Fox News 2024-02-04 00:03:58


GOP facing worst fundraising crisis since before 1994 Republican revolution

Democrats have started the election year off on a high note with a vast fundraising advantage over their Republican counterparts, who are facing a shortage of cash and party disarray in crucial swing states.

According to year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) holds nearly three times the cash on hand reported by the Republican National Committee (RNC), and brought in nearly three times as much fundraising in the final month of 2023.

The RNC reported its worst fundraising year since 2013 raising just $87.2 million in 2023, and starting 2024 with just over $8 million in cash on hand. If adjusted for inflation, the RNC’s fundraising was last this low in 1993 — before the 2002 McCain Feingold Act restricted political committee fundraising from corporations and capped donations from individuals.

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The DNC reported $120 million raised in 2023, and a record $21 million in cash on hand, marking a massive $13 million gap between the two committees. It also reported raising $14.7 million in December to the RNC’s $5.3 million.

Although the RNC brought in more direct contributions than the DNC throughout the year, the latter enjoys a joint fundraising agreement with incumbent President Biden’s re-election campaign, as well as its other joint fundraising committees, and overall outpaced the RNC, which does not have a joint fundraising agreement, for much of that period.

Republicans are also dealing with disarray in a number of their party organizations in multiple swing states that will be crucial to the party maintaining, or growing, its majority in the House, winning a majority in the Senate and retaking the White House.

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Last week, the now-former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, Jeff DeWitt, suddenly resigned from the role amid allegations he unsuccessfully tried to bribe GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake not to launch a campaign. The state party also struggled financially throughout last year amid lower contribution levels and hundreds of thousands in legal costs related to the 2020 presidential election.

In Michigan, newly elected state GOP chairman Pete Hoekstra and ousted former chairwoman Kristina Karamo have been battling over who is actually in control of the party, while a number of other state party officials are facing felony charges for their alleged role in a fake electors scheme attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

In Nevada, Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald was indicted in a similar fake electors scheme, and in North Carolina, the state Republican Party’s FEC report shows that it burned through cash and is now $72,000 in debt.

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Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on advertising by Republican presidential candidates in an effort to secure the party’s nomination, delaying the party an opportunity to coalesce around a single candidate and focus on the general election.

“The Republican National Committee has become a financial dumpster fire at a time when they literally cannot afford it,” DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd told Fox News Digital. 

“With the 2024 field already having blown through millions attacking each other and GOP state parties descending into infighting and heading toward bankruptcy, Republican donors may want to consider just lighting their money on fire themselves rather than wasting time giving it to the RNC,” he added.

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A source familiar with the RNC’s fundraising told Fox News Digital that it raised more than any other Democrat or Republican committee in 2023 except for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) when accounting for direct fundraising and not including transfers from other joint fundraising groups.

The source also said the RNC has already made significant financial investments in staff buildups across 15 battleground states, as well as in early voting and ballot-harvesting initiatives, but did not say whether that was directly related to the party’s low cash on hand.

Fox News reported this week that the RNC raised $12 million in January, more than any month in 2023.

“The RNC is not only raising the necessary funds, but we’re making strategic investments early in battlegrounds to win up and down the ballot this Fall,” an RNC spokesperson told Fox News Digital after publication. “Meanwhile, Democrats have an extremely unpopular agenda, no ground game, and a President sleepwalking his way to defeat in November.”

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Rapper 50 Cent warms to Trump after latest NYC migrant giveaway

Famous rapper 50 Cent recently expressed his displeasure over news that New York City is planning to allocate millions of dollars to give migrant families pre-paid credit cards to migrant families.

In a new Instagram post, the rapper even went so far as to say that the policy might even motivate him to vote for former President Donald Trump in 2024. 

The “In Da Club” rapper reacted to a New York Post story published Friday reporting on a policy pushed by the Adams administration that will take $53 million and distribute it among asylum-seeking families in the city in the form of pre-paid credit cards. 

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The Post reported that as the policy rolls out, “it’ll start with a group of 500 migrant families in short-term hotel stays and will replace the current food service offered there, according to City Hall.”

It added, “The cards can only be used at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores — and migrants must sign an affidavit swearing they will only spend the funds on food and baby supplies or they will be kicked out of the program.”

