What GOP doesn’t go for: broke
Donald Trump’s anemic campaign treasury has set off new alarms among Republicans about the candidate and the wider damage a fundraising famine could cause the party.
Trump’s cash on hand was a worse-than-expected $1.3 million as of May 31. Just two days before that, he had tweeted, “Good news is that my campaign has perhaps more cash than any campaign in the history of politics.”
Trump waved off worriers, saying that if GOP donors stiff him, he’ll put up more of his own money. That mixed message makes it harder to get contributors on board, Ed Rollins, chief strategist for a pro-Trump super PAC, told The Washington Post and The New York Times.
“He can either start writing checks and selling some buildings and golf courses or get on the phones and talk to donors,” Rollins said.
The take-away: Bucks stop here?
New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg was able to keep his word when he promised years ago to spend only his own money to run for mayor. Trump’s fortune doesn’t seem to be in Bloomberg’s league, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison, and it remains to be seen whether he can get the big Republican donors he derided during the primary season to pony up.
When burns fly/burn
Hillary Clinton’s speech Tuesday attacking Trump’s economic views as a recipe for recession became an occasion for both candidates to trade shade.
Said Clinton, mocking the record of Trump bankruptcies: “He’s written a lot of books about his business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11.”
Tweeted Trump: “How can Hillary run the economy when she can’t even send emails without putting entire nation at risk?”
The Associated Press examined Clinton’s speech for claims about Trump that seemed too strange to be true. Some were. Some weren’t. Also, a Washington Post fact-check showed how Clinton used the exact same words as former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina to describe his business failures.
Trump doubts Clinton’s religion
Trump met with hundreds of evangelical Christian leaders, vowing to appoint social conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court and to seek to restore prayer in schools. He didn’t come away with any immediate endorsements, reports Newsday’s Laura Figueroa.
During the meeting, Trump also suggested there was a troubling mystery about Clinton’s religion — “There’s like nothing out there.” Trump, who sometimes plays to conspiracy theories that President Barack Obama is secretly Muslim, went on to say: “With Obama you had your guard up; with Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse.”
Clinton is a Methodist and has talked about her faith publicly.
Swing states in play
Clinton has surged to an 8-point lead over Trump in Florida since last month and caught up with him in Ohio in the latest Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll. Pennsylvania was little changed and remained a virtual tie.
The shift in Florida may be explained by its larger Hispanic population and “Trump’s comments on immigration and descendants of immigrants,” said Peter Brown, the poll’s assistant director.
Clinton’s shorter list
Democrats close to Clinton’s campaign believe her list of prospective running mates is down to more than five contenders, CNN reports. But they’re not sure who.
Among the likelier names: Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Xavier Beccera of California.
The Washington Post reported Warren, Kaine, and Castro are being vetted, but a longer list of names is still in the running. On Wednesday The Hill described how Kaine's past stances have run counter to abortion-rights advocates'.
What else is happening:
- Trump plans a speech Wednesday bashing the “failed policies and bad judgment of Crooked Hillary Clinton” — an address postponed last week because of the Orlando massacre.
- The Clinton Foundation and its web of international dealings and foreign donations should provide Trump with plentiful fodder against the former Secretary of State, Politico notes....
- A new CNN/ORC poll reflected Republican divisions over Trump — 51% say the party should go ahead and nominate him while 48% would prefer someone else.
- Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson ways when it comes to Congressional fiscal proposals, he'd "sign on to anything that cuts spending," as quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
- Democratic convention planners are trying to line up a performance by “Hamilton” writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, Politico reports.
- Vice President Joe Biden told TV interviewer Charlie Rose that intervening in Libya was a mistake. That echoes a Trump criticism of Clinton, who defends the decision.
- A former Secret Service officer whose new book describes witnessing violent tantrums by Hillary Clinton in the White House could never have seen what he claims — he was too low-ranking — several high-level former agents told Politico.
- Trump told ABC News it “wouldn’t bother” him to celebrate Ramadan with an iftar dinner at the White House though “it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought."...
- Here's a comparison you might not have tought of: Trump and the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
- Tuesday marked 200 days since Clinton has held a formal news conference, The Washington Post says.
- The accused would-be assassin of Trump who allegedly tried to grab a police officer's gun at a Las Vegas rally over the weekend had his mental status discussed in court, where he was denied bail and deemed a flight risk....