October 3, 2022

Trump allies are launching a new super PAC to boost GOP candidates in the midterms as the former president eyes a 2024 campaign


Washington
CNN

Many leading partners Donald Trump The former president will launch a new super PAC to cheer on Republican candidates Mid-term electionsCNN learned, months later Minimal spending by Trump-aligned groups This has left party strategists scrambling to fill the void.

MAGA, Inc. Called, the new group will join an existing Trump-sanctioned super PAC, largely overseen by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. As of last month, the group had spent more than $2 million boosting Trump-backed Senate and House candidates in their primary races earlier this year.

“President Trump is committed to saving America and will ensure that Make America Great Again, Inc. is achieved at the ballot box in November and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor Pudovich said in a statement Friday.

Budovich is charged with running the new super PAC along with former Trump campaign aide Steven Cheung, who will serve as its communications director; longtime Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio; Chris LaCivita, a veteran GOP operative, will become the group’s chief strategist; and Sergio Gore, who published Trump’s first post-presidential book last year (a collection of White House and campaign trail photos) and MAGA, Inc., a former Fox News producer. Alex will serve as a senior advisor to Pfeiffer. Tucker Carlson will also join the action.

A new Trump fundraising vehicle was first announced Politics.

With the November elections fast approaching, Trump is under pressure to dip into his own money to support candidates who helped him win contested primaries but are now trailing or closing in on their Democratic opponents. The former president, who has complained to allies in recent weeks about Senate races in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arizona, had about $103 million in his coffers at the end of August, according to campaign finance reports from his main PAC, Save America and Save America. Bandy-Run Group.

Most of those funds are from MAGA, Inc. , which is expected to begin spending as soon as next week in key midterm races, said people familiar with the matter.

“He’s very concerned about Pennsylvania,” said one person who spoke with Trump recently, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. “We were talking about Pennsylvania [GOP Senate hopeful Mehmet] Oz was quoted as saying he would have voted to certify the 2020 election, and the president said, ‘Now, why would he have done that?’ ”

The same person said Trump also expressed concern about Senate candidate JT Vance, who faces an unexpected challenge from Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan. “He really likes JD, but Ohio is a little too close for comfort.”

Until now, Trump has refused to open the spigots to help his general election candidates. Save America gave $1 million to a pro-Oz PAC shortly before the Pennsylvania primary, and the former president has not contributed financially to the Republican Senate hopeful since then. In Ohio, Save America wrote a $5,000 check to Vance’s campaign in June.

Trump aides have long insisted that his spending should be supplemented by campaign rallies and fundraisers, including recent rallies in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. Earlier this year. But others say the former president’s lack of financial support shouldn’t be discounted.

“Trump never goes out of his way to help candidates — unless he sees a way that it helps him. His camp says, ‘Well, he’s helping them by doing these events,’ and I would say that’s not really helpful because you never know if Trump is going to insult the candidate. ,” said Doug Haye, a GOP strategist and former communications major. Director of the Republican National Committee. At his recent rally in Ohio, Trump told the crowd that Vance was “kissing my ass” to keep his support.

Overall, Save America, Trump’s main fundraising vehicle, has contributed more than $8.4 million to candidates and groups at the federal, state and local levels since January 2021 — a significant amount, but almost nothing compared to other major Republican groups. That’s about $1.4 million more than the previous president spent on legal fees this cycle (almost $7 million). According to a CNN analysis, the pro-GOP Senate Leadership Fund is spending $205 million on ads in Senate races this cycle, including what the group has already spent and its ad bookings over the next month. Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is affiliated with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, plans to spend $141 million on ads alone this fall.

A person familiar with the new Trump team said it will spend “heavily” in key Senate, congressional and gubernatorial races this fall. Trump is likely to prioritize candidates he has previously endorsed, and the group will focus most of its spending on television advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts, a person close to Trump said.

The group has been in the planning stages for months and he could become part of the campaign machinery Begins third presidential bidWidely expected.

“No one expects Trump to spend every penny he has, but a significant investment will move forward,” said a person close to Trump.

Trump, who has been eyeing the midterm opening date for the 2024 campaign for months, is waiting to see how Republicans fare in November — hoping to avoid blame if the party’s overall gains disappoint.

“He believed there was no upside to doing it before the midterms and there were plenty of downsides. Right now, the first quarter of next year is the goal, but once the election is over, he could do it any time,” a Trump adviser said.