CNN’s GUT CHECK for August 22, 2012
August 22nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for August 22, 2012

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

BREAKING: FOUR YEARS LATER, SIMILAR SLIM MARGIN BEFORE GOP CONVENTION: CNN’s Poll of polls of registered voters’ choice for president shows:

Barack Obama - 47%
Mitt Romney - 43%

With just five days to go until the start of the Republican convention in Tampa, the race for the White House remains knotted up between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of three national polls of registered voters conducted since August 15: Gallup Daily Tracking (August 15-21), Monmouth University (August 15-19), and Wall Street Journal/NBC News (August 16-20).

In 2008, the CNN Poll of Polls just days before the start of the Republican National convention showed Obama with 49 percent and McCain with 44 percent – a five point margin.

DEVELOPING: NO PARSING FROM PAUL… In an interview with KDKA in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Rep. Paul Ryan responds to questions about a bill he sponsored while in the House.
QUESTION: You sponsored legislation that has the language "forcible rape"
RYAN: Rape is rape, period end of story.
Q: So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?
RYAN: Rape is rape and there is no splitting hairs over rape.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
How many hotel rooms have been booked in Tampa, Florida, for the Republican National Convention?

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

When a politician is embroiled in a controversy, a headline grabbing incident or situation can be the most effective way to change the subject.

For the past few days, Mitt Romney has been in the middle of a political storm, one that is not of his doing. Nonetheless, Rep. Todd Akin’s remark on “legitimate rape” is overshadowing the lead-in to Romney’s convention here in Tampa where the former Massachusetts governor will formally accept the nomination and make the final turn to the general election. The Romney campaign’s message is being overpowered by the Akin controversy - one, that as of now, doesn’t appear to be going away.

But another storm churning off the Southeast coast has the potential to overshadow the Akin storyline, as eyes are now starting to lock onto Tropical Storm Isaac. The concern, less than one week before the Republican National Convention, is that Isaac could increase strength, become a hurricane, move into the Gulf of Mexico and turn into Tampa. Right now, no one knows the storm’s path, and people are expressing hope that it won’t come this way. But in a region known for hurricanes – no one is taking this lightly.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement a few hours ago saying that state officials “are closely tracking the potential for the storm to impact part or all of the state, including the Tampa Bay region during the Republican National Convention.” Scott added that in planning for this event the “possibility of a hurricane hitting the convention has been part of that planning process.”

Convention officials said they too are “monitoring the situation” and have “contingency plans in place” in case they have to take action. GOP officials are not disclosing those plans, likely out of concern that it would draw more attention to the storm.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn took time today to walk along the waterfront, which is right next to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, to help us at Gut Check better understand what would happen if the storm does hit his city.

“The apparatus is already in place,” said Buckhorn, who is a Democrat. “The command structure is already in place. We know the evacuation routes. We know what to do. And so the only additional burden would be we’d have the media here to document our success or failure and you’d have the delegates. It’s just all about moving bodies out of harms way.”

Still, a major storm would be devastating to this city, which beat out several others for the right to host the convention.

“If you had a CAT Three storm, with a direct hit on Tampa Bay, you would literally push 15 to 20 feet of water all the way through Davis Islands through the convention center into downtown Tampa,” he said. “That would require a direct hit. Absent that you will get some storm surge depending on what the tides are, depending on which way the wind is coming, depending on where the hurricane is positioned out on the Gulf because it is counterclockwise. So, it all depends on the location of the storm, how long it stays, the intensity of it. But clearly a direct hit from a CAT Three and above storm would have pretty devastating impact.”

A devastating impact indeed on the lives of many people. Politics seems so trivial when we take into account the human factor and suffering. Still, we would be remiss if we didn’t look at the political implications of every event. For Mitt Romney, it is another storyline not of his doing that could affect his campaign. Even if the storm doesn’t hit Tampa, it could cause massive damage elsewhere. That in itself could influence how the Romney campaign moves forward with the convention.

Two storms the Romney campaign is dealing with that it has no control over.

