It seems like an offer that even Donald Trump couldn’t refuse: debate Ted Cruz before the Iowa caucuses and Cruz donors will give $1.5 million to veterans groups.
That at least was the thinking of Toby Neugebauer, a 45-year old Texas billionaire and son of U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, who made the offer with New York financier Robert Mercer. Both are Cruz supporters who are behind Super PACs that back the Texas senator.
Neugebauer put up $10 million and said he raised more funding for a total of $38 million for four pro-Cruz Super PACs, which have variations on the name Keep the Promise. Super PACS operates independently but can spend unlimited amounts supporting a candidate.
As of Thursday evening, Neugebauer told the Star-Telegram by phone from Puerto Rico, where he lives, “The only response has been his Twitter banter.”
But Neugebauer, who said Trump could pick his own moderators or have a town hall format with no moderator, isn’t giving up easily. “That’s the debate everybody wants to see: the debate between Trump and Cruz.” And he thinks it’s to Trump’s benefit to participate.
Plus, he added: “Donald Trump saying no today doesn’t mean he’s going to say no tomorrow.”
Maria Recio: 202-383-6103, @maria_e_recio