Would Donald Trump really drop out for $150 million?
How much would it cost to get Donald Trump to give up his presidential run and walk away? “I bet if someone offered him $150 million to drop out, he would,” one former Trump adviser told POLITICO, unprompted, during an interview Friday. Asked about whether Trump would drop out, another former Trump adviser, Jim Dornan said he believes the presumptive GOP nominee would be willing to cut a deal. “Yeah, probably,” Dornan, a veteran Republican operative who worked for Trump last spring on an abortive effort to set up a super PAC, replied via text message — adding there would be plenty of interest in buying him out. “The Kochs would be the first in line.” Trump himself says it’s a ridiculous proposition and that he’s not a fan of the question. “This story is a total fabrication from you and POLITICO, as usual,” the New York billionaire said in an email sent by his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. “I will never leave the race, nobody has enough money to pay me to leave the race, and if they did, it would be totally illegal anyway. Did Obama and the Clintons get you to write this garbage?” Indeed, it would be an unprecedented move for a presumptive major party nominee to drop out of a presidential race, for money or otherwise. It also seems extremely improbable that Trump, after a full year of campaigning and putting millions into his campaign, would walk away right before claiming the prize after having bested 16 rivals for the nomination. But even if it is only a fantasy, it’s a popular one. When the former adviser’s $150 million postulation was posted on Twitter, it sparked a social media flurry, with intense interest from anti-Trump Republicans and liberals alike. The wishful thinking of many political observers eager to entertain the far-fetched scenario reflects the still-growing fears among Republican elites about Trump’s potential to damage the party, the growing desperation among some Republican elites for an alternative to Trump or Hillary Clinton, and the persistence of doubts about Trump’s commitment to the race that have dogged his candidacy from the start At every turn, Trump has defied the hopes and expectations of those who believed he wouldn’t run, wouldn’t file a personal financial disclosure, or would drop out before the first primary votes were cast. And following weeks in which Trump took a tumble in the polls and infuriated many in his own party with attacks on the heritage of a Mexican-American judge and response to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, hope for some sort of deus ex machina salvation from Trump springs eternal. “Done. Dinner in NY Monday, private room at Daniel, reservation under name of @Reince. 15 billionaires, $10m each,” Weekly Standard editor and leading anti-Trump intellectual Bill Kristol, tweeted in response to the $150 million suggestion, positing that RNC chairman Reince Priebus should host the big-money meal. (The RNC was not immediately available for comment on Kristol’s tweet, but Priebus has said repeatedly that he supports Trump.) Some on Twitter suggested a range of politically active billionaires — from George Soros to the Koch brothers — and America’s two richest men, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Others called for a nationwide online crowd-funding campaign to raise the necessary money. And many offered to pitch in themselves. “If you’re taking up a collection…,” tweeted conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace, who backed Ted Cruz in the primary. One nationally known and well-connected investor told POLITICO that the idea was attractive, despite the practical hurdles. “There are any number of both Republican and Democratic donors who would” put up money, the investor wrote. “But the coordination (donor side) and ego (candidate) side seem overwhelming.” The investor suggested that donors might induce Trump to take a deal by offering to fund his reported ambitions to start his own media company. And despite Trump’s assertion that a deal to get him to drop out would be illegal, Jim Fishman, a professor at Pace Law School in New York, said making Trump a business proposition contingent on his dropping out could pass legal muster. “It’s against the law to bribe someone for a vote or certain favors, but if I say to Trump, ‘I’m starting a new hedge fund with $300 million committed to it. I’d really like you to join us. Your name will bring in billions. I’ll give you a 50 percent interest from the start, and you can cash out the value of your initial interest ($150 million) when you want,’ There’s no bribe there, and Trump could go away with the $150 million,” Fishman wrote in an email. For now, the cash-induced drop-out remains purely a matter of hope and speculation, but some Republicans continue to entertain ideas for how to unseat the presumptive nominee. Reports resurfaced on Friday about revived hopes among some delegates of overthrowing Trump at next month’s Republican National Convention. And while they view it as extremely unlikely, a Trump bow-out occasionally emerges as a topic of casual conversation among rank-and-file staffers on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democrats who muse that there’s no game plan in place for dealing with such an eventuality. After planning for an anti-Trump assault, they wonder how they would switch gears if they suddenly found themselves facing another opponent. But forget what Democrats think. What does a fellow celebrity billionaire make of the suggested deal? Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a frequent commentator on Trump’s run and the rare person with the perspective to gauge what dollars means to a person with billions of them, dismissed the notion of the candidate dropping out for $150 million as preposterous. “No chance,” he wrote in an email to POLITICO. It’s said, though, that everyone has their price, and Cuban thinks Trump is no exception: “5 billion, he would.”
I’d definitely donate money to that Crowdfunding campaign! I’m sure it wouldn’t be $150000000, but maybe 500000000?