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On the roster: Processed meat: Trump struggles with political press - Payback time for Trump - Trump tumbles in post-Orlando Florida poll - Audible: Breaking up is hard to do - Bank spank tanks
PROCESSED MEAT: TRUMP STRUGGLES WITH POLITICAL PRESS
Hillary Clinton is out today with a blistering attack on de facto Republican nominee Donald Trump’s business record, but as his recent filing with the Federal Elections Commission reveals, no one can say that Trump doesn’t know the value of a dollar.
Just hours after sacking his campaign manager, Trump filed his report detailing his fundraising and expenditures for the month of May.
The fundraising, or rather its paucity, was jaw dropping. Trump, with the nomination in the bag since the first Tuesday in May, raised only $3.1 million and finished the month with only $1.3 million on hand, thanks only to a $2 million loan he made to the campaign.
Clinton, by comparison, began June with at least $42 million ready to dump on Trump. That’s in addition to $51.9 million padding the pouch at the super PAC backing Clinton.
But the most germane comparison for Trump is to his predecessor, Mitt Romney. In May 2012, Romney raised $86.5 million and did so without the advantage Trump had of a Democratic rival still caught in a contested race.
Ahead of his campaign shakeup and the revelation of his barren coffers, Trump was threatening to self-fund his campaign in the general election. In recent days, he warned Republicans that he might go it alone.
Trump said GOP leaders need to “be quiet” and support him otherwise, he warned, “I’m going to do very well…but I’ll just do it very nicely by myself.” And over the weekend, Trump said “the easy way” was for him to fund his own campaign and not help the GOP raise money.
Trump did pour big money into his campaign during the primaries. And of late has promised repeatedly that he would transfer that $43.5 million in loans into outright contribution. But as David Drucker points out, those funds are still listed as loans in Monday’s filing.
Plus, the elevation of Washington-insider Paul Manafort to the head of Trump’s campaign over “let Trump be Trump” Corey Lewandowski, hardly suggests the candidate’s go-it-alone impulses are winning out.
But the lackluster fundraising isn’t as big of a deal as the press is making out.
Trump was never going to catch Clinton in the cash game. She’s just too good at buckraking. And, as Trump has pointed out, he has the endless attention of the press and needs less money to get his message out. Not this much less, perhaps, but certainly less.
Plus, Trump can start raking in serious cash. He has begun the same kind of small-dollar flogging on which candidates like Ted Cruz and others relied. And given the devotion of his most ardent followers, Trump might even outdo President Obama and Bernie Sanders at milking big bucks out of little donors. Trump has also started cozying up to the big-money donors who have funded all of the GOP campaigns of recent memory.
What may be more problematic for Trump in his May disclosure is not what he raised but what he spent. And among his preferred merchants there is a common theme: himself.
Something like one in five dollars Trump’s campaign spent in May went to Trump-owned businesses or family members. Among his largest expenditures: $423,000 to Mar-a-Lago, his home and private club in Florida, and $349,000 to Trump’s private airline.
There are multiple payroll entries for Trump himself, but carrying a notation that they are treated as in-kind contributions. Whether this means Trump plans to be reimbursed for his time or simply wants the hours he spent trying to get himself elected for some other reason is unclear. It’s certainly not something major party nominees typically do.
Trump’s vineyard, several of his properties, and his restaurants were top vendors to the campaign. Looked at one way, more than 10 percent of the money Trump raised in May went to the Florida club where he lives.
Trump would no doubt point out that it would be bad business to not use his own properties and resources and he no doubt thinks them better than those of his competitors.
But there is a problem.
The new message from Clinton in a speech today, supported with a site, “Art of the Steal” casts Trump as a plundering plutocrat. The zinger: “He’s Mitt Romney but bad at his job.”
For Trump’s trump-centric filing to hit on the very news cycle when Clinton is making the claim that Trump is a scam artist is hardly helpful.
Remember, Republicans anticipated that attacks on the Clinton’s self-dealing would be a cornerstone in the effort to prevent her return to the White House. The donor access and privilege provided by the Clinton’s charities as well as the quarter-billion-dollar personal haul that the former first couple raked in after leaving the Oval Office scandalized the public last year.
Trump’s campaign filing, combined with new allegations against his own foundation, will mitigate the Trump’s ability to prosecute Clinton’s own self-dealing.
The lesson here for Trump is that as campaign coverage shifts to the kind of procedural stories – campaign shakeups, fundraising, expenditures, etc. – that the political press adores, he will be at a disadvantage.
For Trump’s notional candidacy to succeed, voters must accept the notion at its core: that America is so screwed up right now that radical change is worth the risk.
Bickering about fundraising and the internecine conflicts of his campaign, cast him as an ineffective conventional candidate, rather than what he needs to be: an effective destroyer of the existing political order.
With the centenary of the National Parks this summer, millions of Americans will take to the road to enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful sights with a map to guide their way. And the Park Service’s maps are some of the best and most recognizable in the world. That wasn’t always so. NatGeo: “Before World War II, most visitors arrived by train, Patterson says. Most of the maps in those days were made not by the park service but by railroad companies hoping to inspire people to take the trip. … In 1977, the park service hired Massimo Vignelli, the graphic designer who created the iconic map and signage for the New York City subway system, and charged him with creating a more consistent style for the park system’s maps and other publications.
