The two leading Democratic presidential candidates are crushing the fractured GOP field in the money race, according to fourth-quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission released Sunday. Leading all candidates in the last quarter was Hillary Clinton, who brought in $37.4 million, plus another $56.3 million raised in 2015 by her super PAC, Priorities USA Action (including $6 million from George Soros). The Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) campaign wasn't far behind, raising $33.6 million in the last quarter, plus, the campaign said Sunday, another $20 million in January, mostly from small donations. The nurses union super PAC backing Sanders raised $2.2 million in the second half of 2015.
On the Republican side, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson had the best quarter, hauling in $22.6 million — but 85 percent of that was raised before Nov. 13, when his poll numbers started to slide as the Paris terrorist attack shifted the GOP's focus to terrorism and foreign policy. Sen. Ted Cruz came in second in the GOP fourth-quarter money race, raising $20.5 million. The frontrunner in the GOP polls, Donald Trump, raised $13.6 million in the last quarter, though about $10 million of that was a loan from Trump to his campaign. Here's a look at how much the major candidates raised in the final three months of 2015 and, in parentheses, the amount of cash they had on hand as of Dec. 31.
Hillary Clinton: $37.4 million ($38 million)
Bernie Sanders: $33.6 million ($28 million)
Ben Carson: $22.6 million ($6.6 million)
Ted Cruz: $20.5 million ($18.7 million)
Marco Rubio: $14.2 million ($10.4 million)
Donald Trump: $13.6 million ($7 million)
Jeb Bush: $7.1 milion ($7.6 million)
John Kasich: $3.2 million ($2.5 million)
Chris Christie: $3 million ($1.1 million)
Carly Fiorina: $2.9 million ($4.5 million)
Rand Paul: $2.1 million ($1.3 million)
Martin O'Malley: $1.5 million ($0.2 million)
None of the other candidates raised more than $1 million last quarter. Mike Huckabee scared up $700,000, and Rick Santorum raised less than $250,000, including a $24,000 loan he gave his campaign on Dec. 29. Santorum reported $43,000 cash on hand, but debts totaling $167,000. Peter Weber
George H.W. Bush to be moved out of ICU, former first lady Barbara Bush discharged from the hospital
Former President George H.W. Bush could be discharged from the hospital as soon as the end of this week, after he was admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist hospital last Wednesday. "If everything continues at the pace of improvement we're currently enjoying, I would imagine … a Friday discharge might be a little bit optimistic, but Friday or over the weekend," said Dr. Clint Doerr, one of the doctors treating Bush, per The Washington Examiner.
Bush, who was hospitalized last week for "shortness of breath," will be transferred Monday from the intensive care unit of Houston Methodist Hospital to another wing of the hospital, Bush's doctor said. The former president was being treated for pneumonia.
Meanwhile, former first lady Barbara Bush has been discharged and is reportedly "back to her normal self." She was also hospitalized last week after coming down with bronchitis.
President Trump admitted Monday at a White House meeting with business leaders that he was "surprised" by his administration's plans to cut regulations. "A bigger thing, and that surprised me, is the fact that we are going to be cutting regulation massively. Now we are going to have regulation and it will be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now," Trump told executives from companies including Dell, Lockheed Martin, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, and SpaceX, among others. "The problem with the regulation you have right now is that you can't do anything."
Trump indicated his administration plans to slash regulations "by 75 percent" or "maybe more." Trump also noted his plans to cut taxes "massively for both the middle class and for companies" by an estimated 15 or 20 percent, and reiterated that any company that moves abroad will face "a very major border tax." Becca Stanek
The end is nigh! At least, according to some of the richest Americans. For wealthy Silicon Valley tycoons, one form of insurance could be staking out a place in the Survival Condo Project, a luxury bunker built in a former missile silo outside of Wichita, Kansas, The New Yorker reports.
In addition to an "adult time-out room" and a dentist chair, the silo also contains some comforts of home:
Some levels are dedicated to private apartments and others offer shared amenities: a seventy-five-foot-long pool, a rock-climbing wall, an Astro-Turf "pet park," a classroom with a line of Mac desktops, a gym, a movie theater, and a library. It felt compact but not claustrophobic. [...] One floor up, we visited the food-storage area, still unfinished. [Survival Condo Project CEO Larry Hall] hopes that, once it's fully stocked, it will feel like a "miniature Whole Foods," but for now it holds mostly cans of food. [The New Yorker]
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced Monday that he will support the nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, just ahead of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's scheduled vote on the former ExxonMobil executive. Rubio had waffled on supporting President Donald Trump's pick to lead the State Department because of his concerns about Tillerson's ties to Russia as well as his remarks on human rights during his confirmation hearing earlier this month; during questioning, Rubio grilled Tillerson about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was a "war criminal," a statement Tillerson declined to support.
"In making my decision on his nomination, I must balance these concerns with his extensive experience and success in international commerce, and my belief that the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the Cabinet," Rubio wrote Monday in a Facebook post. Ultimately, Rubio said he decided "it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy."
If Rubio had voted against Tillerson's nomination in committee, it would have sent Tillerson to the Senate floor without a positive recommendation — a development Time said would have been an "embarrassing rebuke to Trump just as his presidency gets underway."
Read Rubio's post in full below. Becca Stanek
Even Hillary Clinton's daughter thinks everyone should cut President Trump's son, Barron Trump, some slack. In a tweet Sunday, former first child Chelsea Clinton defended Barron's "chance" to "be a kid" — and then took a shot at the new president's policies:
Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 22, 2017
Since Inauguration Day, 10-year-old Barron has been the butt of many a Twitter joke, with Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich posting in a since-deleted tweet that Trump's youngest son "will be this country's first homeschool shooter."
Clinton wasn't much older than Barron when her father, former President Bill Clinton, first took office in January 1993. Becca Stanek
The U.S. Department of Defense shared a special message Monday and it is definitely, absolutely not a subtweet:
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) January 23, 2017
The Department of the Interior's Twitter account briefly went dark Friday after its retweet about the size of President Donald Trump's inauguration crowd irked the Trump administration.
But that, of course, is neither here nor there. Jeva Lange
China's communist government is pointing to President Donald Trump's inauguration as an example of how democracy is a failed political system, Bloomberg Politics reports:
Democracy has reached its limits, and deterioration is the inevitable future of capitalism, according to the People's Daily, the flagship paper of China's Communist Party. It devoted an entire page on Sunday to critiquing Western democracies, quoting former Chairman Mao Zedong's 1949 poem asking people to "range far your eyes over long vistas" and saying the ultimate defeat of capitalism would enable Communism to emerge victorious.
The unusual series of commentaries in the People's Daily mirrors Soviet efforts to promote an alternative political and economic system during the Cold War. The rise of anti-establishment, protectionist politicians like Trump, amid populist winds on several continents, has sent political parties scurrying to shore up their support, helping China to portray itself as relatively steady. [Bloomberg Politics]
One article, for example, declared "Western-style democracy used to be a recognized power in history to drive social development. But now it has reached its limits. Democracy is already kidnapped by the capitals and has become the weapon for capitalists to chase profits."
"China's rising wealth has brought greater global presence, but that's not enough," explained political science professor Zhang Ming to Bloomberg Politics. "The Communist leaders want that someday China will matter globally for the nature of its political system and create its own universal values." Jeva Lange