CNN’s GUT CHECK for May 17, 2012
May 17th, 2012
05:13 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for May 17, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 17, 2012 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN: ROMNEY ON SUPER PAC PROPOSAL TO GO AFTER OBAMA: “I want to make it very clear I repudiate that effort. I think it is the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues and about a vision for America. I have been disappointed in the president’s campaign to date which is focused on character assassination. …

ROMNEY REGARDING THE ATTACKS ON HIS RECORD AT BAIN CAPITAL: “The purpose of the president’s ads are not to describe success and failure but to somehow suggest that I am not a good person or not a good guy, and I think the American people will know better than that if they don’t already.”

NEW GALLUP SHOWS ROMNEY LIKABILITY HIGHEST EVER: “Fifty percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, up from 39% in February and his highest by 10 percentage points.”

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Marcia Kadish, 56, and Tanya McCloskey, 52 are celebrating their anniversary today. Why might you know that?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

For Newt Gingrich, “Winning Our Future” was the gasoline that fueled his run for the Republican presidential nomination by providing air cover through television ads the cash-strapped former House speaker’s campaign could not afford.

At times, though, the super PAC drove the message of the day, which frustrated Gingrich advisers who wanted to talk about issues other than those being promoted by “Winning Our Future.”

“For us, the super PAC was a double-edged sword,” said Patrick Millsaps, who served as Gingrich’s campaign chief of staff. “It gave us parity with Romney in terms of keeping Newt’s name out there and they did some very good stuff. The other edge of the sword is that we had nothing to do with planning the message. An example of that is when we came into South Carolina we had a plan to talk about religious freedom and Romney’s and Obama’s stances on guns. But because the super PAC chose to make Bain the topic, clearly that became the issue.”

In the 2012 election, the media has focused on how helpful Super PACs are to candidates, but because federal law forbids political coordination, campaigns can quickly lose control of the storyline. And this can be a huge problem that can help derail a campaign’s political strategy.

Today, Mitt Romney might have sidestepped such a controversy with The New York Times report on a super PAC proposal designed to criticize President Barack Obama for his relationship to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The plan was to have Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, fund a super PAC that would execute this controversial campaign. It was a political strategy that Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to agree to in the 2008 campaign.

Character assassination is a tricky thing to do in politics, because it can’t appear to be a personal attack. This doesn’t necessarily play well with the voters.

It only took a matter of hours for Ricketts and Romney to distance themselves from the proposal. It will be story that lasts a couple of days and likely be forgotten. The New York Times noted that it was tipped off by “a person not connected to the proposal who as alarmed by its tone.”

This person might have helped Romney maintain control of his campaign’s message – at least for now.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Obama: They still like him, but will they vote for him?
Despite the heated campaign, lackluster performance on the economy and negative feelings many conservatives have toward President Barack Obama, many voters still like Obama as a person. – CNN’s Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: Fitch Slashes Greece
Fitch on Thursday sliced Greece’s long-term credit rating to CCC from B-, citing a “heightened risk” Greece won’t sustain its membership in the eurozone.

Leading HuffPo: Mitt Romney 'Not Going To Disagree' With Rick Scott On Drug Testing
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he does not disapprove of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to drug-test state workers. The former Massachusetts governor declined to say, however, that he is a big fan of the idea. – By HuffPo’s Arthur Delaney

Leading Politico: With memo, race issue flares in campaign
Race has suddenly become a flashpoint in the 2012 presidential race — with the Obama campaign accusing Mitt Romney of “reacting tepidly” to a secret plan that would play up Barack Obama’s race and his connections to controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright. – By Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman

Leading New York Times: Facebook Raises $16 Billion in I.P.O.
Facebook pulled it off. As investors raced to get shares, the sprawling social network raised $16 billion on Thursday, in an initial public offering that valued Facebook at $104 billion.

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– McCain adviser says possible Rev. Wright ad would ‘add more poison’ to political debate –
STEVE SCHMIDT, A McCAIN SENIOR ADVISOR, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S JESSICA YELLIN: “This will do damage to the Republican brand and Mitt Romney's effort to run for president and it will add more poison to the already poisoned political debate in this country.”

– Kerrey running on entitlement concern –
BOB KERREY, NEBRASKA’S DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KETV IN OMAHA: “I think Nebraskan values are really important, Nebraskans are patriotic, value faith, family and community, they work hard. It’s a very important value that we have and we’re very inclusive. We welcome people to our state We’re trying to include people and get them to come here all the time. And I do believe that this concern about our children’s future and our grandchildren’s future is real. You’ve got to solve the deficit problem, you’ve got to solve Medicare and Social Security, you’ve got to solve these problems. These problems are going be getting worse going forward not easier.”

