Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump elaborated on a cryptic warning he issued to the Ricketts family in February, suggesting he would take ads out saying they’re doing a “rotten job” with the Chicago Cubs.
“I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately,” Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post editorial board.
Asked if he would launch those attack ads as the president, Trump responded, “No, not while I am president.”
In February, Trump via Twitter denounced a super political action committee opposing his campaign that is primarily funded by Marlene Ricketts, whose family owns the Cubs.
I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Asked by the Post what he meant, Trump first said, “I don’t know these people. Those Ricketts.”
“I actually said they ought to focus on the Chicago Cubs and, you know, stop playing around. They spent millions of dollars fighting me in Florida,” Trump said.
“I’ll start spending on them. I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that?”
Trump’s initial Twitter post apparently was in response to a story noting that Ricketts, the family matriarch who lives in Nebraska, had put $3 million into the Our Principles PAC in January. The PAC had spent about $3.5 million in ads, mailings and other efforts to oppose Trump, federal records showed in February.
Asked to respond to Trump’s latest comments, a spokesman for the family referred to team Chairman Tom Ricketts’ response last month.
“We stand up for what we believe in,” Ricketts said then. “We support the causes we think are important. That is what America should be.”
Marlene Ricketts is married to Joe Ricketts, the billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder. In October 2009, the couple formed a trust on behalf of their family that acquired a 95 percent controlling interest in the Cubs and Wrigley Field. Both Marlene and Joe Ricketts are conservatives, and son Pete is governor of Nebraska.
(h/t Chicago Tribune)
It is very concerned when a candidate who is running for the President of the United States of America is willing to throw his weight at people who oppose him politically. Todd Ricketts summed it up best, “It’s a little surreal when Donald Trump threatens your mom.”
While Trump said he’s ready to criticize the family over how the Cubs are run, the team made it to the National League championship series last year and is considered by many as a World Series contender this year.
Forbes magazine valued the Cubs at $1.8 billion in 2015, ranking them 17th out of all sports franchises in the world, and the fifth highest in all Major League Baseball. The Cubs attendance for the 2015 regular season was 2,959,812, up over 300,000 from the previous year.
As of June, the Chicago Cubs are 1st place in National League Central.
Not the definition of “rotten.”