CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 13, 2012
September 13th, 2012
05:16 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 13, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 13, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE FOUR YEARS AGO? 44% OF AMERICANS SAY NO With regard to their own personal financial situation, 44% of Americans say that they are financially worse off than they were four years ago; 37% say they are financially better off and 19% volunteer that their financial situation has not changed. Since Barack Obama's first year in office, a majority of Americans have said that Bush's policies were more responsible for current economic problems than Obama's policies were. That figure is at 57% today; 35% believe Obama is mostly to blame for economic problems. – Keating Holland

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, who did former President Jimmy Carter “blame” half of all the mistakes he made on?

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

An article by our colleague John Sutter caught our eye and sparked a Gut Check debate today about free speech and hate speech in the age of social media.

YouTube on Wednesday announced it was restricting access to a controversial video that has been blamed for inciting violence in Libya and protests in Egypt.

The video, a film trailer mocking the Muslim faith, will not be accessible via YouTube in Libya and Egypt, the company said in a statement issued to CNN.

"We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions," YouTube said by e-mail. "This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.

"This video - which is widely available on the Web - is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.

The debate generated in our newsroom was twofold. First: Should there be a higher bar against hate speech in a medium that is meant to be shared widely?

Second, in social media, which social group gets to decide what is offensive?

In an interview with CNN’s Belief Blog, Peter Bergen explained the reaction in Libya and Egypt to the posted video: “They don’t regard perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran as being protected by free speech, they regard it as a capital offense.”

The stark difference in a flatter world adds to the sensitivity of the new frontiers of free speech. In a world that is increasingly global and fast, how would you have acted if you were in the executive chair at You Tube? Would you have bowed to diplomatic pressure and taken down the video in America as well as abroad? Would you have barred it on a country by country basis? Let us know via email at gutcheck@cnn.com and we will use the best answers in tomorrow’s Gut Check.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Foreign policy dominates campaign for second day
A presidential campaign that has, until recently, focused almost exclusively on the nation's struggling economy entered a second day of forceful foreign policy debate Thursday, with GOP nominee Mitt Romney again criticizing President Barack Obama's strategy in dealing with attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya. – Kevin Liptak

Leading Drudge: Obama Gaffe: WH Clarifies Egypt No 'Ally' Statement
President Barack Obama didn't intend to signal any change in the U.S.-Egypt relationship last night when he said Egypt is not an "ally," the White House told The Cable today. In an interview with Telemundo on Wednesday night, Obama said that the U.S. relationship with the new Egyptian government was a "work in progress" and emphasized that the United States is counting on the government of Egypt to better protect the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which was attacked by protesters on Sept. 11. – Josh Rogin

Leading HuffPo: Conservative Groups Seek GOP Senate Control With Tens Of Millions In Ads
All eyes are fixed on the money race between President Barack Obama, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the outside groups cheering them on with attack ads. That attention may allow one of the biggest money stories in the 2012 election to fly under the radar. In the fight for control of the Senate, a coalition of conservative groups have pummelled Democratic senators and candidates in the nation's closest races for more than a year in an attempt to wrest control of the chamber and make Sen. Mitch McConnell the next Majority Leader. – Paul Blumenthal

Leading Politico: Mitt Romney tones down embassy critique in Va.
Mitt Romney didn’t repeat his strong criticism of President Barack Obama over the response to protests at the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya at a campaign rally here Thursday. He did note the death of four Americans, calling it “a tragedy to lose such a wonderful, wonderful ah, wonderful people,” as he was interrupted by protesters on site in this all-important swing state. – Ginger Gibson

Leading The New York Times: Obama Grows More Reliant on Big-Money Contributors
In the race for cash, Mr. Obama often praises his millions of grass-roots donors, those die-hards whose $3 or $10 or $75 contributions are as much a symbol of the president’s political identity as they are a source of ready cash. But his campaign’s big-dollar fund-raising has become more dependent than it was four years ago on a smaller number of large-dollar donors and fund-raisers. – Nicholas Confessore

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– Clinton reiterates rejection of movie that inspired protests –
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON AT A STATE DEPARTMENT EVENT: “The video circulating on the Internet that has led to the protests in a number of countries - let me state very clearly and I hope it is obvious that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message.”