The amount of money on each card depends on the size of each family, and whether they have any income. The program might provide $1000 a month for a family of four, for example. The cards will reportedly be refilled every 28 days. 

50 Cent – whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III – shared a screenshot of the Post’s headline to his Instagram page on Saturday. In his caption for the post, the rapper expressed bewilderment over the policy, calling on Adams to make sense of things on this issue.

He wrote, “WTF mayor Adams call my phone, I don’t understand how this works. Somebody explain.”

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He also mentioned how MSNBC host Ari Melber “can’t explain this” to him, adding, “I’m stuck.”

50 Cent then provided one last statement, revealing how frustrated this new policy makes him. He added, “Maybe Trump is the answer.”

The rapper has mulled over voting for Trump in past elections when faced with a Democratic Party he hasn’t liked.

In 2020, 50 Cent ripped then-Presidential candidate Biden’s tax plan on Instagram, stating, “WHAT THE F—! (VOTE ForTRUMP) IM OUT. F— NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway. I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people 62% are you out of ya f—— mind.”

Several days after that post, however, Jackson III recanted his support for Trump.

Fox News Digital reached out to the mayor’s office for comment. This article will be updated with any reply. 

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Former men’s soccer star rips women’s Team USA captain for insulting Americans

United States Women’s Soccer Team captain Lindsey Horan stirred the pot with some controversial comments about her own fanbase in a recent story from “The Athletic.”

Ironically, in the piece, Horan says the USWNT is “one of the most talked about teams” and is “always in the magnifying glass on every single thing we do or anything we say.”

Horan, of course, isn’t wrong, especially considering many members of the team have largely been outspoken on social justice issues in the country.

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But she certainly didn’t do herself any favors by saying “most” American soccer fans “aren’t smart.”

“They don’t know the game. They don’t understand,” she said, but noting that “it’s getting better and better.”

“I’m gonna p— off some people,” she continued, “but the game is growing in the U.S. People are more and more knowledgeable, but so much of the time, people take what the commentators say, right? My mom does it! My mom says, ‘Julie Foudy said you had such a good game!’ And I’m here, just going, ‘I was f—ing s–t today.'”

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That comment did not sit well with Alexi Lalas, a former star for the U.S. men’s team turned FOX commentator.

Lalas said Horan had a “bold strategy” when negatively commenting on a fanbase that’s already scarce in the U.S.

“So, not satisfied with already turning off many Americans who don’t watch soccer, evidently the #USWNT has now set their sights on turning off many Americans who do watch soccer. Bold strategy,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Lalas went on to say that he “like[s]” Horan, and there actually is “lots [of players] to like” on the USWNT.

“I just disagree with her low opinion of American soccer fans. But even if she truly believes what she’s saying, seems like a strange and needless shot to take at a time when the #USWNT is desperate to rehabilitate its image,” he wrote in a separate post.

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“I actually think American soccer fans are arguably some of the most educated, interesting, and well-rounded in the game,” Lalas wrote, contradicting Horan. “In a country where soccer isn’t king, American soccer fans have often had to seek and discover the game, domestically and internationally. . . . This means American soccer fans are often more educated about that world than others.”

The USWNT were stunned by Sweden in penalty kicks, by far their worst finish ever, in last year’s World Cup. In the previous eight Women’s World Cups, they never finished worse than third place.

Their group stage game against Vietnam, though, was the second-most watched group stage game in Women’s World Cup history.

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Wyndham Clark sets new course record in 105-year-history of Pebble Beach

In the 105-year history of Pebble Beach Golf Links, nobody had ever shot a 60.

Until Saturday, that is, when Wyndham Clark did it. 

The defending U.S. Open champion shot a 12-under 60 Saturday, setting a course record in the third round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Clark dominated the front nine with a 28, knocking down two eagles and four birdies. He also birdied 10 and 11 and was 10 strokes under at that point.

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He ran into some trouble on the 12th when he plugged his tee shot on the par three into the frontside bunker. His out was in the deep rough just beside another trap, causing him to hit a chip left-handed that went haywire. But he drilled a 25-footer from the fringe to save bogey, limiting the damage.

Clark went right back to work with back-to-back birdies but parred the next three, putting him at a 56 through 17 holes. His birdie putts on 16 and 17 were short by about an inch combined.

