Let me sum up this National Journal article for you: the Democratic party has a 20 million dollar ad campaign planned for targeting Donald Trump between June and the July convention, and there’s not a single thing that either Trump or the Republican party can particularly do about it. Note that I am being kind by assuming that enough of the GOP will particularly care if Trump gets targeted: personally, I’m grandly indifferent to the prospect. Either Trump will be the nominee, in which case I’m out of this business anyway; or Ted Cruz will be the nominee, in which case the Democrats will have been shooting at the wrong target all along. No skin off of my nose either way, in other words.
More on this fascinating topic here, but let me highlight a couple of things. First off: yes, the GOP was stuck in a similar bind in 2012 with Mitt Romney. Once the primary was wrapped up, the Democrats spent four months (and twenty one and a half million) savaging Romney while the GOP had to sit on its hands (aren’t campaign finance laws fun?). This time, they’ll be spending twenty million in a month and a half. So get used to every horrible thing – horrible true thing – that we have been trying to tell you about Donald Trump get[ting] plastered all over the airwaves in June and July.
Second: this is the point where people start talking about Trump and his supposed magic ability to self-finance. Use of the adjective ‘magic’ done with malice aforethought, largely because I want folks to be thinking of the term ‘magical thinking.’ From the National Journal, again:
Trump has avoided spending money on his campaign whenever possible, largely relying on free cable TV coverage to spread his message. And it’s unclear how easily he can write himself eight-figure checks, even if he wanted to.
While Trump claims he is worth $10 billion, independent reviews by two banks a decade ago—prior to the financial crisis that slashed the value of most portfolios—appraised his net worth at $788 million and $1.2 billion. In any event, the majority of his wealth is tied up in buildings and golf courses, according to his financial disclosure filing last year. A National Journal review of that document shows he had no more than $232 million in cash and relatively liquid assets a year ago—of which he has already lent himself at least $36 million over the past 15 months.
…Now they tell us. Of course, many people in the media think that it’s now too late to keep Donald Trump from the nomination, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. Although, to be fair: in March Megan McArdle crunched those numbers and concluded that Trump didn’t have the liquid assets to afford to run a losing third-party campaign. Does Trump have the liquid assets to give his campaign another twenty or thirty million? Particularly since that’d be money that he wouldn’t be able to spend on services provided by one of his own companies?
That’s a really good question. One that I hope that any persuadable Indiana voters will consider tomorrow. And then decide that the best way to answer it would be to vote for Ted Cruz in Indiana and beyond.