Trump willing to spend $100m on race

By Reuters, 11/29/99

ASHINGTON - Donald Trump, the billionaire real-estate mogul, said yesterday that he would spend close to $100 million of his own money on a presidential campaign if he decided to run as the Reform Party candidate.

''It's really a decision as to whether or not I can win the whole thing,'' Trump said on CNN's ''Late Edition.'' ''And if I think I can win the whole thing, we will probably decide come February to run.''

Trump, whose net worth is said to be about $5 billion, filed in October to join the Reform Party, founded in 1995 by Texan businessman H. Ross Perot, and announced he had formed a committee to explore a 2000 White House bid.

Since then, he said, he has met with party leaders and taken the necessary steps to prepare for a possible candidacy.

But Trump said he would wait and ''look at the odds'' before deciding.

''If I decide to run, I would spend close to $100 million for my campaign ... of my own money. And I guess you have $13 million sitting in the Reform Party,'' Trump said.

''I think that you are going to have to spend a great deal of money in order to get elected, especially coming out of the Reform Party, which has a big disadvantage, because it hasn't been there very long. So a lot of money is going to have to be spent. If I spend the money, I think I could win.''

Trump's only declared opponent for the Reform Party nomination is conservative television commentator Pat Buchanan, who recently left the GOP.