CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 4, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
STAGNANT: FISCAL INSANITY? If insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, then continuing negotiations on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff might amount to little more than crazy talk. The same players are arguing about the same issue - taxes - in a repeat of budget showdowns of the past two years that failed to reach a comprehensive agreement. – Tom Cohen
Who was the first president to visit Europe while in office?
As Republicans spend the coming months reflecting on the 2012 election, from Mitt Romney’s loss to the Democratic gains in the House and Senate, in a just a few hours the GOP might very well be looking at the future.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will be delivering back-to-back speeches at the 2012 Kemp Leadership Award Dinner held to honor the late Rep. Jack Kemp of New York.
Rubio, 41, and Ryan, 42, are viewed by many as the Republican Party’s next generation of leadership. What exact roles each will take has yet to be determined. But we will be watching the speeches for clues to see what specific direction each is headed. Will Ryan and Rubio offer bold new proposals or be cautious in their remarks?
There is plenty of speculation that Rubio and Ryan are both eyeing a run for the White House in 2016. Ryan was the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and Rubio has already visited Iowa since the election. Each lawmaker is being coy about what the future holds, as we would expect less than one month after the GOP failed to win the White House and lost ground in the Congress.
But as the Obama campaign demonstrated with its detailed ground game, it is never too early to start laying the ground work for a presidential campaign and it would be naïve for us to think that these speeches aren’t early paving stones at beginning of a path towards a White House run.
CNN.com Live will be carrying the dinner starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Watch for yourself and tell us what you think.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: GOP aide: No behind-the-scenes fiscal cliff talks happening
There are currently no behind-the-scenes talks or private communication between negotiators looking to reach a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff, a senior Republican aide said Tuesday. “No conversations today – no emails, tweets, carrier pigeons,” the aide said. “The White House is making no effort to find a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff. We are ready to talk whenever they are ready to get serious.” – Deirdre Walsh
Leading Drudge: 'Freedom Or We Die'
Thousands of Egyptians massed in Cairo Tuesday for a march to the presidential palace to protest the assumption by the nation's Islamist president of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies. – Hamza Hendawi
Leading HuffPo: New Sheriff In Town
Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation. It's a victory for progressives who battled to win her a seat on the panel that oversees the implementation of Dodd-Frank and other banking regulations. – Ryan Grim
Leading Politico: Judd exploring Senate run
Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell? It might not be as far-fetched as you think. The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO. In recent weeks, Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the possibility of a run, has discussed a potential bid with a Democratic pollster and has begun to conduct opposition research on herself to see where she’s most vulnerable in the Bluegrass State, sources say. – Manu Raju
Leading The New York Times: Initial Deficit Cuts Are Sticking Point in Negotiations
For all the growing angst over the state of negotiations to head off a fiscal crisis in January, the parties are farthest apart on a relatively small part of the overall deficit reduction program — the down payment. President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, are in general agreement that the relevant Congressional committees must sit down next year and work out changes to the tax code and entitlement programs to save well more than $1 trillion over the next decade. – Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
– Obama says Boehner’s math doesn’t work –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BLOOMBERG TV: “We have the potential of getting a deal done, but it is going to require what I talked about during the campaign, which is a balanced, responsible approach to deficit reduction. … Unfortunately, the speakers proposal right now is still out of balance. He talks, for example about $800 billion worth of revenues, but he says he is going to do that by lowering rates. And when you look at the math, it doesn’t work.”
– Rates ‘have to go up,’ says Carney –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: “Rates are going up. They have to go up. It is the economically essential thing we have to do as part of a balanced approach to deficit reduction, a balanced approach to dealing with the fiscal cliff.”
– Seriously… –
REPUBLICAN SEN. JIM DEMINT IN AN INTERVIEW ON CAPITOL HILL: “This federal government doesn’t need more money. This country needs less federal government. … Republicans should not be conceding that the federal government needs more money, negotiating with ourselves, and treating the president’s proposal like it’s serious.”
DEMOCRATIC SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IN A SENATE FLOOR SPEECH: “We are glad to finally see Republicans joining in the negotiating process instead of watching from the sidelines. While their proposal may be serious it is also a non-starter. They know any agreement that raises tax on the middle class in order to protect more unnecessary giveaways for the top two percent is doomed from the start. It won’t pass.”
– The business community is ready for a deal –
JIM MCNERNEY, CHAIRMAN OF BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE, IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “Our member CEOs welcome the President’s ongoing outreach and look forward to an open and constructive dialogue about the fiscal cliff and important related economic issues. The business community is eager to engage with the President and congressional leaders in discussing solutions that will promote long-term sustainable economic growth and accelerate job creation for American workers.”
– 54 Christmas trees… in order to make a point –
CONAN O’BRIEN JOKED ABOUT THE OBAMAS ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “The Obamas have decorated the White House with 54 Christmas trees. Fifty-four, yeah. It's all part of their ‘for the last time we're not Muslim campaign.’ Get it through your freaking head. It’s called the overcompensating 54 trees.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Paul Singer (@singernews)
What would Twain say? Obama signs law requiring Treasury "to mint and issue coins in commemoration of Mark Twain"
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
Rep Tom Cole says "no!" when asked if he would consider signing House D's petition to try to force a vote on just middle class tax cuts
Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps)
"What the country needs ... is an acknowledgement that folks like me need to pay a little higher rate," Obama says, for the millionth time
Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)
Pelosi on middle class tax cut discharge petition: Either sign..petition. Or explain 2 your constituents why they don't get the tax break
Huelskamp: "It's no secret that Ron Paul delegates were mistreated at the conventions, both times. That was just stupid."
Roger Simon (@politicoroger)
Matt David, cmpgn mgr, Huntsman: "Hope we concentrate on agenda showing how conservative principles can be good for (Hispanics)" #HarvardIOP
john r Stanton (@dcbigjohn)
backers of the disabilities treaty bring out the big guns, bring former Sen. Bob Dole to the Senate floor in final push for ratification
Sarah Lovenheim (@lovenheim)
#CRPD #Senate vote: All Democrats voted for ratification, but only 8 Republicans voted 'aye'..
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
On this day in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson departed the shores of the United States for Brest, France. Wilson made the trip to head the American delegation at the Versailles Peace Conference on ending World War I.
This trip marked the first time a sitting U.S. president had visited Europe. Many former presidents had visited Europe – both before and after their presidencies – but the logistics and time it took to travel to Europe made the trip difficult for Wilson’s predecessors.
After landing in Brest, Wilson and his delegation traveled by land to Versailles, the sprawling palace outside of Paris. Wilson was criticized for the trip by his political foes, but he saw the trip as critical – it was the forum the president needed to work on the establishment of the League of Nations.
Wilson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920 because of his efforts to ensure peace in Europe.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
And the visting professor, Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) correctly answered today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.