Francis Suarez Claims GOP Debate Spot, RNC Not So Sure

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Candidates who have been struggling to gain publicity and support, are becoming more desperate as we get closer to the first GOP Presidential debate.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is one of them. He announced on Twitter on Friday that he has met the qualifications for the debate and will be appearing along with other candidates who have qualified to appear at the August 23rd discussion:

I’m excited to announce I’ve met all the criteria for the first primary debate of the @GOP.

Although our campaign has only been underway for a few short weeks, I’m humbled to know that Republicans have contributed to our campaign from all fifty states — nearly 50,000 dollars so far.

Now, I’ll renew my efforts to inform America of how I used conservative ideas in Miami to make it a shining example of what our party is capable of. A party that is caring and delivers. You can only limit your future by yourself if you join a party.

According to RNC officials, Suarez entered the race in mid-June and has yet to qualify for the debate.

The RNC told The Associated Press that Suarez did not meet the criteria set by its committee. The Associated Press was the first to report Suarez’s claim.

The Miami Herald’s report backed up the AP’s original reporting, citing unnamed RNC officials who said that Suarez has not yet met their criteria.

POLITICO’s analysis shows that even though Suarez reached his money goal, two polls are still needed to qualify him.

Suarez, as of this article’s publication date, has not publicly addressed the RNC’s claims.

The first time the “Suarez is qualified” statements started this week was when a PAC that supports him began spreading the story.

Suarez made his announcement several days after SOS America, an independent super PAC that supports his presidential campaign, claimed Suarez qualified for the debate. Suarez’s campaign didn’t respond to questions for days about whether or not he met the criteria of the debate until Suarez announced on Friday that he will be participating.

Suarez has been accused by some Twitter users of pulling a stunt, making people think he was qualified, when in fact, the RNC says he isn’t. It wouldn’t have been the first time if that was the case.

The Suarez campaign offered $20 gift cards at the end of July to anyone who gave $1 to his campaign. This would qualify him for the debate. North Dakota Governor used this tactic successfully for the first time. Doug Burgum will appear in Milwaukee on Wednesday, along with seven other candidates that have qualified.

We have previously reported that former President Donald Trump decided to skip the discussion.

The qualifying period ends on Monday, August 21, at 9 pm ET. There’s no way to know if there will be any GOP presidential polls released before then and if they would benefit Suarez.