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A fundraising email from former President Trump’s top political committee warns supporters that “the future of our county is at stake and President Trump is calling on all Patriots to join his fight to Save America.”
Additionally, the former president, in the recent fundraising pitch from his Save America PAC, tells his legions of loyal backers that he “can’t SAVE AMERICA without you! Our MAJOR End-of-Month Deadline is coming up and I need you to give us the resources to STOP THE LEFT.”
The pitch, one of countless sent by Save America and Trump’s other political fundraising organizations, was likely successful, as the former president’s been a fundraising juggernaut since leaving the White House in January 2021.
Save America — Trump’s main fundraising committee — had nearly $100 million cash on hand as of the end of July. That was before the surge in fundraising in the days after the Aug. 8 FBI search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida for classified government materials.
Former President Trump, during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 9, 2021 (REUTERS/Rachel Mummey/File Photo)
Trump, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP as he continues to play a kingmaker’s role in party primaries and repeatedly teases a 2024 presidential run, has held 20 large, campaign style rallies since early last summer on behalf of Republican candidates he endorsed. Trump will hold his 21st rally this weekend in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania to support Republican Senate nominee and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz and state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee.
However, the former president has been stingy when it comes to sharing his wealth of fundraising dollars, and that has got some in the GOP angry as the party tries to win back majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in November’s midterm elections.
“Republicans are mad that he’s not spending it,” Doug Heye, a longtime Republican strategist and communicator who served in senior roles at the Republican National Committee and on Capitol Hill, told Fox News. “There’s a palpable anger at the hoarding of the money.”
Heye, a Trump critic, lamented that “unfortunately as we’ve seen with so many things about Trump, it’s private grumbling because no one’s willing to say anything publicly.”
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally for Mehmet Oz for U.S. Senate, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
What appears to irk many Republicans is that Trump is sucking up grassroots contributions from small dollar donors and sharing only a fraction of the wealth with party committees or outside super PACs backing the various GOP candidates. They argued that the lack of financial support from Trump’s massive war chest, along with the former president’s legal controversies and his constant re-litigating of his 2020 election loss instead of focusing on the nation’s economic ills, will hurt the party’s chances at the ballot box this autumn.
Tim Miller, a longtime Republican strategist and veteran of the Republican National Committee and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign who’s grabbed plenty of attention the past six years with his verbal shots fired at Trump, wrote this week in the Bulwark that “it’s no longer a question of whether Trump will cost Republicans seats in November, but how many he will lose the party thanks to his hoarding and meddling.”
While Trump’s shared little of his fundraising fruits, outside groups backing Republican candidates have been raising and spending big bucks. In the battle for the Senate, the Senate Leadership Fund — which is aligned with longtime GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell — currently plans to spend at least $169 million to win back the chamber’s majority, with most of that spending coming post-Labor Day. And the non-profit sister organization One Nation is wrapping up nearly $54 million in summer spending.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A Republican consultant argued that “I don’t think anybody was expecting Trump to do anything for anyone but himself at the beginning of this race, and so Republicans have planned accordingly the entire cycle.”
“Hopefully he starts talking a little bit more about the economy and prices and a little bit less about himself and his legal problems. Hopefully he helps Republicans to focus on the challenges facing voters and less on the challenges facing him,” the consultant, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely, added.
While Trump’s only spent a fraction of his fundraising compared to the outside groups backing GOP congressional candidates, he has loosened the spigots a bit. Save America’s cash on hand has dipped a bit from a high of roughly $110 million earlier this year.
Trump made sizable transfers in his unsuccessful effort to defeat conservative Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in the state’s May primary, and in his successful endeavors to boost Oz to the Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination and to defeat Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming’s Republican congressional primary.
The former president has also shelled out big bucks for staff salaries, legal fees and to pay for his numerous rallies, which aides say will continue on a frequent basis straight through the November election.
Trump’s political team has long argued that the former president’s GOP primary endorsements and rallies trump any financial transfers.
“President Trump has been completely invested in seeing his endorsed candidates win, which has already fueled his 98% win record so far this cycle,” Save America spokesman Taylor Budowich told Fox News.
“Through the power of his endorsement and his massive MAGA rallies, President Trump is able to infuse campaigns with media attention, volunteers, and donors in a way that has never before been seen in American politics,” Budowich touted.
However, Heye argued “sure, these candidates like to have those rallies, but would they rather have that or two weeks of TV paid for?”
Additionally, the strategist who asked for anonymity pointed to a potential post-midterms downside for Trump, warning that “to the extent that we don’t retake the majority, I’m sure every Republican will remember who helped and who didn’t.”
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.