President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are flying together on Air Force One to a campaign event in North Carolina.
Given that the only reason for the president’s visit to The Tar Heel State is his effort to see that Clinton becomes his successor in the White House, the obvious question becomes, who’s footing the bill?
The was a question Clinton’s Republican counterpart — Donald Trump — was only too happy to ask.
Why is President Obama allowed to use Air Force One on the campaign trail with Crooked Hillary? She is flying with him tomorrow. Who pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016
The travel expenses are actually split between the candidate’s party and the taxpayers, and it was a question that was posed to the White House. Time magazine political correspondent Zeke Miller tweeted:
From White House official on who pays for Clinton trip pic.twitter.com/PZJIiQcEQv
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 4, 2016
The cost of flying Air Force One for political travel is divided between the federal government (using taxpayer dollars) and the candidate’s political organization. Because Obama is traveling to Charlotte solely for the purpose of stumping for Clinton, her campaign (or the Democratic National Committee) would have to foot a portion of the bill whether the candidate was aboard or not.
The exact breakdown of how much the campaign will owe, however, isn’t precisely known. In 2012, when Obama was running for re-election, his campaign reimbursed the government millions of dollars for Air Force One travel based on a pro-rated share of an equivalent-sized charter plane.
Not only must the candidate reimburse the government, but so must those traveling with him, including security personnel, but it’s far less than the over $200,000 per hour actual operating costs of flying Air Force One.
For the most part, both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush stayed away from using Air Force One for electioneering purposes. President Obama isn’t quite so shy, however, and used the official aircraft heavily when campaigning for his own re-election.
It’s just like every other lawless banana republic method they use, @markknoller.
Put it on the Underhill’s account.
— VACUOUS CIPHER (@THE_DAILY_BLEAT) July 4, 2016
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