President Trump on Tuesday defended his reelection campaign against a report that it lost a $1 billion advantage, arguing the money was spent to counter “Fake News” attacks on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“My Campaign spent a lot of money up front in order to compensate for the false reporting and Fake News concerning our handling of the China Virus. Now they see the GREAT job we have done, and we have 3 times more than we had 4 years ago – & are up in polls. Lots of $’s & ENERGY!” the president wrote on Twitter.
The Republican Party and the Trump campaign raised $1.1 billion from the beginning of 2019 through July, but $800 million has already been spent, The New York Times reported, citing GOP officials who say campaign aides fear a significant cash disadvantage going into the final two critical months of the race with Joe Biden.
The campaign also lost the nearly $200 million cash edge it had on Joe Biden, who emerged as the Democratic candidate in the spring but was strapped for funds.
The article blamed former former campaign manager Brad Parscale for the financial negligence, pointing out that half of the $800 million went to fundraising operations, including attracting new donors online.
Other expenses included amassing a well-paid campaign staff in upscale offices in the Virginia suburbs, paying legal bills from campaign cash and spending lavishly on consultants.
The campaign also spent $100 million on a television advertising blitz before last month’s Republican National Convention, at a time when many voters are still not paying attention to the election.
Most notably, the report said the campaign paid $11 million to reserve a pair of Super Bowl ads, more than it invested in some top battleground states.
Bill Stepien replaced Parscale as campaign manager in July and tightened up the campaign’s purse strings.
Parscale told the Times the money had to be spent to attract donors to offset the Democrats’ advantage of online contributors from the Obama years.
He also said no decision was made without input from the Trump family.
“I ran the campaign the same way I did in 2016, which also included all of the marketing, strategy and expenses under the very close eye of the family,” said Parscale, who was the 2016 campaign’s digital director. “No decision was made without their approval.”