CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 11, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … HOUSE PASSES DEBT CEILING BILL: U.S. House voted 221-201 Tuesday on a debt-ceiling measure that allows continued borrowing by the government to pay its bills. Twenty-eight Republicans joined almost all of the Democrats to pass the proposal that lacked any deficit-reduction provisions sought by the GOP conservative wing. The so called "clean" debt-ceiling measure now goes to the Senate, which is expected to vote on Wednesday.
CHRISTIE ON THE MESSAGE OFFENSIVE: “HAVE FAITH”
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE TO REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES TRYING TO GET ELECTED IN ILLINOIS: “Have faith baby! I won twice in New Jersey! It can happen!”
… INVESTIGATIONS WON’T “CURTAIL” AGENDA … His administration is facing multiple investigations, but Chris Christie said he's moving forward. "Time will tell, but I believe that we are focused on the things we need to be focused on," the Republican governor said Tuesday afternoon at a question and answer session at the Economic Club of Chicago. – Dana Bash and Paul Steinhauser
… HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? … New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie raised $1.5 million during a fundraising swing through Texas last week, the Republican Governors Association announced early Tuesday morning, hours before the embattled governor was scheduled to headline more events in Illinois. Moreover, the RGA raised $6 million in January, said spokeswoman Gail Gitcho, who added that this was done with “the help of Chairman Christie and all of our Republican governors. … But political fundraising successes can't mask the issues Christie faces back in New Jersey. The Fort Lee traffic scandal is overshadowing what should have been the "Political Year of Christie" in which the newly elected New Jersey governor could safely look at his next political step ... perhaps to the presidential campaign trial. – Mark Preston
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
Bruce Rauner, Republican frontrunner for IL-GOV, will meet with Chris Christie today in Chicago, per GOP source. Rauner requested meeting.
THE BUZZ: RUSH LIMBAUGH ON MICHAEL SAM: HETEROSEXUALS ARE “UNDER ASSAULT” … “You say, ‘Heterosexuality may be 95, 98% of the population.’ They're under assault by the two to 5% that are homosexual … Why is there a political agenda attached to and driven by homosexuality, and there is no corresponding heterosexual agenda? Forget minority versus majority. That’s not what I have in mind here, and it's not ‘because a minority must do what it must do to overcome a majority,’ because that's not the answer.”
MARKET WATCH: Dow ends 188 points higher as investors cheer Fed chief Janet Yellen's House testimony. S&P 500 back above 1,800.
Which former Winter Olympic athlete is currently in Sochi campaigning for her husband’s gubernatorial bid?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: First on CNN: Welcome to Washington Mr. Walsh
Hours before Montana Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh gets sworn into the U.S. Senate, he's coming under attack by national Republican groups. The National Republican Senatorial Committee went up Tuesday with a website titled "Where's Walsh-o" that's critical of the new senator. And American Crossroads, pro-GOP independent super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, plans to welcome Walsh into the Senate with an attack ad that's set to run back in Montana. – Paul Steinhauser
Leading Tampa Bay Times: Scott hauls in four times what Crist raises in January
Gov. Rick Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” committee raised $3.4 million in January, but, for the first time, he got an additional boost from his own campaign account, according to finance reports due Monday. Scott reported raising $734,036 in January, giving his candidacy a combined $4.1 million for the month. It’s the first month his personal campaign account raised money and it’s four times what his rival, Charlie Crist, managed to raise. – Tia Mitchell and Michael Van Sickler
Leading Nj.com: Chris Christie's helicopter did not fly over GWB last September, State Police says
The New Jersey State Police today said Gov. Chris Christie's helicopter did not fly over the George Washington Bridge or Fort Lee during the controversial lane closures last September. The State Police released a statement saying Christie's helicopter took three flights during the week of Sept. 8, when the closing of local-access lanes at the nation's busiest bridge caused days of traffic jams in Fort Lee.
Leading Texas Tribune: Record, mug shot from Steve Stockman’s drug arrest that he now denies
In 1977, a young man who would later serve in Congress was charged with possession of Valium in Madison Heights, Mich. In 1995, during his first term in the U.S. House from a Houston-area district, Steve Stockman conceded that he’d had many brushes with the law, including one weekend jail stint that nearly cost him two years in prison because a girlfriend had slipped some Valium pills into his underwear to help him pass the time. On Tuesday, Texas Tribune dug out the 1977 police report (download it here), further undermining the credibility of any assertion that the felony charge never happened. – Todd J. Gillman
Leading Drudge: Keep It Easy
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen promised on Tuesday a steady and consistent course forward, with less money printing but continued low rates.In her first public remarks since taking over for Ben Bernanke, Yellen sounded optimistic about the economy, including projections about unemployment and inflation. – Jeff Cox
Leading Politico: Obama, Hollande stay vague on Syria
In a press conference Tuesday during which both presidents went out of their way to boost each other — and what Hollande called the “exceptional situation” of an alliance that’s never been more intertwined — they agreed clearly on three things about Syria: Assad still needs to go, they’re hopeful for a political solution to get to that point, and Russia needs to do more to help things along. Beyond that, they presented what amounted to a long, bilingual shrug. – Edward Isaac Dovere
Leading New York Times: Holder Urges States to Repeal Bans on Felons' Voting
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday urged states to repeal laws that prohibit felons from voting, a move that would restore the right to vote to millions of people. The call was mostly symbolic — Mr. Holder has no authority to enact these changes himself — but it marked the attorney general’s latest effort to eliminate laws that he says disproportionately keep minorities from the polls. – Matt Apuzzo
The political bites of the day
– Bevin: What McConnell and I have in common is … –
K.Y. GOP SENATE CANDIDATE MATT BEVIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: “We're both men. We're both Republicans."
