Jeb Bush has been spending big as he criss-crosses the country touting his plans for the U.S. if he becomes its newest president. While private planes and high-priced dinners aren’t out of the ordinary for presidential candidates, many donors are concerned over Bush’s current spending spree.
Bush’s campaign, through his own war chest and his super PAC, Right to Rise, has spent at least $82 million in operating costs through the third quarter of 2015 and on advertising through this month, reported Reuters. Nearly $1.2 million alone was spent on private planes. For comparison, Hillary Clinton spent $700,000 and Ted Cruz spent $158,000 on private planes over the same time period. Updated spending figures will be revealed Sunday when the latest campaign finance reports are released.
Some of Bush’s donors are concerned about the big ticket spending, according to interviews conducted by Reuters. Eleven of 16 major donors raised concerns about the spending. One said bluntly: “They are burning money.”
“Look, this is not the election cycle to be spending like a silver-spoon establishment candidate,” another donor told Reuters. “It just doesn’t look right.”
The concerns are especially heightened as Bush, once a front-runner, has fallen steeply in recent polls. Some are even questioning if he should drop out of the race.
Bush’s team has strongly refuted the claims that his campaign is spending lavishly. Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campell said the sums were justified and the team has “made investments that have allowed us to do what serious campaigns must do to be competitive.”
Right to Rise governance committee member, Jeanne Phillips, also shrugged off the criticism. “The idea that Jeb would allow anyone around him to be frivolous with money is hilarious–it’s ridiculous,” she said.
Right to Rise has paid for the majority of Bush’s campaign advertising, while Bush campaign funds have covered his lodging and travel.
Read more about Bush’s campaign spending and donor concerns at Reuters.com.