CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 30, 2012 | 7 a.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
Editor's Note: This is a special morning edition of CNN's Political Gut Check which will come out twice a day for the duration of the political conventions.
CNN FACT CHECK:
Paul Ryan misleads on debt panel's spending cut plan: Misleading. Obama didn't sign onto the Bowles-Simpson recommendations wholeheartedly, but he did take some of their suggestions to Congress in 2011. And Ryan ignores his own role in the failure of the Bowles-Simpson panel.
Rand Paul, Obama and debt: True, but incomplete. While budget shortfalls have added $6 trillion to the national debt since January 2009, some of that spending was already in the pipeline, and some of it is the result of the economic slump that has cut into tax receipts.
'Looming tax hike,' a recession and Obama's palate: "... we don't know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs." Misleading. The CBO projects a recession if all fiscal cliff policies - not only tax increases, but also automatic spending cuts - go into effect.
DEVELOPING... STORM WATCH, OBAMA EDITION: Democratic National Convention officials have been anxiously watching the weather for next week when President Obama will deliver his convention speech from an outdoor stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, a convention official told CNN. Another source said officials have readied a "contingency plan" which would be announced "closer to the convention" should extreme weather strike. – Shannon Travis
Energy! Energy! Energy!
You could feel the energy inside the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday evening, something we didn’t experience on the opening night of the Republican National Convention.
Paul Ryan delivered. We thought he started off slow, but the audience was behind him, and it didn’t take the Wisconsin congressman very long to hit his stride. Ryan embraced the role as the attack dog; he even delivered a joke … that didn’t fall flat.
“We’re a full generation apart, Gov. Romney and I,” Ryan said. “And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, ‘I hope it’s not a deal-breaker, Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.’”
There was no need to cue the applause.
One thing we found interesting was that while convention-goers (and the press corps) ate up the "fading Obama posters" line, our CNN focus group of undecided Florida voters loved Ryan’s simple statement best: "My mom is my role model.” The focus group was split on the attacks, but our CNN political contributor and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos asked the focus groups two questions: “Did anyone find Paul Ryan scary? Did anyone find Paul Ryan too extreme?” No one in our focus group did.
Many, however, still were curious about Mitt Romney. So, tonight we will be focused on Romney and a handful of other speakers as the GOP gavels down the 2012 Republican National Convention and thousands of delegates and activists head back home and look toward the November election.
Five things we are looking at as Romney accepts the nomination:
1. Can Romney deliver? In some ways, Ryan raised the bar last night. He effectively introduced himself to the American people and he successfully delivered red political meat to the base. Romney is not known for his fiery speeches, and he is not known for executing funny jokes. Tonight, Romney will have a built in advantage: The audience will be behind him. The party is uniting behind him. Will he feel the energy inside the hall to deliver the most important speech of his life?
2. 2012 vs. 2016 vs. 2020. What will the rising star of the Republican Party say in the biggest speech, so far, of his political life? Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will introduce Romney, but will Rubio use this opportunity to try and help advance his own political ambitions? Rubio will have a lot of supporters in the hall. He is a natural speaker and is likely to help warm up an audience that wants to make President Obama a one-termer.
3. Newt & Callista. We are eager to see how this joint podium appearance of a politically captivating couple materializes. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich knows how to work an audience. With his wife by his side, will he channel the same command of the room he did during the primary debates?
4. Jeb’s advice. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is well respected for speaking his mind, even when his opinion runs contrary to his party. He spoke bluntly about his disagreements over the GOP’s immigration policies and tone. Many wanted Bush to run for president this cycle, yet he was adamant that the time just wasn’t right for him. Will his speech give us keys to what is right for him? Perhaps an audition for Secretary of Education (his pet issue) is in order.
5. The Benediction. For all of you religious geeks - yes, we mean you CNN Belief Blog (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/) - what is Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan going to say to close the convention? This ticket is historic, and frankly, interesting: a Mormon and a Catholic running together. Will Dolan speak in universal themes? Dolan is giving the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention next week, as well, meaning that it is unlikely he will make a political statement. But we are still interested in what he has to say.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Ryan energizes GOP convention with speech attacking Obama
In the biggest speech of his still young political career, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told the Republican National Convention on Wednesday that time is running out to solve the nation's fiscal problems, but Mitt Romney and he can do it if elected in November. – Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: Shock Claim: Obama Honors Fallen SEALs By Sending Parents Form Letter Signed By Electric Pen...
On August 6, 2011, 30 US service members were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were being transported in crashed in Wardak province, Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash. – Jim Hoft
Leading HuffPo: Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions
Ryan then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. "That plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight," Ryan said. Except Obama didn't promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 - while George W. Bush was president. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: For Romney, tonight's the night
Mitt Romney is about to face the most important political moment of his life. The speech Romney delivers at the Republican National Convention’s final night in Tampa will be one of his last opportunities to sketch a portrait of who he is and what he stands for to a country whose battleground states have seen him relentlessly portrayed by the Obama campaign as a heartless corporate raider — a perception that has dented his approval ratings and made it difficult for the GOP to change the campaign narrative. – Maggie Haberman
Leading The New York Times: Rousing G.O.P., Ryan Faults ‘Missing’ Leadership
Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, whose budget plans have come to define conservative opposition to President Obama’s governing philosophy, accepted the Republican vice-presidential nomination on Wednesday as his party embraced the gamble that the small-government principles he represents have more political payoff than peril. – Jim Rutenberg
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
It's 2:39am and the one line from Ryan's speech that sticks with me is the image of a twentysomething staring at a HOPE poster in their rm—
Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) August 30, 2012
In email, Obama Camp Manager Jim Messina says "consensus among journalists" is that Paul Ryan's speech was "factually challenged."—
Eddie Scarry (@eScarry) August 30, 2012
Romney supporters snub of Ron Paul supporters "foolish" bit.ly/RpkbQ9—
Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) August 30, 2012
Here's another view of liftoff! http://t.co/svSGR113—
NASA Kennedy / KSC (@NASAKennedy) August 30, 2012
Krystal Ball (@KrystalBall1) August 30, 2012
Per @markhalperin: "Until Wed night, Democrats did not seem too worried about what was coming out of Tampa; now, there is manifest concern"—
Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) August 30, 2012
They built it! A new addition to the stage at RNC. http://t.co/7Sp3aWyc—
Chris Licht (@ChrisLicht) August 30, 2012
(Answer will be in today’s afternoon edition of Gut Check. Tweet us your answers @GutCheckCNN to get a shout out this afternoon.)
“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Who said this at the 1964 Republican convention?
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