CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 15, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: POLICE: 2 DEAD AFTER BLASTS AT BOSTON MARATHON… In the aftermath of two bomb blasts near the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon, Boston police confirm two dead and 46 injured, according to Cheryl Fiandaca, head of media relations for the Boston police.
- Boston's fire chief told other law enforcement authorities that they have found what they believe is an unexploded explosive device, a government official tell CNN's Joe Johns.
– The FAA has placed a Temporary Flight Restriction over the site of the explosion in Boston at the request of law enforcement. The flight restriction is a three nautical mile radius from the site and extends from the surface to 3,000 feet. The restrictions do not affect commercial air traffic operations at Logan Airport.
– The Boston Marathon Facebook page says: “There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today's Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”
– There were no credible security threats ahead of the Boston Marathon, according to a state government official.
– Metropolitan Police in Washington D.C. are at a heightened level of security, according to D.C. Police Public Affairs Specialist Saray Leon. New York City and San Francisco police have been placed on a heightened state of alert.
This is a developing story, tune in to CNN and visit CNN.com for the latest news.
MARKET WATCH: A sell-off in stocks accelerated Monday afternoon following the news of explosions at the Boston Marathon. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been in the red all day, fell 266 points, or 1.8%. The S&P 500 lost 2.3% and the NASDAQ slipped 2.4%.
What did Marco Rubio say was the "coolest thing" he has been able to do because of politics?
To the nation, Jackie Robinson was many things: the man who broke the color barrier in baseball, a Hall of Fame second baseman and an honored ambassador of the game.
In terms of politics, though, Robinson was a black Republican who left the GOP in 1964.
After retiring from baseball, Robinson was a businessman – working for the coffee company Chock full o-Nuts. Because of his unrivaled credibility on civil rights, he was a sought after political endorser and actively campaigned for Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon in 1960.
“I wanted to involve myself in politics as a means of helping black people,” Robinson wrote in his autobiography, ‘I Never Had It Made.’ “I admit freely that I think, live, and breathe black first and foremost.”
But like many other African-Americans at the time, Robinson’s view of the Republican Party began to shift in the 1960s. In 1962, Robinson met New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and was taken by his candor and position on civil rights – so much so that the civil rights icon signed on to be one of six deputy national directors for the 1964 Rockefeller presidential campaign.
Still, Robinson remained skeptical about the GOP even as he supported Rockefeller.
“I was not as sold on the Republican party as I was on the governor,” Robinson wrote. “Every chance I got, while I was campaigning, I said plainly what I thought of the right-wing Republicans and the harm they were doing.”
While Robinson supported Rockefeller, he did not back Sen. Barry Goldwater, the staunchly conservative senator from Arizona. To Robinson, Goldwater’s future of the Republican Party was “the white man’s party,” he wrote. And Robinson was anything but muted about his thoughts on Goldwater.
“What happened at San Francisco when Senator Goldwater became the Republican standard-bearer confirmed my prediction,” Robinson wrote about the Arizona senator’s nomination as the Republican nominee in 1964. “A new breed of Republicans had taken over the GOP. As I watched this steamroller operation in San Francisco, I had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.”
Robinson continued, “When I was asked my opinion of Barry Goldwater, I gave it. I said I thought he was a bigot.”
In response, Robinson began to campaign for President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic nominee. Robinson accepted a number of speaking engagements for “Republicans for Johnson,” a group of moderate Republicans dissatisfied by Goldwater.
When Johnson defeated Goldwater in the general election – a tide changing election that saw the Republican Party strengthen its holds on the South – Robinson wrote that he “had some measure of satisfaction in helping Johnson win.”
Robinson’s change from Republican to Democrat in 1964 was standard at the time. While 32 percent of black voters supported Nixon in 1960, only six percent voted for Goldwater in 1964, according to data provided by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a liberal leaning think tank that specializes in issues of race.
“Goldwater began the process of the re-definition of both political parties,” said Craig Shirley, a conservative consultant and author who has written multiple books on Ronald Reagan. “Before 1964, both parties operated in a state of equilibrium” where there was more political diversity in each party.
After 1964, said Shirley, “modern liberal Republicans” – like Robinson – “flee the Republican Party.”
To Shirley, Robinson’s distaste for Goldwater stemmed from him not really knowing the senator. “My guess is he never met the man and might have had a different conclusion if he did,” Shirley said.
While Robinson is being memorialized today for his contribution to helping break the color barrier in America’s Pastime, his political transformation after baseball is illustrative of African-Americans moving to the Democratic Party.
