Shunned by traditional GOP donors with deep pockets, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is banking on small donors to keep his Quixotic campaign afloat. The alleged billionaire who won the primaries in large part because he assured supporters he could afford to self-finance his presidential bid is now soliciting contributions from voters who like him because “he can’t be bought.”
The Associated Press reports today that The Donald has launched an email campaign asking small donors to contribute $10 or more while promising to kick in $2 million of his own money. A belated challenge to the Clinton Money Machine, the drive hauled in $3 million last week, AP reports, noting that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “pulled in 10 times as much as (Trump) did last month.”
In a Monday email, son Eric Trump set a goal of raising $10 million by Thursday. Trump might pull it off, but the pitch itself raises an obvious question: Why would a billionaire who founded his campaign on the unprecedented premise that he could pay his own way be begging everyday Americans for whatever they can afford to send?
The answer may lie in Trump’s tax returns, which he has often promised to release but still has not. Trump is the first presidential nominee in two generations to refuse to make his tax records public. Many have speculated that the records would undermine his boasts of platinum wealth and business genius. Trump’s call for charity from those who can least afford it strengthens such speculation.
When an alleged billionaire starts passing the “Make America Great Again” hat, his claims of self-sufficiency don’t add up.