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Wed Sep 9, 2020, 09:25 AM

Hysteria is no substitute for a coherent Trump message

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin

President Trump’s campaign has spent too much and delivered too little, in keeping with the pattern of failed business propositions that dot Trump’s career, including multiple casino bankruptcies. “Mr. Trump’s financial supremacy has evaporated. Of the $1.1 billon his campaign and the party raised from the beginning of 2019 through July, more than $800 million has already been spent,” the New York Times reports. “Now some people inside the campaign are forecasting what was once unthinkable: a cash crunch with less than 60 days until the election, according to Republican officials briefed on the matter.”

Trump is frantic to convince donors that he is as committed to spending his own money as they have been. His donors should be wary of his promise to spend and wait for any of his checks to clear before forking over any more money to his campaign. We still do not know what he raised in August, but you better believe if it was anything close to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s $365 million haul, we would have heard about it by now.

The fundraising shortage reflects a familiar pattern for Trump. For a guy who pitches low-quality products to the unwary (Trump University! Trump steaks!), he is an easy mark himself. Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager, spent wildly on himself, among others. Parscale and others also indulged Trump with foolish expenditures to soothe him (e.g., TV ads in D.C.). The bottom line: Trump is a rotten CEO of his own campaign, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars without moving the polls.

The more fundamental problem with Trump’s campaign is that we do not know what it is about. A second-term agenda? He has failed to answer multiple questions about what that might include. He simply wants to be president for four more years. The criticism against Biden ranges from “He’s a socialist” to “He’s controlled by socialists” to “All the violence under my presidency is Joe Biden’s America” to “Sleepy Joe.”


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