US politics – Race against time: GOP presidential shots work furiously to qualify for first Republican debate

With the deadline fast approaching, several Republican candidates for the White House are desperately trying to clear the stage for the GOP’s first presidential nomination debate on Wednesday.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, one of the candidates still aiming to qualify for the Fox News Showdown in Milwaukee, emphasized that “for someone like me, on the debate stage Reaching out is important”.

Eight candidates met the voting and donation thresholds required by the Republican National Committee to qualify for the August 23 kickoff meeting.

They are former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, North Dakota Governor. Doug Burgum and biotech entrepreneur and bestselling author Vivek Ramaswamy.

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Republican presidential candidate and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson speaks to diners at Red Arrow Diner on May 1, 2023 in Manchester, NH. (Fox News)

Trump has not yet confirmed whether he will participate in Wednesday’s GOP debate.

In an effort to stage the debate, Suarez was joined by former CIA spy and former Texas representative Will Hurd, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, Michigan businessman and quality control leader Perry Johnson, and Larry Elder, a former radio host running for governor. Candidates were included. 2021 California Recall Election.

Suarez and Johnson announced Friday that they meet the voting and donation criteria. Hutchinson announced on Sunday that he had met the requirements to enter the debate stage. However, there was no confirmation from the RNC on his completion of the qualification.

Will Hurd, Francis Suarez, Asa Hutchinson, Larry Elder and Perry Johnson still have yet to qualify for GOP debates (Getty Images)

Candidates have until 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday — 48 hours before the primetime debate — to reach the RNC’s voting and donation limits and sign the pledge.

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“We’re planning as if we were there and we’re excited to be there,” Suarez told Fox News Digital last week.

For Suarez, who is not well known outside of South Florida, the debate is “my first opportunity to introduce myself to the country, and that’s important … people have the opportunity to know my story, to know and understand me as a person.” There is a real opportunity” why I am the best person, the best choice, to lead this country into the future.

Suarez and Hurd both say they have reached the donor limit, but are still just shy of reaching the voting criteria.

But Hurd, an outspoken GOP critic of Trump, has repeatedly said she would not take the pledge of allegiance because she could not support Trump if the former president wins the 2024 Republican nomination.

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“I made it clear that my problem is not supporting the Republican candidate. I will not support Donald Trump. But Donald Trump hasn’t even agreed to sign the oath of allegiance, so we’ll see how that all plays out,” Hurd told Fox News last week.

Former CIA spy and ex-Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, the 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks to Fox News on August 15, 2023 in New Castle, NH (Fox News/Paul Steinhauser)

Hutchinson, who served as President George W. Bush, met voting criteria and said during an interview with CNN on Sunday that his campaign had reached the donor limit and “came up with 42,000 individual donors.” Is.” “To the RNC.

He said he was “overjoyed” and “grateful” for his supporters.

“People want me out there as a person who will speak the truth and oppose Donald Trump and talk about how he is taking our country in the wrong direction. I want to be there. We’re not there yet. We need everybody’s help,” Hutchinson, another Republican critic of the former president, recently told Fox News.

Elder, who has not yet reached the donor and voting threshold, stressed that “it’s really important” that he set the stage for debate “because I think a lot of Americans haven’t seen me, Haven’t heard my story.”

GOP presidential candidate Larry Elder, a former nationally syndicated radio host and former Republican candidate for governor of California, speaks at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner on July 28, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Rachel Mummy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The staging of the debate becomes more difficult as the criteria for the second debate, a showdown hosted by Fox Business on September 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, increases.

When asked what would happen next if he did not qualify, Suárez categorically stated that “if a candidate does not reach the debate stage, does not reach the minimum threshold, he should not be in the running”. “

Suárez said, “If you are not even in the first debate it is very difficult to reach the high threshold to do the second debate.” “I think any candidate who doesn’t do the first debate should think about it very seriously because time is valuable and you shouldn’t waste time – or try to take time away from people who are trying to get their message across. Struggling to deliver. There.”

Heard would simply say that if he is not on stage, he will “evaluate and go from there.”

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Longtime Republican strategist Ryan Williams, a veteran of multiple GOP presidential campaigns, has a scathing message for candidates who don’t win the ticket to Milwaukee.

“If you don’t make it to the debate stage, you are not seen as a serious candidate. End of story,” Williams insisted.

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