He now needed a birdie on the par-five 18th to break the course record of 61 and an eagle for a 59.

He got on the green in two and had a 26½-foot putt for the 59, but he missed it a drop right. But he tapped in for a 60, and put his name alone at the top among hundreds of thousands who have played the famous Bay Area course.

The previous tournament record was a 62 shared by four, but the course record had been 61 at a college event by Hurly Long of Texas Tech in 2017.

Clark started the day at five-under for the tournament, six strokes back of the lead. He entered the clubhouse with a three-stroke lead.

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Scottie Scheffler remains the last player to shoot a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour, doing so at the 2020 Northern Trust. Jim Furyk’s 58 at the 2016 Travelers remains the lowest score on tour. Bryson DeChambeau shot a 12-under 58 with LIV Golf last August, while Joaquinn Neimann carded a 12-under 59 on Friday at the Saudi-funded league in Mexico.

Clark won the U.S. Open last year at the Los Angeles Country Club. It was his first and only professional win to date. 

Wildly popular ‘world’s coolest dictator’ fires back at Rep. Ilhan Omar after democracy jab

El Salvador voters stand poised to re-elect their current president and self-styled “world’s coolest dictator” Nayib Bukele in a landslide victory after he rehabilitated his country’s crime-ridden reputation.

“The opposition will be able to achieve its true and only plan, to free the gang members and use them to return to power,” Bukele warned in a video that quickly spread across social media and news outlets in El Salvador. 

Bukele’s controversial tenure as leader of the Central American country looks set to continue, thanks to a revamp of the constitutional courts in which he replaced judges with loyalists who ruled that he could run for a second term despite a constitutional ban on reelections. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., called into question the U.S. relationship with El Salvador and urged the U.S. State Department to review its relationship with the Central American country, alleging that Bukele presented “threats to democracy.” 

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“The Salvadoran people deserve free and fair elections without fear of repression,” Omar wrote on social media platform X. 

A community note on her post noted that Bukele won the 2019 election with a 54% majority and that his crackdown on gang violence has helped cement his immense popularity with a 91% approval rating among voters. 

Bukele shot back at Omar, joking that he felt “honored” to “receive your attacks,” saying he would be very worried if she had backed him in the election. 

Bukele came to power in 2019 and clashed with the Legislative Assembly over policies, including severe restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. His party took control of the national congress in 2021 and started instituting sweeping changes to other branches of government and instituting new laws that allowed him to effectively go to war with the gangs in his country. 

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Once known as the “murder capital” of the world, El Salvador underwent significant reforms that allowed the government to sweep up alleged gang members by the hundreds and shove them into a rapidly established super prison. 

The prison, built in just months during 2022, can hold up to 40,000 people and has thousands of military personnel guarding it. Bukele made sure to share plenty of video and pictures of the prison and its first few thousands of occupants. 

The measures, which ultimately swept up many potentially innocent men, led to a drop in the murder and crime rates over the following year. Salvadorian Justice and Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro claimed that the country recorded 154 murders in 2023, marking a 70% drop from the previous year. 

That would account for a rate of 2.4 per every 100,000 people, which would potentially rank as the lowest in the Americas, apart from Canada, according to Reuters. 

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During an interview with Fox News Digital in May 2023, Bukele’s vice president and running mate Felix Ulloa claimed his country would “face the problem” of gang violence and urged the United States to invest in the country so that it could continue to crack down on criminals. 

Ulloa argued that if El Salvador and other countries could similarly deal with their crime crises, it would help alleviate the migrant crisis on the U.S. southern border, as many of those who flee to the north do so to escape their crime-ridden homeland. 

El Salvador’s success has boosted Bukele’s popularity so much that other countries, such as Honduras and the Dominican Republic, have looked to replicate the model, which has raised concerns from civil rights advocates.

Ulloa admitted to The Associated Press this week that the government “made mistakes” in detaining thousands of innocent people as part of their regular sweeps, which often profile young men under the fear of gang involvement. 

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Ulloa insisted that El Salvador “is not a police state” but rather “a state that provides security.” Bukele continues to insist that if he loses the election, it would “put at risk” the country’s “war with the gangs.” 