–Hey undecideds, Ann Romney Wants to Claim Residency –
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: “You know my wife – I wish she were here today – Ann is campaigning in Texas, Louisiana. She is the best. She is out campaigning for me today and raising money… She has said someday who knows, we might move to Florida. You never know. Someday, way down the road. (cheers) We had the chance during the primaries to be able to go all over the country and see a lot of places and she said, `You know what? If we are going to move one place, I love Jacksonville, Florida.”

– Joe Biden Cheered for the Moon Landing, Wants Romney to Note –
JOE BIDEN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN MARTINS FERRY, OHIO: “He said quote, ‘I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that the [auto] industry is coming back.’ Ohhh [crosses himself and folds his hands]. And by the way, I'll take a lot of credit for a man having landed on the moon. Because although I was in school I rooted for it! That's what he said. Look folks, the president and I are completely confident, completely confident in letting you judge who brought the automobile industry back.”

– Schumer challenges Saverin on morals –
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER TALKS EDUARDO SAVERIN ON JOHN KING, USA, TO AIR TONIGHT AT 6 p.m. ET ON CNN: “He comes here because of the American dream and the American way. He becomes very rich, God bless him. And then as soon as he makes all of that money, he leaves. He doesn’t strike me as somebody of – you know, you wouldn’t see that story on someone who really had moral – high moral character.”

EDUARDO SAVERIN’S STATEMENT: “As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me. In 2004, I invested my life’s savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

TRIVIA ANSWER
Kadish and McCloskey were both residents of Malden, Massachusetts, when they were married at the Cambridge City Hall on May 17, 2004. They were the first legally married same-sex partners in the United States.

Their nuptials followed a November 18, 2003, Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Following the ruling, a number of lawmakers tried to overturn the decision by recognizing civil unions but banning same-sex marriages. Those efforts failed and Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex unions.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican president nominee, was governor of Massachusetts at the time. When Romney ran for governor in 2002, he was openly against same-sex marriage and civil unions. When presented with a compromise – an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions – Romney initially supported the measure before rescinding his support.

President Barack Obama came out last week in favor of same-sex marriages, telling ABC News that he came to that position after talking with his wife and two daughters.

GOT NEWS?
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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Gus

    Yo Mitt, Whats up with seeing the Press & yelling SECURITY!!!!! You are a true WUSS!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Jack

    Buy yourself a clue, Mitt--most Americans don't think you are a nice guy, either.

    May 17, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    After Romney cut the throat of every republican opponent and won't stand up against people telling blatant lies (it's not my job to do that), HE IS THE ONE RUNNING THE CHARACTER ASSASSANITION CAMPAIGN - SINCE DAY ONE.

    Just because he repeats a lie over and over doesn't mean it's the truth.

    May 17, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Poor newt – he feels so left out (finally).

    May 17, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I thought we saw the last of this old fart face Newt Gingrich, but atleast he no longer has that phony pasted smile on his face, I'm glad Romney put him away.

    May 17, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What a ridiculous pig!

    May 17, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. CBR

    What goes around comes around Mr. Romney. You are allowing these pacs to use your name.

    May 17, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    ►“I want to make it very clear I repudiate that effort. I think it is the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign... [but what I said on Hannity about Wright]... “I haven’t, haven’t, I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said but I stand by what I said whatever it was….” ◄

    Really MITTens? Did you really say that before you said what you said and then flipped and said something else because you forgot what you said? Jeez!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Further!!

    May 17, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Republicans Still Living in the 50's

    Romney will not be able to romneyboat President Obama the way he did his challengers during the primary. Even though I am not a republican supporter what he did to his challengers is digusting and borders on being evil. I want to know all about Bain since that is what Romney keeps bragging about. Someone please tell the man you can not run the country the way you do a corporation. If you use the same tactics in government as you do in a greedy business you will be impeached or indicted. I will never vote for someone that has offshore accounts and wants to be President. I will never vote for someone that is a member of a cult. I respect other religions but not cults that brainwash people.

    May 17, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. w l jones

    He only getting bad advice it happen some time.

    May 17, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. Sydnium S. Washington

    Rev. Wright is a party crasher, all right.

    May 17, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Republicans need to examine their values. They allowed a person with Newt's record to compete for their nomination far into the primary. They find themselves the American flagship for bigotry and racism. They've become the political party unable to live the Christian values they promote. The "flexibility" in their values is determined by the Fox News viewpoint of the politicial situation. Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch... do the math.

    May 17, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |