There are similarities between the two men in wealth and ego, and in the tightfistedness of the very rich when it comes to parting with their own money. Rollins had proposed to Perot a $150 million media campaign with Hal Riney, creator of Reagan’s “Morning in America” ads, at the helm. Perot balked. He wasn’t going to spend money on all those longhaired hippies behind the cameras when he could go on Larry King for nothing.
Perot was very tight with the dollar, and a third-party bid is expensive. He wasn’t willing to spend the money. Trump is much more savvy than Perot ever was. “Trump is very reluctant to spend his money, but he’s been through the wars, he’s used to being battered around,” says Rollins. “Perot didn’t understand advertising and PR. He didn’t understand the presidency, and he had very little substance.”
Trump knows the game. The big question for him is how far he will take his candidacy in terms of dollars he will put on the line. “No one knows how much Trump is willing to spend,” says Rollins. “I think at this point he’s a distraction. The potential is there for him to be a very destructive force in the party. The country is pretty disgusted with politicians, and that’s what he’s tapping into.”