Trump: I get no credit for self-funding my campaign, but I’ll keep doing it — even though it’s “not worth it”

posted at 1:21 pm on February 2, 2016 by Allahpundit

Pro tip: If you’re a candidate for office and you’re complaining about not being given your due, make sure your target is the media or “the establishment.” Not the voters.

Never mind the fact here that Trump isn’t entirely self-funding. What does “not worth it” mean? This sounds like a man who’s one or two more disappointing finishes away from throwing in the towel. For good reason: One or two more disappointing finishes and Trump will effectively be done.

I think he’ll hang in there and take one more crack at a win in South Carolina even if Rubio (or Cruz) shocks the world and beats him in New Hampshire, but this is not a guy who’s built temperamentally to endure defeat after defeat, especially if his support in each state starts declining. Face will need to be saved at some point, sooner rather than later. If he’s 0 for 3 after SC, he’s out.

On the other hand, I think people are overstating the degree to which New Hampshire is now in play after Rubio’s strong finish last night. Rubio fans seem caught between giddy excitement that he could surprise again in NH and frantically insisting that even third place there is a win so long as he finishes ahead of Bush, Christie, and Kasich. Remember, Rubio’s own campaign has set the bar higher than that. Their plan is “3-2-1,” meaning third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, and first in South Carolina. He’s on track for that for the moment, but he’s about to face the most withering assault anyone in the field has dealt with so far. Trump will unload on him this week to protect his lead in NH; Cruz will unload on him because a disappointing Rubio finish in NH lets Cruz claim this is a two-man race in South Carolina; and Bush, Kasich, and Christie will unload on him because NH is their last chance for a long run and Rubio’s in their way. It’s a cinch that Rubio will do better in New Hampshire than the 10.2 percent he’s averaging there now, but even if half of Bush’s, Kasich’s, and Christie’s supporters abandon them for him, he’d would still be polling in the low 20s in a state where Trump’s averaging over 30 percent and currently leads by 22 points. To believe that Trump’s about to collapse because of one bad night in an inhospitable state, you need to believe that thousands upon thousands of undecideds all feel like this:

Success is always a self-perpetuating force in presidential campaigns — hence the endless pundit chatter about “momentum” — but for Trump, it is closer to the central rationale of his candidacy. And on Monday night, when the glittering sheen of invincibility was abruptly removed, many of his fans inside the Sheraton ballroom were left puzzled and slightly disoriented.

David Wehmas, from the nearby town of Ankeny, said he had been mesmerized by Trump ever since reading his 2007 book, Think Big and Kick Ass. Buying into the bluster about the billionaire’s supremacy in the race, Wehmas had enthusiastically caucused for him Monday. But now, through the prism of Trump’s surprise defeat, he viewed the candidate’s incessant polling talk as somewhat pathetic and beside the point.

“Every time he gives a speech, he starts out talking about his polls. It’s like, OK — but what else?”

We’ll call that the “Wizard of Oz” theory of Trump’s appeal: Once you’ve seen behind the curtain and the mystique of invincibility is gone, there’s no going back. Even a Trump critic like me thinks his support is made of sterner stuff than that. Reihan Salam looks at New Hampshire and remembers that the Trump-iest candidate the GOP produced in the previous 25 years won there once before and pulled 37 percent against a sitting president four years earlier:

New Hampshire, then, is likely to prove far more favorable ground for Trump than Iowa. For one thing, New Hampshire voters are far less religiously observant, and there is at least some reason to believe that Trump’s aggressive style doesn’t appeal to all God-fearing Christians. And though much has changed in New Hampshire since 1996, it is worth remembering that it’s the state where Pat Buchanan’s nationalist challenge to the GOP establishment enjoyed its greatest success. Unless something dramatic changes between now and next week, there is every reason to believe that Trump will defeat Cruz and Rubio in New Hampshire, where he enjoys a wide lead in the polls, and there is an excellent chance that he will do the same in South Carolina, where he fares almost as well.

Trump also benefits from the fact that Cruz and Rubio are not the only other Republicans left standing. Despite his abysmal performance in Iowa, Jeb Bush continues to have considerable resources at his disposal, and the super PAC allied with his campaign has already devoted vast sums of money to savage attacks on Rubio, Bush’s erstwhile mentee. John Kasich and Chris Christie are not nearly as well-situated financially, but they also have nothing to lose. What reason do they have not to join Bush in savaging Rubio in the days to come?

