There is a question that has started making the rounds of political pundits. Is Trump actually running for President, or is he running for President to make money off of running for President? That may sound crazy to you. Why would someone run for President if all he was trying to do is make money off of running?
Well, he wouldn’t be the first candidate to do just that. Although, he probably be the first actual nominee to do so. In 2012, reports of Gingrich doing exactly that began running the rumor mill. Even after Gingrich soundly won South Carolina primary, he kept up more his “book tour” than his campaign for President.
It was even rumored that he had one of his campaign staff members dress up in an elephant costume to help his wife sell her children’s book. If that is the case, I wonder how that person felt dressing up everyday to help sell a book instead of working to get Gingrich nominated which is what that person signed up to do.
Today, we see similar attempts by Trump to make money. He actually bragged about the possibility not all that long ago. He said he might be the only person to make money by running for President.
When he filed his FEC report for May the other day, a lot of eyebrows were raised over where the money was actually going. Of the $6 million he spent in May, $1 million went to his business and family. He paid his airline for use of his private jet. He paid his home in Florida for catering services and rent for a press conference. He paid his children for “expenses” on the campaign. And he paid a lot of other of his companies for rent and catering services.
Now, before you blow your top, remember that the campaign laws state that candidates who have private facilities that hold campaign activities must pay the “going rate” to use those facilities. That way someone like Trump can’t get away with “free” use of facilities.
One might wonder how one press conference and catering services for the press conference can cost over $400,000, but that isn’t for me to say. I don’t know what the “going rate” to rent such facilities is.
Trump also told Fox News that he spent $53 million of his own money to get the nomination. Well, that is stretching the truth just a little bit. What Trump actually did, according to the FEC report is “loan” his campaign $47.5 million dollars. That is right, he didn’t “spend” his own money, he “loaned” it to his campaign. So, if the money starts to flow in, he has the right to “pay himself back” that $47.5 million before spending any of it on ads or other activities.
Of course with only $1.3 million in the bank, paying himself back is going to be hard to do. Which brings us to another point. The Republican Party is all up in arms about how disgraceful his fundraising has been. It was reported that the party gave Trump a list of about 20 people to call for fundraising. It was also reported that he called three and stopped.
Lindsey Graham said last month that Republicans should “look for an off-ramp” for Trump. Now, a delegate from Colorado is using all of this as the “off-ramp” Graham was talking about. She claims that the “locked-in” delegates for Trump aren’t really “locked-in” and they could all bolt Trump on the “first ballot”. She not only believes they could, but should.
She explains it this way. When the roll call of states is done, whenever a state casts its vote, any delegate can challenge the vote and thus cause a “polling” of the delegates. So, if for example Colorado votes for Trump, she could challenge the vote. The Party would then have to poll the delegates and she hopes that people would “vote their conscience” and vote against Trump.
She is even trying to rally support for a vote on the rules committee just before the convention for a “conscience” clause that would automatically allow delegates to change their “committed” vote away from Trump.
Most pundits say this strategy will never happen. Yet, even Paul Ryan said he would not do any fundraising for Trump. The Tea Party darling, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, said he favors the “conscience” clause.
I really don’t understand the Republican’s disfavor of Trump. He is doing exactly what they have done for over 40 years. He is saying exactly what the party line has been. Only he is saying it more clearly than they do.
His policies are a total wreck and doomed to fail. He is very short on specifics. Yet, Paul Ryan laid out the Affordable Care Act alternative yesterday, and surprise, it is very short of specifics. Trump is saying exactly what the Republicans have been saying. “Trust us and we will make things better.” Even though they always seem to make things worse by using the same failed policies over and over.
I don’t know what is going to happen in Cleveland next month. I don’t know what will happen in the November elections. What I do know is this campaign being run by the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party is embarrassing. It has gotten to the point where I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.
It appears that the real problem is that the Republican Party doesn’t know which way to go either. Should they laugh at the buffoon or cry that he has taken over their party? I don’t know. I guess you get what you sew.
The Republicans don’t want to pass any reasonable gun legislation intended to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. But they are willing to follow Trump and ramp up “surveillance” of Muslims to keep them from being radicalized. According to Trump and the Republicans, the Second Amendment is carved in stone. The Fourth Amendment, well not so much.
Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel on this election. But, the thought of someone like Trump actually becoming president is too terrible to contemplate. As Clinton said yesterday: “He has written many books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11”.
It might not be that bad if he isn’t continually bragging about how much money he made while running all of his business into the ground. I can’t imagine he would do any better with our economy. And THAT is the really scary part.