Stan Pate, the millionaire behind the air campaign against billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Rose Bowl, denies that his attack has a connection to any of the political candidates in 2016.
“I have not had any conversations with any campaign in almost a year,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News. “This is all me.”
He cited rules governing SuperPACs preventing him from coordinating with any of the candidates. Pate’s air campaign featured five airplanes in the sky above the Rose Bowl campaign writing anti-Trump messages that went viral on social media.
But Pate hasn’t been entirely disengaged from political activity surrounding the 2016 election.
He admitted that he met privately with Sen. Marco Rubio early in 2015, but insisted that he has not had contact with the campaign since then.
“This is not a Marco Rubio effort, I have not talked to anybody in that campaign since the day I sat down with Sen. Rubio in Birmingham Alabama,” he said, referring to his meeting in early 2015.
The millionaire campaign donor has supported many political causes and candidates over the years, however his only 2016 donations have been to Rubio.
A Rubio spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Pate revealed that he also hosted Jeb Bush aboard his private airplane in early 2015 before the former Florida governor announced that he was running for president. Pate described Bush as a candidate he could “respect” and was “a guy with common sense.”
A Bush spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Pate felt that it was time for somebody to speak out against Trump, calling his current standings in the polls “embarrassing” for the United States and wouldn’t be respected as a president around the world.
“Just because you built a tall building with your name on it doesn’t mean respect … his private business, he’s been a dictator, we’re not looking for a dictator,” Pate said, referring to Trump. He said he decided to run his campaign on his own after it was clear that Trump was not going away.
“This is a guy when he looks in the mirror, he sees the greatest man that’s ever walked the earth – he’s wrong,” he said.
The current field of Republican presidential candidates, Pate explained, probably felt that it would be inappropriate to imitate Trump’s behavior, one reason why he decided to act.
“I don’t think it’s in their heads and in their hearts to disrespect another candidate like Donald Trump does,” he said.
While conversing with friends across the country, he signified frustration with the Republican debates – citing Trump’s attacks against Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly as part of his motivation for retaliating against Trump.
“I’m tired of listening to Trump, I’m tired of it – just look at what he did to Megyn (Kelly) that’s just despicable,” he said. “Listen to how he’s attacking Hillary Clinton – despicable.”
He also stated that he would support Hillary Clinton if Trump won the nomination.
“Quite frankly, if it was Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, I would vote for Secretary Clinton,” he said. “I will accept anybody but Trump.”
He said that he would continue his campaign calling it his duty as an American citizen to stop Trump.
“This is a campaign to expose Donald Trump and send him a message and organize people,” he said.
He explained that he thought putting the message up during the Rose Bowl was an efficient way communicate with the most number of people who had their attention on New Years celebrations.
He was satisfied with the results of the campaign, particularly on social media, he explained, where he admitted it was hard to predict what would go viral.
“I’m excited to see that people have decided that it was something worthy of being communicated among themselves,” he said. “I’ve achieved the objective and this is only the start. This is the first shot – not the final shot.”