Pop superstar Taylor Swift is known for being generous to her fans. But is she charitable enough to help Washington pay interest on the national debt?
The #squad at the Republican Party of Florida asked (and answered) the question with a viral image on theirFacebook page on Oct. 29, 2015, the same week Swift was in the Sunshine State for concerts in Miami and Tampa.
"How many concerts would Taylor Swift have to perform to pay off one day of interest on our national debt? She would have to perform every day for three years," the post read.
We just couldn’t shake it off. We wondered, would it take three years or more for the biggest pop star in the country to pay off the interest on the national debt, playing a concert every single night? We checked to see if it would be possible, even in our wildest dreams.
Near the statue of Daniel Webster below the gold-domed Capitol in Concord, N.H., Donald Trump showed up today to file his paperwork to be on the ballot of the country's first-in-the-nation primary. He wasted no time ripping into Marco Rubio over his use of Florida GOP credit cards for personal use while a leader in the Florida Legislature.
"Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances, he has a disaster on his credit cards. When you check his credit cards take a look at what he has done with the Republican Party when he had access, what he had to put back in, and whether or not something should have happened," Trump said in answer to a question about today's Tampa Bay Times story concerning the Rubio campaign's plans to release previously undisclosed credit card statements. "You’ll understand it. Marco Rubio has a basic disaster on finance. See what you find let’s see what kind of reporter you are,"
Then he noted that a New York hedge fund billionaire has put himself behind Rubio's campaign.
"Paul Singer represents amnesty. And he represents illegal immigration pouring into the country, and now he's with Rubio," Trump[ said "Rubio was very in favor of very, very lax rules, He was a member of the gang of eight. the gang of eight means come on in, folks, come on into the country, nobody's going to stop you. Now Rubio's surging in New Hampshire? I don't think so. When you find out the truth about Rubio, you'll check his credit cards from Florida, and you're going to find out how does he feel about illegal immigration."
Both Rubio and Jeb Bush were also campaigning in New Hampshire today, and Trump did not ignore the struggling former Florida governor.
"I watched him: 'I'm not an entertainer.' He goes, 'I'm not a good talker. I don't speak well. I don't debate well. I don't do anything well'. That's Jeb Bush. Why would you say these things? This is what's going to negotiate with China? This is what's going to negotiate with Iran?"
"Is he still running?" one of Trump's supporters shouted from in back of him.
"Rubio's going down next," the candidate responded.
Marco Rubio on Wednesday defended his use of a GOP American Express card -- noting on Good Morning American that it’s not a “credit card” -- and said that his campaign would release his statements soon.
“Every expense on that card is detailed in the Republican Party accounts … with the reports that they have to file with the state,” he said. “It doesn’t say who they belong to, but every expense is on there, and as we’ve said, we’ll release those reports soon.”
Rubio said he made payments on personal items monthly, but records show otherwise and Rubio made no contributions over a six-month span in 2007. Rubio also sought to explain why he liquidated a retirement account, though host George Stephanopoulos noted a refigerator is a "living expense."
Rubio also rebutted questions on Fox News, saying his personal finances make him qualified to understand everyday concerns.
It has become legend in Florida political circles, a missing chapter in Marco Rubio’s convoluted financial story: two years of credit card transactions from his time in the state House, when he and other Republican leaders freely spent party money.
Details about the spending, which included repairs for Rubio’s family minivan, emerged in his 2010 U.S. Senate race. But voters got only half the story because the candidate refused to disclose additional records.
Now Sen. Rubio’s past is under fresh scrutiny as he emerges as a top presidential prospect. During last week’s debate he deflected questions about his financial discipline — most recently, he liquidated a retirement account — but those questions will only intensify.
“For years I’ve been hearing that his credit cards are a disaster,” Donald Trump said Tuesday during a news conference in New York City.
“It’s fair game,” Jeb Bush said as he campaigned in New Hampshire, noting the party never gave him a credit card.
The Tampa Bay Times asked Rubio’s team for the records in June and again in early October.
A top strategist, Todd Harris, said Tuesday they would be released soon, possibly within the month, but declined to answer questions about what they might contain.
The Republican Party of Florida said Friday that the dinner to inaugurate its big presidential summit next month is sold out, with more than 950 people buying tickets to attend.
The Nov. 12 Statesman Dinner will feature former Vice President Dick Cheney. It will be held in Orlando for the Sunshine Summit, a two-day showcase for 12 GOP presidential contenders.
"This is an exciting time as Republicans across Florida come together for our Party's Annual Statesman dinner," RPOF said in a statement. "The road to the White House goes through Florida, and our grassroots leaders and volunteers are ready to continue building the resources and grassroots organization needed to make 2016 successful for Republicans."
For the second consecutive quarter, fundraising for the Republican Party of Florida continued to slump as infighting within the legislative ranks led senators and Gov. Rick Scott to continue to steer donors to separate political committees.
The party, now controlled primarily by House leaders led by incoming House speaker Richard Corcoran, raised a meager $2.2 million in July through September, up from the $1.9 million in the last quarter – the lowest level in six years, but down from the $5.1 million raised during the comparable third quarter two years ago.
RPOF expenditures for the quarter were $1.6 million, including $335,000 to reimburse Corcoran operative Michael J. Blair for undisclosed expenditures. As the speaker-designate of the Florida House, Corcoran heads the re-election efforts for House Republicans for 2016.
The Florida Democratic Party raised $638,000 for the third quarter, by contrast, and spent $484,000.
Senate Republicans collectively raised significantly more cash, receiving $2 million for their Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee for the quarter while the front-runners for Senate president -- Sens. Joe Negron and Jack Latvala, collectively raised more than $1 million more.
The rivalry between Negron and Latvala, however, is exacerbated by the feud between the House and the Senate that prompted Senate leaders to operate their fundraising separately from the party.
The warring began in January when Senate Republicans pulled $580,000 they had raised for the party from the RPOF accounts after state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill took over as party chairman. The simmering tensions between the two Republican-led chambers also led to a stalemate over Medicaid expansion in the regular session and a divisive special session on redistricting in August.
Here are the top third quarter contributors to the RPOF, as well as September totals of the top legislative committees:
The Republican Party of Florida announced Monday that two more presidential contenders will attend a November conference.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul confirmed their attendance, bringing to eight the number of GOP candidates who have said they'll be at the two-day Sunshine Summit in Orlando.
"As our list of participating candidates continues to grow, we are excited to welcome Gov. Christie and Sen. Paul to the Sunshine Summit in Orlando," RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. "With eight candidates announced to attend, and more to come, the Sunshine Summit is turning out to be the can't-miss event of the primary election."
The other candidates who have RSVP'ed are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and developer Donald Trump.