(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is trying to put a positive spin on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s wide fundraising advantage weeks before the election, telling supporters that he could raise money quickly if he needed to but he doesn’t want to be beholden to donors.
Trump’s campaign, long a fundraising juggernaut that touted its success as a sign of voter enthusiasm, has been eclipsed in recent months. Trump acknowledged the gap on the campaign trail Saturday.
“Biden is raising a lot of money because they’re promising all these things to all these people,” the president said at a rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Saturday.
“I could have more money. the problem is, if you do that, when they call you in two months, three months, four months because they need something, you’ve got to take their call and you’ve got to do it,” he said.
Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $247.8 million in September, their best month in the campaign but well short of the record $383 million raised by Biden last month.
The September haul left the Biden campaign with $432 million in the bank at the end of last month, compared with $251.4 million for the Trump team. Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said Friday that he was on track to raise another $234 million before Election Day.
Trump has maintained close ties with big Republican donors, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, who have donated $75 million to a pro-Trump super-PAC.
Still, Trump downplayed the gap with Biden. “I would be the greatest fund-raiser in the history of politics, but if you don’t mind, we don’t need the money and we won’t do it that way,” he said in Wisconsin.
The Biden camp’s affluence is a reversal from April, when Trump enjoyed a huge lead in cash, with $255 million in the bank compared to $98 million for Biden and the DNC. But the unprecedented back-to-back months in August and September put the Democrat far ahead.
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