Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Something to Know - 10 May

Jeff Danziger

Having read this article this morning, I just had to send one more out before taking Uber or Lyft to the train station to get to my boat ride.  This column in the NY Times just cries out how ill-prepared Trump is.   Not good.  After Cruz and Kasich dropped out, the presumptive nominee is out there trying to paddle up stream, with very little help.   Last night, on Rachel Maddow, I say a collage of all of the other guys who were running for GeeOpie leader (from Hucklberry to Kasich), and each one had nasty things to say about Trump ("unfit", etc), and now some of them are "endorsing" Trump.   The collection of negative videos and sound bytes on Trump will emphasize just how bad and divided the GOP is.  Sirinya Matute will be with you soon:

Donald Trump, in Switch, Turns to Republican Party for Fund-Raising Help

Donald J. Trump took steps to appropriate much of the Republican National Committee's financial and political infrastructure for his presidential campaign on Monday, amid signs that he and the party would lag dangerously behind the Democrats in raising money for the general election.

Mr. Trump, who by the end of March had spent around $40 million of his fortune on the primaries, has said that he may need as much as $1.5 billion for the fall campaign, but that he will seek to raise it from donors rather than continue to self-finance.

But Mr. Trump has no fund-raising apparatus to resort to, no network of prolific bundlers to call upon, and little known experience with the type of marathon, one-on-one serial salesmanship and solicitousness that raising so much money is likely to require — even if individuals can contribute up to the current limit of $334,000 at a time to the party. And he has to do it all in six months, with a deeply divided party that is still absorbing the fact that Mr. Trump is its standard-bearer.

"No one should underestimate how hard it would be for any nominee to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a very short period of time," said Mike DuHaime, who was the top strategist for the presidential campaign of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

While Mr. Trump's continued feud with the Republican establishment was likely to cheer his supporters, his intense need for money to run his general election campaign suggests the degree to which he will rely heavily on the party's existing infrastructure.

Underscoring the urgency with which Mr. Trump and Republicans will need to increase their fund-raising, some of the party's allies who spent enormous sums in the 2012 election now appear likely to stay on the sidelines in the presidential race — including the vast Koch brothers network, which had pledged to spend nearly $900 million in 2016.

Mark Holden, chairman of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, one of the Koch network's main umbrella groups, signaled that it would require a significant change in tactics by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, for his group to open the spigot.

"If during the general election cycle, a candidate were able to garner support from the public with a positive message in support of the issues we care about, and did not engage in personal attacks and mudslinging, we would consider potentially getting involved," Mr. Holden said. "That hasn't happened yet, and there is no indication that this will happen given the current tone and tenor of the various campaigns."

The Karl Rove-led group American Crossroads is also in a wait-and-see crouch, with officials saying they have no immediate plans to buttress the Republican nominee. Both it and the Kochs' network are now expected to focus more on aiding Republicans' efforts to retain their majority in the Senate.

Republican Party officials have pressed Mr. Trump to sign a joint fund-raising agreement, which would allow him to raise money for the national committee and for his own campaign simultaneously. That, in turn, would also give Mr. Trump a defensible answer for why, after months of railing against Wall Street executives and special interests, he recently turned to a former Goldman Sachs executive, Steven Mnuchin, to corral large checks for his campaign.

Both Mr. Trump's aides and party officials were caught by surprise by the abrupt end of the primary contest last week, when Mr. Trump carried Indiana, prompting Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio to withdraw from the race. But the two sides have hurried to wrap up a joint fund-raising agreement, and one is close to being signed, according to people close to the national committee who were not authorized to speak publicly.

"As soon as there's unity, it's going to be very easy to do," Mr. Trump said in an interview Monday, adding that he still planned to write checks for his campaign. "I think we'll raise $1 billion," he said.

Under a joint fund-raising agreement, Mr. Trump and the party would most likely be able to raise even more than the current individual limit. But such efforts are difficult and take time: While the limits were lower in 2012, Mitt Romney raised less than $500 million under such an agreement that year, using a donor network that had taken years to develop.

In one sign of progress for Mr. Trump, Stanley Hubbard, a billionaire broadcasting executive who had donated money to efforts to thwart him, fell in line behind him. "All my other candidates withdrew, one by one," Mr. Hubbard said in an interview. "He was the last man standing."

But other donors remain staunchly opposed. Paul Singer, the billionaire financier who had backed Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, made clear at a gala Monday night for the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, that he could not support Mr. Trump and was dismayed by the likely choices in the general election.

In a three-and-a-half-hour meeting on Monday at Republican headquarters in Washington, party officials detailed for Mr. Trump's top aides the range of fund-raising operations and the other political assets at his campaign's disposal. These include the party's trove of data on voters nationwide, the hundreds of organizers it has working across the country and the dozens of employees in the party's communications shop.

Mr. Trump chose not to assemble those kinds of extensive operations during the primary season, when he prided himself on winning contests on a shoestring and ran a skeletal operation compared with many of his rivals. So he may have to lean on the Republican National Committee in a way that few nominees have in recent years.

In the lengthy meeting, Trump aides and party officials tried to forge a path forward in tandem, with Republican officials delivering the less-than-subtle message that Mr. Trump's aides were in little position to try a takeover of the group, according to a person briefed on the discussions.
"We can both learn a lot from each other because we both have the same objective — to defeat the Democrats in November," Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump's campaign manager, said after the meeting.

Mr. Trump has few aides of his own to take control of the party, which had just $16 million in cash on hand at the end of March. And Speaker Paul D. Ryan's declaration last week that he was "not ready" to support Mr. Trump has given cover to some donors who, speaking privately, said they were already dreading the prospect of becoming involved.

The Trump campaign plans to try to take firm control over the party's convention, with two senior advisers to Mr. Trump, Paul Manafort and Barry Bennett, expected to head to Cleveland on Thursday, according to two people close to the Trump campaign.

Even as his aides met privately with party officials, Mr. Trump continued to suggest in public that Republicans should embrace him, saying in a CNN interview Monday that the party, "because of me, has received more votes than at any time in its history."

With a meeting set for Thursday with Mr. Ryan, Mr. Trump did not endorse a suggestion by a well-known supporter, Sarah Palin, that Mr. Ryan should be hit with a primary challenge for saying he could not yet endorse Mr. Trump.

"I have nothing to do with that," Mr. Trump said. "Sarah is very much a free agent."

Mr. Trump is also set to meet with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has given him a lukewarm endorsement, on Thursday.

Mr. Ryan, meanwhile, was asked about Mr. Trump's refusal to rule out removing him as chairman of the convention, and he responded with a bit of brinkmanship, offering to step aside if Mr. Trump wanted him to.

There were other signs Monday that party unity could prove to be a hard sell.

A potential complication to Mr. Trump's convention planning surfaced, providing the first indication that Mr. Cruz would not simply hand his delegates over: Mr. Cruz's supporters emailed pro-Cruz convention delegates on Sunday to urge them to attend the convention and take control of two key committees.

Many Christian conservatives who supported Mr. Cruz and other candidates harbor deep suspicions about the beliefs of Mr. Trump, a former Democrat who not long ago supported abortion rights, and how compatible they are with long-held conservative stances on social issues espoused in the official Republican Party platform.

At the same time, Mr. Trump appeared to lose one potential vice-presidential prospect when Mr. Rubio, the former rival whom he called "Little Marco," said he had no interest in joining the ticket. Mr. Rubio said his reservations about Mr. Trump's "campaign and concerns with many of his policies remain unchanged."


Donald Trump aids and abets violence.

- An American Story

No comments:

Post a Comment