CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 18, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: CNN's Peter Hamby reports that Mitt Romney is moving staff out of North Carolina, banking on a win in the state which hosted Barack Obama's convention last month. “With the increasingly widening polls in North Carolina, we will continue to allocate resources, including key senior staff, to other states,” said Romney spokeswoman Sarah Pompei. Make your own map
BORN IN THE USA: Clinton hits Romney at an Obama campaign event headlined by Bruce Springsteen… “This is the first time in my life I ever got to be the warm up act for Bruce Springsteen. … I am qualified because I was born in the USA and unlike one of the candidates for president, I keep all my money here.” (Note: No mention from the former president on where he gets his speaking fees).
WHAT WOMEN WANT: A new poll shows women who are registered to vote in a dozen key states have very different priorities than their male counterparts. The USA Today/Gallup survey found that economic issues are important to both genders, but women see one issue as more important. Nearly four in ten – 39% – of women said abortion is the most important issue in this election, the survey said, while a similar number – 38% – of men ranked jobs as their top issue. – Gregory Wallace
The United States purchased Alaska from Russia on this day in 1867. The cost of purchasing the remote and difficult to defend Alaska was miniscule. What price per acre did the United States pay?
There is nothing more indicative of the state of the media than the current kerfuffle over Candy Crowley’s fact-checking during the town hall debate. A journalist pointing out undeniable facts in a political event is not news, it’s our job. The fact that Crowley said Romney was right on one point and wrong on the other has been left out of the meme that conservatives are pushing in popular culture outlets. Time for a Gut Check America, please read for yourself the debate transcript:
ROMNEY: I - I think interesting the president just said something which - which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
OBAMA: That's what I said.
ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?
OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It - it - it - he did in fact, sir. So let me - let me call it an act of terror...
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
CROWLEY: He - he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take - it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
ROMNEY: This - the administration - the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.
CROWLEY: It did.
And the CNN story breaking down the time line.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Romney in a bind over 'binders of women' comment
Mitt Romney is in a bind over binders. The Republican presidential nominee is being challenged about the details of hiring women to top government positions when he won election as governor of Massachusetts in 2002, giving a possible late boost to efforts by President Barack Obama's campaign to strengthen its support among female voters. – Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: Gallup: R 52% O 45%
Leading HuffPo: Doesn't Add Up
Mitt Romney's proposed cap on itemizing tax deductions could not on its own raise enough new government tax revenue to compensate for revenues lost by the Republican presidential candidate's plan to slash income tax rates, a think tank said on Wednesday. The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group that has weighed in on other Romney proposals, said his deductions cap could raise up to $1.7 trillion over 10 years. The center said earlier this year Romney's 20-percent tax rate cut would cost $4.8 trillion.
Leading Politico: GOP’s problems exposed in struggle for Senate
In 2010, when Republicans stumbled on what had been a clear path to winning control of the Senate, GOP operatives comforted themselves with a defiant vow: Just wait ’til next time. Now, next time is here — and the GOP is in danger of blowing its shot at a majority for the second cycle in a row. – David Catanese and Manu Raju
Leading The New York Times: Obama and Romney Share Stage Again Tonight, but This Time for Laughs
There hasn’t been much smiling by President Obama and Mitt Romney since their tension-filled debate earlier this week. That’s about to change, at least briefly. With less than three weeks left before the election and tensions rising in a razor-close contest, both men will try to set aside whatever disdain they have for each other at the Al Smith dinner Thursday night in New York City. – Michael Shear
Gut Check DVR: At 9 p.m. EST CNN will air the candidates’ speeches tonight at the aforementioned event in New York, the annual Al Smith Dinner.
Leading Marie Clare: Is This Really Goodbye?
