CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 24, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
TED CRUZ STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT WITH A PLEDGE: “I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand"... At 2:41 PM ET, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor to deliver remarks on the shutdown debate that could potentially last through the night - a dramatic step in defense of his high profile, controversial plan to prevent any funding for Obamacare: “I intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand. To do everything that I can to help Americans stand together and recognize that this grand experiment three and half years ago is quite simply not working.”
THE MOST TALKED ABOUT (NON) EVENT: OBAMA-ROUHANI MEETING 'TOO COMPLICATED'… President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will not meet during the U.N. General Assembly, two senior administration officials said. The officials noted that such an encounter proved too complicated for Iran. – Jim Sciutto. Jennifer Rizzo and Tom Cohen
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed. Dow falls for fourth straight day, down 65 points. NASDAQ gains 0.1%.
What U.S. president used his speech to the United Nations to propose a “peace race” with the Soviet Union?
Well that was fast.
Just hours after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Monday that he would not support Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's filibuster of the government funding bill, a well-known tea party group began to express displeasure with the Senate GOP leader.
"It is time for us to reconsider our support for Mitch McConnell. It is time for every Tea Party group that is supporting McConnell to reconsider that support," Judson Phillips of the Tea Party Nation wrote in a blog post. "Why? Mitch McConnell is not supporting Ted Cruz in his attempt to filibuster Obamacare."
McConnell is up for reelection in 2014 and Phillips had originally endorsed the incumbent senator over his tea party challenger Matt Bevin. Phillips has now changed his mind.
"Obamacare is a bridge too far," Phillips wrote. "If Mitch McConnell is not going to support efforts to defund Obamacare and in fact is going to work against them, then Tea Party groups simply need to abandon him."
It is not unheard of for tea party organizations to express discontent with McConnell, who is considered a face of the Republican establishment. And McConnell’s decision not to support a Cruz filibuster on Obamacare just highlights the growing friction between Republican leaders and the newer GOP members who rode to victory on a wave of tea party support.
Since taking office, Cruz has made it a point to distance himself from the GOP establishment and that is helping him establish strong support with conservative grassroots activists.
Just look at Twitter: "Throw RINO McConnell out for not backing Ted Cruz to defund ObamaCare," tweeted Pamela Scott, calling McConnell a "Republican In Name Only."
And Timothy A Barry simply tweeted: "It's time to retire Mitch!!"
So as one Republican is facing the wrath of the tea party, it appears to be emboldening another.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Women Break for McAuliffe in VA
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, holds an 18-point lead among women voters in the NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll and a 27-point margin in the Washington Post/Abt SRBI survey, with Republican hopeful Ken Cuccinelli leading by only 10 points and eight points among men in the two surveys. – Paul Steinhauser
Leading Drudge: Let's Talk
A meeting between Iran's top diplomats and world powers at the United Nations this week will start a "new era" in efforts to end a dispute with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters
Leading HuffPo: Doomed To Fail… McConnell: 'None Of Us Want' Cruz's Plan
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, argued Tuesday that Sen. Ted Cruz's plan to defund Obamacare by taking government spending hostage will fail, even as McConnell tried to shift the focus in the fight onto Democrats. – Michael McAuliff
Leading Politico: Obama's revamped Middle East strategy
President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled a reformed Middle East doctrine: the United States won’t go it alone in pursuit of its “core interests,” but will be ready to use force to prod the international community into action. – Edward-Isaac Dovere
Leading The New York Times: Senate Democratic Leader Sets Stage for Budget Showdown
Senator Harry Reid, vowing, “We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists,” paved the way for a vote to strip the House spending bill of language that would defund President Obama’s health care law. – Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
- Obama looks to inspire U.N. with an aside about race -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A SPEECH AT THE UNITED NATIONS: "Last month, I stood where fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. told America about his dream, at a time when many people of my race could not even vote for President. Earlier this year, I stood in the small cell where Nelson Mandela endured decades cut off from his own people and the world. Who are we to believe that today’s challenges cannot be overcome, when we have seen what changes the human spirit can bring? Who in this hall can argue that the future belongs to those who seek to repress that spirit, rather than those who seek to liberate it?"
- Brazilian president blasts U.S. over NSA spying -
BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF IN A SPEECH TO THE UNITED NATIONS: “Without the right to privacy there is no real freedom of speech or freedom of opinion and therefore there is no actual democracy. Without respect to sovereignty there is no base for proper relations among nations. What we have before us Mr. President is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties; a case of invasion and capture of confidential secret information pertaining to business activities, and above all a case of disrespect to national sovereignty, the national sovereignty of my country.”
- Debate over Obamacare rankles senator -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. PATRICK LEAHY IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: "They (Republicans) have no interest in fixing problems or making it better, only in blowing it up! They don’t come up with on single idea of how they might make it better! They don’t come up with anything that they propose – here’s our idea that could be better. No! Let’s get rid of it all!"
- Haley Barbour blasts GOP support for shutdown over Obamacare -
FORMER MISSISSIPPI GOV. HALEY BARBOUR IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: "The guys that wanted to make Obamacare the trip wire for closing down the government and making Obama cave in… that’s not going to happen, that was never going to happen.”
- Even after loss, Weiner’s legacy lives on -
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “I tell you, the new iPhone has got some, it's got some pretty cool features, like you can take photos in black and white. So it looks like you're sending someone a picture of your p**** from 1928. It's Anthony Weiner's grandfather!”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt)
Obama rebuts Putin: "I believe America is exceptional" because it stands up not just for its own interests but "for the interests of all."
ian bremmer (@ianbremmer)
Obama UN Speech: One mention of China...with regard to Iran. No other E Asian country mentioned. #PivotToAsia #RIP
Adam Levine (@cnnadam)
Iranian TV reporting that Pres. Rouhani skipped UN luncheon, forgoing a chance to cross paths w/ Obama, because alcohol was served.
Dorsey Shaw (@dorseyshaw)
Cornell West + “Crossfire” = One Hell Of A GIF Factory http://www.buzzfeed.com/dorsey/cornell-west-crossfire-one-hell-of-a-gif-factory … http://twitpic.com/des5fa
Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery)
Senate makes history: Confirms Todd Hughes as the first openly gay circuit judge, 98-0. http://huff.to/15pXl8t
Cheryl Blodgett (@CherylQBlodgett)
I'm done with him too! John McCain's daughter says she's 'done' with Chris Christie | http://NJ.com http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/09/mccains_daughter_takes_verbal_swipe_at_christie_during_interview.html …
Boston Mayoral Preliminary Election is today – 2 candidates will then advance to final election on Nov 5. Find Polls: http://www.cityofboston.gov/elections/voter/ …
Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
Bono does a spot-on @billclinton impression http://on.cnn.com/15qNy29
Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo)
On this day in history in 1998, the current $20 bill was introduced. #GreatThings pic.twitter.com/ZCF29tQ554
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
When President John F. Kennedy stepped to the podium at the United Nations in 1961, the international diplomatic body was in a state of turmoil: U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld had been killed one week later in a plane crash in Congo.
Although some Kennedy aides suggested the president either cancel his speech in light of the death, according to his presidential library, the president went ahead with the remarks and outlined a sweeping international vision, including challenging the USSR to a "peace race."
"It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race - to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved," Obama said. "We invite them now to go beyond agreement in principle to reach agreement on actual plans."
The suggestion was seen as provocative, according to news reports from the time. Did it work, though? No.
Just the next year, the U.S. and the USSR engaged in the 13-day Cuban missile crisis – where missile deliveries to Cuba caused the two superpowers to come as close as they ever did to a nuclear conflict.
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