Critics also point to other troubling developments in the legislature, such as Bukele’s efforts to slash the number of municipalities, which could help ensure his victory and party superiority in local and congressional elections in March. 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

White House explains why Biden is shunning pre-Super Bowl tradition again

President Biden is not participating in the traditional Super Bowl Sunday interview for the second consecutive year, according to reports.

CBS, who is airing this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 11 between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, had been in discussions with the White House in recent weeks, but Biden ultimately turned down the opportunity ahead of the year’s most watched television event.

It has long been tradition for the President of the United States to sit down for an interview with the news division of the network airing that year’s Super Bowl, but Biden will be skipping it yet again in 2024.

“We hope viewers enjoy watching what they tuned in for — the game,” a White House spokesman told Variety, who broke the news on Saturday. 

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The decision by Biden, who has held far fewer press conferences and one-on-one interviews than his predecessors, to skip the high-profile interview opportunity going into an election year raised eyebrows online. He did not participate in last year’s interview when the game was aired by Fox, although he did participate in 2021 and 2022 with NBC and CBS.

Biden isn’t the only president to skip the interview in recent years. President Trump skipped an NBC News sit-down in 2018 when the network aired that year’s big game.

The tradition of a formal interview on Super Bowl Sunday began with President Obama in 2009, and it’s been an opportunity to reach an immense audience that presidents don’t normally see. Last year’s Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles drew 115 million viewers, making it the most watched program in TV history.

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This year’s Super Bowl has drawn extra intrigue beyond the usual drama of the game and the commercials thanks to pop star Taylor Swift, whose relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has made headlines and brought in new fans.

Trump-hating comic says voting for him ‘on the table’ after migrant cop attack

Comedian and staunch critic of former President Trump Michael Rapaport unleashed a scathing rant against New York City’s immigration problems and President Biden’s priorities this week, suggesting that if Biden doesn’t deal with the problems here at home, voting for Trump is “on the table.”

Rapaport shared a video to X Friday railing against the recent news story about illegal immigrants in New York City beating up cops and then being released shortly after the altercation.

Furious at the idea that the Biden Administration has been tougher on foreign issues than domestic issues like a record migrant surge, Rapaport opened the clip by slamming his fist on a table and declaring, “This is why when I say voting for pig d— Donald Trump is on the table, voting for pig d— Donald Trump is on the table!”

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He explained, “The other day in New York City, six illegal aliens jumped a New York City cop. NYPD’s finest. They jumped a New York City cop in Times Square and were arrested and released without bail.”

The incident happened this week and was captured on surveillance footage. It showed two cops wrestling with and getting kicked by multiple migrants. As Rapaport noted, several of the men arrested for the incident were released without bail and four of them are believed to have used fake names to obtain travel vouchers and flee the city for California. 

Rapaport appeared furious with the news and commented on recent footage showing one of the migrants flipping off a news camera while leaving a New York City courtroom. “Released without bail. Came out of the courtroom on some Tupac – raising the middle finger with the Detroit Redwings jersey.”

“Let me tell you something, what the f— is the world coming to if you could be from another country, beat up a cop in New York City and walk out with no f—— bail? What the f— is the world coming to?”

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Ripping into the current president, he continued, “On the same day that that happens, Cadaver Joe Biden issues an executive order about four a—— ‘settlers’ in Judea, Samaria – aka the West Bank. Some troublemakers, three of the four have already been arrested.”

He ripped Biden for fixating on that issue, when there’s a “war going on” in the region and “while there’s a hundred-plus hostages still being held in Gaza.”

“You’re talking about that, but you’ve got nothing to say about motherf—— beating up cops in New York City? The greatest city on earth?”

Towards the end of the tirade, Rapaport stated, “Maybe my city is not the greatest city on earth anymore if you could beat up cops – If you could beat up cops in the ‘greatest city in the world’ and be released without bail. Are we the greatest city on earth? Cadaver Joe Biden, we see you! We f—— see you!”

Rapaport previously threatened to vote for Trump last fall, warning he would do so if antisemitism isn’t brought under control in America. 

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SEE PICS: Snake takes wild trip to the vet after swallowing part of a car

Warning: graphic images

A rat snake in Maryland is on the road to recovery after she accidentally swallowed a gear shift knob, an animal rehabilitation organization wrote on its Instagram page.

