Mike Pence May Not Qualify for the First GOP Debate

Valerio Pucci / shutterstock.com
Valerio Pucci / shutterstock.com

Multiple presidential candidates have qualified for the first upcoming Republican debate in August. One name that is conspicuously missing from the list, however, is former Vice President Mike Pence. The Republican National Committee (RNC) sets some specific benchmarks that each contender must meet in order to weed out the non-serious candidates or those who have no chance of winning the nomination. The flailing Pence campaign is failing to meet several of those benchmarks so far.

To date, President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and the Soros Fellowship recipient Vivek Ramaswamy have qualified for the first debate. Mike Pence, Chris Christie, and the rest of the candidates have not. While it’s no surprise that Chris Christie is huffing and puffing and bringing up the rear, it is a surprise that the Pence campaign is failing so early on.

The specific qualification rule that Mike Pence has failed to meet reads:
“Candidates must have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20-plus states and/or territories.”

Pence released his second-quarter fundraising reports last Friday, and the numbers aren’t lying. He has only managed to raise $1.2 million in contributions for his campaign. The Committed to America super PAC affiliated with Mike Pence has raised another $2.6 million, bringing the grand total to $3.8 million in cash on hand. By way of comparison, the Ron DeSantis campaign has more than $12 million left after second-quarter expenditures, and the Donald Trump campaign has a war chest of more than $22 million.

The contribution amounts for a campaign are not the issue. It’s the low number of contributions coming in for Mike Pence. He doesn’t have anywhere close to 40,000 unique donors, which means that most of his contributions are coming from big-dollar donors, Wall Street, and hedge fund managers. Ordinary Republican voters just aren’t buying whatever it is that Pence is selling.

It’s no wonder after Pence’s disastrous performance at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa last week. During his interview with Tucker Carlson, Pence made it perfectly clear that he is not concerned with the southern border crisis, the fentanyl crisis, the homelessness crisis, the skyrocketing public disorder and filth, or any other problems in American cities.
“That’s not my concern, Tucker,” he arrogantly said. “That’s not my concern.”

Mike Pence’s concern is to send every last Ukrainian teenager to his death in a pointless war with Russia. He’s willing to fight to the very last Ukrainian because that is the main concern of “Permanent Washington.” Pence doesn’t care about America and therefore should be disqualified from the debates based on that.

Even Chris Christie is outpacing Pence when it comes to unique donors. He’s had 16,000 unique donors so far, which could possibly put him in range for the first debate if things pick up. Christie has $1.59 million in campaign cash on hand, and his affiliated super PAC has raised almost $6 million.

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is perhaps the most confusing person on the campaign trail this year. He has almost no constituency at all, and Republican voters are generally repulsed by him over his stance on the genital mutilation and transitioning of children. Hutchinson has managed to raise a paltry $743,000 from only 6,000 unique donors. He’s not going to make it to the first debate.

Then again, the RNC wanted as many candidates as possible on stage for the debates in 2016 to try to slow Donald Trump’s momentum. They let Sen. Rand Paul participate in the first debate, even though he was nowhere near the qualifying markers. If they let Pence into the first debate this year even though he doesn’t qualify, we’ll know that the RNC is up to its old tricks and trying once again to defeat President Trump.