The Perry Johnson campaign said it will announce legal action soon against the Republican National Committee after Johnson was excluded from the first presidential debate scheduled for Wednesday.
Johnson called the RNC debate process “corrupt and rigged.”
“The corrupt and rigged RNC debate process has been a trainwreck from the beginning,” said Johnson. “Our campaign hit every metric put forward by the RNC and we have qualified for the debate.
“It is clear that from the beginning, the RNC knew who they wanted on the stage and who they wanted to ban from the stage. Simply put, this is a flawed decision of a poorly run process of a corrupt organization.
“This morning, I am working with my team to take legal action against the RNC.”
On Aug. 17, the Johnson campaign believed it had met the polling threshold following the release of a Trafalgar poll. On Aug. 18, it was reported Johnson qualified by meeting the polling threshold with the release of the Trafalgar Iowa qualifying poll, Trafalgar New Hampshire qualifying poll and the Victory Insights national qualifying poll.
Politico and 538 recognized Johnson as qualifying for the debate. But on the afternoon of Aug. 18, the RNC data department contacted Johnson’s campaign with instructions on certifying the total number of unique donors. Two hours later the campaign received logistics information from Fox News.
On Monday, the campaign submitted a report certifying 50,000-plus donors at 12:15 p.m. The campaign also requested the Beat Biden Pledge so it could meet the final requirement.
On Monday afternoon, the RNC sent Johnson the Beat Biden Pledge, but notified the campaign it needed one more national qualifying poll to reach the threshold. It was the first communication the campaign received from the RNC regarding its status for the debate.
Johnson included the following four polls:
The RNC said it was not considering the Victory Insights poll because it wasn’t a national poll. Johnson’s campaign, however, disagrees.
Johnson’s campaign sent a Newsmax/McLaughlin poll that had him at 1 percent, but at 11 p.m. the campaign received a call from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and David Bossie explaining that poll wouldn’t be counted either and that Johnson would not be on the stage.
McDaniel and Bossie reportedly said any poll which left a particular candidate out could be a qualifying poll as well. So Johnson’s campaign sent the Harvard/Harris poll, which asked a question excluding President Donald J. Trump. Johnson received 1 percent in that poll, but the RNC responded saying the poll was biased.