CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 23, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN: VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN GIVES UPDATE ON THE CONDITION OF BEAU … “I just want you all to know since so many of you have asked me about my son … things are good at home in Delaware. My son Beau is fine, sends his love. … He’s doing well; he’s anxious to get back to work.”
TSUNAMI DEVELOPING: SEN. TED CRUZ TELLS CANDY CROWLEY HE’LL ENCOURAGE A ‘TSUNAMI’ AGAINST OBAMACARE … “The House of Representatives should pass a continuing resolution that funds the federal government in its entirety, every aspect of the federal government, except ObamaCare … President Obama, Harry Reid, will scream and holler that the mean, nasty Republicans are threatening to shut down the government. And at that point, Republicans have to do something we haven't done in a long time - stand up and win the argument. …”
CROWLEY: “You'll need 41 Republicans. How close are you?”
CRUZ: “We do not have the votes right now. We need 41 Republicans in the Senate or we need 218 Republicans in the House and that will only happen - and do you know what? This fight is likely to heat up in the month of September. That's - that's going to be when the battle is engaged. … I believe if we see a grassroots tsunami, that is going to cause Republicans and Democrats to listen to the people.”
CROWLEY: “But it's going to take a tsunami?”
CRUZ: “It is going to take a tsunami. And I'm going to do everything I can to encourage that tsunami.”
HOWARD DEAN REACTS ON “THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER”: “I think it's absolutely terrific for the Democrats. … The American people do not want these petty radical right people, who are obsessed with President Obama, to shut down the government. There's a higher cause here, and it's about time Ted Cruz started thinking about America and not himself.” LINK
Gut Check DVR: Watch the “tsunami” on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
THE BUZZ: THE NEWT CYCLE as #CrossfireReturns: “We live in a country that Newt Gingrich made. He gets too little credit for this achievement.” – Democrat Van Jones LINK
Newt on Fox News’ and 2012: “I think they were shocked by the results. … I think their audience was shocked. I think they’ve been trying to reassess how they’re going to rebuild their programs.” LINK
MARKET WATCH: Microsoft rises 7%, boosting Nasdaq to 1.5% gain for the week. S&P ends higher; Dow falls for third straight week.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Obama: Law school should be two years
President Barack Obama argued Friday that the amount of time it takes to obtain a law degree should be shortened as a way for students to save money. – Ashley Killough LINK
Leading Drudge: NSA admits abuses
Some National Security Agency analysts deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade, contradicting Obama administration officials’ and lawmakers’ statements that no willful violations occurred. - Chris Strohm, Bloomberg LINK
Leading HuffPo: Reality check: Boehner warns GOP over shutdown threat
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner warned rank-and-file Republicans in a conference call on Thursday against using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare, according to people on the call. - Caren Bohan and Rachelle Younglai, Reuters LINK
Leading Politico: Dems watch as Christie rolls
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made little secret that he wants a resounding win in his reelection this year as a show of strength for his all-but-assumed 2016 presidential candidacy. – Maggie Haberman LINK
Leading The New York Times: Clock Is Ticking for Recess, and for a Deficit Deal
Talks between the White House and Senate Republicans have gone nowhere this summer, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown this fall. - Jonathan Weisman LINK
Which current member of Congress carried the nuclear codes for the president earlier in his career?
MARK (@PrestonCNN), MICHELLE (@MjaconiCNN) & GREGORY (@GregoryWallace)
What caught our eye today in politics
President Barack Obama’s comments about upcoming decisions in regards to Syria and Egypt caught not only our eye today, but the eyes of anyone keeping tabs on the rapidly developing situations in the Middle East. The president told CNN “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo the time is nearing for a potentially definitive U.S. response to alleged Syrian government atrocities and an increasingly violent military crackdown in Egypt.
The U.S. remains "one indispensable nation" in the volatile Middle East and elsewhere, Obama said. "We have to think through strategically what's going to be in our long term national interests."
Asked by Cuomo whether the U.S. government is now facing a "more abbreviated time frame" on key decisions in Egypt and Syria, Obama repeatedly gave a one-word response: yes.
