The Corner

A Pro-Hillary Super PAC Will Attack in June. Will Trump and the RNC Be Ready?

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have been warned about a coming $20 million ad campaign in swing states. Will they be prepared?

A series of ads paint­ing him as an un­ser­i­ous, un­ready, and un­scru­pu­lous busi­ness­man who also hap­pens to dis­par­age wo­men and minor­it­ies is to start air­ing June 8, the day after the fi­nal primar­ies in which Trump is likely to clinch the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion.

“That’s a good day to start,” said Justin Barasky with Pri­or­it­ies USA Ac­tion, a su­per PAC back­ing Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton. “We’re not go­ing to the make the same mis­take Re­pub­lic­ans did in wait­ing too long [to go on the of­fens­ive].”

For five full weeks, in a lull between the primary sea­son and the GOP con­ven­tion, these mes­sages may have the air­waves to them­selves in sev­en swing states, with the no­tori­ously tight-fis­ted Trump loath to spend tens of mil­lions of his own money to counter the at­tack and the Re­pub­lic­an Party un­able to de­fend him un­til he of­fi­cially be­comes the nom­in­ee.

If Re­pub­lic­ans find this strategy fa­mil­i­ar, they should. It’s ex­actly what Pri­or­it­ies did to 2012 GOP nom­in­ee Mitt Rom­ney in those months after he had se­cured the nom­in­a­tion, fol­low­ing a long and ex­pens­ive primary battle—but be­fore he was of­fi­cially nom­in­ated and al­lowed to use mil­lions in gen­er­al-elec­tion money he had already col­lec­ted.

Or will the Trump campaign and RNC be caught flat-footed, not have any television commercials ready to go, and concede the airwaves to Democrat-aligned SuperPACS in June? 

Matching a $20 million advertising campaign in seven states should be a piece of cake for a man worth $10 billion… unless, of course, Trump is actually cash-poor and he has most of his wealth tied up in illiquid assets like real estate. But what are the odds of that, right?

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