CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 11, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
ALL EYES ON THE SKIES… We are on stand-by for North Korea’s satellite launch, which could happen any time between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Wednesday through Monday. Here’s everything you need to know.
Who is the only president to never marry?
With 209 days to go, the general election has begun.
It is quickly becoming a race of economic competence vs. economic opportunity.
Can the same candidate claim both? That will be something we have our eye on for the next eight months.
What is interesting is that on Wednesday one of the most prominent voices in advocating for social issues in the Republican Party said Mitt Romney would be best served by focusing squarely on the economy. When asked about Romney’s problems with the evangelical base, Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, dismissed them in a prescriptive paragraph, “All he has to do is pick a vice president who is pro-life, promise to repeal Obamacare, promise to appoint strict constructionist judges and to have no distance between America and Israel.”
So, back to the economy.
Land, an avid conservative, told CNN with a jab that Romney “needs to hammer, hammer, hammer away on the issue of economic competence. Obama can’t run on his record; he’s not suicidal.” Meanwhile, team Obama continued to hit Romney where the GOP primary hurt: women. David Axelrod has dubbed the start of Romney’s general election campaign “Mitt Rehab With Women Tour.”
On Wednesday, team Romney handed out on the campaign trail a flier with a statistic that you will hear ad nauseum for the next eight months, “Women account for 92.3% of jobs lost under Barack Obama.” Even though Politifact has rated this stat “mostly false” and CNN’s Political Ticker said it was “missing context,” both sites concede truth in the number but dings the campaign for a misleading message. The kernel of truth in the statistic is a clever way to ask women: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
And in one robust day of politics, the battle has begun for the message that resonates with women’s economic trust.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: It's game on between Obama and Romney
President Barack Obama and his certain Republican opponent in November, Mitt Romney, shifted to full general election mode Wednesday with messages intended to rally their bases and portray each other as threats to future progress.
Leading Drudge: Barack ‘n Bones: Obama drops even more pounds
Already engaged in a strenuous re-election battle, spiking gas prices and a fragile economy appear to be taking a toll on Barack Obama.
Leading HuffPo: Allen West: I've 'Heard' 80 House Democrats Are Communist Party Members
As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).
Leading Politico: Apple's e-book war
Amazon was force-fed a poison Apple. That’s the charge from federal prosecutors, who on Wednesday filed an antitrust suit against the iPad2-maker over allegations that the computer company and five publishers of engaging in a “conspiracy to limit e-book price competition” to prevent Amazon from discounting digital books for its Kindle e-reader.
Leading New York Times: For Santorum, a Hard Road to Harmony With Romney
If history is any guide, Rick Santorum will probably hold a news conference in the near future and solemnly proclaim his support for Mitt Romney, and praise him as the right man to lead a post-Obama renaissance in America.
The political bites of the day
– Let’s talk jobs, not contraception –
MITT ROMNEY SAID THIS WEDNESDAY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: “I was disappointed in listening to the president as he said, ‘Oh, Republicans are waging a war on women.’ The real war on women is being waged by the president's failed economic policies.”
– Buffett rule in line with Reagan, says Obama –
PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THIS AT A BUFFETT RULE PRESS EVENT WEDNESDAY: “He thought that in America the wealthiest should pay their fair share and he said so. I know that position might disqualify him from the Republican primaries these days, but what Ronald Reagan was calling for then is the same thing we are calling for now, return to basic fairness and responsibility, everybody doing their part.”
– Bounced check? I ain’t broke, it was just ‘goofy’ –
NEWT GINGRICH SAID THIS AT A MEDIA EVENT IN DELAWARE ON WEDNESDAY: “This is one of those goofy things. That check was drawn in December. The account actually was closed by the time they processed it. It wasn’t a question of money. That particular bank account was closed. … It wasn’t because we didn’t have money in the bank but that that particular account had been closed as they made a transition to a different bank on January 1.”
– Pick your own rich man –
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JAY CARNEY SAID THIS AT WEDNESDAY’S BRIEFING: “If Congress would pass it we would rename it the Reagan Rule tomorrow. If Republicans would vote for it because of a name change I am sure Warren Buffett would understand.”
– Stewart riffs on Gut Check–
JON STEWART SAID THIS ON HIS NIGHTLY COMEDY SHOW: Stewart: “It [Just In] is really the only news modifier you need, just temporal stuff. Of course, recently I have noticed CNN would disagree.” CNN Clip: “ ‘Time now for a little political pop,’ ‘Time now for the CNN political Gut Check,’ ‘This time now for no talking points,’ ‘Checking stories across the country now,’ ‘Time for politics update,’… ‘Time for a little R and R, not rest and relaxation, but a little Reynolds and Randy time.’ ” Stewart: “CNN appears to believe that the key to revitalizing the network is creating branded news segments within the news. Which brings us to our new segment: Why?! Why are you doing this? Do you believe your daily 11:23 a.m. political pop is appointment viewing? Shut up, I’m going to miss R and R.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Tough day on the Mitt Rehab With Women Tour. On call, his team punts when asked if he supports the Lily Ledbetter pay equity law.—
David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 11, 2012
What is truly shocking and disappointing is that the number of unemployed women has increased by 858,000 under @BarackObama's watch.—
Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) April 11, 2012
Happy 6 year Anniversary to RomneyCare! Now that should be an interesting debate topic during the general election. #obamneycare—
Liddy Huntsman (@HuntsmanLiddy) April 11, 2012
Hello Twitter! And they said it would never happen. Oh wait, that was me.—
Betty White (@BettyMWhite) April 10, 2012
Never forget http://t.co/nYAYtl6R—
Adam Aigner-Treworgy (@AdamATCNN) April 11, 2012
James Buchanan is the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor, even though he was engaged during his life. In 1819, Buchanan, who was a member of Congress at the time, was engaged to Ann Carolina Coleman. Historical reports and letters between the two showed friction and Coleman even speculated that Buchanan was marrying her for her family’s money. Coleman broke off the engagement late in 1819 and died a short time later on December 9, 1819.
Though Buchanan had a falling out with the family after Coleman’s death, he pledged to never marry. “Marry I could not, for my affections were buried in the grave,” Buchanan told friends who pressed him to take a wife.
Why is this relevant? At Monday’s White House Easter Egg Roll, President Obama described his wife, Michelle, as “the one truly in charge.” Even though he wasn’t married, Buchanan, too, had a woman in charge. Buchanan’s orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, acted as the official White House hostess.
So here is our question to you: Could a bachelor win the presidency today? Tweet us your response @GutCheckCNN.
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