But we note that President Obama might have to face a similar situation. If a devastating storm hit the U.S. and the Romney campaign had to scale back its convention could the Obama campaign throw a party the following week in Charlotte?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Drama is rare in modern conventions
Four years after Jerry Ford's presidency ended in the ashes of his Watergate pardon of Richard Nixon, he vaulted back onto center stage at his party's 1980 national convention. – Paul Varian

Leading Drudge: CDC: West Nile Record
The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of cases so far this year is the highest recorded through August since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999. As of August 21, 38 states had reported human infections. The cases reported to the CDC total 1,118, including 41 deaths. – Elizabeth Cohen

Leading HuffPo: Paul Ryan Pick No 'Game Change,' New Poll Says
With the first of the nominating conventions less than a week away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll adds more evidence that the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate has not been a "game changer" in the 2012 race for the White House. – Mike Blumenthal

Leading Politico: Todd Akin’s looming campaign of isolation
Rep. Todd Akin showed he could win a 48-hour standoff with his party. But that feat pales compared with what’s next: Running for a critical Senate seat as a candidate in near total isolation — abandoned by Republicans across the spectrum after his “legitimate rape” remarks and hard-pressed to raise the millions of dollars he’ll need to compete with Sen. Claire McCaskill. – Manu Raju

Leading The New York Times: Limited Convention Coverage Will Leave Ann Romney Off Air
At 10:30 on Monday night, Ann Romney is scheduled to take the stage at the Republican National Convention, in Act 1 of her husband’s four-day introduction to the nation. But tens of millions of people will not be able to watch. – Jeremy Peters

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– Biden gives Ryan a compliment –
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA, ON TUESDAY: “Now that Gov. Romney has selected his running mate and these are both honorable men. These are both honorable men. But now that he's selected his running mate those differences are even more, more stark and more clear. Congressman Ryan has given, and I mean this as a compliment, he's given definition to the vague commitments that Romney has been making.”

– How many ‘most important’ elections have we had? –
VICE PRESIDENT HOPEFUL REP. PAUL RYAN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN VIRGINIA: “This is the most important election in our lifetimes no matter what generation you come from. It’s a defining moment. We understand the moment we are in and we can do this. We can turn this around. It’s not too late to get our country back on the right track, get people back to work, better take home pay. It’s not too late to reignite the American dream. We can do this.”

– ‘It’s not about me,’ says man defying entire party hierarchy –
REP. TODD AKIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NBC’S MATT LAUER: “I told him that I was going be looking at this VERY seriously, trying to weight all of the different points on this, and that I would make the decision. Because it's not about me. It's about trying to do the right thing, and standing on principle.”

– Trying to increase turnout, Romney encourages people to tell the truth –
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN IOWA: “One person, one person speaking the truth. Think about Rosa Parks. She was on a bus and told by the bus driver `get out of that seat. We want a white person to sit there’ and she said no. One person said no and began a campaign of dignity and honor and justice and equality.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Gut Check DVR: Drew Griffin’s report on AC360 Tonight is one the White House should watch. Key words: Solar, Made in America, China, tariffs.

TRIVIA ANSWER

With Republican delegations from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories streaming into Tampa, Florida, over the next few days, the town is gearing for an epic boost in tourism.

According to the host committee, 15,000 hotel rooms have been booked for the event.

“Any way you look at it, the convention is going to be a shot in the arm for Tampa Bay’s economy and tourism base,” Jones Lang LaSalle research analyst Stephen Siena said to the Tampa Bay Times.

According to Siena and the research team at Jones Lang LaSalle, the economic impact of the convention should be anywhere between $153.6 million to $173 million for the Tampa Bay area.

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

Gilbertson, we have missed you. Congratulations to Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) for being the person to get closest to our difficult trivia question today. While he tweeted 16,000 and the correct answer was 15,000, Gilbertson gets the win by default. At least we weren’t playing by “Price is Right” rules.

GOT NEWS?
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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 (23 Responses)
  1. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    The difference is NOW we know Obama is incompetent and an empty suit and we have a much better alternative with Romney/Ryan. Obama needs to go for the good of the country. If he had an ounce of honor, he would simply resign after 4 horrendous years of failure like he has had.

    August 22, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Any one with brain supports Obama not Bain capital and cayman island.

    August 22, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. cali girl

    For all boyfriends who have girlfriends, to all you brothers who have sisters, all you fathers who have daughters, all you husbands who have wives, all you grandfathers who have grandaughters, all you uncles who have nieces... Please stand by the women in your life and do not vote for any one who wants to take away rights for those women.

