CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 31, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: ROMNEY PREPS SWING STATE BLITZ, STIRRING V.P. SPECULATION… Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is quietly laying the groundwork for a high-profile blitz of several key battleground states in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, and Republicans briefed on the plans say it has all the trappings of a vice presidential rollout tour. – Peter Hamby
Washington (CNN) – A group of conservative black pastors are responding to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage with what they say will be a national campaign aimed at rallying black Americans to rethink their overwhelming support of the President, though the group’s leader is offering few specifics about the effort.
The Rev. Williams Owens, who is president and founder of the Coalition of African-Americans Pastors and the leader of the campaign, has highlighted opposition to same-sex marriage among African-Americans. He calls this campaign “an effort to save the family.”FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is quietly laying the groundwork for a high-profile blitz of several key battleground states in the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Republicans briefed on the plans say it has all the trappings of a vice presidential rollout tour.
On the heels of his rocky trip overseas, Romney will spend the coming days maintaining the kind of schedule he has kept for much of the summer, with appearances and fundraisers in medium-sized cities in various swing states. Romney will visit Colorado, Nevada and Indiana this week, and make stops in Ohio next week.
(CNN) - In the wake of his visit to Poland, Mitt Romney on Tuesday announced he was forming Polish Americans for Romney.
"Polish Americans share the love of individual liberty that makes our country exceptional, prosperous, and free," Romney said in a statement announcing the group shortly after he departed Poland following a two-day trip. "This community has made tremendous contributions to America spanning business, science, and more."
(CNN) – A few hours after Mitt Romney departed Poland to return to the United States, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign piled on to its criticism of the presumptive GOP nominee's foreign trip, calling it an "embarrassing disaster."
"As he left, he set the lowest expectations imaginable for a foreign trip," said Robert Gibbs, senior Obama campaign adviser. "He certainly didn't prove to anyone that he passed the commander-in-chief test."
(CNN) - Congressional leaders announced a deal Tuesday on a six-month bill to fund the federal government, thereby removing the possibility of a government shutdown - and the political spectacle that would go with it - before the election.
"It will provide stability for the coming months," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. "It will be free of riders. This is very good because we can resolve these critical issues that directly affect the country as soon as the election is over and move on to do good things."
Warsaw (CNN) - In the estimation of Mitt Romney and his top campaign aides, there were no gaffes, no mistakes, no ill-advised statements on the Republican candidate's overseas trip.
The poorly timed comments? No big deal. The remarks in Israel that inflamed the Palestinians? Overblown. The off-color words to the press by a Romney aide Tuesday? In the heat of the moment.FULL STORY
(CNN) – President Barack Obama made a $5,000 donation to his campaign Monday night, the first contribution the president has made to his re-election effort.
In an email to supporters, Obama wrote that his donation "won't be enough to surmount the unprecedented fundraising we've seen on the other side, both from our opponent's campaign and from the outside groups and special interests supporting him."
(CNN) - Crossroads GPS, the private arm for the Karl Rove-backed super PAC American Crossroads, released a new television ad Tuesday blaming President Barack Obama for the still-lagging economy.
The ad opens with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley saying in a July newscast, "Good evening. This is the worst economic recovery America has ever had."
(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Tuesday he wasn't denigrating the culture of Palestinians when he suggested at a fund-raiser that Israel's culture played a role in its economic success.