In the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Donald Trump was consistently beaten by his Republican rivals in fundraising; in October 2015, he had raised less than Chris Christie. The wealthy donors flocked to establishment candidates like Jeb Bush, whose campaign and super PACs wasted an incredible $130 million on his failed run.
CAN U BELIEVE, then, that those same establishment donors are more than happy to donate to Donald Trump now that he’s president?
Politico reports that the big money men (they are mostly men) who snubbed Trump in 2016 are now coughing up for his reelection campaign. The list include “scores of high-powered businessmen, lobbyists and former ambassadors who raised big money for George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.”
This should not, in any way, be surprising; these are not people who were moved to donate their millions to people like Jeb! for the first time because of his godlike charisma and starry-eyed vision for the future. They are rich people who invest money in candidates in order to preserve the system that allows them to be rich. As one lobbyist and former Rubio bundler told Politico, rich Republican donors are not struggling with this concept (emphasis added):
“All you have to do is look at what the other side is gearing up for and this is a pretty easy decision for a lot of people,” said Verhoff. “From a policy standpoint, there’s virtually nothing they disagree with, then layer on top of that the choice that the other side is presenting to the country and it’s a no-brainer.”
Virtually nothing! They don’t even have to pay lip service to caring about children in cages at the border! They’re rich, and they’re talking to Politico; no one expects anything else from them, and no one should.
As Politico notes, Trump has a successful small-dollar fundraising operation, too. But for a majority of Republican donors, they haven’t seen anything to turn them off helping him out this time around—especially when there’s a chance that Democrats might nominate someone, for once, who could actually threaten their financial interests.