CNN's GUT CHECK for October 24, 2012
October 24th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 24, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 24, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


North Carolina goes from Toss Up to Lean Romney.
Indiana goes from Lean Romney to Solid Romney.
Missouri goes from Lean Romney to Solid Romney.

Make Your Own Map

(Answer below)
On this week in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act. What Democrat sponsored the bill in the House?

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


the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: 'Tracker Mike' and other tales: Can Bachmann survive toughest test?
If America is polarized like never before, few congressional races represent this divide more than the battle going on here. I don't typically cover politics, but this one was too good to resist: a businessman who made millions by accommodating guests at his hotels versus a politician who Fox News host Sean Hannity has described as one of the women most feared by liberals in America. – Wayne Drash

Leading Drudge: He Knew
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show. – Mark Hosenball from Reuters

Leading HuffPo: Romney Camp: The Ad Can Stay
Republicans scrambled Wednesday to respond to Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's assertion that even pregnancies caused by rape are intended by God, putting a harsh light on an issue that divides the party and has benefitted Democrats nationally and locally. – Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael McAuliff

Gut Check Full Service: Richard Mourdock’s Full Post-Debate Statement: "God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”
Richard Mourdock at an Indiana Senate debate on Tuesday: “I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

Leading Politico: Presidential election: Meet the undecided voter
The presidential campaigns are hounding the holdouts — the sliver of the electorate still not sure which candidate will get their vote. The late-night comics and cable TV pundits are hounding them, too, saying they’re clueless, ill-informed and out of touch with the news. Their point: After four years, two conventions, four debates and millions in TV spots, how clueless do you have to be to call yourself “undecided”? – Ben White

Leading The New York Times: Standard of Living Is in the Shadows as Election Issue
Taxes and government spending. Health care. Immigration. Financial regulation. They are the issues that have dominated the political debate in recent years and have played a prominent role in this presidential campaign. But in many ways they have obscured what is arguably the nation’s biggest challenge: breaking out of a decade of income stagnation that has afflicted the middle class and the poor and exacerbated inequality. – David Leonhardt

Leading CNN Money: Candidates mum on fiscal cliff
Remember the fiscal cliff? It's the largest and most immediate domestic problem the next president will face. Yet it was barely mentioned during four presidential and vice presidential debates, and the candidates have said little about how they would address it. – Jeanne Sahadi

The political bites of the day

- Obama: Bush and Rove were smart about Latino outreach -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A ONCE OFF-THE-RECORD INTERVIEW WITH THE DES MOINES REGISTER, FROM YESTERDAY, RELEASED TODAY: “… I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they’re going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it’s the right thing to do and I've cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008.”

- Republicans respond, distance themselves from Mourdock -
ANDREA SAUL, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN, IN A WRITTEN PRESS STATEMENT: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views. We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him.”
MIKE PENCE, INDIANA’S REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, RESPONDS TO THE CONTROVERSY: “I strongly disagree with the statement made by Richard Mourdock during last night's Senate debate. I urge him to apologize.”
JEFF GRAPPONE, SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE’S SPOKESMAN, ON WHY THE SENATOR CANCELLED HER APPEARANCES WITH MOURDOCK: “Senator Ayotte’s trip to Indiana is canceled, and she is in New Hampshire today. She disagrees with Treasurer Mourdock’s comments, which do not represent her views.”

- Palin uses ‘shuck and jive’ in a post about Obama and Libya -
SARAH PALIN IN A POST ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE: “For days afterwards the White House and State Department led everyone to believe that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest over an obscure YouTube video that had been uploaded months prior. Anywhere from 300 to 400 people from the administration and our intelligence community would have seen that email. Why the lies? Why the cover up? Why the dissembling about the cause of the murder of our ambassador on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil? We deserve answers to this. President Obama's shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.”

Gut Check Full Service… From Urban “To shuck and jive originally referred to the intentionally misleading words and actions that African-Americans would employ in order to deceive racist Euro-Americans in power, both during the period of slavery and afterwards. The expression was documented as being in wide usage in the 1920s, but may have originated much earlier.”

Gut Check Flashback… Press Secretary Jay Carney used the term at a White House briefing on September 7, 2011, after brining the wrong notebook to the podium: “Sorry. I'm going to shuck and jive! Time to shuck and jive.”

- Hit Me With Your Best Pun: Politics is a Battlefield -
CONAN O’BRIEN JOKES ABOUT THE DEBATE ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW: “During last night's debate, President Obama told Mitt Romney the 1980's called and they want their foreign policy back. Yeah, Mitt Romney tried to deliver a comeback but then his beeper went off. Yeah. He had to fax Pat Benatar. I'm sorry. I lost them again.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jessica Yellin (@YellinCNN)
Pres to Des Moines Register on sequester: confident get equivalent to grand bargain. $2.50 in cuts per $1 spending + slim health care costs

Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew)
The ad Romney cut for Mourdock is the only ad he's done for a Congressional/Senatorial candidate this election.

Eric Bradner (@ericbradner)
Joe Donnelly criticized that Mourdock remark, saying, "I can't believe that my God, or any God, would intend it to happen." #INSen

Adam Aigner-Treworgy (@AdamATCNN)
Obama will cover 6,500 miles on this long two-day campaign swing – 2500 miles Wednesday and nearly 4,000 miles tomorrow.

Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt)
What shocked me the most about @realDonaldTrump's press release was - only TWO typos!

Holly Gilbert (@HollyGilbertCNN)
If your plan was finding a #BigBird costume, good luck. @CNNMoney reports the bright yellow garb is selling out

Don Gonyea (@DonGonyea)
Life these days = Baseball politics baseball politics baseball politics baseball politics baseball politics baseball politics baseball


On this week in history, Congress – with the urging of President Ronald Reagan – passed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a bill that aimed to simplify the income tax code and broaden the base of tax payers by eliminating tax shelters.

The bill was a bipartisan effort. Reagan worked with Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey to get the measure through.

Even though Reagan is viewed as the archetypal Republican, it is highly unlikely the bill would pass Congress today. Though it did simplify the tax code and cut taxes for some Americans, it also raised corporate taxes.

In April of 2011, when Congress was at a near budget impasse, Gephardt reflected on his 1986 deal and the need to work together.

“You've got to be bipartisan, you've got to have a core group that really believes in this and is willing to do the heavy lifting to get it done," said Gephardt. "And I think it is important to try, if you can, to disassociate [tax reform] from the budget issue."

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Jonathan Gormley (@JonathanGormley) for correctly answered today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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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: 2012
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Bwahahahaha...CNN is pretending that Indiana, NC and MO were toss ups this year? LOL. Pathetic. Meanwhile, Mittens has completely pulled out of PA, spends no money there, his PACs are out of there and the polls show Obama with a solid lead and CNN keeps it as a "toss up." Riiiiiiiiight. 5 of 6 polls today already show Obama gaining back ground he lost with the first debate....BUT...CNN has to cling to the horse race narrative and help Mittens push his "we're surging" narrative. Will you be sending peopel to CA with him when he stops there 3 days prior to the election like Bush did to pretend that he's got it so in the bag that the only thing left is a futile attempt at turning CA red? Talk about silly red meat for the Teatrolls....

    October 24, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. 333maxwell

    "Romney campaign stands by Mourdock"

    Women.. For Goodness sake.. WAKE UP..

    If ever there WAS a sign from God, this would be one of them.. These 'men' who are completely uneducated and ignorant about a woman's body, want to be in charge of the laws that Govern YOUR body. There is no other way to put it. Welcome to the year 1642 where science and medicine take a back seat. Don't even dare mention the earth revolves around the sun.

    The Governor has said if he wins the Presidency that he would sign legislation if presented, that bans abortion. And you have GOP senators and Congressmen who have now said that women who get raped have no medical worries as they can't get pregnant if they are 'really' raped, and now with Mourdoch, it is 'God's Gift'.


    Vote like YOUR life, your daughter's life and health depends on it.. It's not playtime anymore, they are playing for keeps and total control.Have no doubt, this is 'the big grab'.

    October 24, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. cbr

    Mr. Romney has told us that he has not had a salary paying job in 10 years. His stint as Governor really lasted only 2 years before he started to run for President. What has he done to earn money? What has he done to help to establish jobs over the last two years? What charitable deeds has he performed not including his work for the Mormon Church? He did not seem to support arts groups in MA or the local homeless shelters.

    He states that he has filed income taxes for each year but what did he put down for a salary?

    October 24, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. truth hurts

    North Carolina goes from Toss Up to Lean Romney.
    Indiana goes from Lean Romney to Solid Romney.
    Missouri goes from Lean Romney to Solid Romney.

    HUH???? Where are all the changes TOWARDS OBAMA???!!!! Oh yeah, there are NONE.

    Start packing Obama.... Our long national nightmare will soon be over.

    October 24, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Donna

    Time for the ladies to get concerned. The Republicans are going after your voting rights next. You pretty little things shouldn't have to worry about this political stuff.

