Wednesday morning, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump challenged left-wing cable news network CNN to donate the profits from next week’s GOP presidential debate to veterans groups. Trump publicly released the letter (addressed to CNN chief Jeff Zucker) via his Twitter account and takes credit for what is sure to be a rare ratings-bonanza for the ratings-troubled network.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2015
“[Y]our ad rates have gone from $5,000 to $200,000, or a 4,000% increase,” Trump writes. “I’m self funding my campaign — I do not want money from lobbyists, donors, or special interest groups. Likewise, you should view the second debate broadcast as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate. I believe that all profits from this broadcast should go to various VETERANS groups.”
Trump said he would eventually provide a list of these groups.
This is a brilliant no-lose play on Trump’s part. If CNN gives in, the move will generate a ton of good publicity for Trump.
If CNN refuses, Trump has a club to forever beat the left-wing network over the head with. For the rest of the campaign, he’ll be able to pivot away from any left-wing attack CNN launches against him into a counter-attack about the network’s greed and snubbing of American veterans.
Laugh away at the “grandstanding,” Trump haters, but the man’s playing chess with the media, not checkers.
This is a masterstroke.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC