One person “familiar with his thinking”, at the end of the Republican Convention, said Trump was ruminating about how he would get revenge on Ted Cruz and John Kasich. His reported ramblings savoured of bitterness. Kasich and Cruz had apparently committed the unforgivable sin: they had refused to kiss the ring.
Donald Trump plans to create and fund super-PACs specifically aimed at ending the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich should either run for office again, after both snubbed the Republican nominee during his party’s convention this week, a person familiar with Trump’s thinking told Bloomberg Politics on Friday.
The plan would involve Trump investing millions of his own money –perhaps $20 million or more — in one or two outside groups about six months before their respective election days if Texas Senator Cruz or Ohio Governor Kasich stand for office again. The person said Trump is willing to set up two separate super-PACs – one for Cruz and one for Kasich – and put millions into each.
The person also said that Trump would be willing to invest tens of millions more if necessary to ensure his former competitors didn’t win another race. Of course, the ire that Trump has exhibited in the aftermath of the bitter nomination contest could fade over time, leading the sometimes mercurial billionaire to drop the plans.
The person said that despite former nomination rival Jeb Bush skipping the national convention and refusing to back the Republican nominee, Trump “does not care” about doing the same against Bush because the former Florida governor is already “destroyed.”
During an event in Cleveland on Friday, Trump hinted at the prospect of funding an outside group against Cruz in the future. “Maybe I’ll set up a super-PAC if he decides to run,” Trump said of Cruz. Turning to his running mate Mike Pence he asked rhetorically, “Are you allowed to set up a super-PAC…if you are the president, to fight someone?”
The person close to Trump’s thinking indicated that Trump would consider forming the super-PAC whether or not he wins the presidential election in November. According to Federal Election Commission rules, if Trump doesn’t win the presidency, he is clearly free to set up and fund a super-PAC. But if he occupies the Oval Office, the rules head into a legal gray area. Between elections, or if Trump declares himself a one-term president, he would be allowed to donate to a super-PAC, but is not allowed to solicit contributions of more than $5,000.
Kasich, 64, cannot run again for Ohio governor due to the state’s term limits. The 45-year-old Cruz is up for re-election in 2018. Both men have indicated an interest in running for president again in 2020, when they would either face Hillary Clinton or mount a primary challenge to a sitting Republican, Trump. [Mark Halperin, Bloomberg News]
Maybe this is just the Trumpster being attacked by a sidewinder, a hostile anonymous source, rather than a genuine insider prompted by the boss to leak a story. Even if true and it does reflect Trump’s thinking, it would all be just braggadocio in any event.
But, if it did genuinely originate with Trump, what would it show about his pettiness and his thirst for vengeance? As one commentator said, it would show that Trump has all the maturity of a spoiled teenage brat. It’s going to be entertaining if he is given the keys to the White House and the nuke codes. If we thought that Hillary Clinton was an amoral plutocrat, we would have seen nothing yet.
If the above report is true, they are surely cut from the same soiled piece of cloth.
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