OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A former 2024 Republican presidential contender who dropped out of the race late last week after failing to make a dent with GOP voters has come out in support of the party’s frontrunner, former President Donald Trump.
Michigan businessman Perry Johnson suspended his longshot campaign last week, but he has since argued that Trump is the only Republican in the current primary field who can beat President Joe Biden.
“After suspending my campaign for President on Friday, there is now only one candidate in this race who can provide a solution to our nation’s economic, foreign policy and social crises, and most importantly, beat Joe Biden at the ballot box. That person is Donald Trump,” Johnson said.
“During President Trump’s first term, our nation saw historic peace agreements, no new wars, an economic revival, and forged a new path forward away from corrupt, establishment career politicians,” Johnson noted further. “I supported President Trump in 2016 and 2020, and am proud to offer him my full endorsement once again as he seeks the Republican nomination for President in 2024.”
He concluded: “I look forward to assisting in efforts to elect him next year and uniting with other conservatives to defeat Joe Biden in November.”
Johnson, 75, became third candidate to bow out this year, following Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas). Hurd threw his support behind former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Johnson, a wealthy Michigan businessman who was funding his own campaign, announced Friday he was “suspending his campaign while lamenting government spending, inflation, and what he perceived as corruption in the Republican National Committee,” Newsmax reported.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement.
He said his top concern was the government’s “out-of-control spending, which has caused rampant inflation and forced skyrocketing interest rates,” which, he believes, is “painful for middle America and hurting American families.” He expressed fears that this “recklessness jeopardizes Social Security, Medicare, National Defense, and our whole way of life.”
He also proposed what he dubbed the “Two Cents Plan” as a means of making life much more affordable for a majority of Americans. At the same time, he promised to tackle the fiscal and economic challenges facing the country.
“The Two-Cents Plan will cut two cents off of every dollar in federal discretionary spending to end inflation and solve the debt crisis,” says his campaign website. “It’s simple. It’s reasonable. It can be done.”
Johnson also lambasted the RNC. “The corruption among leaders at the RNC during this process was appalling,” he said.
He went on to accuse the RNC’s leaders of manipulating the debate process in an effort to sideline outsider candidates like himself. He claimed that “corrupt leaders used their authoritarian power to kick me off the stage at 11 p.m. the Monday before the debate,” even as his team was in the process of working out the logistics with Fox News.
He says there should be a much more democratic process when it comes to picking presidential candidates. “The people should decide the next president of the United States, not the head of the RNC and her cronies,” he said.
Johnson also left open the possibility of reentering the race, maintaining a small political team in case the campaign’s dynamics changed. He will still appear on the ballot in early contests, including New Hampshire.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson, who unsuccessfully sought the Michigan governorship last year, encountered accusations from the state’s elections bureau of submitting thousands of fraudulent nominating signatures.