Donald Trump could have jeopardized one of the biggest cash injections for his campaign after he attacked GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson for not spending more, despite the Vegas mogul pledging at least $100 million to help his reelection.
The president blasted one of his biggest benefactors over the weight of his campaign donations in a heated phone call last week, leaving Aldeson, 87, unsure if he will back the president in the race for the White House, insiders have claimed.
Three people with knowledge of the call told Politico about the tense standoff and said Trump’s team was forced to leap into damage control mode to try to claw back the favor – and the funds – of the billionaire.
Trump’s outburst has sparked fresh concerns for his reelection, at a time when he is trailing in the polls with voters disillusioned by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in which more than 160,000 Americans have now died and the ongoing civil unrest in the wake of the death of black man George Floyd.
While his campaign still has a bigger war chest than Joe Biden’s overall, donations from super PACs and TV advertising are lagging compared to that for his Democrat rival.
Donald Trump (right) launched into a tirade against GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson (left) over his campaign donations last week, leaving the Vegas mogul unsure if he will back the president during his reelection, insiders have claimed
Sources told Politico the altercation between Aldeson and Trump took place during a phone call to discuss the coronavirus relief bill and the economy.
The conversation suddenly nosedived when the president challenged the casino magnate accusing him of not donating enough to his campaign, the three anonymous sources said.
Adelson, who is worth a staggering $26 billion and is a longtime Trump supporter, reportedly chose not to rise to the matter.
At least one source said it was clear from Trump’s comments that he was not aware Adelson has shelled out tens of millions of dollars to both the Trump campaign and the GOP over the years.
Republican party officials immediately sought to undo the damage wreaked by Trump but sources close to Adelson told Politico it is unclear whether the call has cost his campaign dearly.
With Adelson long being one of the biggest contributors to the Republican party, a fallout could pose a major blow to Trump’s war chest in the final countdown to the election.
The president blasted one of his biggest benefactors in a heated phone call accusing him of not doing enough to support his campaign – despite Aldeson, 87, having shelled out tens of millions of dollars to both the Trump campaign and the GOP over the years. Picturrd together last year
To make matters worse, the president’s gaffe comes at an especially vulnerable time in his campaign.
Biden has emerged somewhat victorious in the fundraising battle as outside groups have spent almost three times supporting the Democrat candidate than they are on supporting Trump.
Liberal super PACs including Priorities USA have come out in a show of support for Biden while the America First Action super PAC has spent far less on Trump.
Meanwhile, more than $70 million is being channeled into TV advertising for Biden’s campaign between now and the election, compared to $42 million for pro-Trump airtime, according to Advertising Analytics.
With less than three months before Americans cast their votes, the Republican party is now scrambling to pull in super PACs.
‘It’s important that the word get out to donors that we need the super PACs and we need them to step up to the plate,’ Club for Growth President David McIntosh told Politico.
The president’s gaffe comes at a critical time for his campaign as Joe Biden is drawing in donations from super PACs and TV advertising spend
Liberal super PACs including Priorities USA have come out in a show of support for Biden while the America First Action super PAC has spent far less on Trump
‘There hasn’t been the urgency on the super PAC side. But now we’re seeing that you’ve got to take care of that, too.’
While Trump’s camp has leveled blame at America First over its $4 million TV commercial that praised Vice President Mike Pence but made no mention of Trump, the president has been accused of not showing enough interest in super PAC fundraising and of failing to spend time and effort seducing all-important big-time donors.
Some potential donors have also refrained from spending amid fears of a backlash against associating with Trump, with fitness chains Equinox and SoulCycle facing a boycott after boss Stephen Ross announced he was holding a Trump fundraiser.
Several Republican donors have also sidestepped Trump and instead chosen to donate to Senate Republicans rather than Trump’s super PAC including hedge fund manager Paul Singer, investor Charles Schwab, and real estate developer Mel Sembler.
Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor who has contributed to America First Action, told Politico there is an ‘enthusiasm gap among super PAC donors.’
‘We are getting clobbered,’ he said. ‘The left-leaning super PACs are bringing a lot more air support to team Biden than the ones on the right are bringing to team Trump, unfortunately.’
Trump hopes to rake in another $15 million dollars in campaign cash this weekend in a series of fundraisers in the posh Southampton area of Long Island.
With the election less than 100 days away, the competition is heating up and the pressure to fill the campaign coffers is building on both presidential candidates.