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Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +5.8 points
Average generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.2
TRUMP TUMBLES IN POST-ORLANDO FLORIDA POLL
In the wake of a terrorist attack in Orlando, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has seen his numbers collapse in the crucial swing state of Florida.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Trump losing Florida by 8 points in a head-to-head matchup with Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton. With minor party candidates included, Clinton still leads in Florida by 6 points.
Last month’s poll showed Trump in a statistical tie with Clinton in the state.
The survey, part of the school’s regular poll roundup of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, showed Trump statistically tied with Clinton in the northern states but in Florida going from what was, in essence, a tie in May to a wide deficit in June.
The news was not all great out of the Rust Belt, though. Trump had led in Ohio by 4 points last month and now trails by 1 point. Pennsylvania was unchanged, with Trump trailing by 1 point in both months’ surveys.
What should be most troubling for Trump, is that his worst slide comes in the same state that last week saw the deadliest Islamist terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Handling of terrorism has been a particularly strong suit for Trump for much of his candidacy, and in Florida he still leads Clinton by 6 points on the question of which candidate would best confront ISIS. Compare that to Ohio, though. In the Buckeye State, Trump trumps Clinton on ISIS by 14 points.
This slackening may help explain the dip Trump saw with male voters in the Sunshine State, with whom Trump was down 4 points from last month’s poll. Clinton saw an identical uptick in her female support.
Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is traditionally seen as a must-win for the GOP. No Republican candidate for president since 1924 has won the White House without Florida. Only twice in the Republican Party’s 160-year history – 1960 and 1992 – has the party carried Florida and not won the presidency.
But what if Trump doesn’t run as a traditional Republican?
Trump’s proximity in Pennsylvania shows the clear but narrow path to victory for him through predominantly white, northern states with large blue-collar populations. If Florida shuns Trump, he will need states like Pennsylvania, such as New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, to construct a new winning coalition.
Trump PAC uses Orlando in new ad - USA Today: “A super PAC supporting Donald Trump released a new ad Monday that seeks to use the Orlando nightclub shooting to make the case for his presidency. Officials with Great America PAC say they will spend about $700,000 to air the 60-second ad on cable programs nationally and in 10 battleground states. It will air for a little more than three weeks. The ad, entitled The Enemy, features former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie, who says the nightclub shooting is a reminder that the fight against terrorism has come to U.S. shores. ‘Join millions of active duty military members and veterans like me who stand with Donald Trump,’ he says.”
After delay, Clinton IT specialist to testify - The Hill
How Trump University will hurt other Republicans running this cycle - Time
Some Senate Dems open to ditching superdelegate system - Politico
Trump meets with social conservatives, Christians today - The Hill
Senate rejects all four gun control measures - Roll Call
RNC chairman says Lewandowski’s firing a ‘good sign’ - WashEx
AUDIBLE: BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO
“There were some people that loved Corey. Some people didn’t like him as much because Corey was strong and he was tough. I’ve got to tell you though, I give him a 10. He’s number one…And I will be the first to tell you, you know, he can say let Trump be Trump. But he managed beautifully. Now we’re going a different way.” – Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends” this morning talking about former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s firing.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“It is beyond me how in the world delegates at the rules meeting could change the rules to accomplish this when most of those delegates are going to be Trump delegates. I have been a Republican all my life (I'm 75.) If Donald Trump, who received more primary votes than any other Republican in history, is not the nominee, I will leave the Republican Party for good. Furthermore, rest assured that I will not be the only one. There will be millions more.” – Rick Lyons, Georgetown, Texas
“It appears that, at present, the choices we will have in Nov comes down to choosing whether to give our country inoperable, incurable, brain cancer, and sure death if Clinton is elected. With Donald Trump, we can infect ourselves with a bizarre, unknown and totally baffling new form of disease, with no currently known cure and the manifestation of which is a complete mystery.” – Nick Keller, Augusta, Ga.
[Ed. note: I think I’ll call in sick…]
“Just FYI, there’s a Paw Paw in Illinois as well…” – Dave Wittnebert, Seneca, S.C.
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BANK SPANK TANKS
BBC: “A video has surfaced online showing staff at a Chinese bank being publicly spanked for poor performance during a training session, sparking outrage. The video, first posted by the People’s Daily, shows a trainer asking eight employees why they did not ‘exceed themselves’ at training. He then spanks them with what looks like a stick. Reports say he later also cut and shaved their hair. Two executives at the bank have been suspended. The incident took place at a training session for more than 200 employees at Changzhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank in northern China on Saturday. The trainer, Jiang Yang, has issued an apology, saying the spanking was ‘a training model I have tried for years’ and had not been instigated by executives at the bank.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Well, they may not have issued the order but everybody understands under President Obama you are not to make any reference that could possibly indict Islam or radical Islam, Islamism, in a mass murder. So you have to pretend otherwise.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.