President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he might spend his own money on his re-election campaign, with the remark coming a week after Democratic challenger Joe Biden announced a record-breaking fundraising haul for August.
“If I have to, I would,” Trump said, regarding the possibility that he might use some of his own fortune, estimated at $2.5 billion, toward his run for a second term. “If we did need — we don’t, because we have much more money than we had last time going into the last two months, I think double and triple — but if we needed any more, I’d put it up personally.”
“Whatever it takes — we have to win,” the president added, as he spoke with reporters before heading to Florida.
Trump was due to make visits to two key swing states on Tuesday, with a speech in Florida scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern Time and an address in North Carolina slated for 7 p.m. Eastern.
Trump has discussed spending as much as $100 million of his own money on his re-election campaign, if necessary, according to a Bloomberg News report on Tuesday citing unnamed sources. He gave $66 million to his 2016 campaign, but it would be unprecedented for an incumbent president to put his own money toward winning a second term, the report added.
Biden’s campaign and its affiliates last Wednesday announced they raised $364.5 million in August, breaking the previous monthly fundraising record for a White House campaign.
Trump’s re-election campaign and its affiliates have not yet announced their fundraising haul for last month, but a New York Times report on Monday said some people inside the campaign are forecasting a cash crunch with less than 60 days until the Nov. 3 election. That’s after the campaign and its affiliates raised $1.1 billon from the beginning of 2019 through July, but then spent more than $800 million.
Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, pushed back on suggestions of a cash crunch on Tuesday, saying his team is “very comfortable and confident in where we’re spending and how much we’re spending and how much we’re going to have down the stretch.” He took over as campaign manager in July.
“We are now carefully managing the budget,” Stepien told reporters on a conference call. “I consider it to be among the — if not the most important — tasks for any campaign manager.”
“From this day forward to Election Day, we will have more recent resources to spend than we had in 2016, and it won’t be close — it’ll be by a factor of two times or three times what we had to spend on the campaign we were a part of in 2016,” Stepien added.
A campaign’s financial condition is a closely watched measure of viability, along with polling data. Trump also often touts the performance of the stock market
, which was tumbling again Tuesday after selling off last week. Trump’s threat on Monday to “decouple” the U.S. economy from China were adding to market jitters, Wall Street analysts said.
In a RealClearPolitics moving average of polls focused on top battleground states that are likely to decide the election, Biden was drawing support of 48.2% of voters as of Tuesday, ahead of Trump’s 45.3%. Betting markets were giving Biden a 53.7% chance of winning vs. Trump’s 45.7%.
Biden attacked Trump’s record in Florida ahead of the Republican incumbent’s speech, which was slated to cover his “environmental accomplishments for the people of Florida.”
Biden said in a statement that the president “has opened up additional public lands, both on land and offshore, to the possibility of new oil and gas drilling, a deeply unpopular threat to Florida’s natural environment and tourism-based economy.” The former vice president also said Trump’s “mismanagement” of the coronavirus crisis has “cost too many North Carolinians their lives and livelihoods, with communities of color bearing the brunt of the devastation.”