While Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have raised $144.4 million and $63.1 million respectively for the 2016 presidential election, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said Friday that he will not need to spend any money to be reelected for his fourteenth term in the House.
"I don't think I'd need to spend a nickel to get elected," Peterson said to the Forum Editorial Board. "I've never been as popular as I am now."
The 71-year-old has represented Minnesota's 7th district for 13 terms, making him 32nd in seniority among the House's 435 members, the Grand Forks Herald reported.
While Peterson's boast was most likely theoretical, the National Republican Congressional Committee is holding him to his word.
"Unless Peterson flip flops, this means Peterson for Congress won't spend a 'nickel' on campaign staff, yard signs, television advertising, or anything else until November 9, 2016," according to an NRCC press release.
The press release also suggests that Peterson ask "Democratic outside groups" to spend their money in endeavors more plausible than in "Democrats' nearly impossible task of winning a House majority."
"It's time for Collin Peterson to put his money where his mouth is and lock down his campaign bank account," NRCC spokesman Zach Hunter said. "If Peterson is so ready to take the voters of the 7th District for granted, he needs to walk the walk, not just talk the talk."
Hunter said Peterson's campaign was "anemic" as he brought in only $141,000 in donations in the recent reporting period, Grand Forks Herald reported. Hunter also said the congressman should retire before losing in the next election.
"After yet another bad fundraising quarter, Collin Peterson simply refuses to take himself off the retirement watch list," said the NRCC's Hunter. "Democrats are moving left, and Peterson knows full-well that he will find himself caught between a far-left liberal at the top of the ticket and Republican voters in the 7th District."