CNN's GUT CHECK for June 22, 2012
June 22nd, 2012
03:55 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 22, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 22, 2012 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

LEADING… POTUS DEFENDS IMMIGRATION DECISION: President Barack Obama delivered an impassioned case for his re-election on Friday while defending his record on the economy and his newly stated immigration policy. "Giving them a reason to hope, that was the right thing to do," Obama told the crowd at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, about his announcement last Friday.

DEVELOPING… FLORIDA GOV. SCOTT: ROMNEY CAMPAIGN DIDN'T ASK US TO CHANGE OUR MESSAGE: Florida Gov. Rick Scott refuted media reports that the Romney campaign had asked him to stop talking about the economy recovering in Florida because it countered Romney’s message that Obama’s policies on the economy aren’t working. "I'm glad people understand how well we're doing," Scott said in an interview with CNN’s Jessica Yellin. "The Romney campaign has not asked us to tone down anything." Scott was speaking at the NALEO conference in Florida – the same conference that Romney addressed on Thursday.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Who won the closest election in Senate history?

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

On Fridays, we like to take a step back and learn from the “masters of the political class” to see things from a different perspective.

Our question this week was spurred by stories that several elected Democrats have said they will not attend the Democratic National Convention, which takes place the first week in September.

Do you think Democrats, who decide not to attend the Democratic National Convention are smart to try and distance themselves from their own political party and President Obama right before the Election?

David DiMartino, Democratic consultant, Blue Engine Message & Media

“Democrats across the country are excited to re-elect Barack Obama in November. National conventions and attendance at them do little to win over voters or win elections. While the elite media is now focused on who’s not going, soon they’ll turn to the inside baseball of who is attending, when they might be speaking and what it all means. The answer is it means nothing. On the contrary, Mitt Romney has been to Florida, the state hosting the GOP convention, 54 times during this campaign and hasn’t once appeared with Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott. In that case it’s difficult to determine who is distancing himself from whom."

Tammy Frisby, research fellow and professor, Stanford University's Hoover Institution

“I’m surprised the list of names isn’t longer already. The party is gathering to throw their support behind an incumbent president who is struggling with his approval rating. On top of that, the president’s campaign has already made clear that Obama for America and the DNC will not be making cash transfers to the DCCC or DSCC, at least before Election Day. So the potential rewards for suiting up and showing up for the president in Charlotte are low. And being able to say that you chose the people of your district over the national party convention is a great way to show that you’re an outsider and have a concrete way to run against Washington, especially if you are already in Congress.”

Do you think the decision by these Democrats to skip his nominating convention will hurt President Obama as he seeks a second term?

David DiMartino, Democratic consultant, Blue Engine Message & Media

“No. Democrats will have a great and unified convention in Charlotte, while Tampa is going to be a spectacle. There’s a ‘counter convention’ being planned in Tampa and Ron Paul’s campaign is threatening to flex its delegate muscle to make things difficult for Romney. Democrats are excited about re-electing the president and will come out of Charlotte energized and engaged, while Republicans are not nearly as excited about their default nominee.”

Tammy Frisby, research fellow and professor, Stanford University's Hoover Institution

“Probably not. It does depend on a couple of things, one, which congressional candidates opt-out of the convention and, two, how much those candidates use their absence to run against Obama rather than running against Washington in general. Right now, this group of members is relatively small and the electoral votes of two of the represented states, New York and West Virginia, will almost certainly go to Obama and Romney, respectively, anyway. The other state, Pennsylvania, is a toss-up state in the presidential election, but only one member, Rep. Mark Critz, has announced his intention to skip the convention. Even if Rep. Critz showed up in Charlotte in September, he’s already decided to be sharply critical of the president.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Rielle Hunter on night with Edwards: 'Intensity like a rock concert'
The woman at the center of one of the 21st century's most salacious political sex scandals said in an interview airing Friday she has no regrets about falling in love with a married presidential candidate. – Kevin Liptak

Leading Drudge: Gay Activists Invited To WH 'Flip Off' Reagan
Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. … Some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger. – Victor Fiorillo

Leading HuffPo: Florida Voting Rules Discriminate Against Minorities: Justice Department
New rules in Florida that cut back on early voting hours unfairly burden the state's minorities, U.S. Justice Department lawyers argued on Thursday. A three-judge District Court panel in Washington, D.C., heard nearly six hours of arguments from the Justice Department and Florida, which last year passed a series of measures its attorneys say will stave off voter fraud. – Drew Singer

Leading Politico: Fast and Furious: How President Obama and John Boehner got to the brink
It was a fight that neither man wanted. For more than a year, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner showed little interest in becoming central players in the long-simmering controversy over Operation Fast and Furious. – Josh Gerstein and Jake Sherman

Leading New York Times: Romney Exhibits a Change in Tone on Immigration
Mitt Romney struck a more conciliatory tone toward illegal immigrants than he has in the past, but backed only limited steps to address the concerns of many Hispanic voters. – Ashley Parker and Trip Gabriel

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– Immigration is important, but not only issue –
SEN. MARCO RUBIO IN A SPEECH TO NALEO CONFERENCE IN FLORIDA: “One of the things that frustrates me, sometimes, is that when people speak to Hispanics and Latinos, they only want to talk about immigration. The point that I make is that immigration is an important issue in the Hispanic community, but the vast majority of us do not wake up in the morning and think about immigration all day. We wake up and have same worries, same hopes and fears as everybody else in this country. We worry about making payroll on Friday. We worry about balancing our family budget at the end of the month. We worry about the schools that our kids go to. We worry about whether tomorrow will be better for them than it has been for us.”

