Trump super PAC reserves millions in airtime in key states

Oct 7, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 5:48 pm
FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Sept. 17, 202...

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Sept. 17, 2022. Trump is finally opening his checkbook and reserving millions of dollars in airtime for ads to bolster his endorsed candidates in key midterm races just one month before Election Day. Trump’s newly-formed MAGA Inc. Super PAC has so far placed reservations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arizona, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar, File)

(AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is finally opening his checkbook, reserving millions of dollars in airtime for ads to bolster his endorsed candidates in key midterm races just one month before Election Day.

Trump’s newly-formed MAGA Inc. super PAC will begin airing ads Saturday in Nevada, Georgia and Arizona, according to Medium Buying, an ad tracking firm. The group is already airing ads in Pennsylvania and Ohio, home to two of the most consequential and competitive Senate races in the country.

The Georgia spending is particularly notable, coming as Trump’s hand-picked Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign has been rocked by reports alleging he encouraged and paid for an ex-girlfriend’s 2009 abortion. Walker, a longtime football icon, backed a national ban on abortion during his primary, and has said he does not believe in exceptions even in cases of rape, incest or when the health of a pregnant woman is at risk.

The Trump ad set to air in Georgia, which was shared with The Associated Press, does not include any mention of Walker. Instead it focuses on his rival, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, and tries to cast Warnock and his party as too extreme.

“From D-Day to drag queen story time, America has lost its way,” its narrator says. “Chaos at the border. Crime in our neighborhoods. A collapsing economy. Biden and Warnock did that,” it claims.

In total, the super PAC appears to have spent close to $5 million on its initial investment. That includes $954,000 in Georgia, $512,000 in Nevada and $1.16 million in Arizona, according to Medium Buying, in addition to $1.34 million in Ohio and $829,000 in Pennsylvania, according to AdImpact, another ad tracking firm.

MAGA Inc. spokesman Steven Cheung declined to say how much additional spending Trump had planned beyond the initial reservations. “We’re not going to telegraph our spending but it’s a significant buy,” he said.

The super PAC’s first wave of ads are all negative spots aimed at turning voters off the Democratic rivals of Trump-endorsed candidates. The first attacked Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman, who is running against Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, by portraying Fetterman as soft on crime.

“John Fetterman wants ruthless killers, muggers and rapists back on our streets,” it charges, labeling the lieutenant governor “dangerous.”

The second targeted Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan for voting with his party as a member of Congress, using footage from a speech in which he joked that he would “suck up a little bit” to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, “his future boss.” Ryan, who is running against Trump-endorsed Republican JD Vance, has run as centrist trying to win back the Rust Belt voters who have soured on the party in recent years.

The ads released so far notably do not feature or even mention Trump, who remains a deeply divisive figure, but one who is extremely popular with the Republican base.

Trump had been under growing pressure to finally start spending on midterm races after playing an outsize role in the primaries and pushing his favored candidates. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in particular, had urged candidates with Trump’s support to ask him to open his checkbook heading into the race’s final stretch.

The notoriously thrifty former president’s Save America PAC, his main fundraising vehicle since leaving office, ended August with more than $90 million in the bank. Trump aides have discussed transferring a portion of that money to MAGA Inc., which could later be used to support a presidential campaign should Trump decide to run again, though campaign finance experts are divided on the legality of such a move.

Trump has continued to tease another presidential run, telling supporters at a rally in Warren, Michigan, last weekend, “We’ll be talking about great things hopefully in the not so distant future.”

“Oh I think you’re going to be happy,” he went on to say. “But first we have to win a historic victory for the Republican Party this November.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Today in History: December 4, the “Million Dollar Quartet”

Today in History Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2022. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. […]
23 hours ago
A Palestinian flag and a poster showing Ammar Adili, 22, who was shot and killed by an Israeli bord...
Associated Press

Palestinians say killing caught on video was unjustified

HAWARA, West Bank (AP) — A makeshift sidewalk memorial with a Palestinian flag and a mourning notice paid tribute Saturday to a 22-year-old Palestinian whose death at the hands of an Israeli border police officer — four pistol shots from close range — was captured on widely shared amateur video. A day after the shooting […]
23 hours ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
23 hours ago
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduces the B-21 Raider stealth at Northrop Grumman Friday, De...
Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it. This past week more than 20 Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Family says coyote attacked toddler outside LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coyote ambushed and injured a 2-year old girl outside her Los Angeles home in a daytime attack before her father chased the animal off, her family said. Home security video obtained by KTLA-TV shows the animal grab and drag the toddler across her lawn and sidewalk, just seconds after her […]
23 hours ago
FILE -  Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz, speaks during a press conference at the American University of Beir...
Associated Press

Longtime Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe dies at 80

PHOENIX (AP) — Jim Kolbe, a Republican congressman who represented a heavily Democratic region of Arizona for more than two decades and was a proponent of gay rights, has died. He was 80. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that Kolbe died Saturday. Ducey ordered flags lowered until sunset Sunday. Kolbe served in […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Trump super PAC reserves millions in airtime in key states