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Elder blasts media race narrative about head-to-head race with Scott: 'Running to be president'

'We’re two individuals. We are both black. We’re both Republicans. We both have different experiences," Larry Elder said.

Published: May 26, 2023 11:57pm

Updated: May 26, 2023 11:59pm

Republican presidential candidate Larry Elder is calling out liberal journalists for asking what differentiates him from primary rival Sen. Tim Scott, who like Elder is a black politician. 

The conservative talk-radio host said questions began after Scott declared his candidacy.

"I got calls from liberal outlets who asked me, 'You and Tim Scott are both black Republicans. What differentiates you from him?'" Elder told Just the News in an exclusive interview. "To which I responded: 'Did you ask Donald Trump in 2016, you and Jeb Bush are both white Republicans. What distinguishes you from Bush?' And they don't know how to respond."

Elder continued: “We’re two individuals. We are both black. We’re both Republicans. We have different experiences."

Elder announced his candidacy for president last month.

In 2021, he was among several candidates in the failed recall effort of California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom. However, Elder won the most votes of any candidate, which helped boost his already strong name recognition. That is in large part because of his appearances on Fox News opinion shows.  

"I’m the only one in my family who has never served in the military," said Elder, whose father and brothers served. "And I never felt good about that. So this is my way to serve my country.”

Others in the 2024 GOP presidential primary are front-running former President Trump; former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; businessman Vivek Ramaswamy; former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and most recently Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who formally announced his bid Wednesday.

“I’m not running against DeSantis or Trump," Elder said. "I’m running to be president of the United States. The target is Biden and Harris." 

He also argues that minority voters are increasingly moving toward the Republican Party because of the bad policies of the Democrat Party.

"The GOP is improving in getting the black and Hispanic vote – not because of outreach, but because of bad Democrat policies," he said. "Donald Trump ran in 2016 and got 8% of the black vote asking potential voters: 'What do you have to lose?' Biden had at least 82% of the black vote, and now is at 52%. He’s going in the wrong direction."

An Associated Press report shows Republican candidates in 2022 were backed by 14% of black voters, compared with 8% in 2018.

The wire service's extensive national survey of the electorate, known as AP VoteCast, also found that in Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp more than doubled his support among black voters to 12% in 2022, compared with 5% four years earlier. He defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams both times.

"If you care about the economy, school choice and crime, the Democrat Party is no longer for you and black Americans are starting to realize that," Elder said. 

He also said that while Trump was a great president, it will be hard for him to win over voters in swing states. 

"You need an America First fighter who will pursue the Donald Trump policies, but who the people in swing states will find likable, relatable and with a good sense of humor so we can beat Biden and Harris in 2024," Elder said. "If that is your analysis, then I’m your man.”

A major plank of Elder's campaign is what he considers to be the country's fatherlessness crisis and what he can do to strengthen the family unit. 

"We don't talk enough about the father absence issue," he said. "Behavior can change once people realize the result of their actions. Men need to own up to their responsibilities when they bring children into the world. Behavior can be changed. We ought to be encouraging mentors. All these kids without a father should be able to pick up the phone and call someone for advice and direction."

Elder also argued that the existing remedy is, in large part, putting a lot of tax money into welfare programs and that needs to be changed.

"I would put some kind of thing on your tax forms that would incentivize people to give money and donations to churches and charities in local communities to organize and help these young people who don't have a father in the home," he said.