Long shot presidential candidate Larry Elder has responded to Vivek Ramaswamy’s challenge to pardon 45th President Donald Trump if elected in 2024, saying he would not sign on to another candidate’s pledge.
Speaking outside the Miami courthouse where Trump was indicted on Tuesday, Ramaswamy challenged “every other candidate in this race, either sign this commitment to pardon on January 20th 2025, or else to explain why they are not.” The businessman and presidential candidate had already pledged to pardon Trump over the weekend.
“If you’re not going to pardon President Trump in January 2025, you deserve to say why, and we will hold you accountable, just as we’re holding the Biden administration accountable,” Ramaswamy added. “That’s what we need more of in this country. Honesty, integrity, and actual purpose for our country in a way that puts America first, not our political interests first.”
I challenge every US Presidential candidate to join me in standing for TRUTH. Commit to pardon Donald Trump for these federal charges on Day 1, or explain why you won’t. No one should hide. Not Biden. Not DeSantis. Not Haley. Not Pence. Not RFK. Not Scott. Not anyone. Principles… pic.twitter.com/qYP3fUrE5R
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) June 13, 2023
The first Republican to respond to Ramaswamy was radio host Larry Elder. Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Elder refused to sign Ramaswamy’s pledge, claiming he was “not running for President to play silly games and respond to every candidate’s demands.”
However, if he were elected President, Elder said that he would “instruct my Attorney General to drop the politically-motivated charges” against the 45th President, which Biden’s Department had Justice had brought against him over potential mishandling of classified documents.
“I can tell you that it is deeply disturbing that Hillary Clinton was not charged for her blatant violation of the Espionage Act when she destroyed her private email server,” Elder added. “And why is the special counsel investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents taking so much longer than the investigation of Trump?”
It is unclear why Elder would not pledge to pardon Trump and instead suggest that charges be dropped, given the timescale between the indictment and any potential trial, and the next presidential inauguration.
The campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr, who Ramaswamy had also called to support his pledge in his Tuesday speech, told Fox News that they had “no comment on any initiative which comes from Republican primary candidates.”
In response, Tricia McLaughlin, the Ramaswamy campaign spokeswoman said, “got it. We’ll count Larry and RFK as a ‘no.'”