CNN's GUT CHECK for January 16, 2014
January 16th, 2014
05:58 PM ET
9 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 16, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN … JEB BUSH LOSING THE MOM VOTE… Former First Lady Barbara Bush said in an interview with C-SPAN on Thursday that the United States needs to expand the number of families holding the nation's highest political office beyond her own, as well as the Clintons and Kennedys.

"I think this is a great American country, great country, and if we can't find more than two or three families to run for high office, that's silly, because there are great governors and great eligible people to run," she said.

Though she says her son Jeb Bush is certainly qualified to run for president, the former first lady said, "I hope he won't."

DEVELOPING … 17 people and three organizations will be subpoenaed by a special committee formed by the New Jersey Assembly to look into the G.W. Bridge controversy. LINK

PORT AUTHORITY RESPONDS: The Port Authority said that the lane closures were an “aberrational” event conducted outside normal protocol in a letter to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who leads the Senate committee with oversight of the agency.

OUTSIDE COUNSEL: CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION HIRES LAW FIRM: The Christie administration has retained Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as outside counsel in a move the administration hopes "will bring an outside, third-party perspective to the situation." Randy Mastro, a former assistant U.S. attorney and aide to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, will lead the team.

MEANWHILE, CHRISTIE DOWN THE SHORE: “I want to assure the people of New Jersey one thing: I was born here,” the governor said at a morning event in Manahawkin. “I was raised here. I am raising my family here and this is where I intend to spend the rest of my life. And whatever test they put in front of me I will meet those tests because I am doing it on your behalf. So thank you all very much for being here.”

HEADING TO FLORIDA: As a dark cloud hangs over his administration in New Jersey, Christie will travel to Florida this weekend to help raise money for Gov. Rick Scott and rub elbows with top political supporters.
– Leigh Ann Caldwell

THE VIRGINIA SENATE RACE IS ON: FORMER RNC CHAIR ED GILLESPIE ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY: Gillespie announced Thursday he will seek the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. “I'm running for Senate because the American Dream is being undermined by policies that move us away from constitutional principles of limited government and personal liberty.”- Gloria Borger, Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Bohn

MARK WARNER IN AN EMAIL TO SUPPORTERS: "I am asking Virginians to rehire me to keep fighting for bipartisan, common sense solutions to create jobs, get our fiscal house in order, and ensure that all Virginians have a fair shot at economic opportunity.”

THE BUZZ: CHRISTIE TRUMPS A-ROD AND BIEBER ON FACEBOOK
A-Rod and Bieber may have steroids and eggs, but Chris Christie and his bridge have created the most buzz on Facebook. According to Facebook search data, “Chris Christie” was mentioned in Facebook posts, messages and comments more than 271,000 times from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. “Justin Bieber” had 104,000 mentions and “A-Rod” scored 44,000. – Eric Weisbrod

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed after negative company news. The Dow falls 63 points and the Nasdaq inches higher.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
What place does Michelle Obama admit that she still hasn’t seen and wants to visit in the next 20 years?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics.com: First on CNN: Insurers launch new ad to stop Medicare Advantage cuts
The insurance industry is launching a seven-figure advertising, grassroots and lobbying campaign to persuade Washington officials not to cut Medicare Advantage funding next year. A key piece of that campaign is a new television ad, obtained first by CNN. – Chris Frates

Leading Asbury Park Press: Senate, Assembly vote to create GWB investigation panels
The votes in the Legislature were 33-0 in the Senate and 75-0 in the Assembly. Before voting, however, some Republicans in each house expressed concerns that the investigations would become too politicized and about the potential cost for both houses of the Legislature to hire separate outside counsel.

Leading Drudge: CHINA HOLDING RECORD U.S. DEBT
China’s swelling foreign-exchange reserves, reported today to have reached a world record $3.82 trillion at the end of December, may sustain the nation’s appetite for U.S. debt. – Ian Katz

Leading HuffPo: NSA Reformers Brace For Disappointment From Obama's Speech
President Barack Obama is set to announce his vision of surveillance reforms in a speech on Friday, and National Security Agency critics in Congress are bracing for disappointment. – Matt Sledge and Sabrina Siddiqui

Leading Politico: How Washington beat Wall Street
In 2009, Washington went to war against big Wall Street banks hoping to blow up the kind of high-risk, high-reward strategies that helped spark the financial crisis. Five years later, that war is largely over. And Washington won in a blowout.” – Ben White

Leading New York Times: Obama’s Path From Critic to Overseer of Spying
In 2007, Barack Obama described a surveillance state run amok. He is now the leader of a surveillance state that some of his own advisers think has gotten out of control. – Peter Baker

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Feinstein rejects notion that Senate Benghazi report implicates Clinton –
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIFORNIA, IN A STATEMENT: “This is patently false … I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes.”

– McCain: Where POTUS and Hillary Clinton went wrong –
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN ON HOW THE PRESIDENT AND HILLARY CLINTON HANDLED THE BENGHAZI ATTACK: “In their effort to not be like Bush, they made the exact same mistakes.”

