When Donald Trump announced that he would skip last week’s Fox News debate in order to raise money “for the vets” — an event that actually benefited his personal foundation — two of his opponents said that they too would give money to veterans, but only if Trump debated them one-on-one.
Super PACs aligned with Ted Cruz offered to give $1.5 million to veterans’ causes if Trump would debate their candidate, while Carly Fiorina upped the ante with a $2 million offer. Trump declined to take either candidate up on their offer, but his campaign is now insisting that they donate the money to veterans’ charities anyway.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who said last week that Trump would only debate Cruz if he offers proof that he’s “legally eligible to run for president of the United States,” told radio host John Fredericks today that he wants the Cruz and Fiorina camps to give the money to veterans’ causes anyway.
People understand Trump’s a doer, so he goes out, he says he’s going to do something, we raise $6 million for the veterans, we give that money away, it was a great night and I don’t think that anybody would be willing to say the veterans don’t deserve the money. These candidates who say, ‘If you debate me or you do this or you do that, we’ll give you money,’ they’re so disingenuous. Mr. Trump doesn’t need anybody’s money. He put $1 million of his own money into that veterans event to prove that his support is real. But all the other candidates, whether it’s Carly Fiorina or it’s Ted Cruz who said, ‘If you do this, we’ll give money to veterans,’ well, if you care about the veterans, don’t make it a quid pro quo, put your money where your mouth is, Ted or Carly, and give the money to the veterans if you truly care about them.
Perhaps Cruz and Fiorina were merely modeling themselves after Trump, who in 2012 said he would donate $5 million to charity but only if President Obama released his records from college and passport applications.