Admit it, GOP. Trump’s legal woes make him an unviable candidate.

Published August 1, 2023

The Washington Post

The revelation that Donald Trump’s political action committee spent more than $40 million on legal fees in the first half of 2023 does more than cast doubt on the former president’s ability to run a competitive primary campaign. It provides yet another reason why Republican voters should reject his candidacy if he does not drop out first.

Running for president requires more than charisma and a few rallies. It requires time and money — and lots of it. Candidates must constantly be on the road stumping for votes. They also need support from the modern apparatus that places digital and television ads and identifies persuadable voters that can cast ballots for them.

This is especially true when running against an incumbent who can count on a united party for support. President Biden, along with the national Democratic Party and its state counterparts, will raise billions of dollars to crush whoever rises as his opponent. In 2020, Biden’s campaign and affiliated outside groups spent $1.6 billion while the Democratic National Committee and state and local parties spent another $1 billion. A cash-strapped candidate would not stand a chance against this onslaught.

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Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was the Thomas W. Smith distinguished scholar in residence at Arizona State University for the winter/spring 2023 semester.

Picture from Unsplash

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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