– Hollywood icon threatening the NRA –
HARVEY WEINSTEIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH HOWARD STERN WEDNESDAY: “I’m gonna make a movie with Meryl Streep and we’re gonna take this issue head-on, and they’re (NRA) gonna wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”

– Moran: There’s no good competition –
REP. JIM MORAN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: “Knowing myself, if there was a challenger, I know I wouldn’t be retiring … I could never let anyone suggest that I was backing down from a challenge. ... I want to go out on a high note.”

– Blushing –
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIFORNIA, ON THE 49’ERS QB COLIN KAEPERNICK AT HER WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: “We love our Quarterback, like the tattoos, big arms.”

–And then there is this … –
REP. BILL SHUSTER, R-PENNSYLVANIA, ON THE HOUSE FLOOR WEDNESDAY: “We have a duty to stand and fight for the protection of the unborn and I believe life begins at contraception and should be protected at all stages.

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Josh Kraushaar ‏(@HotlineJosh)
Sounds like this "economic mobility" argument is a key GOP argument in 2014. Heart of Gillespie campaign in #VASEN http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/ed-gillespie-to-announce-senate-bid-102261.html

Andrew Kaczynski (‏@BuzzFeedAndrew)
Ed Gillespie video launching his campaign mentions working for Bush but not lobbying or RNC chairmanship. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDkAjSIlYFk&feature=youtu.be

Star-Ledger Politics (‏@NJ_Politics)
.@Lonegan says the bridge scandal has not diminished @GovChristie's fundraising power. http://nj-ne.ws/sEPzy #ChrisChristie #njpolitics

Erin McPike ‏(@ErinMcPike)
There are actually more TV cameras in the room for today's hearing than there were the day David Wildstein pleaded the Fifth.

Carl Lavin (‏@FromCarl)
10 years later, New York will pay $17.9 million to settle civil rights claims by protesters at GOP convention: http://cnn.it/1aPSmyL

Alex Roarty ‏(@Alex_Roarty)
Stat I can't get over: AFP has spent nearly as much on TV as every other group (that's reported to the FEC) combined http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/koch-brothers-investing-millions-for-republican-senate-takeover-20140116

Mike Henderson‏ (@mhenderson)
@LukeRussert cant wait for my next non-fiction read: Love and War, by Matalin and Carville, Dedicated to... pic.twitter.com/CurK3RWZNw

David Daniel (‏@CNNLADavid)
Double #OscarNoms: Alfonso Cuarón, GRAVITY; Steve Coogan, PHILOMENA; Spike Jonze, HER; David O. Russell, AMERICAN HUSTLE

Andrea Mandell ‏(@AndreaMandell)
Snub alert: Tom Hanks, Forest Whitaker, Oprah, Robert Redford #OscarNominations

Stephen Green ‏(@VodkaPundit)
Maybe you're tired of seeing it, but I've trained both my Macs and all my iOS devices to replace "ObamaCare" with "♡bamaCare!!!" #Caring

ESPN Snowboarding (‏@ESPN_Snos)
Shaun White crashes in first of three consecutive Olympic qualifiers at Mammoth: http://xgam.es/1j9pFS4

Peter Hamby ‏(@PeterHambyCNN)
Sent this Snapchat to SenatorRandPaul. He called me 30 minutes later. pic.twitter.com/EvpHfehODc

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

In an interview with People Magazine, Michelle Obama admitted that before she turns 70, she wants to visit the Hoover Dam, and “try a local dish” and “shop in a little shop” while she’s there.

The first lady admits that she has flown into the Hoover Dam airport, spoke at an event and left the area, without actually seeing the Dam or stopping to observe the culture around the landmark.

Obama is turning 50 on Friday. She says that in her next 20 years she wants to see “the places that makes this planet beautiful,” noting that many of those places are right here in the United States.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Sam Smith (@SISmith89) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

GOT NEWS?
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: gutcheck@cnn.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing gutcheck@cnn.com

WANT TO SIGN UP?
Do you have a friend who wants to sign up for GUT CHECK or our new CNNPolitics Breaking News Alerts? Click here, log on and scroll down.


Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Stuffit

    Just got my first social security payment of the new year and guess what. It is a substantial chunk lighter due to my purchase of a Medicare Advantage plan. I had it last year also, but because of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, my premium has risen 177 per cent and my co pays and deductibles have doubled. I do believe these democrat liberal progressives must be using illegal substances when they name their trash laws.

    January 16, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Give him a position at the top of the agency; he's a good friend of the governor.

    Things just keep looking bad for GovChristie and all the kings men !

    January 16, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Wildstein catapulted into the national spotlight with his response to the infamous e-mail from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's aide: "Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee," Bridget Kelly wrote. Wildstein responded, "Got it."

    Why are the Democrat lefties making Chris Christie's look so stupid ?
    When did they buy him a mirror ?

    January 16, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |