Attention, voters: Donald Trump is refusing to brag ... again.
In a chest-beating letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker Wednesday, the 2016 Republican presidential front-runner asked the cable network to forgo all of its advertising profits for next week’s GOP primary debate and instead donate the money to veterans’ groups.
The letter follows a report from AdAge revealing that CNN is asking 40 times its normal advertising rates for commercial time during the prime-time debate, which airs exclusively on CNN on Sept. 16. The report, which cited an anonymous media buyer, said the cable network is asking as much as $200,000 for a 30-second spot.
Trump’s letter, sent to Zucker by the candidate’s campaign and tweeted out by Trump himself, noted that the first Republican debate on Aug. 6 scored record ratings for Fox News with 24 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-sports cable telecast in history. Trump, of course, took full credit for the bump.
“While I refuse to brag, and as you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising is due to 100% ‘Donald J. Trump,’” he wrote.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2015
Trump went on to suggest that CNN take a cue from his self-funded campaign. Rather than rake in ad revenue, he wrote, CNN should donate the extra cash to veterans’ groups:
“I am self funding my campaign -- I do not want money from lobbyists, donors or special interest groups. Likewise, you should view the second debate broadcast as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate. I believe that all profits from this broadcast should go to various VETERANS groups, a list of which I will send you in the near future. The veterans of our country, our finest people, have been treated horribly by our government and its “all talk and no action” politicians. In fact, some would say they are treated like third class citizens -- even worse, in many cases, than illegal immigrants. It’s about time that someone comes to their aid. Let’s start now!”
A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The latest Marist Poll shows Trump with a commanding lead over his many GOP rivals, with 28 percent in New Hampshire and 29 percent in Iowa. Next week’s debate will air on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT and will be moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper.