SPRINGFIELD, MAINE — Phillip McWilliams is a 62-year-old billionaire financier from Maine. He is a self-described “free market capitalist” and is a lifelong Republican, and after watching him win in New Hampshire, he’s realized that it’s quite possible the Vermont Independent could ride that wave of momentum to the White House, he’s looking to buy off some “regular people” so they can in-turn buy off Bernie Sanders.
“He doesn’t have a SuperPAC, and the overwhelming majority of his donations are $27 or less,” McWilliams told reporters at a press conference outside his office, “which leads me to believe the key to corrupting — excuse me, influencing — Bernie is to use his weak spot: the American working class.” McWilliams had previously donated to the failed campaigns of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Rick Santorum, both of whom have since dropped out, and he says that seeing Marco Rubio sputter and fail has led him to “face reality” and reckon with not only a Democrat winning in the fall, but a democratic socialist to boot.
McWilliams told reporters he’d “pay any sum to any Tom, Dick, or Harry that will turn around and buy off Bernie.” There is no amount of money that he won’t spend to secure the allegiance of a few million working class Sanders supporters, he told the press, even if he has to “buy off every single Bernie Bot, Bernie Bro, Bernie-Ette, Bernie Bernie Bo-Bernie, or other Bernie supporter you can think of.”
“Bernie got almost 150,000 votes in New Hampshire, and Donald Trump got less than 100,000,” McWilliams said, “which means if voter turnout the rest of the way stays like that, Sanders could conceivably take the nomination and the White House. I’m going to have to bribe a lot of poor people.”
One reporter asked McWilliams if he thinks it’s less expensive to just take the tax hike from a Sanders administration’s budget negotiation than it is to spend billions of dollars trying to influence people to vote for someone else.
“I’ve thought about that, sure,” McWilliams said, “and it does seem crazy that I’d spend hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid having my taxes go up by much, much less than that. But still, I have an ideological hill to die on here, and that’s not letting government be effective. As soon as people see it can actually work, my rhetoric goes out the window, you see.”
Mr. McWilliams said that as a back up plan, if he can’t find enough “average Schmoes” to pay off in the hopes they’ll pay off Sanders, he’ll “go buy an android and program them to be a better candidate than anyone the GOP has right now.” Then, after seeing a replay of Sen. Marco Rubio’s disastrous debate performance from the other night, McWilliams sighed.
“Never mind. Rubio ruined me on robots,” McWilliams said. He lit a cigar with a hundred dollar bill, dabbed a tear with his dividend reports and ended the press conference.