But while the image of a billionaire accepting public funds might not play well, the act does accomplish one of Trump’s stated goals: keeping the donor class and special interests out of his campaign. Trump boasted for months that self-funding in the primary meant he wasn’t beholden to special interests.
One high-level campaign source who requested anonymity to speak freely wouldn’t rule it out — “The Donald Trump campaign would do whatever it takes to win” — but said the campaign was focused on building a fundraising operation for now.
If Trump were to accept public money for the general election, he could keep fundraising and spending freely until he accepts the nomination formally in Cleveland next month. At that point, the restrictions would kick in: Trump would have to stop self-funding and limit his spending to $96.14 million, while the GOP’s presidential race spending would be capped at just $23.8 million. It would also mean The Donald could avoid the extra trips, the hours and the effort spent fundraising and answering to donors.
It’s an advantage and a freedom the self-funding candidate enjoyed during the primary.