CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 29, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING... STUDENT LOAN REPRIEVE ... Congress voted Friday to extend low 3.4% interest rates on federally subsidized student loans for another year, barely beating a July 1 deadline for the rates to double. The House voted 373 to 52 to pass the bill. The Senate voted 74 to 19 to follow suit.
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Leading CNNPolitics: GOP launches blitz against health care law
Republicans launched a blistering attack Friday on the health care reform law upheld by the Supreme Court, seeking to rally their base's opposition to the measure to bolster their fortunes in the November election. – Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: Secret Wiretaps Rock DOJ
In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record. – Jonathan Strong
Leading HuffPo: Minority report: Inside The Conservative Justices' Frightening Dissent
Did the minority's uncompromising insistence on invalidating the entire law push [Chief Justice] Roberts to join the moderates in upholding it? We won't know until the next tell-all book on the court, but below are excerpts from the dissent, signed by Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: The Republican recipe for repeal
Republican hopes to repeal the health care law may come down to a bank shot: A GOP sweep in November and a simple Senate majority — along with some arcane budget procedures — could kill the individual mandate in 2013. – Manu Raju and Jake Sherman
Leading New York Times: Conservatives See Silver Lining in Health Ruling
Despite the affirmation of the health care law, some conservatives and libertarians were buoyed by the Supreme Court’s limiting of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. – James B. Stewart
Name the state that has hosted two Democratic Party presidential conventions, the second 100 years after the first.
On Fridays we like to reach out to the "masters of the political class," and today we are among them at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
We were fortunate to moderate a panel this morning on the book, "The Real Romney," and got a deep dive on the soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee with author Michael Kranish.
Many of the attendees had a simple question: What would Mitt Romney be like as president?
Kranish pointed to what he called "one of the most telling quotes in the book," a comment from Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom in the Des Moines Register, from December 26, 2007, talking about his candidate: "He's not a very notional leader. He is more interested in data, and what the data mean."
Kranish then writes in the book: "The use of the word 'notional' was telling. Fehrnstrom's comment apparently sought to highlight Romney's belief in facts over theories, but it may have left some voters questioning whether Romney saw himself as a man of big ideas, typically an ingredient in a successful campaign." (Page 294)
In our discussion, Kranish said that when you view Romney historically you see the pragmatism of his politics: "He was a registered independent in 1993, a moderate progressive in 1994 and is 'severely conservative' today, whatever that means."
"Romney's message this time is Mr. Fix It," Kranish continued. And as for how that would translate to governing, Kranish explained that it would depend on what Congress and the country looked like in January.
"He's a market-based politician like he was in business," Kranish said. "People have called it flip-flopping, but whatever you call it, Romney clearly has changed his positions dramatically, on abortion for example. It seems that with a Democratic legislature in Massachusetts, he wanted to get something done. ... As president, what we'll see may depend on the make up of Congress."
The political bites of the day
– Romney campaign sees green over health care decision –
ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN ANDREA SAUL: “We have received a tremendous response following the SCOTUS ruling across the country from voters who have a renewed sense of energy to repeal and replace Obamacare. Voters realize that the urgency of this election has become even more urgent. Not only have we had an overwhelming amount of donations, Governor Romney has also had more Facebook engagements and added more than three times the amount of Facebook followers as President Obama, despite President Obama starting with a Facebook list of over 27 million people to our over 2 million people.”
Per Saul: $4.6 million in more than 47,000 donations; 28,000 new Romney supporters on Facebook; 493,400 “likes,” comments, shares; 23% of users engaged.
– Obama campaign responds: You’re missing the point –
OBAMA CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN BEN LABOLT FIRES BACK: “It's perverse that Mitt Romney won’t share details about what he'd do for the millions he'd leave uninsured or at the whims of insurance companies when he 'kills Obamacare dead,' but he'll share the hourly details of his fundraising after the Supreme Court ruling. We've outraised the Romney campaign in that time period but that's not the point – our supporters are more committed than ever to ensuring that insurance companies can't drop coverage for people who get sick or discriminate against people with preexisting conditions by reelecting the President.”
– Electoral ‘urgency’ in wake of Supreme Court decision –
MITT ROMNEY AT A FUNDRAISER: “What happened yesterday calls for greater urgency, I believe, in the election. I think people recognize that if you want to replace Obamacare, you've got to replace President Obama. And the urgency of doing that is something which is galvanizing people across the county. I think many people assumed that the Supreme Court would do the work that was necessary in repealing Obamacare. It did not get that job done. It instead came up with an interpretation to allow it to stand. … You will now have a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor, I think the American people are going to do the right thing and on November 6, they're going to vote to replace Obamacare and replace President Obama.”
– Rubio praises evangelical leaders –
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLORIDA, RESPONDS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CBN’S DAVID BRODY TO A SUGGESTION THAT EVANGELICALS FAVOR HIM AMONG VICE PRESIDENTIAL POSSIBILITIES: “I think evangelical leaders have played an important role in framing America's political debate, and I think there's forces out there that want to discourage them from being involved in American politics, almost guilt them into saying we shouldn't mix religion with politics, or spirituality with politics. And I certainly think the one thing I would say to you is that you can't have a strong country, you can't have a strong economy without strong people. And the church community, the faith community has an important role to play in helping families and parents raise strong children who become strong adults who become the foundations of a strong country. Not only do they have the religious constitutional liberties to participate in our politics, but the values that they defend to our faith are critically important for the well-being of this country and its future. So I just encourage faith leaders to continue to get involved.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
House passes student loans/highway bill 373-52, Sen votes soon & then Obama signs - whole day b/f deadline! Recess always incentive to deal—
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) June 29, 2012
Had a great time with @MittRomney last night. He is focused and ready for the battle ahead. Lots of money was raised.—
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2012
Romney's latest campaign surrogate: Hillary Clinton on.cnn.com/KR4tj8—
Adam P. Levy (@adamplevycnn) June 29, 2012
"Part of creativity comes from people with different backgrounds and straights come together." - Walter Isaacson on CNN #aspenideas—
Eric Kuhn (@Kuhn) June 29, 2012
Literally the only story on Earth that could knock out health care. RT @BuzzFeed: BREAKING: Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise divorcing - PEOPLE—
Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) June 29, 2012
Gut Check is coming to you from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, the state which hosted both the 2008 and 1908 Democratic National Conventions.
Colorado is one of seven toss-ups on the CNN Electoral Map, where you can calculate the various ways to 270 electoral votes and the presidency in 2012.
Then-Sen. Barack Obama won Colorado 54% to 45% over Sen. John McCain.
In 1908, the Democratic Party met in Denver and nominated William Jennings Bryan, who lost to William Howard Taft.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congratulations to Alex Coelho (@apcoelho) for correctly answering Gut Check Trivia. And as we sign off from Aspen, Colorado, we want to thank the Aspen Institute for hosting the annual Ideas Festival - a place where big ideas are discussed and encouraged. As we walked on the beautiful campus, this quote from Plato caught our eye: "One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
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