To read more about Obama’s remarks, read Alan Silverleib’s story. LINK
Full interview transcript LINK
The political bites of the day
– A year ago, Obama drew a ‘red line’ –
THE PRESIDENT EXPLAINS IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO HIS REACTION TO ALLEGATIONS CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED BY THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT: “Well, we are right now gathering information about this particular event, but I can say that unlike some of the evidence that we were trying to get earlier that led to a U.N. investigator going into Syria, what we've seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern. And, you know, we are already in communications with the entire international community. We're moving through the U.N. to try to prompt better action from them. And we've called on the Syrian government to allow an investigation of the site, because U.N. inspectors are on the ground right now. We don't expect cooperation, given their past history, and, you know, what I do believe is that - although the situation in Syria is very difficult and the notion that the U.S. can somehow solve what is a sectarian, complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated...” LINK
– Obama acknowledges NSA programs seem ‘scary’ -
OBAMA IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO: “There's no doubt that, for all the work that's been done to protect the American people's privacy, the capabilities of the NSA are scary to people. And, by the way, these aren't unique to the NSA. I mean, we've got a whole bunch of other countries out there who have these capabilities. One of the challenges that we have is, even as we put in safeguards to make sure that the U.S. government doesn't abuse - abuse these capabilities, we've also got to make sure that foreign governments aren't hacking into our banks, aren't hacking into our critical infrastructure, are making sure that consumers are protected. And that means that we're going to be in this cyber world - and we've got to do it in the right way, we've got to do it in a way that makes sure that people know their own government is looking out for their interests, but we've also got to do it in a way that recognizes that we've got some hostile folks out there that potentially are trying to do us harm.”
– Expect Democrats to tuck this in their oppo file –
REPUBLICAN REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS ADDRESSES OBAMACARE AT A TOWN HALL MEETING, AS QUOTED BY “THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW:” “To get the entire bill repealed, or defunded, is probably not realistic. … But I do think there are provisions in the law that we can get delayed, or provisions in the law we can get defunded.” LINK
– Dean isn’t against marijuana, but concerned with smoking it –
DR. HOWARD DEAN, THE FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND VERMONT GOVERNOR, TO CNN’S JAKE TAPPER: “The biggest problem that I have with medical marijuana is the delivery mechanism. I don't know of another drug that we allow to be delivered in what is clearly a toxic way. It is not benign to inhale burning substances, whether its tobacco or pot or just plain burning paper. … I am unwilling to have the government bless a delivery mechanism which is nonsense. If you're going to use medical marijuana, let's use the active ingredients, let's not have people inhale it and risk all the damage it causes with that.” LINK
– Senator: Obama’s a friend, but close to impeachment standard –
SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OKLAHOMA, CALLS OBAMA A “PERSONAL FRIEND” AT A TOWN HALL MEETING, BUT ADDS: "I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors – but I think they're getting perilously close."
– A classic: hanging chads in the Crossfire –
FLORIDA REPS. JOE SCARBOROUGH & ROBERT WEXLER DEBATE SHORTLY AFTER THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION:
SCARBOROUGH: “I can report to you – and I’ve got the information here – that all the dead men and all the convicted felons voted for Bob Wexler. And I think he got like 75%. Congratulations on that, by the way. Those are two good constituencies. But you know, again, I can say…”
WEXLER: “Bill… Lemme jump in, Joe. Joe… Joe…”
SCARBOROUGH: “Let’s just wait and see.”
WEXLER: “You know what, Joe? I was beginning, Joe, to respect your demeanor because this is a serious issue. Let’s not play politics and let’s not play games!”
ROBERT NOVAK: “Okay.”
SCARBOROUGH: “I was just jokin’ with you Bob. Don’t lose your sense of humor tonight!”
Gut Check DVR: Crossfire returns to CNN on September 16, airing weekdays at 6:30pm ET.
– Bloomberg’s keys to success: fewer bathroom breaks –
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, THE BILLIONAIRE MAYOR OF NEW YORK, SAYS HARD WORK IS ONE OF HIS KEYS TO SUCCESS, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER REPORTS: “I always tried to be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night, take the fewest vacations and the least time away from the desk to go to the bathroom or have lunch. You gotta be there. I mean, everybody says, ‘Oh, that’s crazy!’ But if you want to succeed, … you can’t control how lucky you are, you can’t control how smart you are, but you can control how hard you work, so that’s the first thing.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
Obama, pulling over at kids soccer practice in NY: "I was driving by & I thought, you know, I need to kick around a ball a little bit."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy)
Ben’s a great pick for #Batman & a New Englander to boot. I guess that means I’m out of the running…
Rep. Trey Radel (@treyradel)
We r at 7k my friends! A million or so more and I'll be almost as awesome as Ashton Kutcher or Nickelback or a sunburn.
Mike Memoli (@mikememoli)
.@VP jokes he's only known three women close to perfect: The Blessed Mother, his mother, and Bob Casey's mom
COLORADO President: Hillary Clinton (D) 45% / Ted Cruz (R) 42% / Other, unsure 12% (Quinnipiac U., RV, 8/15-21)
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The nuclear football – a briefcase of nuclear codes and other critical security information – is constantly with the president and is carried by a military aide wherever the president travels.
One member of the House, Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, was the military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and tasked with carrying the nuclear football.
Kline served as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps, and also as an Army captain.
“It's not difficult to carry around,” Kline told the AP about the codes. “You can put it down, and I did often.”
During his 2012 campaign for Congress, Kline released photos of him carrying the briefcase. LINK
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it?)
Matthew Gilbertson scores a full six points for his correct answer. Congratulations, and we’ll be back with a new trivia challenge on Monday.
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