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Convention debt clock posts final tally of $8.5B

The final tally of American debt accumulated during the Republican convention: $8,539,526,393.07.

After three days of speeches from the GOP's biggest names, the ever-climbing numbers on a debt clock in the Republican convention hall froze in place after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) officially closed the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday night in Tampa, Fla.

The clock began tallying the U.S. debt after the convention was gaveled into session Monday by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

“This clock reminds every delegate and every American why we are here in Tampa — because America can and must do better,” Priebus said at the unveiling of the clock. “Every American’s share of the national debt has increased by approximately $16,000 during the current administration.”

Republicans used the debt, totaling nearly $16 trillion, as one of their persistent themes at the convention and on the campaign trail to hammer on President Obama for his policies, which they say are leading to a crushing amount of public debt that could destabilize the nation.