Much has been said of Hillary Clinton (and little spared) during her two decades in the public eye. Now, as she prepares to step down as secretary of state, the most accomplished and, arguably, misunderstood woman in recent history insists she's done with public life for good. … Defectors from Hillaryland are a rare species, which helps explain the epic dust storm kicked up by "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," last summer's cover story in The Atlantic written by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton's former director of policy planning, in which she explained why she felt obliged to quit Clinton's staff. When I asked Clinton about Slaughter's claim that "juggling high-level governmental work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible," Clinton's disapproval was palpable. She reminded me that she has spent her career advocating on behalf of women, that she is committed to the idea that "it's important for our workplaces ... to be more flexible and creative in enabling women to continue to do high-stress jobs while caring for not only children, but [also] aging parents." But, she said, Slaughter's problems were her own. "Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs ... Other women don't break a sweat. They have four or five, six kids. They're highly organized, they have very supportive networks. … I can't stand whining," she says. "I can't stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they're not happy with the choices they've made. You live in a time when there are endless choices ... Money certainly helps. … But you have to work on yourself ... Do something!” – Ayelet Waldman
The political bites of the day
– With foreign policy debate nearing, Obama highlights al Qaeda accomplishments –
PRESIDENT OBAMA AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: “I made some commitments four years ago. I told you I would end the war in Iraq, and we did it. I said we’d end the war in Afghanistan, we are. I said we’d refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9-11 and we have. And today a new tower rises above the New York skyline and al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
– Ann Romney: I’m pro-life, Mitt ran pro-choice but is pro-life –
ANN ROMNEY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE VIEW ON ABC: “The good news is, I’m not running for office and I don't have to say what I feel. But I am pro-life. I'm happy to say that. Mitt has always been a pro-life person. He ran pro-choice. … When the decision came across his desk to use embryos for experimentation … he could not have on his conscience, creating human life for experimentation. That's when he came out saying he was pro-life.”
– In feisty Florida debate, Mack looking to make a move on Nelson –
REPUBLICAN REP. CONNIE MACK: “You say one thing to the people of the state of Florida but you do something else in Washington, D.C.”
DEMOCRATIC SEN. BEN NELSON: “Why don’t you explain why you don’t show up for work?” he asked Mack. “And when you do show up, it’s worse.”
– National security, women and the final presidential debate –
FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RICK SANTORUM AT A ROMNEY EVENT IN NORTH CAROLINA: “I know from surveys we did… that one of the major concerns women have is security and I’m talking about personal security and concerns for our national security. That’s why I think this next debate is going to be such a home run for Gov. Romney. I mean this nation is less secure because of this president.”
– That’s a clown question, bro –
CONAN O’BRIEN JOKED ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW ON TBS: “One of the voters in the audience last night who says he's still undecided was an African-American male. There was an awkward moment when President Obama said, ‘bro, seriously?’ ”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Per National Journal: "Not since 1980 has any election seen more than 10 states with winning margins under 3 percent." bit.ly/VetfzD—
David Chalian (@DavidChalian) October 18, 2012
At CNN debate 1 yr ago today, frontrunner Herman Cain defended 999, Perry said Romney hired illegal workers & Mitt touched Perry's shoulder—
Robert Yoon (@yoonCNN) October 18, 2012
Carl Lavin (@FromCarl) October 18, 2012
Biden in Vegas: "Ryan has written a book called 'The Young Guns' with two other fellows... unfortunately the bullets are aimed at you."—
Jim Acosta (@jimacostacnn) October 18, 2012
Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) October 18, 2012
The Bronx Obama, only in America tinyurl.com/9oejht5—
(@michaelscherer) October 18, 2012
Ok, now that I am done washing dishes, Paul Ryan can come over and pretend to wash them. #PoliticalJoke—
Christie Marie (@packrat220) October 18, 2012
Russia was looking to offload the remote, sparingly populated Alaska territory at the same time U.S. Secretary of State William Henry Seward was advising America to expand.
On October 18, 1867, the U.S. finalized the purchase of Alaska from Russia – a deal which cost the United States $7.2 million.
Because of Alaska’s massive size – it is twice as large as the second largest state, Texas – the per acre cost of the deal was an astonishing 2 cents.
Because most of the American public saw the territory as barren and worthless, newspaper editorials dubbed the purchase as “Seward’s Folly” or “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden” – named for Andrew Johnson, the president at the time.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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No interest in Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden? Tough day for Gut Check Trivia – no correct answers.
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