    August 22, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "The difference is NOW we know Obama is incompetent and an empty suit and we have a much better alternative with Romney/Ryan. Obama needs to go for the good of the country. If he had an ounce of honor, he would simply resign after 4 horrendous years of failure like he has had."

    Only thing empty that I see here is your ad nauseum, verbatim perseveration of the same substancless rhetoric sans facts, data, analysis, historical record, details regarding what Mittens' alleged 'plans" are, etc., to back it up. You, sir, exemplify the gullible, uncritical, angry and fearful target audience Mittens and the GOP/Teatrolls have trained their sites on. Do you receive your Faux Noise and Crossroads ads intravenously?

    August 22, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. BlkPwr817

    Anyone who thinks Romney/Ryan is the better alternative for this country is clueless. Soon you'll understand...

    August 22, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    cali girl – Please stand by the women in your life and do not vote for any one who wants to take away rights for those women.
    ==========================================================================================
    Like Obama who has taken away their right to find a decent job for 4 years?

    August 22, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Tyrone

    I King Tabby Nackle Bishop Romney tell all of you non millionaire Peasants you have no business seeing my past returns & how I Cheat Uncle Sam. & God bless the Mormons for not letting Men of Color enter the Elders in the Lds.

    August 22, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. cali girl

    8.3 keep up your rants becuase sadly that is all you have.
    Your boy Sheriff of Nothingham is banking on screwing the American have nots with everything he can. No plans on ANYTHING.

    August 22, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    Sniffi - Only thing empty that I see here is your ad nauseum, verbatim perseveration of the same substancless rhetoric sans facts, data, analysis, historical record, details regarding what Mittens' alleged 'plans" are, etc., to back it up
    ==========================================================================================

    You wouldn't read it anyways so why bother?

    What the heck is Obama going to do differently over the next four years? Is he going to find somebody else to blame? Is he going to spend $4 TRILLION on a union stimulus package? Will he takeover the entire healthcare industry after Obamacare destroys it? Who will his new targets be in the business community? Coal miners have already been targetted. Who does he have scheduled for extinction next? The USA maybe????

    August 22, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Like Obama who has taken away their right to find a decent job for 4 years?"

    Since when did conservatives believe that anyone has a "right" to a job as opposed to having to EARN your place? Oh wait...that's right...since it became a convenient, hypocritical semantic game for justifying policies designed to kill labor rights and collective bargaining on behalf of insutry giants paying to get them elected.

    August 22, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. 2020

    Romney Ryan – who is the VP?

    Ryan budget is a killer, increase wealth for the weathly at the expense of the middle class and poor. the country long rejected it.

    piggyback with legitimate rape and personhood bill Ryan co-sponsor, it is not a slip of tongue on rape, it is a product of a long standing GOP policy on legislating women body.

    this GOP ticket must be rejected.

    August 22, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. 2020

    Sniffit,, YOU NEED TO GO. BRING A BRAIN.

    Romney Ryan – who is the VP?

    Ryan budget is a killer, increase wealth for the weathly at the expense of the middle class and poor. the country long rejected it.

    piggyback with legitimate rape and personhood bill Ryan co-sponsor, it is not a slip of tongue on rape, it is a product of a long standing GOP policy on legislating women body.

    this GOP ticket must be rejected.

    August 22, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Larry L

    @8.3% unemployment – Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    The difference is NOW we know Obama is incompetent and an empty suit and we have a much better alternative with Romney/Ryan. Obama needs to go for the good of the country. If he had an ounce of honor, he would simply resign after 4 horrendous years of failure like he has had.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    A person with "honor" would man-up to some facts: Republicans were in charge when the economy tanked – with over 8 million jobs lost and the first stimulus package released before President Obama took office. Bush started the wars with no budget and no exit strategy. He cut taxes while the Congress spent money like drunken sailors. Nobody watched the financial district while they created the mortgage crisis. Republicans planned obstructionism on THE FIRST DAY of the President's term – and have worked to prevent job creation since that time with over 130 filibusters in the Senate and nothing but foolish Tea party bills from the House. We're recovering but no thanks can be offered the Republican party!

    While all this happened the "birthers" made vicious, racist, and dishonest attacks on the President. Now Romney promises low taxes, cheap gas, great healthcare, huge defense budget, reduced deficit – but has no plan he chooses to share – like his tax returns. He and Ryan will trash Social Security and Medicare while the fat-cats snicker about the politician they "own". Turn off Fox News and become a patriot rather than a Klansman.