– Axe goes after Romney on outsourcing –
DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR OBAMA STRATEGIST, ON A CONFERENCE CALL: “Do we need the kind of philosophy that embraces outsourcing and off shoring as a positive tool in our economy? It's particularly egregious coming on a day Romney began running an ad in Ohio promising to stand up to China, demanding a level playing field for our businesses and workers when it turns out his companies were actually involved in shipping jobs to China and India.”

– Sen. Thune asks: ‘Obama, where is the recovery?’ –
SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-SOUTH DAKOTA, IN AN OPINION PIECE ON CNN.COM: “The president doesn't seem to understand just how badly Americans are hurting. Despite the more than 23 million Americans who remain unemployed or underemployed, the president recently claimed that the private sector is "doing fine" and that what America actually needs is more government spending and more government workers. In other words, more of the same. More stimulus spending from Washington that explodes the debt. More government picking winners and losers. More taxes. More regulation. It's time to try something new.”

– Dems continue to hammer Romney on DREAM Act –
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIR OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “This is a candidate that has the most extreme policy on immigration of any presidential candidate in recent memory. He has embraced the Arizona-style immigration laws and has those leaders who wrote those laws as his campaign advisers on immigration. So we should believe him when he says that he would veto the DREAM act. We should believe him.”

– Contempt for Congress and contempt of Congress – two very different things –
JAY LENO JOKES ABOUT ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER ON “THE TONIGHT SHOW”: “Well, the House committee is now recommending that Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress. Now, don't confuse that for what you and I have. That’s contempt for Congress. That is a totally different issue.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

TRIVIA ANSWER

Every vote does, in fact, count. Especially if you are Democrat John Durkin, who lost the 1974 New Hampshire race for an open seat in the Senate to Republican Louis Wyman by just 355 votes.

But wait, there is more. Durkin demanded a recount immediately and after the votes were counted, the Democrat ended up winning by a slim 10-vote margin. As expected, Wyman was not happy about his outcome and demanded his own recount. The state ballot commission went back to the now twice counted ballots and found that Wyman, in fact, won the election by two votes.

The Republican governor, who had awarded Durkin the win after the first recount, cancelled his certificate to the Democrat and awarded it to Wyman.

But Durkin wasn't going to go down without a fight so he appealed to the U.S. Senate. After a drawn out process that deadlocked both the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the full Senate, Durkin agreed to Wyman’s proposal for a new election.

Funny enough, Durkin won the new election by a sizable 27,000-vote margin and was seated on September 18, 1975. Three years later, Wyman became an associate justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Bob Kovach (@bobkovachcnn) to correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. Kovach is becoming an avid trivia follower, so much so that we often wonder what else he does.

GOT NEWS?
Our inbox awaits: gutcheck@cnn.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing gutcheck@cnn.com
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.


Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The economy does seem to be improving. It would be doing even better had Congress passed the American Jobs Act of 2011. We really do need to fix our roads, bridges, and raila. We really do need to repair our schools. We really do need to give tax breaks to actual small business, while excluding the multi-billion dollar S-Corporations.

    June 22, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    "Giving them a reason to hope, that was the right thing to do," Obama told the crowd at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials,
    ==========================================================================================
    yeah right, just like you sold your bogus Hope & Change to the American people 4 years ago and we STILL have record unemployment with no end in sight. HE LIES LATINOS!!! Don't be suckered by his failed policies AND slogan like the rest of America was in 2008.

    June 22, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Rudy NYC - The economy does seem to be improving. It would be doing even better had Congress passed the American Jobs Act of 2011. We really do need to fix our roads, bridges, and raila. We really do need to repair our schools. We really do need to give tax breaks to actual small business, while excluding the multi-billion dollar S-Corporations.
    =========================================================================================
    We really DON'T need more government money sent to the unions for make work jobs. We really DON'T need to add yet another TRILLION onto our national debt to do it. Just more of the Obama Spend Our Way to Prosperity insanity the American people REJECTED in 2010.

    Obama and the Democrats, out of ideas, our of excuses, out of time, out of office in November.

    June 22, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    ...BEND...

    We really DON'T need to add yet another TRILLION onto our national debt to do it. Just more of the Obama Spend Our Way to Prosperity insanity the American people REJECTED in 2010.
    --------------–
    "We don't need another Trillion..." That's odd. How come you didn't say that yesterday when they passed the biggest spending bill in US history: a trillion dollar bill that is mostly a give subsidy give away to big agriculture. Can I borrow your cherry picker someday?