“This rat snake was one of the most unusual cases we have treated at SCWC,” said the Second Chance Wildlife Center in a Jan. 25 post on its Instagram page.

“Upon intake, it was apparent that the snake had ingested a foreign object resembling an egg,” said the center, noting that rat snakes often accidentally swallow golf balls and egg-like objects they think are chicken eggs. 

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“In this case, the object had been trapped in the snake’s stomach so long that there was a hole worn through the snake’s skin,” said the Instagram post. 

A veterinarian at Second Chance Wildlife Center removed the object from the snake – revealing that it was actually a gear shift knob from a car.

“She then sutured the stomach and repaired the hole left in the snake’s underside,” said the Instagram post. 

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The snake has remained at Second Chance Wildlife Center since her operation — and is expected to make a full recovery, said the organization.

“She’ll spend the rest of winter with us and will finally return home in spring,” the center said. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the organization for additional comment and updates.  

The Second Chance Wildlife Center is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.  

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“Founded in 1995, Second Chance Wildlife Center is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit facility providing skilled and compassionate emergency treatment and long-term rehabilitative care to injured, ill and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing healthy animals back to their intended roles in nature,” says its website. 

In addition to its rehabilitation efforts, the Second Chance Wildlife Center works “to educate the public on how to safely coexist with their wildlife neighbors,” the group said. 

It treats nearly 3,000 wild animals each year, including bald eagles, possums, ducks, rabbits, turtles and snakes, said its website.  

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Rat snakes are “large non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet (one and two meters) long. They have shiny black scales on their back and a light colored belly, and their throat and chin are white,” says the website for the National Wildlife Foundation.

They live on the east coast of the United States and have a varied diet, said the National Wildlife Foundation, including frogs and eggs.

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The snakes are “excellent swimmers and climbers,” the foundation added. 

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Mike Rowe warns parents are waking up to the real costs of higher education

Skilled labor advocate Mike Rowe warned American higher education is facing a “giant reckoning” as more families reevaluate their choices when it comes to child care and degrees. 

“I believe that we’re seeing a giant reckoning, through the lens of PR, where parents are going to look at the cost of a four-year degree,” Rowe said on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday.

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The cost of attending a college or university in the U.S. has drastically increased in recent years. Coupled with record-setting inflation and costly student loans, more parents and students are exploring alternatives to the four-year degree.

According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 50% of parents say they will not send their child to a four-year university. Furthermore, two-thirds of high school students believe they would be fine without a college degree.

The former “Dirty Jobs” host attributed these changes to “inflation” in higher education, especially esteemed universities like Harvard.

“The inflation is not limited to our economy,” he said. “There’s a credential inflation. There’s a grade inflation. There’s a legacy problem over there.”

“[Parents are] going to look at places like Harvard… Average GPA today at Harvard, 3.8. That was summa cum laude when we were in school. Back in 1955, that number was 2.55.

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Rowe also alluded to the university’s recent scandal involving former president Claudine Gay. 

“There’s $51 billion in an endowment fund. We all just had a front-row seat to the Harvard Corporation working real hard to protect their president in the face of 50 plagiarism charges. So, you can’t blame a parent for looking at all that and going, ‘yeah, maybe not that,’” Rowe said. 

After receiving backlash for her comments in a congressional hearing on antisemitism on college campuses, it was discovered Gay was accused last October of plagiarizing several passages in published academic articles stretching back to the 1990s. Following the initial claims, other allegations of plagiarism were made against Gay in subsequent weeks.

With more Americans turning away from traditional higher education, Rowe said other paths in skilled labor are becoming more desirable. 

“Meanwhile, shameless plug, my foundation, on average, awards work ethic scholarships to the tune [of] eight or nine grand,” Rowe added. “We’re training welders and steamfitters and pipefitters and electricians and heating and air conditioning. Every day I talk to people who come through that path. They’re making six figures. They have no debt.”

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A number of well-known companies are reducing or even eliminating college degree requirements in light of the cultural shift surrounding higher education. Major names including Netflix, Google, Tesla and Bank of America are among those modifying job requirements. 

“I know I’m a broken record on this, but as higher ed continues to get a little wobbly up there, these other paths are going to look shiny and new.”

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.