CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 2, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: THE U.S. WANTS A SOFTER LANDING IN SYRIA… A U.S. official tells CNN’s Elise Labott that “we are going to get there,” in regards to Syria. The official requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about the United States’ strategy in the country. “We want to get there in a way that’s a softer landing. We don’t want the institutions to just melt away,” the official said when asked about the possibility of providing nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid to the opposition.
What president had a life changing combat experience on this day in history?
Appearing in Colorado today alongside Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez and Bob McDonnell, Mitt Romney has once again changed the political subject from his international travels to his search for a vice president.
It has been six days since the woman leading Romney’s search, Beth Myers, tweeted her provocative follow requests for @KellyAyotte @timpawlenty @GovChristie @BobbyJindal @marcorubio @RepPaulRyan @NewtGingrich, @robportman @bobmcdonnell @CondoleezzaRice @johnthune @Gov_Martinez and @RickSantorum.
So it’s a fine time to look at Facebook to see how it is playing out in this social media community – that has now conquered more than half of the U.S. population.
Thanks in part to the speculation, via the Drudge Report, that Condoleezza Rice was being considered as Romney’s running mate, the former secretary of state has received a whopping 27.4% gain in her “likes” since June 1 – leaving her with just shy of 34,000 thumbs up on Facebook.
But what truly caught our eye was the account of a key congressman from Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan, who has seen a 64.5% jump in "likes" in the last two months. So, keep your eye on the buzz maker congressman who (if you are a reader of our beloved trivia would know) also once drove the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Analysis: Fewer U.S. gun owners own more guns
A decreasing number of American gun owners own two-thirds of the nation's guns and as many as one-third of the guns on the planet - even though they account for less than 1% of the world's population, according to a CNN analysis of gun ownership data. – Allison Brennan
Leading Drudge: GM Profits Plunge 41%
General Motors' profits fell 41% in the second quarter as troubles in Europe undercut strong sales in North America. America's largest automaker made $1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2012 compared with $2.5 billion for the same period last year. Revenue fell to $37.6 billion from $39.4 billion in the second quarter of 2011. The results exceeded analysts' estimates, but further underlined Europe's drag on the US economy. – Dominic Rushe
Leading HuffPo: President Obama Attacked By GOP For Failing To Meet His Own Ethics Standards
A new report from House GOP documenting instances in which President Barack Obama's White House conducted business with an eye toward secrecy has exposed the president to charges that he has failed to meet his own ethical standards. – Sam Stein
Leading Politico: Senate cybersecurity bid sputters
The Senate’s late-summer race to pass cybersecurity legislation before leaving for recess came to a dead end Thursday when Democrats couldn’t muster enough gas to clear a procedural vote over objections of GOP leaders and many big-business lobbies. – Tony Romm
Leading The New York Times: Adviser Draws Attention to Romney Mideast Policy
Moments after making remarks in Jerusalem about Middle East culture that enraged Palestinians and undermined the public relations value of his trip to Israel, Mitt Romney looked around the room for Dan Senor, one of his campaign’s top foreign policy advisers. – Michael Shear
The political bites of the day
– Obama’s argument: the ‘folks in Washington’ to blame –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN FLORIDA: “I want you to understand we can solve our problems and made significant strides on a whole range of areas. But what’s standing in our way, still, is our politics. What’s standing in our way is a group of folks in Washington with some uncompromising views, folks that think the only way to get back on track is go back to the same top down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.”
– Chick-fil-A creeps into the campaign –
SEN. MARCO RUBIO AT A MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGN EVENT IN FLORIDA: “Things will never get better under Barack Obama because he doesn't understand what makes us great. There is a new option and that is to return to the source of our prosperity, to a government that does its job and leaves the rest to us. To a government that believes in the power of the American dreamer and the hoper. The young man or woman who at this very moment is drawing up a business plan on the back of a scrap piece of paper on a Chick-fil-A somewhere nearby.”
– Politics, horses and an absurd ad –
JUSTIN RUBEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “In our ad, voters hear the truth about Mitt Romney straight from the horse’s mouth: Romney seems to think many Americans deserve to be treated worse than a horse. There’s nothing wrong with taking good care of a horse, but there’s something messed up about a millionaire who spends twice what most Americans make in a year caring for a horse, but wants to take away people’s health care and offshore their jobs.”
– Pelosi wants revenue on the table –
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI IN HER WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: “I would hope that either of the two candidates, the president and the candidate for the president, Mitt Romney, the leadership in the Congress, the private sector would weigh in and say you got to have revenue on the table to make this work. You've got to have growth in order to bring in revenue and you've got to make some tough decisions about spending.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Louis D. Johnston (@LDJEconomics) August 02, 2012
What happens when you throw Bob Dylan, Ben Bernanke, and Milton Glaser in the blender? This week's cover. bit.ly/MlOV8U—
Josh (@Tyrangiel) August 02, 2012
Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are holding a joint political briefing today at the RGA retreat in Aspen > bit.ly/N5dN13—
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN) August 02, 2012
Kofi Annan goes. He never had a chance. Many of those who asked him to procure a ceasefire were arming one or other side #Syria—
Chris Doyle (@Doylech) August 02, 2012
Harry Reid triples down on the Romney didn't pay taxes attack. Why? ow.ly/cGLew—
The Fix (@TheFix) August 02, 2012
Jennifer Scoggins (@JenScogginsCNN) August 01, 2012
Serving as the commander of a torpedo boat in the Solomon Islands, John F. Kennedy and his crew were fired upon by the Japanese navy on this day in 1943.
In the middle of the night on August 2, Kennedy’s PT 109 had a Japanese destroyer slam into it and began taking fire. When a number of crew were flung overboard, Kennedy dove in and helped save them. After the boat went under, Kennedy and his crew waited on a small island until a Navy patrol boat rescued them.
For his leadership, Kennedy received honors for his demonstration of “courage, endurance and excellent leadership” that “contributed to the saving of several lives and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
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