    October 24, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Sol-L.I. N.Y.

    I have to remark at the disdain some liberals have for CNN. If you guys don't like what is written here then please go to MSNBC where there is no journalistic morality whatsoever. CNN is getting better with their balanced approach....lots more to go. Maybe they see the writing on the wall.....can't alienate Mitt because he will be calling the shots soon.

    October 24, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Sol-L.I. N.Y.

    I have one question for you baby killers.....why do most Liberals support killing innocent unborn human babies but advocate to save the life of cop killers on death row? I've never seen the logic there. Oh...I forgot...Libs also go out of their way to save some tree and throw paint at people wearing Furs because they don't like killing animals. BUT they have no problem killing an unborn human child.

    October 24, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Early Voter for Obama

    Who would vote for Romney now he support Murdock.
    Wakeup america these republican are trying to destroy women rights.
    Romney is just like Murdock.

    October 24, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. becky

    Mr. Romney does not support PBN, the National Endowment for the Arts, Head Start, the Department of Education, etc. He also did not support food pantries and homeless shelters. Add to that programs to help homeowners to pay for home heating bills and you have someone who does not view his fellow citizens as equals nor does he think we need any programs for the arts outside of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He did not support orchestras in MA either. He is consistent – I will give him that.

    October 24, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |

    These Republicans are exceptional liars. Ryan sponsored any number of bills in the House limiting abortion even if the life of the mother was sacrificed, re-defining rape along with Akins, and the federal personhood bill. These Republicans are throw-backs to the Dark Ages, and do not belong in any public office. They try to bring it all back to the economy, but what these cretins don't understand is that women's health is an economic issue for them and their families. This all out assault on women and their health choices needs to stop now

    "And both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion ... even in cases of rape and incest

    Dr. Jack C. Willke, a physician whom abortion-rights opponents often reference when making the claim that pregnancies from rape are uncommon, served as a surrogate for Romney in his bid for the party's 2008 nomination.

    October 24, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Thomas

    If the GOP told you that you can't become pregnent if you had sex sanding up , would you be leave them ?

    If it came from Karl Rove , truth hurts ?

    October 24, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. Barb Anderson

    Last night I was at the debate between Donnelly, the Liberterian, and Murdoch. We were told we could not speak or react and that is why the audience didn't react. I did react however, later in the hall downstairs when I ran into Murdoch in the hallway. I could not have been clearer about my position which was:" You discounted every woman in that audience tonight" I told him a very private truth and begged him never to use those words again. He not only used them, he doubled back on them. God gave man free will and the ability to procreate as any other animal. God allows man to procreate, Jesus, as we know as christians, is the only son of God. Biblically forgiveness is granted by God and we are not to judge. That fell deaflyon Murdoch's ears last night. He cannot apologize I realized today because he truly believes the words he spoke and that is what makes him so frightening.

    October 24, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. John

    Lets rape the guy and if he gets aids is because God wanted!

    October 24, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Vicki

    Republicans who are men against women's rights and for the idiotic person-hood amendment that is ridiculous. Americans are not smart. They are pawns of billionaire republicans who will lie, cheat and steal to win elections and then do everything they can against women even having birth control. Republicans are now the extreme and horrible party for the greedy and the gullible.

    October 24, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |

    CNN MANAGEMENT: THE ABORTION ISSUE. This is a polarizing contentious issue among women of child bearing years (16-40) every federal election cycle. Piers Morgan interviewed a panel tonight. Piers should know the deep admiration and respect I personally hold for his style and grace. However, I feel he spent time with the wrong people. He interviewed two pro-Obama black commentators and one female pro-Romney one. Were they REALLY in position to offer a balanced and wholistic perspective? What are the perspectives to be considered then? Simple: there are three primary perspectives to consider. (1) Medical, (2) Theological and (3) Socio-political. Perhaps CNN should form a panel representing a non-partisan physican/gynocologist (male or female, your choice), non-partisan priest/minister, and two intelligent and experienced politicians (black pro-choice democrat and white pro-life republican). Make one male the other female - not sure if dem-male/rep-female or dem-female/rep-male would make much difference. What do you think? 🙂

    October 24, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. birdgirl249

    "Mourdock’s problem, in answering the question, is he gave some people the impression that he felt God somehow condoned the action of rape." No, the problem , in answering the question, is that he gave some people the impression that he felt God should be injected into legislation. Not everyone believes in his God, and not everyone believes that life is a gift from God. His justification of his position on abortion rests solely on his religion, which should have no place in laws.

    October 25, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |