Michigan businessman Perry Johnson suspended his campaign on Friday for the Republican presidential nomination.
The 75-year-old made the decision after failing to qualify for any of the Republican debates.
“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.
A long-shot contender, Mr. Johnson funded his own campaign with his own considerable personal wealth earned through companies specializing in the certification of industrial standards.
Mr. Johnson went on to accuse the Republican National Committee (RNC) of “corruption” over their handling of the debate process.
“Not only was the debate process set up to keep outsiders off the stage and without a voice, but when we did meet their arbitrary metrics, corrupt leaders used their authoritarian power to kick me off the stage at 11 p.m. the Monday before the debate, despite our team working with Fox News all weekend on logistics,” Mr. Johnson said.
“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,” he continued.
In accordance with RNC rules, candidates were required to satisfy specific polling and donor criteria in order to secure a position on the stage for the inaugural GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee that took place in August.
Mr. Johnson’s campaign employed several unconventional tactics to amass the requisite minimum of 40,000 donors, including the sale of “I Stand with Tucker” T-shirts in support of Tucker Carlson following his dismissal by Fox News, providing free concert tickets for the country music duo Big & Rich to anyone making a donation, and distributing $10 gas cards to individuals willing to contribute as little as $1.
In 2022, he embarked on a gubernatorial campaign in Michigan, only to be excluded from the Republican primary ballot when the state’s elections bureau found that his campaign had submitted a plethora of invalid signatures on his nominating petition, rendering him ineligible.
Mr. Johnson’s presidential bid centered on a proposition to reduce annual discretionary spending by two percent, a proposal he had expounded upon in his book “Two Cents to Salvage America.”
In his statement announcing the suspension of his campaign, Mr. Johnson railed against “career politicians” in Washington who had failed to curtail spending and inflation.
“The American people deserve so much better than what career politicians in D.C. are giving them,” he said. “I ran for President with the single focus of ensuring that the country my children inherit is just as extraordinary as the America in which I grew up. I was worried that wouldn’t happen.
“The government’s out-of-control spending, which has caused rampant inflation and forced skyrocketing interest rates, is painful for middle America and hurting American families,” he added.
Despite suspending his campaign, Mr. Johnson has not withdrawn from the ballot and will keep some staffers on in case “the dynamics of the race” change.
Other Republican candidates who have already suspended their presidential campaigns include former Texas congressman Will Hurd, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and former Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.
From The Epoch Times