I’m curious to see how Trump handles Saturday night’s debate. He has to hit Rubio — everyone does — but I wonder if his tone might not be different than it’s been over the last few weeks of savaging Cruz. John Ziegler read this post and tweeted at me that I’ve got it all wrong: The result in Iowa wasn’t about evangelicals turning out or voters being mad at Trump for skipping the debate, it was about a “Stop Trump” movement coalescing. If Trump shares that belief then it’s time for him to lower the temperature and sound as (ahem) statesmanlike as he can these final few days in order to reassure New Hampshirites that he’s not some mortal threat to conservatism or American politics. It’s his race in NH to lose; a more measured tone this week, especially while Rubio’s crowing about electability, seems to me like the way to go. Besides, even if the “Stop Trump” movement materializes, where does that vote go in New Hampshire? In Iowa the choice was easy since it was expected to be a two-man race between Cruz and Trump, but Cruz and Rubio are each expecting a bounce in NH after their showings last night. Logically the “Stop Trump”-ers should go to Rubio since he has a better chance of surprising Trump, but Cruz will campaign doggedly this week to prevent that knowing that Rubio will be dangerous in SC if he does well in another race. Expect to see a return of the Trump/Cruz bromance for the next week, followed by all-out war of all against all among whoever’s left before South Carolina. Exit question: Before we declare this a three-man race, shouldn’t Rubio maybe lead in at least one early-state poll?

Update: A friend e-mails to ask whether the lesson of last night isn’t that the polls are overstating Trump’s support, in which case why should we trust that he’s currently 22 points ahead in New Hampshire. Could be — but how can we draw a firm conclusion about that after one election? Besides, even if all the polls are wrong, the question isn’t whether they’re overstating Trump’s support, it’s by how much. He underperformed his poll average in Iowa by about 4.3 points. That was critical in a close race. New Hampshire isn’t a close race — yet. The polls there could be off by 10 points and Trump would still be leading. Next Tuesday will tell us a lot about whether there’s a “Trump effect” distorting Republican primary polls generally.


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Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Congratulations, and make the most and best of it, especially if you invested and decided well. Some suggested that you won the lottery :) No need to detail.

I’d told you in the other note that no one should ever envy anyone else. I just wish that you do it without rancor and bitterness, to subtract from it.

And, you’re kidding no one. YOU will always fight.

Schadenfreude on February 2, 2016 at 6:06 PM

BishBop is someone else.

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 5:56 PM

Bop is one of us.

It’s a simple question, do you believe Schafly meant cattle cars when she used the term rail cars?

Asked and answered.

Additional query: Have you ever met non-Americans who are grossly ignorant about the rest of the world and, even more sadly, laugh at their supposed superior intelligence to Americans? If not, do you believe such people exist?

Absolutely. Have you ever spoken to a Geordie footballer or watched the ‘tards on Benefits Street?

Additional additional query: Why would you specifically mention trailer parks?

I said a ‘slender sliver’. Some aren’t the brightest bulbs. I just as easily could have said a ‘Caravan Park’ or a ‘Travellers’ Camp’ or ‘Punk Squat’. Since trailer parks are known to most Americans and the others that I listed aren’t, I went with the familiar. None of this means that every trailer park tenant or Gypsy is stupid. It is just that they are limited, usually, to educational and other experiences.

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 6:08 PM

I don’t know. I just think the use of railcars is not the best way to do it nor necessary to invite the inevitable Nazi comparisons…and, you know they will be coming.

Hell just look at the Nazi hellfire raining down on Denmark right now.

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Obviously you do since you take such issue with the simple term “railcars” and immediately thought “Nazis”. Who are you afraid of offending?

Anyhoo, as to the other questions, is it only Americans who are capable of being ignorant, and why did you specifically mention trailer parks?

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 6:08 PM

Bishop, eva could be a leftie too, not that it matters.

Schadenfreude on February 2, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 6:08 PM

So why concentrate on Americans in general and trailer park residents in particular? Anecdotally, I know a German woman who speaks four languages fluently and has never left her country, quite amazing when you consider Europe’s exceptional rail system, she’s near to last on any list I would create of people I might consider ignorant.

I’m not quite understanding your veer into disparaging fellow Americans as a special class of ignorant, or trailer park residents for that matter. I consider Bill Ayers and Dog Eater ignorant in the extreme and they’re both well-traveled, big city denizens.

Whatever. If mentioning trains is frightening you might need to find a good place to hide out for a while.

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 6:15 PM

Obviously you do since you take such issue with the simple term “railcars” and immediately thought “Nazis”. Who are you afraid of offending?

I was far from the only one that thought of it.

Who am I afraid of offending?

No one, but I did have family members that were deported and put on railcars by Nazis and sent to ‘work camps’ in the East. My father’s family never saw them again.

Maybe, it is a personal thing.

Anyhoo, as to the other questions, is it only Americans who are capable of being ignorant, and why did you specifically mention trailer parks?

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 6:08 PM

I could have mentioned ghettos, Section 8 housing, parts of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia where inbreeding has taken its toll (I could also point out that inbreeding has decimated the European Royal families, which you would know that I have if you ever read my The Pecker Placement Tales).

Are you seriously going to argue that there are not ignorant people on this and other blogs? Seriously, I can look here or on Salon or PuffHost or National Review and find know-nothings that neither know how to spell or the least bit of history, law, or any other rudimentary subject.

