CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 22, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … IRAN: “WE DID NOT AGREE TO DISMANTLE ANYTHING” … Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted Wednesday that the Obama administration mischaracterizes Iran's concessions in the nuclear deal, telling CNN's Jim Sciutto in an exclusive interview that "we did not agree to dismantle anything." Zarif accused the Obama administration of creating a false impression with such language.
DEVELOPING … GLENN BECK ON FOX NEWS ADMITS ROLE IN HELPING ‘TEAR THE COUNTRY APART’: “I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language … I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart … I didn’t realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of more in it together.”
GOP VS. GOP: SHOULD CHRISTIE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO? … Virginia Republican, Ken Cuccinelli, said Tuesday on CNN’s Crossfire that embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should step down from his new role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. “"I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role …He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn't mean that any of the charges, political or otherwise are substantive or not. It doesn't matter. Perception is reality."..
Yet when asked if he agreed with Cuccinelli, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should remain in his job as chairman of the RGA. "I don't know of a better governor right now to lead that effort that is just a powerhouse across the country. I have seen him in rooms and I have seen him turn crowds on and his job is to raise a lot of money for the RGA and he can do that and I am sure the RGA is proud to have him." – Dan Merica and Dana Bash
EX-HUSBAND: WENDY DAVIS WOULD BE A 'VERY CAPABLE GOVERNOR' … "Despite our differences, Wendy would make a very capable governor," said Davis’ ex-husband Jeff Davis Tuesday in an email to CNN. "Certain comments seem to always be taken out of context and the firestorm of Facebook/hashtag stuff is not useful for forming opinions," he added.
THE NEW DEBATE: A new president is trying a new approach and a new tone for the annual march for life, hoping to change attitudes on one of the most controversial issues in American discourse today. CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper’s got the story.
THE BUZZ: BILL GATES VOTED FOR POT LEGALIZATION
Billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington state, he told BuzzFeed. "It's an experiment, and it's probably good to have a couple states try it out to see before you make that national policy," he said in the interview Tuesday.
MARKET WATCH: IBM's 3% drop drags the Dow to a 38-point loss. NASDAQ gains 0.4%. S&P 500 edges higher.
Which U.S. senator was arrested for marijuana possession in 1972?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: White House says Obama’s marijuana policy hasn’t changed
President Barack Obama remains opposed to a nationwide decriminalization of marijuana, despite his assertion in an interview this week the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol. “The President's position on these matters haven't changed,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in response to a question from CNN on Wednesday. "He's not endorsing any specific move by a state. He's simply making an observation, his position of these matters has not changed." –Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak
Leading Star Ledger: Experts: Enough evidence to pursue Hoboken mayor's claims against Christie administration
Leading trial attorneys and legal experts said today that the U.S. Attorney's Office of New Jersey has enough evidence to pursue a serious investigation into allegations that the Democratic mayor of Hoboken made against Gov. Chris Christie's administration this weekend.
Leading San Francisco Gate: Neel Kashkari's voting record spotty since 1998
Former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari, a moderate Republican who is expected to run for governor, has failed to vote in nearly half the elections in which he was eligible since 1998 – including the 2012 presidential primary and the 2005 special election called to decide the reform agenda of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – public records show. – Carla Marinucci
Leading Louisville Courier-Journal: FreedomWorks endorses Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate
A national organization that helps candidates who want smaller government says it will come into Kentucky and spend as much as $500,000 helping Matt Bevin beat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in May’s Republican primary.
Leading Drudge: BLIZZARD SOCKS NORTHEAST
Numerous daily snowfall records were broken on Tuesday as a result of this storm from Maryland to New York and up to 15 inches fell in parts of New Jersey. – Kristina Pydynowski
Leading HuffPo: Bobby Jindal Proposes Increase In Higher Education Funding After Years Of Suggesting Cuts
After six years of suggesting cuts, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday he'll recommend that lawmakers increase state financing for higher education next year and steer $40 million to a new workforce development initiative on campuses. – Melinda Deslatte
Leading New York Times: 2 Friends Reach Across the Aisle on Immigration
If there is any way to unlock the immigration stalemate in Washington, colleagues say that Esther Olavarria, a Democrat, and Rebecca Tallent, a Republican, might find it. – Michael D. Sheer
The political bites of the day
– McConnell ad calls for a strong voice –
NARRATED BY A THROAT CANCER SURVIVOR WHOSE VOICE DOESN’T CARRY LOUDER THAN A WHISPER: “I worked at a nuclear facility that has been vital for our national security. Like many, I was exposed to radiation. I got cancer. But Mitch McConnell fought for us, creating cancer-screening programs and provided compensation for sick workers. Mitch McConnell has a caring and powerful voice for Kentucky’s working families and having a strong voice matters.”
Gut Check Full Service: McConnell used the star of the ad, Kentucky resident Robert Pierce in a similar ad in his 2008 re-election campaign. In a statement to CNN, the spokeswoman for McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said, "It is no surprise Mitch McConnell has to recycle old TV ads given that he offers no new ideas. It is insulting to Kentuckians for McConnell to haul out this old, dishonest play every six years when he's on the ballot."
– Pop star jokes that she helped Obama get elected –
KATY PERRY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GQ MAGAZINE ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH OBAMA: “I might have won Wisconsin for him … Actually, I didn’t do too much, but he called on me a couple of times which was very nice.”
– Obama takes note of the winter weather –
PRESIDENT OBAMA AT A MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT’S COMMISSION ON ELECTION ADMINISTRATION: "Hello everybody. Glad you guys made it to work."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner)
Being #ProLife is not a position. It’s who we are & it’s #WhyWeMarch. ReTweet if you agree. pic.twitter.com/By5zrXf69o
Barack Obama (@BarackObama)
"Every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health." —President Obama on the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)
CNN/ORC POLL May 2013 Abortion Should Be Legal In What Circumstances? All 25% Most 11% Few 42% No 20% +/-3% pts
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
POTUS at WH event aimed at combatting sexual assault says statistics on rape on college campuses are "totally unacceptable"
Kate Bolduan (@KateBolduan)
On whether Americans are targeted: @McCaulPressShop says he’s not aware of direct threats to US Olympic team but “there are threats” #NewDay
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
Sign of the times: I see the word "legalization" now and I think marijuana, not immigration.
Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN)
New: @HillaryClinton is making a Cali swing in April with 3 speeches in 3 days. All events are closed to the press. http://cnn.it/1c0rexz
@SarahPalinUSA invited, @tedcruz & @RepPaulRyan confirmed to speak at #CPAC2014 http://ow.ly/sMZg7 @BreitbartNews #tcot
Scott Surovell (@ssurovell)
The House of Delegates Ethics subcommittee held a hearing today in the wake of Bob McDonnell's #corruption... http://fb.me/6jQyfmYr4
Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher)
After reading about McDonnell's indictment and his wife's Oscar de la Renta dress, I'm suddenly seeing online ads for Rent the Runway.
Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols)
Clip from my exclusive Richard Sherman sitdown: http://cnn.it/1du8eU7 & there's a lot more to Sherman's story. Airs on @UnguardedCNN Friday
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall was arrested for marijuana possession in 1972. According to the Denver Post, state troopers found three small bags of marijuana and a few joints in Udall’s vehicle while he was driving across Arizona in his early 20’s. He spent one night in jail and paid a $300 fine.
In 2008 Udall acknowledged the incident in a statement to the Denver Post. "I made a mistake. I took responsibility for it then, I learned from it, and I've tried to teach my kids to be smarter than I was 35 years ago."
As a senator, Udall has co-sponsored the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, which allows the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States. He has voted against prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC.
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Jeb Bush's crowning achievement in Florida was the "Stand Your Ground" law. Ever wonder why he is trailing Hillary in the polls?
WHY are Hilary Clintons speeches closed to the press? The public should be allowed to hear them!
Did anyone see the new poll that says the majority of Americans (53%) find the uhbama administration incompetent?
What's happened to Glenn Beck? I hope he hasn't begun confessing because he's come down with a terminal illness.
Why? She hasn't announced her candidacy yet.
Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner)
Being #ProLife is not a position. It’s who we are & it’s #WhyWeMarch.
I agree with him. Too many #ProLife people have gone past it being position, and have let it become an imposition. Like Boehner says, it's who they are....and they just cannot help themselves.
Wow – firts Chritie and now Beck – admitting that mistakes were made and taking responsibility for them......now....if only a progressive could do the same thing.....own up to their mmistakes. Unfortunately the only thing they seem to know how to do is blame others. I guess that's what you learn to do by getting a medal just for showing up.
What worries me Wes is that 47% don't find them incompetent.....wait....there is that 47% number again.....maybe Mitt was right all along.....