OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder has become the latest 2024 Republican presidential contender to end his bid for the nomination.
CNN reported Thursday evening that Elder said in an announcement that he will now support former President Donald Trump, the party’s leading candidate by far.
“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,” he noted in a lengthy statement.
“Now that I am exiting the race, I am proud to announce my endorsement of Donald Trump for President of the United States,” he added. “His leadership has been instrumental in advancing conservative, America-first principles and policies that have benefited our great nation. We must unite behind Donald Trump to beat Joe Biden and fight back against Biden’s unprecedented election interference and the left’s destruction of America.”
A source familiar with the situation told CNN that Elder met with Trump at the latter’s Mar-a-Lago estate in south Florida, attending a fundraiser Thursday evening for the former president.
CNN added: “Elder failed to meet the donor and polling requirements set by the Republican National Committee to make the first presidential debate in August. He sharply criticized the RNC’s debate qualification requirements and said that he intended to sue the RNC to ‘halt’ the proceedings, asserting that officials were ‘afraid of having my voice on the debate stage.’ He joins former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who have previously ended their bids.”
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 26, 2023
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 26, 2023
Over the summer, Elder expressed an interest in becoming Trump’s running mate, should the former president ask him.
While speaking with Newsweek, Larry Elder said he would “take the call” if Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offered to make him their 2024 running mate. Elder also urged Republicans to “unite behind a candidate whose last name is other than Trump” in order to “win in November 2024.”
When asked by Newsweek if he would consider being Trump’s running mate, Elder replied, “I am running for president, I’m not running for vice president, I’m not running for a cabinet position. However in the unlikely event I’m not the party nominee, and if Trump or DeSantis or one of the other persons call and ask me to be vice president, I will take the call. I won’t let it go to voicemail.”
Elder, who called himself a “big fan of Donald Trump” and someone he “backed in 2016 and 2020,” argued that the 45th president has been “attacked” so many times he would struggle to appeal to key voters in the 2024 race.
“Here’s the problem; I believe there are so many swing voters in swing states who would not vote for the man if he walked on water,” Elder said. “In fact, they would accuse him of not being able to swim. I have no idea what to do about Trump derangement syndrome—maybe someday somebody will develop a vaccine.”
“I think at some point in this long process Republican voters are doing to realize in order to win in November 2024 they’re going to have to unite behind a candidate whose last name is other than Trump, but for whom a sufficient number of swing voters and swing states will vote so we can win in November 2024, and I’m making the case that I’m that person,” Elder added.
Previously, Trump insiders spoke to the Daily Caller and said the 45th president is likely to pick a vice presidential candidate who is “loyal,” has “charisma,” and is “ideologically aligned” with him.
“No candidates have publicly announced their intent to be Trump’s VP, but the former president has indicated that ‘a lot of people’ are ‘auditioning’ behind the scenes,” the Daily Caller reported.
“We do know one thing about Trump: he puts a lot of weight on how well you present yourself. That really matters to him, so I suspect that will matter for his VP choice,” a GOP consultant close to Trump told the Caller, adding that the person needs to be “TV-ready.”