Donald Trump’s fans believe the reality show businessman is beyond the reach of special interests because of the wealth he endlessly reminds us he has. Trump himself has insisted that this was the case repeatedly throughout his campaign.
While I’m beating my opponents in the polls, I’m also beating lobbyists, special interests & donors that are supporting them with billions.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2015
He’s also toyed with spending a billion dollars of his own money to finance his campaign (something he immediately walked back once it became clear that he actually might become the nominee).
But if Trump’s improbable time in the spotlight has shown Americans anything, it’s that his obsession with wealth doesn’t make him immune to money’s influence. It makes him even more hungry for it.
This week, the suspicion that Trump’s campaign – even this far into the campaign – is still primarily set up like a grift operation became obvious for a few reasons: First, sources close to Trump leaked that the candidate was considering using his limelight to launch a right-wing media network to compete with Fox News. Second, he flat out told a room full of his supporters in Arizona that he could be bought – he even said for how much.
Trump says if offered $5 billion to drop out, "I guess we’d have to think about it"
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) June 18, 2016
Trump was responding to a piece published in Politico that claimed Trump was interested in selling his entire campaign to the highest bidder. One source claimed Trump would drop out for $150 million.
I bet if someone offered him $150 million to drop out, he would,” one former Trump adviser told POLITICO, unprompted, during an interview Friday.Asked about whether Trump would drop, another former Trump adviser, Jim Dornan said he believes the presumptive GOP nominee would cut a deal. “Yeah, probably,” Dornan, a veteran Republican operative who worked from Trump last spring on an abortive effort to set up a super PAC, replied via text message — adding there would be plenty of interest in buying him out. “The Kochs would be the first in line.
Rather than be insulted by the very idea, Trump was angry that he was being lowballed. Ever the businessman, Trump said he’d only consider it for $5 billion.
It’s unclear if Trump was serious. In a speech that also featured a moment where Trump said he felt like a “supermodel except like times 10,” the line between “serious” Trump and “unfettered bullshit” Trump gets very blurry.
In reality, it’s unlikely that anyone would willingly pay Trump $5 billion to drop out of a race that he’s already losing badly in, but it’s nice to know that Trump’s commitment to America only extends until someone makes him a better offer.
It will be interesting to see how Trump’s fans react to the news that their “Can’t be bought” candidate is now running on a platform of “Make me an offer I can’t refuse and we’ll see.” It’s hardly the stuff that inspires the masses to flock to the polls for you. It also reinforces the speculation that, despite Trump’s ceaseless bragging, he’s not really very rich after all. In fact, there’s good reason to believe Trump wouldn’t be able to self-fund his campaign even if he wanted to. (Add that to the list of lies.)
So does this mean Americans should launch a GoFundMe campaign to pay off Trump? Here’s a better idea. Instead of rewarding the blowhard for being awful with even more money, crush him the old-fashioned way – by beating him and anyone who endorses him at the polls in November.
Watch Trump’s comments below:
Feature image via YouTube