For over a year now, we’ve heard the constant campaign applause line from Donald Trump (R-N.Y.) and his supporters that he’s self-funding his campaign, and won’t owe anything to lobbyists if he wins.
That sounds awesome, right? Finally, a president who won’t be bought and paid for when he takes office. Finally, a president who can make decisions based on what’s best for America, not what’s best for the rich and powerful.
Finally, a president who will bring in the best people because he knows the best people and the best people will be the best people in the best group of people.
All hail the Donarchy!
It sounds great, but Mr. Trump has been called on this several times. Experts continually point out that he was simply giving himself a loan from his own personal funds, which he can then pay back through donations, making his advertisement misleading at best.
Now Mr. Trump has another problem.
When he pushed the “self-funded campaign” button throughout the primaries, the truth is that he actually did have the liquid cash to fund his campaign, and he’s loaned himself about $35 million so far. He never expected to get past the early primaries.
Heading into a general election, that self-funding motto will likely break from the need for excessive cash demanded by a campaign of this size.
In the past, GOP candidates who win the nomination typically have a group of large donors and lobbyists who need very little wooing, along with substantial resources provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC).
One of those resources is a list of names and phone numbers of people with money; the money Mr. Trump will need if he plans on running a general election campaign at this level.
In that spirit, the RNC recently provided Mr. Trump with a small list to get him dialing for dollars. According to the Politico report, Trump wasn’t havin’ it:
“While Trump had promised Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors, when RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh recently presented Trump with a list of more than 20 donors, he called only three before stopping, according to two sources familiar with the situation. It’s unclear whether he resumed the donor calls later.”
When Trump’s campaign declined to comment on the calls, it became clear that this was as far as Trump planned on dialing. As non-traditional as his campaign has been, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to buck tradition to such an extent that he won’t need the RNC at some point.
It appears that Trump’s fundraising ability mirrors his general ability to make friends; a combination that could make it quite difficult to raise the more than $1 billion that will likely be necessary to compete into September and October.
The bigger problem for Mr. Trump is how he plans to explain it to his supporters. As they continue to chant that they’re candidate is self-funded and above the fray, Mr. Trump finds himself needing to jump into the fray with everyone else.
Want to know the truth behind Trump’s self-funding claims? Watch this video: