One of the populist appeals of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was his promise to self-fund his campaign.
For instance, Trump made this promise in a campaign ad saying, “I know the best people, and I’m totally self-funding my campaign so I don’t have to take donors and special interest people and lobbyists.”
Trump said the same in this campaign spot as well. “I’m doing one thing that I don’t know that I get much credit for, but I must say, a lot of people do like it,” he said.
“I’m self-funding. I’m putting up my own money. I don’t have special interests telling me, ‘Here’s money, Donald, and by the way, I hope you remember me two years when we need something.’ We’re gonna do the right thing for the people in this country for the first time — maybe in many, many decades. We’re self-funding the campaign, no special interests, no donors, no lobbyists telling me they need help with lumber, they need help with electric, they need help with pharmaceuticals. We’re going to do the right thing…It’s something I don’t know that I’m given proper credit for, but you know what? I feel better about it, because nobody has me. I’m working for you. I’m not working for anybody else. Good luck.”
This promise was very appealing to Trump’s supporters, as exemplified by this tweet.
Donald Trump: No Longer Self-Funding?
But now that Ted Cruz has dropped out, as Inquisitr reported last night, Donald Trump appears to be backing off of that promise. Today, CNN is reporting that “Trump and his staff have told individuals” that as soon as the Republican nomination is secured, “he would pivot and begin fundraising for a general election fight.”
This morning, Trump was quoted by the New York Times, “Do I want to sell a couple of buildings and self-fund? I don’t know that I want to do that necessarily, but I really won’t be asking for money for myself, I’ll be asking for money for the party.”
On May 1, Trump convention manager Paul Manafort told CBS News that Trump will not be completely self-funding, noting his “responsibilities to the Republican Party” to help fund down-ballot Senate and Congressional races.
Politifact: Trump “Sort Of” Self-Funding
However, Politifact noted in February that Trump’s campaign was never entirely self-funded, noting that of the $19.4 million that his campaign took in at the end of 2015, roughly $6.4 million came from small donations. Politifact noted that at the time, the only other candidates besides Donald Trump who were giving money to their own campaigns were retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who gave $25,000 to his campaign; former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who gave over $360,000, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who gave over $380,000.
Politifact also found that even while Trump claimed to be self-funding, the official Trump campaign website had a “Donate” button and for a time in 2015, his campaign received more money from donations that it did from Trump.
“To me, it would be more accurate to say he was ‘partially self-funding,’ ” Politifact quoted Viveca Novak, editorial and communications director at the Center for Responsive Politics.
Weighing all of the evidence, Politifact concluded that Trump’s declaration that he was “self-funding” his campaign to be “Half True.”
What do you think? Should Donald Trump accept private campaign donations after promising not to do so? Feel free to comment below.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]