Trump hosts swanky fundraiser in Florida in bid to match Biden

Palm Beach, Florida- Donald Trump is holding a major fundraising event in Florida on Saturday, hoping to lay down a new marker in a swaggering, high-stakes race for large donations with Joe Biden.

Donald Trump (r.) aims to top Joe Biden's recent fundraising with a billionaire-backed event in Florida on Saturday.
Donald Trump (r.) aims to top Joe Biden's recent fundraising with a billionaire-backed event in Florida on Saturday.  © Collage: WIN MCNAMEE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & Elijah Nouvelage / AFP

While spending huge sums of money on campaigning may not be something to brag about in some countries, in the US, it's a source of pride for candidates.

And this year, raising big campaign bucks is as important as ever, with the November 5 presidential election expected to be the most expensive electoral cycle in the country's history.

The Republican former president and the Democratic incumbent have been locked in a battle to outraise each other in recent months, boasting about new cash raised in statements to the press.

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Biden (81) raised the stakes – quite literally – at the end of March, when a large dinner reception in New York brought him $25 million, a record haul, according to his team.

Trump (77) will attempt to raise nearly twice as much at the Florida fundraiser on Saturday evening – between $43 and $50 million, according to US media.

The event is being organized by billionaire John Paulson, one of the few financiers who were able to cash in on the 2008-2009 financial crisis by betting on the collapse of the real estate market.

The fundraiser will be held in Palm Beach, not far from Donald Trump's luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump aims to top Biden with billionaire-lead fundraising bash

Donald Trump is charging nearly $1 million for a seat at his table at Saturday's fundraising event.
Donald Trump is charging nearly $1 million for a seat at his table at Saturday's fundraising event.  © SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The guest list will include businessman Robert Bigelow, who made a fortune in the hotel industry before launching an aerospace research company, and John Catsimatidis, owner of a major grocery store chain. Both are major Republican donors.

Some of Trump's former Republican rivals will also be in attendance, including Senator Tim Scott, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. After suspending their presidential campaigns, the politicians have fully endorsed Trump, hoping for a job in his administration were he to return to the White House.

According to the Washington Post, a seat at Trump's table costs $814,600.

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Such astronomical sums are used to finance candidates' travel, pay their aides, commission opinion polls, and the costliest of all – television ads.

Biden, who portrays himself as a product and champion of the middle class, was quick to criticize Trump's fundraiser.

"While Trump is raising money from a bunch of hedge fund billionaires, our grassroots campaign raised $187M this quarter because of folks like you," he said on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.

At the moment, Biden's campaign has more in its coffers than Trump's, as the former president faces mounting legal fees stemming from multiple court cases and criminal and civil investigations.

Biden's campaign was happy to point that out, referring to Trump as "Broke Don" in a recent statement about the billionaire, who himself is known for using mean nicknames.

Cover photo: Collage: WIN MCNAMEE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & Elijah Nouvelage / AFP

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