    June 22, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Rudy NYC - How come you didn't say that yesterday when they passed the biggest spending bill in US history: a trillion dollar bill that is mostly a give subsidy give away to big agriculture.
    ==============================================================================================
    Come Rudy, enough with your lies. NOBODY is spending nearly a trillion dollars on "mostly a give subsidy give away to big agriculture.". You're sounding as crazy as Obama these days. You'll need to post some facts to account for that nearly trillion dollars to regain any credibility, but we both know that will not be possible.

    June 22, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Rudy 1, wingnuts 0.

    June 22, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    The economy does seem to be improving. It would be doing even better had Congress passed the American Jobs Act of 2011.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    The current national debt is about $16,000,000,000,000.00 and increasing at $4,000,000,000.00 a day. When do you suppose it is a good time to start thinking about spending less? When it reaches $20,000,000,000,000.00? How about even working on that $4,000,000,000.00 of new debt every day? We are not going to buy or tax our way to prosperity. It's time to realize we need to work and manage our way back. That means growing the private sector. Obama is not the guy to figure out how to do that. Mitt Romney is.

    June 22, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Jon

    Four and the Door ... Why do you keep trying to say that the economy and fixing the debt is important ... Don’t you know that if we focus on those things that President Obama can’t get re-elected ... how could you be such a racist that you would want to focus on the things that will embarrass our President.

    June 22, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Jon

    Why are Latinos so supportive of President Obama ... The Obama administration agreed to sneak behind the Mexico Government's back and give a bunch of drug dealers guns so they could kill Latinos, and anyone else that might stand up against them like border patrols. Then Obama hides behind executive privilege so that no one will know if he gave the ok.

    June 22, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Larry L

    @Jon

    Four and the Door ... Why do you keep trying to say that the economy and fixing the debt is important ... Don’t you know that if we focus on those things that President Obama can’t get re-elected ... how could you be such a racist that you would want to focus on the things that will embarrass our President.
    -----------------------------------------------–
    You are correct... a person can be enough of a racist they can become delusional. For example, they might blame President Obama for a debt caused by the two wars not on the books, the recession and the cut & spend economic plan of the previous Republican administration. They might ignore the obstructionist Republican Congress trying very hard to create failure – blocking every attempt to pas a jobs bill. They might actually support the Tea Party's drones in the House who caused our bond rating to fall. They might actually believe and repeat the lies from Fox News. It's possible...

    June 22, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. NVa Native

    Obama's many accomplishments which benefit 99% of Americans and kept us from sinking into the Second Great (GOP) Depression are to a few selfish and misinformed fruitcakes posting here a failure.
    Mark Twain has written volumes about these people who vote against their own best interests, and then whine that they are getting screwed while blindly denying it’s the same people they support, and then blame it on the person who saves them.
    In modern terms they’re the new and improved GOP/tee-heads/fox followers.

    June 22, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    Larry L ~ very well and factually stated, but it won't get past their tin-foil hats.

    June 22, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Stuffit

    Isn't that something about Florida, the corrupt regime, thinks because they play so dirty and lie so much, that everyone does. Hey dope addicts, it is just democrat liberals that lie about things and the NEA and the corrupt unions as well as the liberally biased mainstream media back them up. The call Jon Stewart a "comic" when he is just a tool of the DNC and the corrupt, incompetent, inept, union toady president that the unions stole the election for.

    June 22, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Please. "it's the right thing to do". You might as well just open the doors and let everyone in the country. Why have any rules? Wrong is wrong and giving into a segment of the world that can simply walk across a line in the dirt is not "right" for everyone else who has to go thru the proceudures of coming here legally.

    June 22, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. andre

    Im sick of people blaming President Obama for F&F. Do some homework and you will find out that the AZ ATF put this together and DOJ signed off on it. Such operations do not require executive authorization. Also you dont mention a similar operation conducted under the previous administration with a similar outcome. No one was punished after that debacle and this nonsense should never have happened twice, but placing F&F on the Presidents shoulders is nothing but right wing malarky.

    June 22, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Austerity is not the answer to our problem in America! That has been proven to bring the US back into the Great Recession! Europe tried this by Austerity measures and their economy is in worse shape that the United States. We need to spend money to create jobs so people can pay government taxes so the Government can stay afloat.

    June 22, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. John Smith

    Today I had to go to Sears. As I approached the entrance, I noticed a driver looking for a parking space.
    I flagged the driver and pointed out a handicap parking space that was open and available.

    The driver looked puzzled, rolled down her window and said, "I'm not handicapped!"

    Well, as you can imagine, my face was red!
    "Oh, I'm sorry" I said, "I saw your Obama sticker and just assumed..."

    She gave me the finger and yelled some nasty names at me.

    Boy! Some people – and when you're just trying to help them out!

    June 22, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    The total amount Obama has spent on improving the economy is far less than what W spent in tax cuts, which were supposed to stimulate the economy. SOW, 4/Door and Myview, The Bush tax cuts have been around for 8 years of W and 4 years of the GOP obstructing Obama's efforts to repeal them. 12 years we have been giving to the rich in order to create jobs for the rest. Um, where are the jobs? It's been 12 years; how long will it take?

    June 22, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |