CNN’s GUT CHECK for August 29, 2012
August 29th, 2012
04:13 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for August 29, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 29, 2012 | 4 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: RYAN TO ‘DECONSTRUCT’ THE OBAMA AGENDA IN SPEECH… A Republican source familiar with the speech that Rep. Paul Ryan will deliver tonight tells CNN’s Dana Bash that the vice presidential candidate will spend most of the policy section of his speech on “economic issues in his wheel house.” Ryan, says the source, will split his speech into thirds and discuss his Medicare plan (including Obamacare), the stimulus program and the national debt.

Another source breaks down the week’s Republican messaging plan for CNN’s Candy Crowley: "Ann Romney describes Mitt as the man for the job. Christie talks about need to tell the truth to the American people about the problems we face. Ryan introduces himself and Romney as the ticket of big ideas... all pointing toward Mitt Romney tomorrow night."

SOCIAL WATCH: One of the coolest views of Ann Romney’s speech last night was right on our own website, where the CNN Facebook Election Insights showed how discussion among women turned to Romney coast to coast as Ann Romney’s speech progressed. Read and see the time lapse graphics and watch tonight to see how the different demographics on the main page react in real time to Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech.

(Answer below)
Who said the existence of beach volleyball “is what freedom is all about” in a speech at the 1996 GOP convention?

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

Tropical Storm Isaac is continuing to pound Louisiana with rain, which is not going to let up as the Republican National Committee gavels into session at 7 p.m. ET. It is no longer a hurricane and there are no plans to alter tonight’s schedule, but convention officials tell us they are keeping an eye on the storm – as we all are here in Tampa.

CNN journalists are stationed along the Gulf Coast and we will be bringing you any breaking news on the storm. The latest weather.

In Tampa, the RNC theme is “We can change it” and expect the program to leave the stage at times to highlight “everyday Americans” from the convention floor delivering testimonials on behalf of Mitt Romney.

While the focus last night was Ann Romney and Chris Christie – tonight the spotlight is on Paul Ryan. His speech, Romney advisers tell us, is “designed to be a prelude into what Governor Romney will talk about tomorrow night.” It will focus on the “economy, budget and the deficit,” a top Romney aide said. We should also expect to hear Ryan talk about “who he is and where he comes from” – to introduce himself to the voters.

But expect fireworks earlier in the evening. Mike Huckabee is expected to be critical of President Obama and will acknowledge that he and Romney were one time “adversaries,” but they are now “united to defeat Barack Obama,” a top Romney aide tells CNN. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky will also address the convention this evening in a speech that will criticize the president and praise Romney.

Adding to the current and future generations’ Republican stars, some names from the past will resurface tonight to show unity for the Republican ticket: 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

We will be watching this Republican all star line-up from Tampa, we hope you join us at home on CNN television and

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Five things we learned at the Republican National Convention
The first full day of the Republican National Convention was heavy with female speakers and light on the red meat that normally fires up the base. Here are five things we learned from the convention's first night. – Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak

Leading Drudge: Out: Yahoo News Chief Says Romneys 'Happy To Have A Party When Black People Drown'...
Yahoo just announced they have terminated Chalian effective immediately. – John Nolte on

Leading HuffPo: In Tampa Suburb, Extreme Poverty Arrives While Jobs Remain Distant
Having spent most of his life in a low-income neighborhood on the outskirts of Tampa, Raymond Smith has long recognized that being poor in the suburbs is quite a bit different from being poor downtown. "It would be good if we had a bus that run out here," the 51-year-old Smith lamented as Hurricane Isaac blew past town on Monday, spitting rain on his neighbors who had to bike to the store or to work. "There's no transportation, and it’s a lot of people out here. Things are tight." – Dave Jamieson

Leading Politico: Mitt Romney: A placeholder for next GOP generation
Ask the rising stars of the GOP about their party’s future and two names repeatedly come up. Neither of them is Mitt Romney. One of them, Ronald Reagan, was born in 1911; the other, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, in 1970. – Jonathan Martin