    August 22, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "Like Obama who has taken away their right to find a decent job for 4 years?"

    Might want to talk to the 62% who got it right and blame Congress. Obama got a 32% blame percentage - lowest on the whole slew of blame the culprits montage list of suspects.

    August 22, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. OHPAHLEEZ

    Oh the irony...So is it safe to assume that if God strikes Tampa Bay with a hurricane is it safe to assume he is Democrat? LOL

    August 22, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Hahahahahahahah

    8.3% IQ – You have been assimilated by the GOP machine. Good boy!!!!!!!! Wow, that was easy!!! Now go vote against your own interests like the rest of you GOP supporters that are poor!!! Atta boy!!! Hahahahahaha

    August 22, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Is he going to spend $4 TRILLION on a union stimulus package?"

    Seeing as how approximately half of the $1T one was tax cuts and other tax relief, I don't see how you have any basis for suggesting he would do a "$4T unions stimulus package." Your suggestino that the first one was a union stimulus package is incorrect on the facts in the first place.

    "What the heck is Obama going to do differently over the next four years?"

    Probably end up fighting with a House that's still controlled by the GOP and which refuses to do anything about the economy while passing symbolic ideological nonsense legislation and bills designed as nothing more than rallying cries on social domestic and religious issues...all the while dealing with a Senate that is brought to an almost-standstill by GOP filibusters and secret holds on nominations designed to hamstring the efficient operation of the administration by refusing to allow him to staff it. That's about as accurate a prediction as exists.

    August 22, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    The boy toy's pacific budget plan is to cut programs for poor people. This eddie munster look alike budget plan cuts $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over the next ten years. It's a 34% cut to Medicaid expected spending over the next fen years. Six out of every ten dollars his budget cuts will come from the poor. Thirty (30) million could lose health insurance including children, no more private health insurance for the poor and ocher 45 million people would lose their health insurance. He will cut $134 million from food stamps and sill kick 8-10 million people off food stamps. He will cut $165M from education and training program from social services.
    To those of you who don't care because if's the poor, the forgotten, just remember that mNy middle class families are surviving on food stamps right now and that many middle class families are living paycheck to paycheck and it only takes one health problem (cancer, kidneys, accident) to lose everything you own, including your house.
    Go ahead and vote foe the boy toy. He's a millionaire and his mommy down in the Villages in Florid has money and Medicare. He could care less agouti the rest of the country.

    August 22, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Bren

    I live in a VERY Democratic part of the country. I have many friends/family members who are moderate/sane Democrats. Every single one of them said that they are staying home this election!! They said that they are not going to vote for Romney--but they sure as heck will not be voting for Obama either!! They said that unless the Democratic Party begins to get rid of the loony left liberals in the Party, they may not vote for the rest of their lives!! Based on what happened during the Democratic Primaries in West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and PA-–there are definitely a lot more Democrats who feel the same way. When these polling sources start polling "Likely Voters", instead of whoever answers the phone--and quits weighting their polls with 4-6% more Democrats then Republicans-–then, Obama and the liberals will get a clear picture of how bad Obama is going to get beat in November!!!

    August 22, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  20. Joy

    If you are looking at records, CNN has hit and all time high of media bias, and Independents
    nand moderate Republicans are leaving in droves. Check out their cable ratings. It's really sad because I was once a big fan.

    August 22, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. RudyG

    CNN doing a poll! What a concept! And, what self-delusion on CNN's part that their poll has any credibility with anyone other than radical leftists. I have doubts about Romney; but I have NONE about Obama!

    August 22, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. An Ohioan

    The Repugnants are Akin to the Taliban because they are regressive and repressive! They simply want to shut down rights, choices and freedom for just about everyone in the country. It is beyond time to shut them down before they do this to you by not voting for them! By getting them out of office we will all be much better off!

    August 23, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Delene

    Rublicans try to force their belief on everyone. They would be so much more respected if they follow their own belief for example research suggest that when people attain higher education they are less likely to have more children and abortions, wow knowing this you think they would be pushing more people into college. No they dont care about the unborn babies just pure self rigeousness. They make me sick b'cause they are greater than God. God let us choose what we wanna do with our lives but with republicans they dont like others to be able to.

    August 23, 2012 05:37 am at 5:37 am |