Milwaukee, WI – Perry Johnson, Republican presidential candidate and outsider businessman, released a copy of an FEC complaint against Fox News and the RNC and also called for the immediate resignation of Ronna Romney McDaniel as Chairwoman of the RNC for corrupting the debate process.
“Ronna Romney McDaniel may be the longest serving chair in RNC history, but she is also going down as the most unsuccessful and corrupt Chair in the history of the Republican Party,” said Johnson.
“Republicans were decimated in 2018, she allowed Joe Biden to take the White House in 2020 and had the least successful midterm with a Democrat President in the history of the RNC. Now, she has corrupted and botched the debate process by attempting to hand-pick the 2024 GOP nominee with her elitist Washington D.C. buddies. This corruption and incompetence must come to an end or we will lose in 2024.
“I am obviously disgusted with how the debate process has been corrupted, but I am far more concerned about Joe Biden and the Democrats staying in power and continuing to destroy our country which is why I am calling for Ronna’s immediate resignation as RNC Chair. She is incapable of winning, she is incapable of leading and she will cost us elections up and down the ballot in 2024. I encourage other Republicans to stand up and help the grassroots of the GOP take this Party back.
“I have also filed an FEC complaint against Fox News and the RNC for failing to abide by existing rules, instead choosing to eliminate my campaign from the debate stage exclusively for being a political outsider.”
Perry Johnson Debate Timeline
Internally, the Johnson campaign believed it had hit the polling threshold Thursday, August 17th with the release of the Trafalgar National Poll in combination with the Harvard/Harris Qualifying Poll & Big Village Qualifying Poll.
It was however widely reported that Perry Johnson qualified by hitting the polling threshold on Friday, August 18th with the release of the Trafalgar Iowa Qualifying Poll, Trafalgar New Hampshire Qualifying Poll & Victory Insights National Qualifying Poll.
Every major news outlet reported that Johnson had made the stage, including Politico who had been tracking qualifications with strict standards. 538 also recognized Perry as having made the stage and moved him to “Major Candidate Status” in their tracking.
At 2:30pm on Friday, August 18th, after the media reports were released, the RNC data department reached out to the Johnson campaign with instructions on how to certify the total number of unique donors.
At 4:30pm on Friday, August 18th, the Johnson campaign officially received logistics information from Fox News, and continued to receive logistics information throughout the weekend, including a scheduled walkthrough for staff and a personal walkthrough for Mr. Johnson.
The Johnson campaign, through an RNC approved third party, submitted the report certifying 50k+ donors to the RNC at 12:15pm on August 21st, and requested the Beat Biden Pledge to meet the final requirement listed in the Chairwoman’s memo.
The RNC confirmed the donor requirement had been met.
At 2:03pm, RNC Chief of Staff Richard Walters sent the Beat Biden Pledge to the Johnson campaign and notified the campaign for the first time that Johnson needed one more national qualifying poll to reach the threshold. This was the first communication the campaign had ever received from the RNC regarding his actual status in the debate.
At 3:38pm, the Johnson campaign responded and sent along its four media reported qualifying polls which all met the RNC’s threshold and asked for clarification.
- Trafalgar National Qualifying Poll
- Victory Insights National Qualifying Poll
- Trafalgar Iowa Qualifying Poll
- Trafalgar New Hampshire Qualifying Poll
At 3:47pm, Walters notified the campaign that the RNC was not recognizing the Victory Insights poll because it was ‘not a national poll.’ That assessment is completely misguided.
- The poll sampled 800 respondents from across the country per the RNC’s guidelines.
- The poll was properly balanced by region.
a. When conducting a state poll, you don’t have to talk to someone in every single town/city for the state poll to be accurate. Regional balancing is not just common but also best practice and happens in every poll.
- The poll was consistent with the results of all other national polling.
At 5:43pm the Johnson campaign notified the RNC of its disagreement in that assessment and sent along a NEWSMAX/McLaughlin poll that again, showed Perry at 1% nationwide. The campaign sent a follow up at 9:49pm.
At approximately 11 p.m., Mr. Johnson received a call from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and David Bossie, explaining that the McLaughlin poll would not be counted either and that he was not on the debate stage.
But McDaniel/Bossie did say that any poll which left a particular candidate out, could be a qualifying poll as well.
The Johnson campaign sent the RNC the Harvard/Harris poll, which asked a question excluding President Trump, in which Perry Johnson received 1%. Another qualifying poll.
The RNC responded, claiming the poll was biased.
- Mr. Johnson clearly reached all thresholds as required by the RNC and as reported by media outlets.
- The RNC went over and above to disqualify Mr. Johnson based on flawed and biased polling assessments.
- Mr. Johnson has qualified for the debates and will be in Milwaukee on Wednesday.