Archive

ShareThis Page
Wealth will keep Trump run alive, pollster says | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Wealth will keep Trump run alive, pollster says

The Associated Press
| Monday, July 20, 2015 8:51 p.m
CongressIranReachJPEG077221
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2015, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans hammering the Obama administration about nuclear talks with Iran are accusing President Barack Obama of being so keen to strike a deal that he’s ignored Iranian moves to expand its influence across the Middle East. 'The Iranians are now in Sanaa. They’re in Baghdad and Beirut and Damascus and meanwhile this president and secretary of state pursue the mirage of a nuclear agreement,' McCain said in a recent speech. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump endured an avalanche of fresh criticism Monday for questioning Sen. John McCain’s heroism. But he’s getting no pressure at all from the one community that could push a candidate out of the 2016 presidential race: political donors.

The billionaire businessman is paying for his own campaign, and that means Republicans may have him around far longer than some party leaders would like.

“Nobody leaves a race because they get tired, or because they think they don’t have the votes. They leave the race because they run out of money,” said Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster. “Donald Trump will never run out of money, and that makes him incredibly powerful.”

Indeed, Republican operatives suggest that Trump enjoys a rare freedom.

Because he doesn’t need tens of millions of dollars from wealthy donors — a notoriously risk-averse crowd — the standard rules of politics simply don’t apply.

At his formal announcement, Trump portrayed immigrants from Mexico as criminals and rapists. Then, at a conservative summit in Iowa last weekend, he dismissed McCain’s reputation as a war hero, saying of the Arizona senator who was held five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

“If there was a misunderstanding, I would totally take that back,” he said in an evening interview on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” On “CBS Evening News,” he said, “I don’t know if I made a mistake.”

Critics began piling on Trump once he made his comments Saturday, and new voices emerged Monday, from veterans groups, Republican colleagues and President Obama’s spokesman, who defended McCain and called on Trump to apologize.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a 2016 candidate and close friend of Arizona Sen. John McCain, called businessman Donald Trump “a jackass” on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday.

“What he said about John, I think, was offensive. He’s becoming a jackass at a time when we need to have a serious debate about the future of the party and the country,” Graham said.

Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said that Trump’s “asinine comments” were “an insult to everyone who has ever worn the uniform — and to all Americans.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said veterans “are entitled to an apology.”

A candidate reliant on campaign contributions probably would be feeling the pain by now.

Yet the self-funded Trump can proceed as he wishes. After leveling new criticism against McCain early Monday, saying the senator had made America “less safe” through his votes in Congress, he lashed out at fellow GOP presidential aspirants who have criticized his remarks, calling them “failed politicians.”

Trump said he did not need “to be lectured by any of them.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.