Donald Trump’s decision to spend up to $100 million of his own money for his campaign shows desperation, not strength. Self-funded billionaire candidates have a consistent record of failure in our nation, no matter how much they spend.
In 1992, Ross Perot blew $63 million—$107 million in today’s dollars—and won not a single electoral vote. In 1998, Democrat Al Chechi became known as “Al Checkbook” running for California governor—investing $58 million in today’s dollars to win just 12 percent of primary voters.
Republican Meg Whitman put a record-breaking $144 million into her 2010 California gubernatorial race and lost in a landslide. Mitt Romney’s first race for president cost him $57 million in 2008 but didn’t even win the nomination; four years later, he became GOP nominee without spending any of his own money.
Trump’s determination to try to buy the presidency with his own funds isn’t a demonstration of seriousness, but a sign of his limitations as a candidate.