In the past two presidential election seasons the Republican National Committee dropped tens of millions of dollars on advertisements to promote their candidate. But for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign the party has spent a grand total of $0 on TV ads.
That’s according to a report published by POLITICO Thursday which details Trump aides’ frustration with the lack of support from the GOP establishment, “many of whom believe that the RNC was never fully supportive of their candidate and that it’s now turning its back completely on the anti-establishment nominee as his poll numbers crater.”
The report explains:
In 2004, the committee spent $18.2 million on independent expenditures — or IEs, in campaign parlance — boosting George W. Bush’s reelection bid. In 2008, the RNC’s IE spending surged to $53.5 million in support of John McCain’s campaign against Barack Obama. And in 2012, the RNC spent $42.4 million on IEs boosting Mitt Romney or opposing President Obama — with nearly 80 percent of the spending occurring before mid-October.
By contrast, this cycle the RNC has spent only $321,000 on independent expenditures attacking Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And all of that spending occurred last fall — before Trump had emerged as the leader for the GOP presidential nomination.
The RNC denies that it’s intentionally withholding support from Trump. Rather, it says RNC leaders determined that TV advertisements weren’t worth the expense following electoral disappointments in the two previous elections.
But Trump supporters say the party owes its nominee some help as the Clinton campaign blasts the airwaves.
“The Democrats have an unprecedented and lopsided advertising advantage in this race like we have never seen before, and it is having a serious and negative effect,” Curt Anderson, a former RNC political director, told Politico.
He continued: “It is possible that Trump has sealed his fate at this point, but it is still a terrible mistake not to have $50 million dollars of advertising from the Republican Party exposing Hillary Clinton and keeping her numbers down.”
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