Wednesday on CNN’s “Wolf,” when asked about funding his campaign, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said, “I will have over $100 million in, I’m willing to invest more than that.”
Partial transcript as follows:
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First, I want to ask you about your event here. There’s a new audio tape of you talking about the fact that you really have relied on your popularity and the fact that people come to your events, and that helps you with free advertising. Is that what this was about?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, not at all. This was just under budget, ahead of schedule. That’s what this is. Under budget, ahead of schedule. We built a hotel that is going to be one of the great hotels of the world. Just opened today. It officially opens today, and we built it for less money than was anticipated and we built it ahead of schedule by over a year. And if the country would do that, we would have a country that would be in much better shape than it’s — you know, highways, they build highways for double and triple the cost, they build hospitals —
BASH: And so to people who say, you’re taking time out of swing states to go do this, you say —
TRUMP: I say the following. You have been covering me for the last — long time. I did yesterday eight stops and three major speeches, and I’ve been doing this for weeks straight. I left there for an hour and a half. I’m going to North Carolina right now, then I’m going to Florida, I’m going up to New Hampshire. For you to ask me that question is actually very insulting, because Hillary Clinton does one stop and then she goes home and sleeps, and yet you’ll ask me that question. I think it’s a very rude question, to be honest with you. And what I do is I want to back my children. My children worked very hard, Ivanka in particular. And at the opening of the hotel, I want to back my children. It’s very important to me. So we had a ribbon cutting, which was very quick, and I stopped in D.C. But the real key to this is, I want the American people to understand that this is under budget, ahead of schedule, and we need that for the United States.
BASH: And just so you know, I’ve been reporting on the fact that you’re going to North Carolina for a couple of stops straight from here. But my next question is, there is a new poll in Florida that has you up a couple of points. Other swing states have you really in the hunt. Given that, are you prepared to write a check to help yourself get over the finish line, and if so, how big? And I’m talking about advertising.
TRUMP: Let me just tell you that we have — I’ll have over $100 million in the campaign. Hillary Clinton has nothing in the campaign. She’s all special interests and donors and they’re giving her money, then she will do whatever they tell her to do. But I will have over $100 million in the campaign, and I’m prepared to go much more than that. Now, here’s the question. New polls are coming out, we’re leading Florida, we’re doing great in North Carolina, we’re doing great in Pennsylvania, we’re doing great all over. We’re doing really well in New Hampshire, Ohio, as you know, and Iowa, are doing fantastically well. I’m telling you, CNN doesn’t say it, but I think we’re going to win.
BASH: So, but to do that, you have a pretty big bank account, and time is running out. The clock is ticking. Will you write a check —
TRUMP: I’ve already written a number of them.
BASH: But specifically to get up on the air to combat the ads that you say Hillary Clinton is running against you?
TRUMP: Well, in Florida, she has 50 to 1 against me. Fifty. You were the one that told me that.
BASH: But you have the means to combat that.
TRUMP: Sure I do. But in the meantime, 50 to 1 and I’m leading. How would you like to have spent — you know, in the old days, you’d get credit if you would spend less money and have victory. That would be a good thing. Today, they want you to spend money. I’ll have over $100 million. I’m willing to spend much more than that if I have to. I’m seeing just great signs. One of the other things we’re seeing in Florida, we’re seeing it in other places, the lines going into voting booths, going into voting areas, are unbelievable. I mean, in Florida, yesterday, we passed four of them, the lines were three and four blocks long. Those are not her voters, because her voters have no enthusiasm whatsoever.
BASH: Can you just be specific how much are you willing to put down in order to put up new ads?
TRUMP: No, I will have over $100 million in, I’m willing to invest more than that.
BASH: Like how much?
TRUMP: Don’t — let’s go with your next question, Dana.
BASH: Well, my last question, because I’m getting the hook over here, is, in this speech here, you talked about the fact that this is the second best piece of real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue. In 14 days, are you hoping that you’re going to be spending after that more time here or down the street?
TRUMP: Well look, I just hope that — you know, I built a great company. This is truly a great company with some of the great assets of the world, not only in our country but in other countries, and I predicted Brexit. You were one of the people that asked me about Brexit. And I said it’s going to happen, and I’m not even saying this is Brexit, but I think the result is going to be the same, if not more so. We are going to have, I think, a tremendous victory. People don’t want four more years of Obama. They don’t want Hillary with all of the corruption and all of the problems, and you see all of these WikiLeaks coming out and they’re a disaster, and when you see John Podesta, who I think is terrible the way he speaks about her, that she has bad instincts. John Podesta saying that the person he works for has bad instincts, I think it’s terrible. But so many other things even worse than that are out, it’s about their honesty and their dishonesty. I really think that we’re going to have a tremendous victory. And you know what, if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t say it. I’d say, well, we’re going to be fighting hard. Now, we will be fighting hard, but I believe we’re winning. I actually think we’re winning. I don’t even think it’s a question of we’re going to try and win. You start looking at the polls, what’s happening, and more importantly, start looking at all the people going to vote and sending in their ballots, we’re way ahead on virtually every state, every area, and I think we’re going to have a great victory.
BASH: Thank you, Mr. Trump. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now Wolf, one of the reasons why I was pressing him on the question of money is because what I’m hearing from some Republicans, particularly those who are working with the party, is that they had hoped that Mr. Trump, who obviously has had a very unconventional fundraising apparatus, because he was a self-funder in the primaries, and then in the general election, he was raising money in conjunction with the party, whether he would, at least now at the very end, especially as I said to him in those states where he does seem to be doing better, take out his checkbook and fund his campaign advertising in order to combat the ads that we have seen on the air, and he talks about and complains about from Hillary Clinton, and that was that line of questioning.
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