– (Ann) Romney gets specific about platform –
ANN ROMNEY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH WISN IN MILWAUKEE: “You know, I think a lot of you viewers are aware that I suffer from multiple sclerosis and I also had to deal with breast cancer myself. So, I would love to bring awareness, more awareness to multiple sclerosis. Obviously, we always working to find a way to battle these diseases and to have people's lives richer.”

– ‘They are wrong. Dead wrong.’ –
JOE BIDEN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN: “When I hear Romney and Ryan and the new Republican Party in Congress talk about this `culture of dependency', a new phrase I am hearing - you are hearing a lot about it at the convention, this culture of dependency, this notion that America is in decline. I don't recognize the country they are talking about. It is not a country I live in. It's not where I come from. They are wrong. Dead wrong.”

– Romney camp calls Fed’s monetary policy ‘artificial and ineffective’ –
LANHEE CHEN, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN POLICY DIRECTOR, IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT: “The Federal Reserve’s announcement of a third round of quantitative easing is further confirmation that President Obama’s policies have not worked. After four years of stagnant growth, falling incomes, rising costs, and persistently high unemployment, the American economy doesn’t need more artificial and ineffective measures. We should be creating wealth, not printing dollars. As president, Mitt Romney will enact bold, pro-growth policies that lead to robust job creation, higher take-home pay, and a true economic recovery.”

– The Clinton Speech Edits You Didn’t See –
CONAN O’BRIEN ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW: “Yesterday, Bill Clinton said President Obama helped him edit his convention speech, the speech that did so well, he said President Obama helped him edit it. The biggest change was Obama had Clinton use the phrase ‘Americans’ instead of ‘all you fine honeys.’”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

TRIVIA ANSWER

Former President Jimmy Carter once told Rolling Stone magazine that “all the good things I did as president, all the mistakes I made - you can blame half of that on Willie.”

The Willie whom Carter is referring to is none other than Willie Nelson, the famed “outlaw” country singer known for his unique sound and his affinity for marijuana.

Although Carter was known as a buttoned-up president - during the 1976 campaign, he regularly highlighted his Southern Baptist roots and his role as a Sunday school teacher - the former governor of Georgia was also known to escape the pressures of the presidency by listening to Willie Nelson.

And on September 13, 1980, the president’s love for the music of the “redheaded stranger” was fulfilled when Nelson played for Carter at the White House.

The night was unique. Not only did first lady Rosalynn Carter sing a cover of Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother" with Nelson, but the country star claims that after the concert he smoked marijuana on the White House roof.

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

Second place become first as Greg Dean (@gregdean11), a frequent Gut Check trivia competitor, correctly answers today’s question. Dean has won before but placed second yesterday.

GOT NEWS?
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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. bonnie milton

    Mr. Romney,
    Totally responded the way Americans feel. It's time we stop supporting Egypt with the sweat of working Americans.
    You need to get the real pulse on Americans, not just the welfare population.
    Bonnie Milton

    September 13, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Is this the same 44% who think a clueless flip flopping tax evader; who made his millions with government bailouts, vulture capitalism, jobs outsourcing, tax evasion, and money laundering?

    September 13, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    oops, . . . to be president of the US?

    September 13, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Mity,the tax cheat romney ,the braindead gop bafoons party canadate .so 66% say they are the same or better off than four years ago ,romney the tax cheat and lyin Ryan the bribe taker better crank up the gop lieing propaganda machine fast ,your runing out of time and mity and Ryan ,leave the country fast after the election !!!

    September 13, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Hey, non working wife. Your MS and your cancer are really getting on my nerves!!! As a woman I feel that you are a complete hypocrite and you are acting as sanatorium whose daughter Bella always had a relapsed of sorts right before a primary vote.
    I think what you really meant is that you want to make sure you and your friends get richer while the rest of the US gets poorer. "Obviously, we always working to find a way to battle these diseases and to have people's lives richer.”
    Your eunuch of a husband wants to take away medical care for seniors and the poor.
    Having MS is Mrs. Obama's father who got up every morning, like people unlike you who have to, to go to work in pain using a walker. You are a disgrace to women and a disgrace to both ills that you suffer from. STFU!!!

    September 13, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Rebecca

    I can care less what obama has to say about anything. I don't believe the political polls that support obama we need new leadership and if that maybe romney so be it. Anything at this point better than obama. They didn't ask me and I will speak out on election day with a romney vote. All obama has going for him is the hatred for the rich people. Obama is rich you fools if you think he can feel your pain well think again he has a job and he will be well taken care of financially afterwards. He doesn't know what is like for utility shut off or if your children go hungry. He never has been there only you small minded people think he relates to your struggles.

    Think again fools.
    Wake up realize your president is filling you with lies so he can continue the ruin of the united states.

    September 13, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Hard to believe out of all this at 57% today; 35% believe Obama is mostly to blame for economic problems. – Keating Holland no one said nothing about the do nothingRepublican Congress that didn't to pass anything. Majority of Americans have said that Bush's policies were more responsible for current economic problems than Obama's policies were. Romney is better off than four years ago he made about $60,000,000 over four years SHOW ALL YOUR TAXES ROMNEY

    September 13, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens gets 'pants on fire' ratings, and Obama is the liar? That is really sad.

    September 13, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Mittens hasn't asked for security clearance to obtain national security briefings ebcause he hopes he can skip that part and what it would reveal if he just gets elected.

    Discuss...

    September 13, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "No, he gave up on pushing the job's council recommendations after the GOP/Teatrolls shot them down. He's proposed other things since then....all of which the GOP/Teatrolls simply refuse to consider as well.
    -------––

    Then giving Obama another 4 years won't make a difference."

    And there we have it folks, the core argument the GOP/Teatrolls are making against re-electing Obama : "You better not or we;ll throw an even bigger tantrum than the past 4 years and not allow ANYTHING to get done to help you or the economy." That's it in a nutshell. "Elect us or we'll break the gov't."

    September 13, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Maybe 44% have a 401K or an IRA and 37% don't. Plenty of ways to look at a poll.

    I've watched both candidates.

    romney is knee-jerk reactionary like McCain, and will fight bibi's war with Iran for him.

    My vote is Obama/Biden 2012 for an intelligent, calm, steady hand that will NOT go it alone (when we go alone, we pay alone, both with money and lives).

    25 days to early voting, and nothing will change my mind. NOTHing - especially not the lies that Adelson is financing by pouring $100 Million into Romney's campaign in the next month .

    September 13, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. kayla

    look at that morman face

    September 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Gina Cooper

    I am not a of Mitt.. son of George,fan...i believe in his good intent... However...he is NOT in contact with mid-America. I live on a pension and SSI... I just got cut 140.oo from my food budget for a Doctor I cannot find and cannot get to IF I found him. I am dying with no help....I think Obama is MY best chance to be heard. Doctors MUST accept Medicare or be out oi business. Help me! ♥

    September 13, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. FactCheck

    Wake up realize your president is filling you with lies so he can continue the ruin of the united states.
    -----

    This coming from an uneducated dolt whose fill of the news comes from nodding mindlessly to Faux News.

    September 13, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sarah Palin is talking numbers and economics, maybe Romney can sit down with her and go over the big numbers or maybe she can sit down with Ben Bernanke and do the math. Palin, please do us the honors and teach us math on TV so we can have a good laugh just like you did with the UK's austerity.

    September 13, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Rebecca – I can care less what obama has to say about anything. I don't believe the political polls that support obama we need new leadership and if that maybe romney so be it.
    -------------------------------------–
    And therein lies the root cause of the amoebic righties parrotting the propoganda they receive from the foreign-owned Fuax Noise Entertainment channel. Try thinking for yourself for a change, do some research – there's plenty of verifiable fact to counter your baseless opines. You are being lied to and fed like lemmings.
    Aks yourself whom is being lied to and for what reasons... you only have to look right!

    September 13, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. Ron L

    REBECCA- You really don't know the facts...this so called hatered you are talking about is increasing taxes on the wealthy about 5%. If it was hate it would be a lot higher.. On another note....Why isn't everyone asking about Mitt Romneys tax returns for the last five years. Everyone knows that when someone is reluctant to show something, they normally have something to hide. When it comes to money and wealth Mitt Romney is AMORAL. Think about it Bain Capital had no problems investing a small percentage of a companies worth, then as soon as it looked like they could make more money divesting it than trying to turn it around they stripped it bare. They walked away with MILLIONS of dollars and the people that lost their jobs they gave NOTHING!! This takes a certain amount of COLDNESS in character and a AMORAL SPIRIT... Thats who you want for President....I think not

    September 13, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. DumbasRocks [R]s

    The new poll results are coming in, and Mitt Rumnutz is being flushed by Americans like the human and political excrement he is. And tonite, while drinking my celebratory beer, I'll be laughing and laughing at all you neo-cretins who strain so hard to spin and aplogize for him and his vacuously hypocritical etch-a-sketch behavior. This election will be the biggest IQ test given in history. The IQ differential between the two partisan blocks of voters will be the biggest ever. Vote [R] and, statistically speaking, you will likely be no smarter than an adolescent gorilla.

    September 13, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    @rebecca, step out of the teapublikkklan bubble. Your boys have been called out by your own party for lying.

    September 13, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Thomas

    @Rebecca
    I can care less what obama has to say about anything. I don't believe the political polls that support obama we need new leadership and if that maybe romney so be it. Anything at this point better than obama. They didn't ask me and I will speak out on election day with a romney vote. All obama has going for him is the hatred for the rich people. Obama is rich you fools if you think he can feel your pain well think again he has a job and he will be well taken care of financially afterwards. He doesn't know what is like for utility shut off or if your children go hungry. He never has been there only you small minded people think he relates to your struggles.

    Think again fools.
    Wake up realize your president is filling you with lies so he can continue the ruin of the united states.

    ===================

    Did you look at the market today ?

    Lies are when you till me there are WMDs in Iraq , never forget what a lie can do !

    September 13, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. Orso

    It is correct, almost half of us individually are still not better off than four years ago, we are not better off than 8 years ago either, it will take a bit longer to recouperate from the mess the GOP got us into.

    The questions should be:
    Is the country better off than four years ago?
    the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. We are no longer sinking.

    Is the future brighter than four years ago?
    the answer is, YES, as long as Obama remains in charge.

    September 13, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. KD

    Romney's commitments are totaly disgracefully, it's the type of thing that will get other americans killed. He, Ryan and the do nothing GOP in congress is defiantly the kind of leadership that american DOES NOT need. Yes american is struggling, but we are way better off than the crap mess the Bush and the GOP left us in 4 years ago. And if the unless republican Senators that fillibustered everything and worthless republican congressman in the house who refused to put legislation up for a vote had worked with the Obama the economy would we the best in the word. Yes it time for a change, a change of all the GOP members of congress.

    September 13, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. CBR

    Exactly how do you define being better off now? Certainly many, many of hte politicians serving in Washington have done well. We can judge that by the number who are in the upper 1% including the GOP candidates for President and Vice President. President Obama openly admits that he is doing well.

    If you are talking about the number of military personnel being shipped out on your second or third rotation of duty than no neither they nor their families are better off. This war was never paid for and now we are in deep debt. We lost allies and we lost much of our standing in the world because this war is one that is both ideological and political.

    If you are lucky enough to hold a high position in a major company or bank you are better off. You have made more money and did not have to put it back into your company. You outsourced jobs to keep costs down and profits up. If you are on Wall Street you still received your big bonus.

    The disparity between rich and poor grew tremendously. Yet, here we are allowing these people to put huge sums of money into PACs which are trying to influence the election instead of using their money for positive outcomes. Organizations which are helping citizens with food, housing, clothes, energy, etc. are in their ninth or tenth years of service. Folks, this started a long time ago and there is more than enough blame to go around. Administration staffs, senators and representatives, those who find every loophole int he tax structure to keep more of their money, etc. Let's stop playing the blame game and do something about it. Force Congress to move forward. WE are allowing them to put up a roadblock because they are afraid to do anything to help the President. Please – how low can they go.

    In the end it all depends on what you want for yourself and what you believe you need. The real estate market fell right after huge homes were bought and sold to people who could not afford them Of course these people are hurting. Greed carried the day. If you just require the basic necessities and everything else is just a wonderful present then you will probably answer I am just as well off today. That would be the category I want to be in.

    September 13, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Kiki

    Ann Romney's platform will be to bring more awareness about MS to help find ways to battle this disease to enrich lives, while her husband's platform will be to repeal healthcare, thus leaving millions uninsured and inaccessible to these "ways to battle this disease". This is just down right laughable.

    September 13, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. ga.democrat

    Please go away Ann. We women do not like you and we certainly do not trust your husband. Neither of you have any substance.

    September 13, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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