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For Trump Campaign, a Surprising 'Cash Crunch'

President weighs putting $100M of his own money into the race, per Bloomberg
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2020 11:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 8, 2020 12:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Candidate Trump spent $66 million of his own money on the 2016 campaign. President Trump might make the unusual move of pouring even more of his own money into the 2020 race, reports Bloomberg. Trump is considering a personal outlay of up to $100 million, an unprecedented expense for an incumbent president, according to the outlet. The development comes amid reports of the Trump campaign facing a "cash crunch" as Joe Biden's campaign sees record fundraising. Coverage:

  • No decision: Trump is talking to advisers about putting in his own money again, but he hasn't made a decision, per Bloomberg. The story pegs his net worth at $2.7 billion, down 10% since he took office. He has up to $156 million in various savings or money market accounts, according to his most recent financial disclosure.

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  • The crunch: The New York Times is out with a lengthy story reporting that more than $800 million of the $1.1 billion raised for Trump's campaign since the start of 2019 has been spent: "Now some people inside the campaign are forecasting what was once unthinkable: a cash crunch with less than 60 days until the election."
  • Details: So where did the money go? The Times details "lavish" spending, including $11 million on a pair of Super Bowl ads; $6 million for "donor mementos," which includes $337,000 to Hershey's for branded candy; $156,000 for planes to pull aerial banners; and $110,000 to Yondr, a company that makes magnetic pouches to hold smartphones so people don't secretly record Trump's remarks. Also, former campaign manager Brad Parscale had a car and driver, seen as an unusual perk.
  • A consequence: Last week, the AP reported that Trump's campaign made the unusual decision to pull nearly all of its TV advertising, with the result being that Biden was outspending him 10-1 on such ads. "The move comes as Trump's campaign has burned through money almost as fast as it has taken it in," writes Brian Slodysko. "And after Biden drastically narrowed what was once an overwhelming cash advantage enjoyed by the president, campaign officials have acknowledged they were trying to conserve money."
  • Trump response: In Tuesday tweets, Trump defended his campaign's spending and said he'd contribute as needed. "Because of the China Virus, my Campaign, which has raised a lot of money, was forced to spend in order to counter the Fake News reporting about the way we handled it (China Ban, etc.)," he wrote. "Like I did in the 2016 Primaries, if more money is needed, which I doubt it will be, I will put it up!" Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh also downplayed the issue. "Trump's fundraising is breaking records and we are paying close attention to the budget, allowing us to invest twice as much from now until Election Day than we did in 2016," he says.
  • A worry: Biden and the DNC raised a record $365 million in August, while Trump's figures haven't been released yet. Biden had $294 million in cash in hand at the end of July, about $6 million shy of Trump. A post at Axios notes that the Trump campaign is counting on the fact that Trump is able to get his message out effectively through ways other than paid ads. But, it adds, "the number of states Trump has to worry about has actually grown, and Joe Biden's massive August fundraising haul has given his campaign a lift as early voting begins."
(Read more President Trump 2020 stories.)

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