CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 23, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: AKIN ASSESSING CANDIDACY WITH CONSERVATIVES IN FLORIDA… Facing pressure from Republican heavyweights in Washington to abandon his Missouri Senate bid, Rep. Todd Akin is huddling with top conservative activists in Tampa to assess whether to move forward with his embattled candidacy. Akin spent Wednesday night and Thursday in a series of private meetings at the two-day summit of the Council For National Policy (CNP), a secretive group of conservative leaders who are meeting in Florida before next week’s Republican National Convention. – Peter Hamby and Mark Preston
What two other cities were host finalists for the Republican National Convention?
MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics
The Romney campaign played a game of chicken with the broadcast networks, and the networks didn’t blink.
In unveiling it’s 2012 convention schedule, the Romney campaign put Ann Romney as the key speaker on Monday night, betting that the networks would surely take a compelling and rare speaker, but all three networks wouldn’t budge, opting for the equal time of three days of convention coverage for both the Democratic and Republican coverage (the Obama campaign has long-planned for a three-day convention).
The New York Times report this morning caught our eyes because as fans of politics, it hit us in the gut to read the programming plans of the big three networks – in place of the first night of the Republican convention: “CBS plans instead to show a rerun of ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ its hit police series. Viewers of NBC will see a new episode of ‘Grimm,’ about a homicide detective with the supernatural ability to sense evil. And ABC plans to show ‘Castle,’ a series about a best-selling mystery novelist who helps solve crimes.”
While we are heartened to work for CNN, which will indeed broadcast the entire convention, Monday and all, we couldn’t help but wonder if the Romney campaign, perhaps under the cover of the new hurricane watch, would buckle under the pressure and move Ann Romney to a subsequent night in order to get more eyeballs onto the speech of an underused campaign asset. The campaign has said they hope the convention will reveal a “softer side” of Mitt Romney, and no one does that better than his wife.
Obama campaign officials speaking on background even admit that Ann Romney is a greater threat than Chris Christie in the context of the convention week, for she has the potential to move those undecided suburban women we write about so often.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Walmart moms not yet buying Romney or Obama
Memo to Mitt Romney: Walmart moms find you smart, but slick, and while many are ready to give up on President Obama, they aren't sure you understand their daily struggles. The president, however, can skip the hand stands. Unhappy. Disappointed. Dissatisfied. Broken promises. Overwhelmed. Those were some of the labels attached to the Democratic incumbent during the discussions. – John King
Leading Drudge: The Show Will Go On
Republican officials say they are moving forward with plans to hold the Republican National Convention on Monday as scheduled, despite an approaching tropical storm. Convention CEO William Harris said Thursday he's continuing preparations and is working with Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, the National Weather Service and Florida officials to track the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Leading HuffPo: National Hispanic Leadership Agenda On Republican Immigration Extremism: 'Enough Is Enough'
A non-partisan coalition of Latino groups laid out a platform Wednesday it says parties and politicians should adopt to win over the growing voter group. For Republicans, that will be tough. The agenda includes support for comprehensive immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act and easier access to government services for Spanish-language speakers, along with opposition to voter ID laws - all views that deviate sharply from the current GOP policy plan. – Elise Foley
Leading Politico: 6 hidden fault lines in President Obama's campaign
Most of the hazards that confront President Barack Obama’s campaign are external — a Republican super PAC onslaught and laggard economic recovery top the White House worry list. – Glenn Thrush
Leading The New York Times: In Poll, Obama Is Given Trust Over Medicare
The Romney-Ryan proposal to reshape Medicare by giving future beneficiaries fixed amounts of money to buy health coverage is deeply unpopular in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to new polls that found that more likely voters in each state trust President Obama to handle Medicare. – Michael Cooper
The political bites of the day
– Romney promises energy independence by 2020 –
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN NEW MEXICO: “I will set a national goal of America and North America, North American energy independence by 2020. North American energy independence by 2020. That means we produce all the energy we use in North America.”
– Missouri ‘pretty much joined the old Confederacy’ says state political expert –
KEVIN HORRIGAN, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR FOR THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “Missouri in the past 10 years has headed further South… Missouri was always sort of a bellwether state, neither Northern nor Southern or Western or Eastern. And now I think we have pretty much joined the old Confederacy. The voters are considerably more conservative than they used to be. And Mr. Akin's base, which is the fundamentalist churches and the home school groups, has now been joined by what used to be fairly mainstream normal Republicans.”
– RNC leaves wiggle room for abortion exceptions within platform –
SEAN SPICER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR THE RNC, IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “It states a general principle that we believe in the concept of life. Then within that, there are different people within our party that say, OK, I support that but I believe there should be an exception for this or that. What Mitt Romney believes is that there should be an exception for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Paul Ryan has said that he believes slightly that he is more or does not necessarily believe in all of those exceptions, but as the No. 2, he is signing onto the No. 1 ticket. And again, within the party, even within that platform that was adopted, there was a wide variety of whether or not, what that principle meant in terms of that exception.”
– Who wants to see Joe Biden in a one-piece suit? –
JAY LENO JOKES ABOUT JOE BIDEN ON HIS LATE-NIGHT TALK SHOW: At a campaign stop in Virginia, Joe Biden said he is such a NASCAR fan, he said, "I’d trade being vice president in a heartbeat for winning Daytona," which president Obama said, "Deal! Great. Right, let's do it. Do it, you got it. Fine, you're in."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Matthew Keys (@ProducerMatthew)
Just in: Former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker arrested for DUI in Spokane Valley, Washington – http://bit.ly/SsN69W via @komonews
Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDCNN)
PERSPECTIVE – JANUARY IS COMING: Today staff here at the Capitol are wheeling in trailers that will be used for inauguration 2013.
Mike Memoli (@mikememoli)
Milestone: on this day four years ago, @BarackObama announced @JoeBiden as his running mate
my scoop from tonight: “@politico: Todd Akin's in Tampa meeting with top conservative groups and donors http://politi.co/RfOrkx ”
Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller)
New words added to the Oxford Dictionary include 'hackathon,' 'mwahahaha,' 'photo bomb,' and 'tweeps' http://bit.ly/RFYQIv
Reid Wilson (@HotlineReid)
Joe Arpaio has raised more than $7.5m for his re-election bid. Holy wow #HotlineSort
West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport)
"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” -Thomas Jefferson
Though they ended up picking Tampa, Florida, the Republicans also considered holding their 2012 convention in Salt Lake City and Phoenix.
In early 2010, the 12 Republicans chosen to select the host city were confident that any of the three locations would have been suitable.
“Our site selection committee is in the process of visiting and evaluating all three cities,” RNC spokesman Doug Heye told CNN. “It is clear that whether the 2012 Republican National Convention is held in Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Tampa, we will have a strong venue to host the best convention in our party's history.”
With Tropical Storm Isaac potentially growing into a hurricane and heading toward Florida, one has to wonder if brisk Salt Lake and scorching Phoenix are looking mighty fine right now.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Both Dave Stroup (@DaveStroup) and Jonathan Gormley (@JonathanGormley) both tweeted the correct answer to today’s trivia question. But, in the end, Stroup bested Gormley in an epic Gut Check trivia heavyweight matchup. Congrats, Dave.
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However, the stadium where the GOP will be announcing “We Built This!” was financed primarily by the government. The Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, which houses the Tampa Bay Lightning, was built in 1996 as the “Ice Palace” with 62% government funds. The total budget for the project was $139 million, of which public money accounted for $86 million and team money accounted for $53 million.