyone know he was running?
I’m a fan of Larry Elder. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth and like his mentee Candace Owens, he always has cutting insight into today’s most pressing racial issues.
But after a failed run for governor of California in 2021 during the recall election of Gavin Newsom, it was highly unlikely he was going to gain any traction on the national level.
While Elder, who gained notoriety with his talk show, enjoys popularity among conservative talk radio and podcast crowds, his name isn’t widely known on a national level. And unlike other relatively unknown candidates before their campaign declarations, he didn’t have the kind of financial support to garner the attention necessary, like a Vivek Ramaswamy, for example; the kind of campaign money that is needed to get you on the Republican National Committee (RNC) debate stage, the place most voters learn who the real contenders are.
Elder Challenges RNC Rules
The RNC sets polling and donor thresholds to qualify for the primary debates, something Elder contested.
In an opinion piece for The Hill, Elder wrote that the RNC “rigged the rules of the game” with its debate requirements. He and fellow White House hopeful Perry Johnson announced plans to sue the RNC for not allowing them on the stage. Elder claimed the set of criteria used by the RNC is “so onerous and poorly designed that only establishment-backed and billionaire candidates are guaranteed to be on stage.” He’s not wrong.
Elder’s Long Shot Against Donald Trump
So why did Elder throw his hat in the ring in the first place? He cited a “moral, religious, and a patriotic duty” to run for the Oval Office.
He also felt, according to his Hill piece, that no one on the stage would properly defend Trump’s MAGA base, given that Trump would likely not show up.
“Given the current rules in place, and with Trump unlikely to appear at the first debates, Republicans may very well not have a single America-first, pro-MAGA candidate on the stage, leaving the vast majority of GOP primary voters unrepresented. Without someone like me, the debate would be filled with anti-Trump politicians taking shot after shot at the MAGA movement, with no one to defend it.”
Even so, the talk show host felt he was unique to any other candidate, including Trump.
In the letter, Elder said, “While I respect my primary opponents and we agree on many issues, it is far too early in the process to artificially narrow the field. I know that I have something to contribute to our national discourse, and once I’m on that debate stage, I know that GOP primary voters will agree.”
Unfortunately, voters did not have a chance to agree with Elder or not.
Elder said he will be backing Trump in this year’s primary.
“Now that I am exiting the race,” he continued. “I am proud to announce my endorsement of Donald Trump for President of the United States.”.
Elder won’t be exiting politics altogether. He left his longtime nationally syndicated radio show, “The Larry Elder Show,” last year to launch a political action committee to support Republican candidates in federal and local races. No doubt much of his efforts will be directed toward helping Trump to cinch the nomination and eventually the presidency.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor and opinion writer for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.