Donald Trump on Saturday hit back at Republicans trying to undermine his presidential campaign with continued talk about eleventh-hour challengers, delegate hopping and other tactics, saying he’ll “fund my own campaign.”
“If the Republican Party acts like they don’t want to help, I’ll fund my own campaign,” Trump said at a rally in Las Vegas.
“Right now, I’m raising a lot of money for the GOP. I like doing it. But we have to have help. Life is like a two-way street. Otherwise, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, funding my own campaign. That’s the easy way. Hopefully we can continue to go the way we’re going."
Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, also downplayed the most recent controversy involving reports of convention delegates trying to switch allegiance.
He said there was “maybe a little delegate revolt,” following a Washington Post story that stated the delegates are attempting to change party rules so that their nominating votes can go to another candidate, despite Trump winning those delegates in state primaries and caucuses.
Since Trump became the nominee, some Republicans have apparently tried privately to recruit a last-minute challenger, while others, particularly incumbents, still refuse to endorse Trump, especially after his remarks about a Mexican judge that were widely perceived as racist.
Trump on Saturday also said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated the delegates cannot change their support and sound incredulous that anybody would back one of the 17 major candidates he beat in the primary.
“I beat them by a lot,” said Trump, arguing some in the primary failed to win any delegates. “I set a record, almost 14 million votes over nine months, 37 states.”
In an apparent attempt to reassure supporters, amid some recent, sinking poll numbers, that he can still beat presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump said, “folks, we know what we’re doing.”
“We’re going to save your Social Security,” said the first-time candidate and billionaire businessman. “We’re going to save your Second Amendment (while) Hillary Clinton wants to take your firearms.”
Still, Trump, who largely funded his primary win, will likely have problems funding his own general election campaign, despite his wealth.
Clinton and her Democratic allies have already invested at least $41 million in commercials in crucial states such as Ohio, Florida and Nevada over the next six weeks, a series of summer broadsides against Trump.
Those messages will be echoed by hundreds of Clinton workers in those same states and amplified by President Barack Obama and other top Democrats.
Trump has made few preparations for contending with that sort of well-oiled political machine.
His campaign has no advertising plans and is just now hiring employees in important states.
Clinton's large June and July ad buy comes as a reward for her near-constant fundraising. In May, she raised $27 million in primary election money that must be used before she accepts her party's nomination at the convention in late July.
Trump is playing catch up. He did not begin raising money in earnest until May 25, having largely financed his primary bid through personal loans to his campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.