WASHINGTON, United States, Jun 21 – Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump’s unprecedented financial deficit heading into his general election push is just the latest in a string of setbacks and self-inflicted wounds that have plunged his unconventional campaign into disarray.
The latest news cycle unquestionably has been unkind to the provocative billionaire.
He fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday, seeking a reboot as he prepares to go head to head with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic flagbearer whose campaign is well ahead of Trump’s in terms of finances and organization.
He has been hammered for making controversial statements after the Orlando massacre, including about Muslims, and for saying it would have been a “beautiful sight” if more people at the Florida club were armed in order to shoot back at the attacker.
His numbers have slid in several polls, and Republican leaders have continued to express ambivalence about their presumptive nominee.
Trump’s small war chest reinforces perceptions that his campaign lags woefully behind Clinton’s, which plans to spend more than $100 million on a television advertising blitz ahead of the November 8 election.
Trump has a mere $1.3 million in cash on hand, according to reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
That sum represents an unprecedented low in recent history for a major presidential campaign.
Clinton’s campaign – backed by big donors – had more than $42 million in the bank as of May 31, its report showed.
Trump pushed back Tuesday, insisting he himself could line his campaign pockets with “unlimited” funds.
“If need be, there could be unlimited ‘cash on hand’ as I would put up my own money, as I have already done through the primaries, spending over $50 million,” he said in a statement.
“Our campaign is leaner and more efficient, like our government should be.”
He also insisted his campaign was prepared to embrace a new tone as it geared for battle with the Clinton machine.
“I think it’s time now for a different kind of a campaign” than the one that helped win the primary race, Trump told Fox late Monday as he justified Lewandowski’s departure.