Michigan businessman Perry Johnson on Friday ended his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“With no opportunity to share my vision on the debate stage, I have decided at this time, suspending my campaign is the right thing to do,” he said in a statement.
Johnson, a longshot candidate who failed to qualify for any of the GOP primary debates this year, went on to attack the Republican National Committee over its process: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the people should decide the next president of the United States, not the head of the RNC and her cronies.”
Johnson, 75, was a relative newcomer to politics who tapped into his personal fortune built through companies that certify whether businesses have met industrial standards.
He ran for Michigan governor in 2022 but was kept off the Republican primary ballot after the state’s elections bureau determined his campaign had submitted thousands of invalid signatures on his nominating petition, meaning he did not meet the minimum to qualify.
Johnson had based his presidential campaign on a proposal to slash US discretionary spending by 2% per year. He wrote about the plan in his book “Two Cents to Save America.”
Under RNC rules, candidates had to meet certain polling and donor thresholds to qualify for the first GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee in August. Johnson’s campaign used several unusual schemes to rack up the minimum of 40,000 donors necessary to make the stage.
It sold “I Stand with Tucker” T-shirts defending Tucker Carlson after his firing by Fox News. It also offered tickets to a concert by country duo Big & Rich to anyone who donated. And it handed out $10 gas cards to those willing to make a $1 contribution.
However, when he failed to meet the August debate’s polling threshold – at least 1% support in three national polls or in two national polls and two early-state polls that met the RNC’s criterial – he filed a complaint against the committee with the Federal Election Commission.
“The RNC did rig these debates. The people should decide the GOP nominee, not DC elites,” Johnson said on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, on August 24. He called for RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s resignation.