Am I better than they? No. But, are their demonstrably ignorance assertions be ignored? 2+2=5! ‘OK, you’re a genius!’

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 6:27 PM

O/T

Christien on February 2, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Not particularly a Trump fan here (although I understand his appeal), but VDH offers a most balanced, thoughtful analysis of the Trump phenomena and what candidates (and the GOP) can learn from him.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430642/trump-why-do-voters-care

onlineanalyst on February 2, 2016 at 7:18 PM

We’ll call that the “Wizard of Oz” theory of Trump’s appeal: Once you’ve seen behind the curtain and the mystique of invincibility is gone, there’s no going back. Even a Trump critic like me thinks his support is made of sterner stuff than that.

Some of it.

Axe on February 2, 2016 at 7:22 PM

In fairness everyone was told that DeathCare and Planned Murder would be defunded, that Dog Eater would be resisted at every turn, and various administration pukes would have their asses hauled into the dock.

Everyone believed that too and diligently trooped to the voting booth to help make it a reality, so what’s another in a long list of tall tales thrown on top of the existing mountain.

Now don’t get all high-horsey and claim you didn’t fall for it too.

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 4:40 PM

So after electing politicians who weren’t conservative enough to get things done the solution to the lack of conservatism is to elect someone like Trump who’s even less conservative than the empty suits we have in office right now and that will bring about conservative governance.

Even the underpants gnomes would scoff at that logic.

alchemist19 on February 2, 2016 at 7:45 PM

I think you are confusing IGNORANCE with magic, but, with you, that’s par for the course.

(Yes, I broke my rule. In this case, how could I not?)

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Broke your puerile silent treatment to make another comment? You just can’t leave it alone can you?

That’s okay, I’m here for the attention you crave.

Are you going to write about this on your website?

NWConservative on February 2, 2016 at 7:55 PM

I don’t know. I just think the use of railcars is not the best way to do it nor necessary to invite the inevitable Nazi comparisons…and, you know they will be coming.

Hell just look at the Nazi hellfire raining down on Denmark right now.

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Obviously you do since you take such issue with the simple term “railcars” and immediately thought “Nazis”. Who are you afraid of offending?

Bishop on February 2, 2016 at 6:08 PM

When Schlafly originally mentioned seeing the railroad cars filled with people being shipped out, I immediately thought of Nazis. I would guess most people did.

Axe on February 2, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Lime in the Coconut on February 2, 2016 at 3:42 PM

I’ve never seen The Apprentice. What’s it about?

Oh, and I support Trump since he came out with his immigration policy, enlisting Jeff Sessions to help write it.

So seriously… what’s the concept behind The Apprentice?

dominigan on February 2, 2016 at 8:41 PM

“You put in place a strong e-verify system so people cannot get employment without proving that they didn’t get in here illegally.”

What part of this sentence don’t you understand?

voiceofreason on February 2, 2016 at 4:10 PM

The part where you explain how e-verify works with cash under-the-table, which is used in the employment of most illegals.

dominigan on February 2, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Trump: I get no credit for self-funding my campaign, but I’ll keep doing it — even though it’s “not worth it”

Sounds awfully sour b!tchy… I love his entertainment, don’t get me wrong, but his entertainer’s slip is starting to show…

Voodoo Chile on February 2, 2016 at 9:38 PM

Actually, I am all for secure borders and fair trade. I am not for Donald Trump. As for securing the border, Trump supporters seem fine with Trump’s stance of sending them home, then letting “the good ones” back in. And seem gullible enough to think his magical businessman skills will get Mexico to pay for a wall. And IMO, Trump is flat out wrong on trade. Flat out wrong. But that’s been discussed in multiple other threads. The point here is that Trump is a whiner who doesn’t think spending his own millions on making America great again is worth it.

idalily on February 2, 2016 at 3:26 PM
What a weak argument, if I ever heard one. You sound like Obama. I have great ideas, you know ideas that the Republicans had last year, but because I bring them up, they don’t support them.

DDay on February 2, 2016 at 6:04 PM

I was presented with false conclusions about what I believe (the No True Scotsman logical fallacy). These accusations have nothing to do with this thread, which is about Trump’s own words, words his supporters are trying to spin-spin-spin with qualifiers.

idalily on February 2, 2016 at 10:05 PM

But that’s what Trump has said, that the RNC and / or PUBLIC FINANCING (limiting a candidate to like $180 billion) will finance Trump in the general election (yes Trump has said he might take public financing in the GE like McCain did to his detriment [McCain 2008 had ~ $160 billion, Obama had ~ $700 billion]).

Trump needs to come clean about how he plans to finance the general election campaign.

anotherJoe on February 2, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Just for clarity: those numbers above should be in millions, not billions.

J.S.K. on February 2, 2016 at 10:50 PM

I give Trump a lot of credit for self funding his campaign and he should remind voters of that every chance he gets!

Dollayo on February 3, 2016 at 11:50 PM

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