Leading The New York Times: Fast Rise Built With Discipline
Paul D. Ryan’s uncanny ability to develop relationships with like-minded conservatives while he worked on Capitol Hill helped lay the groundwork for his ascension to vice-presidential candidate. – Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman

Leading Boston Globe: In his first run, Paul Ryan made lasting mark
An examination of that first race – 14 years before he would accept the nomination for vice president, as he will on Wednesday night in Tampa — foreshadows the type of candidate Paul Ryan would become. Interviews with his opponent, his family, and his longtime supporters paint a portrait of a canny politician from an aw-shucks town who from the start was determined to take on some of the nation’s knottiest issues. – Matt Viser

The political bites of the day

- Perry hits Obama where it hurts: His golf game -
GOV. RICK PERRY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S JIM ACOSTA: “Obama, on the other hand, has had three and a half years, hundred plus rounds of golf, and America is not economically stable at all. … Not everybody plays golf. George Bush did not play golf when we were in the war. This man has his priorities in the wrong place. And even if he was playing golf and helping the economy that would be one thing. But when you are playing golf and the economy is in the tank … do your job, take care of what you are there for.”

- Rice: World need’s confident U.S. – country and markets -
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE AT A DELEGATE BREAKFAST IN TAMPA: “Are America's best days behind us? And I want to tell you that as a former secretary of state, it's not just something that Americans wonder. It's something people across the world wonder, too. Because when the United States is not feeling strong and confident at home, it shows. We aren't strong and confident abroad. And when the United States is not willing to speak with a robust voice for free peoples and free markets, the world is a pretty chaotic place.”

- Akin takes party outsider to new level, fundraises against party bosses -
TODD AKIN IN AN FUNDRAISING E-MAIL: “Party bosses and the Washington elite always seem to want to take the easy way out. Those same party bosses and DC insiders have turned their backs on our campaign. But the people of Missouri and folks across this nation said, “Not so fast!” … We have received an outpouring of support from people just like you who are saying “No” to the party bosses, and saying “Yes!” to our campaign.”

- Portman not surprised by likability gap -
SEN. ROB PORTMAN IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “The likability gap is not a surprise. I mean, in Ohio, we have been bombarded with negative ads and they have been about Mitt Romney and his character. And they are very personal about his business career. Many of them misleading. Some of them downright inaccurate. But if you're an Ohio voter, that's what you've been seeing.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


It is rare that beach volleyball, American patriotism, and political conventions can come together to make an unlikely holy trinity. But at the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego, such an opportunity presented itself and one convention speaker seized the occasion.

His name: Newt Gingrich.

While introducing Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kent Steffes, Gingrich looked for a smooth transition. Problem is, his transition ended up overshadowing everything else he said – and the line has become another chapter in vintage Gingrich moments.

“A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning,” Gingrich said. “No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about.”


Not surprisingly, Gingrich’s volleyball line was not included in the prepared text of his speech. That line was just Newt being Newt.

(why aren’t you in it)

We have a first-time Gut Check Trivia winner today. Congratulations to Greg Dean (@gregdean11) for taking home the win today by correctly answering that Newt Gingrich compared beach volleyball to “what freedom is all about.” Dean had some competition – both Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) and LeticiainDC (@LeticiainDC) were close behind today’s Gut Check winner.

Our inbox awaits:
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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 (13 Responses)
  1. Russ

    I am so happy for these two love birds. Look at the way they look at each other. I've never seen two people seem so much in love as these two. I hope their wives are good with it. They may want to think about changes parties though. I hear they will never have a chance to get married under the GOP rule.

    August 29, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder if Ryan remembers he voted for every Bush program that left Obama with a $12 trillion debt.

    August 29, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Vouchers are Us!

    August 29, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Squigman

    That's par for the course. Thanks to the republican party, the collective I.Q. of the nation has been deconstructed.

