GOP Presidential Field Shrinks as Larry Elder Withdraws

Talk show host endorses Trump
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2023 7:39 AM CDT
Updated Oct 26, 2023 6:30 PM CDT
Radio Host Larry Elder Launches White House Bid
Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder speaks to supporters after losing the California gubernatorial recall election on Sept. 14, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
UPDATE Oct 26, 2023 6:30 PM CDT

A Republican presidential candidate and talk radio host has ended his campaign. Larry Elder said Thursday that he's throwing his support to Donald Trump, the AP reports. It's not clear how much weight Elder's endorsement will carry; he didn't qualify to participate in either GOP debate. Elder said he filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission after being shut out of the first debate, and he stated his case here. Elder hasn't registered on major polling trackers, per the Hill.

Apr 21, 2023 7:39 AM CDT

Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who once described the 2016 election of Donald Trump as "divine intervention," is challenging Trump for the Republican nomination. Elder, who was defeated in the failed 2021 effort to unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom, made his announcement on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, the New York Times reports. He also tweeted an announcement that echoed Trump's campaign rhetoric. "America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable," Elder said. "We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there."

On Carlson's show, Elder, 70, said his father fought in World War II and two brothers served in the military during the Vietnam era. "I'm the only one who didn't serve, and I don't feel good about that," he said. "I feel I have a moral, religious, and a patriotic duty to give back to a country that's been so good to my family and me." Elder is entering a GOP field that already includes frontrunner Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and conservative commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, Fox reports. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are expected to make formal announcements in the coming weeks.

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Elder was the frontrunner in the race to replace Newsom, but analysts don't expect him to gain much traction in the White House race. Quartz notes that he has "made disparaging comments about minorities including women and his own Black community" over the years. "Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events," he wrote in a 2000 column. He has also argued in favor of reparations—for slave owners. (Last year, Elder said that if he runs, he'll be running against President Biden, not Trump.)

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