Some of the campaign’s expenditures have been puzzling, with millions spent on ads with little electoral impact in a seeming bid to please Trump.
- Between January and July this year, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has spent $800 million of its $1.1 billion campaign war chest, a New York Times investigation has found.
- Some of the big spends by the campaign seemed more designed to please Trump than win over voters, with millions spent on ads in solidly Democratic Washington, DC, The Times reported.
- The campaign also spent $11 million on Super Bowl ads to rival former Democratic candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, The Times said.
- Much of the spending can be traced to decisions by Brad Parscale, who was demoted as Trump’s campaign manager after June’s disastrous Tulsa rally.
- New Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has since imposed “a series of belt-tightening measures,” The Times reported.
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President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has squandered its significant cash advantage over Joe Biden’s rival presidential campaign, a New York Times investigation has found.
According to The Times, which spoke to dozens of current and former campaign aides and reviewed thousands of finance documents, the Trump campaign has spent $800 million of its $1.1 billion war chest between the beginning of the year and July.
That’s close to three-quarters of its total funds spent with several months of the campaign left to fight.
And having won the race as Democratic nominee at a significant financial disadvantage to Trump, Joe Biden is winning back ground, with a record breaking $365 million fundraising haul in August.
According to the report, Biden has held a series of highly lucrative Zoom fundraisers during lockdown, which Trump eschewed, said aides, because he doesn’t like them.
The report detailed a series of massive spends by the campaign, which seem to be more about pleasing the president than winning over potential supporters. They include:
- $11 million on ads during the February 7 Super Bowl to match spending by billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg (who later dropped out of the race.)
- $1 million on TV ads in Washington, DC, which is solidly Democrat. But Trump is known to watch hours of TV a day in the White House, venting on Twitter about negative coverage on news networks, and adverts by political opponents attacking him.
- $110,000 spent on magnet-lined pouches where campaign officials meeting Trump can store their cell phones so their conversations with the president cannot be recorded.
- Lavish campaign headquarters in Virginia, where the campaign assembled a “large and well-paid staff.”
According to the report, many of the spending decisions can be traced back to Brad Parscale, who was demoted as the 2020 campaign chief after the president’s disastrous rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June.
The event had been billed by Parscale as a sell-out, but the president spoke in a stadium with rows of empty seats after fears of the coronavirus depressed turnout, and a campaign by teenagers likely inflated expectations of how many people would show up.
Since replacing Parscale, The Times reported, new campaign manager Bill Stepien “has imposed a series of belt-tightening measures that have reshaped initiatives, including hiring practices, travel and the advertising budget.”
While Parscale reportedly had a chauffeur driven car while he was in the role, Stepien has taken a pay cut.
In a break with precedent, Trump launched his reelection campaign the day after he moved into the White House, and has held campaign rallies throughout his four years in office.