– Dem. Mark Pryor turns to the Bible in new campaign ad –
SEN. MARK PRYOR, D-Arkansas, IN A NEW CAMPAIGN AD: "I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right … This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas."
– Did Marco Rubio inhale? –
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLORIDA, IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER HE HAS EVER SMOKED POT: “If I tell you that I haven't, you won't believe me. If I tell you that I did, then kids will look up to me and say, 'Well, I can smoke marijuana, because look how he made it.' ... At this point, it's irrelevant."
– Biden: The VP has ‘no inherent power’ –
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH TIME MAGAZINE: “There is no inherent power in the office of the vice presidency. Zero. None. It’s all a reflection of your relationship with the President … I mean, Kennedy never let Johnson in the office. I spend somewhere between four and seven hours a day with the President.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
CNN's Gut Check (@GutCheckCNN)
Obama says he will travel to France in June to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day & to reaffirm the "incredible alliance." btw US & France
(Virginia Blog) Southside Central @sosidecentral
@GutCheckCNN And will be asked to stay away from DDay Memorial in VA because of Mark Warner campaign.
Rebecca Kaplan (@RebeccaRKaplan)
Obama likens UK-France to Sasha and Malia. "All of them are wonderful in their own ways"
Olivier Knox @OKnox
Ouh la la, Hollande with heavily edited Syria review: "We were prepared to resort to force, but we found another option."
Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN)
Christie taking vintage smacks at dc. Blame all around but mostly POTUS for not reaching out early to repubs bc he had big dem majorities
Walt Cronkite (@WCronkite)
DNI Clapper tells Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran has technical expertise to build a nuclear bomb.
Colorado Dems (@coloradodems)
Tea Party endorses @owenjhill instead of 2010 endorsee @BuckForColorado #copolitics #teapartyprimary m.sfgate.com/news/article/T…
Sandra Fluke (@SandraFluke)
Proud to earn @SenatorCarolLiu's endorsement for my #SD26 campaign! Her kind words here:http://on.fb.me/1bSmhqn #RaisingCA @CASenateDems
Hoyer's office sends out Whip notice, strongly urging Yes vote on debt vote-Reminds Dems 186 of them have urged clean debt vote previously.
Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGs)
.@PattyMurray: "Era of economic hostage taking and ransom demands should finally be behind us": washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-lin…
Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm)
Shirley Temple on her run for Congress: "men are fine...but it wouldn’t hurt to have a woman’s viewpoint..." http://usat.ly/1m2I5X4 RIP
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Former Olympic figure skater and medalist Michelle Kwan is currently campaigning for her husband, Clay Pell, while working as a Fox Sports analyst in Sochi.
Pell is running for governor in Rhode Island as a Democrat. He is the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, whom the federal Pell Grant program is named after. Pell launched his gubernatorial campaign on January 27th. This is his first time running for public office.
While in Sochi, Kwan has been snapping pictures with other Olympic alumna such as former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Shannon Straw (@Shannonstraw) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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Let me get this straight, the current corrupt president can lie with impunity and break the law and yet the liberally biased media focuses on Chris Christie and a traffic jam led by CNN (still the Clinton News Network) and CNN puts him above a headline that reads gut check. This is the same "news" network that once added devil eyes to a picture of Condoleeza Rice and made dick Cheney look as evil as possible. Any despicable corrupt union tactic to help the Clinton's or the DNC.
Keep campaigning outside the state Chris. It's nice not having you around.
If the bridge closure had been for four hours instead of four days I could believe that the big bully from NJ didn't know about it. Except that it sounds like something he would come up with anyway.
The right wants to blame our President for everything that happens around the world because he should know about everything and anything, but they think that a governor of a somewhat small state didn't have to know what was happening as he looks out a window (pun)?
Now he's getting help from campaign funds? Can donors take their money back so he has to do like the probe governor in VA and pay his own legal fees? Isn't that why the screecher from AK finally quit her "job" plus the money she has made spreading lies and hate?