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Leading CNNPolitics: First on CNN: Senate background checks vote delayed
Supporters of a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for guns sales currently don't have the 60 votes they will need to win approval of their amendment so a vote on the proposal – which was expected midweek – is unlikely before the end of the week, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, told CNN in an exclusive interview Monday. The vote is being pushed back so Manchin and others can build support for the controversial plan. – Ted Barrett
Gut Check Full Service: Gun rights group endorses background check deal… A large alliance of gun owners announced Sunday it supports the bipartisan compromise on gun sale background checks that senators announced last week. The chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Alan Gottlieb, sent a message to members and contributors stating the bill “bans any federal gun registry and carries a 15-year prison term for anyone who violates it.” – Kevin Bohn
Leading Drudge: Gold Plunge
Gold plunged for the second straight day Monday, dropping more than 8% at midday in what was shaping up as the metal's biggest one-day percentage decline in 30 years. – Tatyana Shumsky, Francesca Freeman and Clementine Wallop for The Wall Street Journal
Leading HuffPo: Chipping Away: House GOP Aims To Water Down Reform
As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate a gun-control bill for the first time in two decades on Monday, Republicans in the House of Representatives are devising ways to delay and weaken gun legislation they see as limiting Americans' right to bear arms, congressional sources say.
Leading Politico: Obama, GOP fight the class war
That fundamental reality of the Obama years — that the president won a second term in large part because he gave new life to an old brand of class-based politics — continues to echo six months later as the dominant factor shaping American politics this spring, as the parties slog through the latest fiscal fight. Both parties are in the midst of intense and far-reaching debates about how to respond. – Jonathan Martin and John F. Harris
Leading The New York Times: Rifts in Both Parties Complicate Odds for Gun Measure
Deep divisions within both parties over a bipartisan measure to extend background checks for gun buyers are threatening its chances as the Senate this week begins debating the first broad gun control legislation in nearly 20 years. – Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
– Carney confident the president will sign immigration legislation –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “What we have seen is I think, a remarkable – in Washington – level of consensus between and in support for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform whether it's business groups or labor, evangelicals, immigration groups, Democrats, Republicans – there is consensus here that is required to get this done but it exists and we remain cautiously optimistic that this progress will lead to legislation that can pass and that the President can sign.”
– Shoot it down! –
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN OF ARIZONA IN A WRITTEN PRESS STATEMENT: “As the world waits to see whether North Korea will act on its threat to test launch a medium-range ballistic missile, I maintain that the United States should treat any North Korean missile launch as a threat to our national security and our allies, and that we should shoot it down once it leaves North Korean airspace. North Korea’s leaders should have no doubt that the United States of America has both the capability and the will to eliminate the threats they seek to pose to international peace and stability.”
– God, guns and growth, says Cain –
FORMER PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL HERMAN CAIN AT A MEETING OF BLACK CONSERVATIVES IN WASHINGTON: “In terms of values, most of us are on the same page when it comes to, we do not want to redefine marriage, as Dr. Carson has gotten beat up over, we all have felt that way. We believe in, we're not afraid to say that, everybody in that room, we believe in God, we're not afraid to say it, we believe in guns, and guns is synonymous with believing in the Constitution, because right now the second amendment is what's under attack, and the third one, growth. That's unanimous.”
– DOD official does away with Distinguished Warfare Medal for cyber warfare –
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT: “When I came into office, concerns were raised to me about the Distinguished Warfare Medal's order of precedence by veterans' organizations, members of Congress, and other stakeholders whose views are valued by this department's leadership. … The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the concurrence of the service secretaries, have recommended the creation of a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this small number of men and women. I agree with the Joint Chiefs' findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
House version of Toomey-Manchin on background checks to be introduced later today by NY Rep Pete King &Rep Mike Thompson, acc to King aide—
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) April 15, 2013
If 75 years from now some unclassified doc shows that Dennis Rodman worked for the CIA, I'm either going to be very upset or very impressed.—
Shawna Thomas (@ShawnaNBCNews) April 15, 2013
Carney says Obama is "aware" of Gosnell trial but "cannot take a position on an ongoing trial."—
jennifer bendery (@jbendery) April 15, 2013
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
When you are a prominent politician, you get to do some things that most people would never have a chance to do.
And for a football fan like Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, that opportunity came when legendary Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino threw the young politician a pass in the Florida statehouse.
Need proof: here is the great video.
In an interview, Rubio was once asked what was one of the "coolest things" he was able to do as a politician. His answer was catching a pass from Marino and Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow.
Football has always been one of Rubio's loves. Before attending University of Florida, Rubio was given a football scholarship to Tarkio College in Missouri before the college went bankrupt. The senator's love for football remains, however, even if it is for the lowly Miami Dolphins.
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