The Ted Cruz Super PAC “Keep the Promise” has now become the “Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC,” with pollster Kellyanne Conway handing the reins over to David Bossie.
For all his prowess at appealing to Republican voters, Donald Trump has struggled mightily to win over rich Republican donors. After savaging major party funders as corrupt insiders during the primaries, Trump is finding them reluctant to open their wallets. With Trump’s campaign reeling and nearly broke — new filings show it has less than $1.3 million cash on hand— outside allies are stepping in.
Robert Mercer, the GOP mega-donor and co-founder of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund who once backed Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is launching a super-PAC with a novel twist to get establishment-minded donors off the sidelines. The new project will informally be dubbed the “Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC” and, despite its Trumpian name, will focus solely on attacking Clinton, not boosting Trump. The idea is that conservative donors reluctant to support Trump can still donate in good conscience to a super-PAC that only attacks Clinton. “It’s a way to participate without [directly] supporting Trump,” says a source involved in the super-PAC’s creation.
Mercer’s new anti-Hillary vehicle is actually a refurbished version of Keep the Promise PAC, a pro-Cruz super-PAC that Mercer and his daughter Rebekah poured $13.5 million into during the primaries. Kellyanne Conway, the Republican pollster who is president of Keep the Promise PAC, may leave to join the Trump campaign.
David Bossie, president of the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, will take over as the head of Defeat Crooked Hillary. “This is an opportunity to really refocus the presidential debate around Hillary Clinton and her character, and the whole culture of corruption that’s surrounded the Clintons for decades,” says Bossie.
Conway said that she recruited Bossie for his role at the super-PAC, but hasn’t decided what she’ll be doing next.
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