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Mark Halperin is reporting for Bloomberg Politics that “a source familiar with Trump’s thinking” says that Donald Trump intends to create and fund Super PACs that would aim to derail the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich, primary opponents who have refused to endorse him.
According to the Bloomberg report, this plan would entail Trump investing as much as $20 million of his own money in the super PACs, which would spend against Cruz and Kasich in future elections.
This comes after Trump lashed out at Cruz and Kasich at a press conference earlier on Friday, including resurfacing allegations that Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.
I have a few thoughts on the super PAC threat, and what it says about Trump as a candidate and a possible president:
There is no way that Trump will make good on this threat. He’s too cheap. As we’ve seen from the available data on his charitable giving, he has a pattern of promising to throw money around and then not following through. Still, Trump could put nonfinancial resources into a vendetta against Cruz and Kasich, which would bring him few political benefits and undermine Republican unity. If Trump were president, then he could misuse organs of the federal government to get back at Cruz and Kasich and any other enemy that he might decide he has. Trump is acting against his own political interests. He needs supporters of Cruz and Kasich to vote for him in November, and he needs the Ohio Republican Party to coordinate with his campaign to turn out voters in a swing state. His attacks on Kasich are interfering with the latter imperative. Not that we needed more evidence, but this is a demonstration that Trump acts out of pique and will pursue nonstrategic vendettas. How might that work out when Trump feels disrespected by a foreign leader and has the ability to launch nuclear weapons? It is also a demonstration that Trump freely makes threats that he is unlikely to carry out. How will the erratic issuance of empty threats affect America’s foreign relations?
This is just one more data point that shows that Trump would be a temperamentally dangerous president.