Donald Trump said on Tuesday he’s willing to spend millions of dollars of his own money in his re-election bid as his campaign argues the president could win a second term in a landslide.
Trump confirmed a Bloomberg News report that he could spend as much as $100 million of his own money to beat Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November.
‘If I have to, I will,’ President Trump told reporters before he boarded Air Force One for a trip to Florida. ‘We needed to spend more money up front because of the pandemic and the statements being made by Democrats, which we are, again, disinformation.
‘Whatever it takes, we have to win,’ he added.
He noted he spent his own money in the 2016 Republican primary contest – a total of $66 million.
‘If we need anymore, I’d put it up personally. Like I did in the primaries last time. In the 2016 primaries I put up a lot of money. If I have to, I’ll do it here. But we don’t have to, because we have double and maybe even triple what we had a number of years,’ he said.
President Trump said he’s willing to spend millions of dollars of his own money in his re-election bid
Campaign crunch: Donald Trump at Andrews Air Force Base where he said he would be willing to put his own cash into the campaign if necessary
Off to Florida: Donald Trump spoke on his way to two stops, one to speak about the environment in Florida, then a mini-rally at Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Salute: Donald Trump boards Air Force One for Florida as his campaign said it could win in a landslide while he said he would fund whatever it takes to win
Joe Biden leads in most national polls and battleground state polls on the 2020 race
TRUMP’S CASH SPLASH
$30 million – Trump swag, such as MAGA hats
$21 million – Legal fees since 2019, including a $666,666.67 bill to Reuters News & Media for unspecified ‘legal proceedings – resolution
$11 million – Superbowl commercials
$6 million – ‘Donor mementos’, this includes $337,000 to Hersheys Company, the chocolate maker, for items such as White House-branded M&Ms.
$4 million – Trump family businesses since 2019, including the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and donor retreats to Trump hotels
$1 million – TV adverts in Washington DC
$800,000 – Boosting former campaign manager Brad Parscale’s Facebook and Instagram accounts
$325,000 – Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, for the cancelled RNC convention
$156,000 – Airplanes to haul Trump banners across the sky
$110,000 – Yondr magnetic pouches for donors’ phones to be stored in during fundraising bashes so they can’t record Trump
Trump’s comments come amid reports his campaign is struggling financially. It has yet to release its August fundraising numbers after Biden reported raising a record $365 million last month.
‘We are now carefully managing the budget,’ campaign manager Bill Stepien said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. ‘I consider it to be among the, if not the most important tasks for any campaign manager, creating a recreating the budget was the first thing that I did.’
On the conference call, officials with the campaign outlined seven scenarios of how the electoral college could play out on November 3 – all of which have Trump winning a second term.
Biden is leading in most national polls on the race.
‘This very much is a series of state based campaigns,’ Stepien said of the Trump campaign tactics, comparing it to running for governor.
‘We very much want to be on the local news in markets, six o’clock local news and markets, and our focus a whole lot less on the cable news with our messaging,’ he added.
The first scenario had the president winning the same states he won in 2016 for 306 electoral votes – it takes 270 to win the presidency.
But the second scenario argued Trump could win in a landslide, picking up all the battleground states for 356 electoral votes – that would be a sweep of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
‘The reality is almost every state. On this map is currently within the margin of error and outside forces can change things as we see in presidential campaigns,’ said Director of Battleground Strategy Nick Trainer although he conceded the campaign is not there ‘yet.’
The RealClearPolitics polling average has Biden winning the top battleground states although some of those leads are within in the margin of error.
But other scenarios showed a closer race with Trump picking up just the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
The general point being made by the campaign was that Trump could afford to lose a mix of the battleground states – including Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – yet still be elected to a second term.
Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona are shaping up to be the top battlegrounds for November. Trump won all six of those states in 2016.
‘We don’t need every single state on this map to get there. In this scenario, of course, you’ve heard us say before we need either Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania, not and Pennsylvania to still win the presidency,’ Trainer said.
Trump will be in Florida and North Carolina on Monday, Michigan on Tuesday and Pennsylvania on Friday.
But campaigning takes money and Trump is facing a cash crunch after burning through $800 million in campaign funds including $11 million on Super Bowl advertisements and $156,000 on planes to pull MAGA banners.
The $1.1 billion the Republican Party had raised since 2019 through to July has ‘evaporated,’ according to The New York Times, and with it a $200 million advantage over Biden.
Top Republican officials briefed on the budget have been told that the president needs to reign in his spending just 56 days before Americans go to the polls.
Former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who presided over the profligacy, was replaced in July by Bill Stepien who has introduced various cost-cutting measures and scrapped planned extravagances, such as a $3 million MAGA liveried NASCAR vehicle.
Trump splashed $11 million on Super Bowl adverts to match the spending of billionaire Michael Bloomberg
GOP strategist Ed Rollins accused Parscale of spending ‘like a drunken sailor.’
‘If you spend $800 million and you’re 10 points behind (in the polls), I think you’ve got to answer the question, “What was the game plan?” Rollins told the Times.
Parscale’s tenure saw more than $350 million of the $800 million spent on fund-raising operations to find donors.
Other expenses, the Times reported, included $4 million on hosting events at Trump family businesses; his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, donor retreats to Trump hotels and thousands spent in the steakhouse at Trump’s Washington DC hotel.
There was also $110,000 paid to Yondr, a manufacturer of magnetic pouches for cellphones which were used at fundraising soirees to prevent guests from recording Trump.
The campaign had a large team of well-paid staff working at a colossal office in the Virginia suburbs and Parscale is said to have lavished himself with a chauffeur driven car, as well as $800,000 on boosting his Facebook and Instagram profiles.
Parscale was the brains behind a $100 million TV advertising splurge ahead of the convention.
Sources told the paper that some of the spending was purely to please the president rather than strategic.
This included the exorbitant $11 million for Super Bowl commercials, more than was spent on TV in some battleground states, which matched the billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s spend on the game.
A further $1 million was spent on TV advertising in Washington DC, a Democrat stronghold where the president of course lives.
Many of the specifics of the campaign spending are unclear, according to the Times, which said that since 2017 the RNC has routed $227 million through a limited liability company linked to senior Trump officials.
The firm, American Made Media Consultants (AMMC), has placed television and online adverts and allegedly made payments to Lara Trump, wife of the president’s son Eric, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, former Fox News host and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.
Brad Parscale, then manager of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, throws ‘Make America Great Again,’ hats to the audience before a rally in Grand Rapids in March last year
Campaign manager Bill Stepien (right) stands alongside US President Donald Trump as he speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One as he flies from Manchester, New Hampshire to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, August 28
The Trump campaign has been contacted with regards to the allegations, which are the subject of a Federal Election Commission complaint.
Another $39 million has been paid to Parscale Strategy LLC and Giles-Parscale, run by Parscale since 2017.
Parscale told the Times that he had ‘no ownership or financial interest in AMMC and that he had ‘negotiated a contract with the family for 1 percent of digital ad spend and after becoming campaign manager took no percentage.’
He also said that his spending was ‘under the very close eye of the family’ or ‘in partnership with Ronna McDaniel (the RNC chairwoman).’