Trump Edges Biden in April Fundraising Totals: Campaign Update


(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s re-election effort raised $61.7 million in April, narrowly topping Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee in the first full month of lockdown fundraising.

“While day-to-day life may have slowed this past month, enthusiasm and support for this president has not,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. The combined total raised by Trump, the RNC and their supporting committees was just shy of their $63 million haul in March.

Biden announced earlier Monday that his campaign and the DNC raised $60.5 million in April.

Trump’s re-election effort ended April with $255 million in the bank, up about $11 million from the previous month. With fundraising uncertain amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the stockpiled cash gives Trump an advantage over Biden, who did not release an April figure for cash on hand for his campaign and party, but reported $62.2 million at the end of March.

Overall, Trump and his committees have raised $742 million for his re-election, his campaign said. Trump has launched a seven-figure television ad buy to attack Biden’s record on China while the campaign and the RNC are budgeting $20 million for court battles over efforts to change voting rules in response to the pandemic.

Biden, DNC Raise $60.5 Million in April (6:25 p.m.)

Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $60.5 million in April as the economy soured during the pandemic, a nearly 24% drop in fundraising from the previous month.

“I am especially humbled because I know what a sacrifice it is to give in economic times as difficult as the one we’re in,” the former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee wrote to supporters in an email to supporters.

The total represents a 23.8% decline from March, when Biden and the DNC combined to raise $79.4 million. Biden raised a personal best $46.7 million that month. The party received a one-time $18 million windfall in March when Michael Bloomberg, who dropped out of the race the day after Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden, gave the DNC the remaining funds from his self-financed presidential campaign. Under federal election laws, campaigns can transfer unlimited leftover balances to party committees.

(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

Biden said the average online donation to his campaign was $32.63. He did not give separate figures for how much the party and his campaign brought in or how much cash it had on hand. President Donald Trump’s re-election effort ended April with $255 million in the bank, more than 4 times as much as the $62.2 million Biden and the DNC had in March. -- Bill Allison

Reade Team Asks Biden to Open Delaware Archives (4:47 p.m.)

An attorney for Tara Reade asked Democratic nominee Joe Biden to authorize a search of his archives of Senate papers at the University of Delaware for records related to Reade’s accusation that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993.

“Given that you have repeatedly made a blanket denial of any knowledge of any complaint made by Ms. Reade against you, I am sure you would agree that we all deserve to know whether there are, in fact, any records that corroborate Ms. Reade’s allegations in your Archives,” Reade lawyer Doug Wigdor said in the letter. “To be frank, we cannot see any legitimate basis to preclude a simple search of the Archives for documents related to Ms. Reade, and see no reason why an efficient, diligent and fair search of the Archives cannot be completed in short order.”

Reade said during her first televised interview last week that Biden should acknowledge her claim is true and quit the 2020 presidential race.

Biden has denied Reade’s claim. She says that when she worked for his Senate office in 1993, he pushed her against a wall in a Capitol Hill office building, put his hand up her skirt and sexually assaulted her with his fingers.

Biden has called on the National Archives and the Senate to release any relevant documents, but has insisted his papers housed at the University of Delaware, which are held in private until he leaves public life, do not include personnel records. -- Jeffrey Taylor

Trump Ties Biden to China in Swing State Ads

President Donald Trump’s campaign is seeking to tie presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to China in a series of ads that debuted on Monday in swing states.

Trump’s campaign announced it had purchased a $10 million ad buy focused on Biden and started airing ads in key battleground states Michigan and Florida on Monday morning, according to Advertisting Analytics. The ads both blame China for the health and economic damage from the coronavirus and argue that Biden has taken the wrong posture toward the world’s second-largest economy for decades.

In an ad that started airing Monday in Michigan, the narrator notes that Biden criticized Trump’s January move to restrict travel from China and that “for 40 years, Biden’s been wrong on China, supporting trade deals that destroy American jobs, giving China most-favored nation status, letting China walk all over us.”

In an ad airing in the Fort Meyers, Florida, area, a narrator says that “coronavirus infected millions, crushed the world economy. One nation deserves the blame: China. They lied about it, covered it up. Joe Biden coddles China.” Another ad, playing in Jacksonville, Florida, shows a clip of Biden saying “the growth of China is overwhelmingly in our interest.”

Separately, Trump’s campaign is scheduled to hold a virtual event Tuesday evening entitled “Beijing Biden,” featuring Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington and a Trump adviser known for his critical view of China, as well as K.T. McFarland, former deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration.

Trump has faced mounting criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that’s sickened 1.3 million Americans, killed more than 79,000 people and paralyzed the U.S. economy, once the centerpiece of the president’s case for re-election. Internal polling has shown that Americans have a large appetite for a tougher stance toward China in the wake of the pandemic. -- Mario Parker

Sanders Wants Progressives in Biden’s Cabinet

Bernie Sanders said Monday he has been advising Joe Biden on selecting progressives to join his cabinet if the presumptive Democratic nominee is elected president in November.

“I’ve talked to Joe on a couple of cases trying to move him in a more progressive direction,” Sanders said in a streamed interview with the Washington Post. “I hope very much that Joe will take a hard look at some of the leading progressives in this country.”

Sanders declined to give any names but said several representatives in the House Progressive Caucus would be strong cabinet secretaries. Sanders, who has suspended his campaign and endorsed the former vice president, is still keeping his name on the ballot in upcoming primaries in an effort to collect delegates to push Biden’s agenda in a more progressive direction at the convention.

Biden has been criticized on the left for bringing on former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to advise on economic policy. Two prominent progressive organizations, Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement, both called on Biden to exclude Summers from his transition team or administration, saying he was too soft on Wall Street in the response to the 2008-2009 recession when he served as director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama.

Sanders said he has also advised Biden on his response to the coronavirus pandemic. “What I have been taking to him about very strongly is his need to respond vigorously not to the moment that we are in but to make the American people understand that, unlike Trump, we are hearing the pain that is out there,” Sanders said. “That is what I think Joe has got to be doing and as we look to the future.” -- Emma Kinery

Coming up:

Oregon is to hold its Democratic primary on May 19. The state has conducted all statewide contests by mail since 1998.

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