    August 29, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. ja

    let the current folk that want to cut items for the poor, give away their state pensions, and really became public servants

    August 29, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. CBR

    After hearing Governor Christie's hard truths I took a good look at the list of speakers for this convention. Almost every person is on the public payroll. Mr. Christie was a prosecutor and is now governor and both jobs rely on the taxpayers. John Boehner receives a paycheck garnered from tax money. Tonight Mr. Ryan will speak and he is another example of someone who has been on the public payroll for a long time..

    They all criticize other politicians but never ever believe that their job is not important. They are all part of the problem and they have done nothing to help.. The Congress would have us believe that they worked hard but that is just their little joke. The taxpayers have been paying and paying with no real results. Each person has an agenda and is unwilling to work together to get us moving forward. Mr. Ryan's budget has problems which could easily be remedied if he would sit down with his counterparts and hash it out. As long as he believes he has the backing of his party he will not do so. Speaker Boehner perpetuates this myth that his party has the answers. Unfortunately, the answers will only come when people work together to solve the problems.

    August 29, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. DENNA

    There they are, the Dynamic Duo of Destruction of Social Security, Medicare and anything that will help women, minorities and the poor. I saw Mrs. Romney's speech. I saw a rich woman trying to convince women that somehow Mittens would care about women's issues. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't one of your own declare that a woman who was raped would somehow be able to self-terminate the pregnancy if it was "legitimate". I think he spoke more truthfully about how the GOP feel about women. Ann, your speech was GOP fairy dust.

    August 29, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Robmey and his joke telling skils just got worse. He is out stumping, and out of his mouth is his quip, "sure am glad we are on dry land."
    There is nothing funny about this, mainly disrespectful. People are figting for their lives right now with floods and the current disaster of Isaac.

    August 29, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. w l jones

    What we need talking point expert when the government have super computer can figure any any economic problem with in a minute without help from welfare personal.

    August 29, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. NC

    I read the republican platform today. Along with vouchers for medicare they also want to raise the age for medicare. For anyone under 55 yrs. old it is bad news. There is not a insurance company that will provide coverage for anyone over 65 yrs' old for $6000.00 a year. Government jobs usually provide healthcare after someone retires, private industry does not. Cobra is presently about $700.00 a month if you are not old enough for medicare. I am old enough to remember when we did not have medicare and older people could not afford healthcare it was truly sad. My mother told me about the extreme poverty among the elderly when we did not have social security. I am one of the truly blessed with a pension, 401K, and social security. If some of you do not have 401K and a pension when you get older you will indeed live in poverty. If the republicans take control of the Whitehouse, Senate and Congress our children and grandchidren will really suffer take my word for it.

    August 29, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. CBR

    Mrs. Romney loves her husband and let that be the focus of her speech. She would like women to vote for Mitt but the Republican platform does not contain any planks that would give women a reason to join the party. Mrs. Romney had the perfect opportunity to tweak that last night but chose not to do so.

    Their early years together were very much like those of young couples in the late 1960's and 70's. It i would be nice to be able to remember them through rose-colored glasses. Many of us married men who entered the service before they were drafted. .Mitt was not drafted and they remained at BYU. Military pay did not allow for many extras. The war was on and many young wives watched as their husbands left for Viet Nam. The Romneys did not have that experience and their lives took a different path.

    August 29, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Strangways

    it's so nice when two lonely people find each other.

    August 29, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. jaimie

    Romney was required to file a financial disclosure form, less detailed than taxes, when he filed for president. In fact, he argued that he should have to release his taxes because the disclosure form showed everything important. But 23 different investment funds shown on his taxes did not appear on his disclosure form - and 11 of those are in those overseas, secret banking centers. That's a sign of what he's embarrassed to reveal - and it's also a felony, if the government can prove it was deliberate and not just a sloppy oversight.

    August 29, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |