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Trump campaign manager: Money will not be a problem

Trump campaign manager: Money will not be a problem
© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said Tuesday that he’s “carefully managing the budget” and that money will not be a problem down the stretch, even as the president considers using some of his own funds to keep pace with Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE.

Speaking on a call with reporters, Stepien sought to reassure Republicans amid reports the Trump campaign is facing a “cash crunch” and getting swamped on the air by the Biden campaign.

“We’re comfortable and confident in where we’re spending, how much we’re spending and how much we’ll have down the stretch,” Stepien said. 

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Trump on Tuesday confirmed a Bloomberg report that he's considering spending up to $100 million of his own fortune, an astonishing figure considering the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) have combined to raise more than $1 billion this cycle.

“If I have to, I will,” Trump said. “Whatever it takes, we have to win.”

Stepien took over the Trump campaign in late July after previous campaign manager Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE spent heavily on ads early in the cycle that failed to give Trump a boost in the polls.

One of the first things Stepien did as campaign manager was to go dark on the airwaves and reshape the campaign’s advertising strategy to plow money into the states where early voting is getting underway soon.

The Trump campaign released a new ad on Tuesday that will air in North Carolina, Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, although the campaign did not say how much money is behind the ad.

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Stepien noted that in 2016, the Trump campaign was outspent by more than double by then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Ballot initiatives in Colorado, Louisiana could restrict abortion access Trump mocks Joe Biden's drive-in rallies at North Carolina event MORE’s campaign, $1.2 billion to just under $500 million.

“We are now carefully managing the budget,” Stepien said. “I consider it to be among, if not the most important tasks for any campaign manager. Recreating the budget was the first thing I did upon becoming the campaign manager and it’s something we as a team managed every single day. From this day forward to Election Day we’ll have more resources to spend than we had in 2016 and it won’t be close, it will be by a factor of two times or three times what we had to spend on the campaign we were a part of in 2016.”

This time around, the Trump campaign spent more than $800 million through July, doubling up the Biden campaign.

But the Biden campaign drew even with the Trump campaign in cash on hand by the end of July, despite the Trump campaign’s massive head start.

The Biden campaign raised $365 million in August, the largest presidential campaign haul ever. The Trump campaign has not released its August fundraising numbers yet. 

And the Biden campaign has reserved $280 million in television reservations down the stretch, while the Trump campaign has gone on and off the airwaves in key battleground states over the past few weeks.

An Associated Press analysis found that the Biden campaign outspent the Trump campaign by a 10-1 margin on the airwaves last week.

"We have a far greater and far wider [advertising] footprint than Trump, in fact it’s a little bit difficult to see what their strategy is right now as they’re not up in places like Pennsylvania, with the exception of their super PAC, but we’ve been steady ... on our programming," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley DillonJen O'Malley DillonTrump wishes Harris 'the best' after aide tests positive for COVID-19 Biden camp urges supporters to 'campaign like we're trailing' Biden campaign manager: Race is 'far closer' than experts say MORE told reporters over the weekend.

Stepien on Tuesday sought to diminish the importance of television advertising, pointing to the Trump campaign and RNC’s massive investments in field staff in states where they’ve had people on the ground for years, compared to the Biden campaign, which only recently began staffing up.

"It’s also too late to be adding staff, as I see Joe Biden doing now in certain states around the country," Stepien said. "We’ve had staff in certain states across the country for two years, two years to develop relationships and roots in states, regions and counties, to get to know elected officials and activists and volunteers. You can’t do that in eight weeks ... so our early investments in states is going to move the needle in ways Joe Biden’s campaign can’t do."