- Trump plans to spend campaign money in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina
- "We don't want to take any chances. We are too close," Trump told reporters Monday
Trump told reporters Tuesday that he will begin his first major paid media campaign, which he has refused to do despite large advertising buys from his Republican rivals and the super PACs supporting them, next month. Trump, who has no authorized outside group independently backing him, appears to be finally paying heed to polls that show the GOP race tightening in Iowa.
"When I see a 40, and I see a 12 or a 13 in second, I see no reason to spend," Trump said of some recent national poll numbers on board his campaign plane. "But I feel I should spend. And honestly, I don't want to take any chances."
Trump told the media before his evening rally in Iowa that the $2 million a week would feature messages on border security, trade and protecting the nation from the threat of ISIS. The Republican front-runner said he had seen the first few commercials already.
"My campaign for president is $35,000,000 under budget, I have spent very little (and am in 1st place). Now I will spend big in Iowa/N.H./S.C.," Trump tweeted earlier on Tuesday.
The billionaire businessman said on Monday that the spending spree would begin next Monday.
"Starting around January 4 we're spending a lot of money," he told reporters following a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire. "The press is hearing this for the first time, they're probably gonna go crazy."
Trump pledged on Tuesday to return fire with a flurry of negative ads if anyone aired spots attacking him -- though he did not say whether any of his upcoming spots planned to be negative themselves.
Recent polls have showed a one-on-one race in Iowa with Ted Cruz, who, along with his allies, also has spent fairly little on television advertising. Before his event in Iowa and on Twitter, Trump continued to take digs at the advertising strategy of a primary rival: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"So, I have spent almost nothing on my run for president and am in 1st place. Jeb Bush has spent $59 million & done. Run country my way!" Trump tweeted.