The Corner

Politics & Policy

Apparently, Outside Donations Don’t Corrupt Politicians After All

Per the Wall Street JournalTrump’s self-financing days are over:

Facing a prospective tab of more than $1 billion to finance a general-election run for the White House, Donald Trump reversed course Wednesday and said he would actively raise money to ensure his campaign has the resources to compete with Hillary Clinton’s fundraising juggernaut.

His campaign also is beginning to work with the Republican National Committee to set up a joint fundraising committee after his last two rivals—Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich—dropped out in the wake of Mr. Trump’s resounding Indiana win on Tuesday.

I can’t wait to the hear the ad-hoc excuses that are assembled in favor of this shift. To hear Trump tell it, the problem with other politicians is that they can only get to Washington by taking money from people whom they then owe favors. The Republican party, Trump has claimed, is chock full of men and women who are beholden to special interests; while he, by contrast, is pure as the driven snow.

And yet Trump is here promising to raise money from precisely the same people he has previously described as the problem — not only from the “elite” private interests, but alongside the RNC itself. Are we really to believe that the Money Corrupts! claim obtains only during the primaries, victory in which affords a candidate no actual power, but not during the general, which delivers to the victor the most powerful office in the land?

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