CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 21, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
NUGENT APOLOGIZES: Ted Nugent apologized Friday for the “subhuman mongrel” comment he used to describe President Obama after multiple calls from Republican lawmakers to apologize, including from Sen. Rand Paul:
Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul)
Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.
NUGENT ON THE BEN FERGUSON RADIO SHOW FRIDAY: “I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself. I apologize for using the term … I will try to elevate my vernacular to the level of those great men that I'm learning from in the world of politics."
CHRISTIE WON’T BREAK BREAD WITH OBAMA, INSTEAD WILL EAT CAKE WITH DAUGHTER: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will be in Washington for a series of meetings with the nation's governors, will skip dinner Sunday with President Barack Obama to return home to celebrate his daughter's 18th birthday. On Sunday, the President will host the governors at the White House for dinner. – Mark Preston
OBAMA: WE ARE TOO SEXY FOR THESE MIDTERMS … AND IT’S A PROBLEM … Rallying Democratic governors Thursday, President Barack Obama urged his party not to overlook state-level elections because they aren't as "sexy" as national contests.
"We know how to win national elections, but all too often it's during these midterms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble, because I guess we don't think it's sexy enough," Obama said. "If there's one message that I want to deliver today to every Democrat and every person who's interested in supporting Democratic policies, is that you've got to pay attention to the states." – Dana Davidsen
MARYLAND GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY TO CNN: “I think they are particularly sexy.”
MCCAIN WARNS HIS PARTY: IF ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY, HILLARY CLINTON WOULD BE PRESIDENT
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH PIERS MORGAN THURSDAY: "I would bet, my friend, as much as I hate to admit it, that right now – this is why we have campaigns – but right now, if the election were tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would most likely be the president of the United States … She wouldn't be my candidate."
THE BUZZ: THE STATE OF THE UNION IS … SCANDALOUS
CNN’s Candy Crowley sits down with actor Joe Morton from ABC‘s ‘Scandal’ to talk about the success of the show, D.C. culture, and the parallels drawn between the fictional characters and real-life Washington power players.
Gut Check DVR: Tune into CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley on Sunday at 9:00am to catch the full interview and interviews with Govs. Dan Malloy, Rick Perry and Mike Pence.
MARKET WATCH: Stocks end the week little changed, with the Dow and S&P 500 lower and the NASDAQ advancing.
Who was the first person to write about the mythical tale of George Washington and the cherry tree?
Did you miss it?
Leading Detroit Free Press: Detroit to file plan to exit bankruptcy
Detroit today plans to file a comprehensive plan in federal court on how it will shed billions of dollars of debt and restructure city government as it goes through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The plan is designed to free up cash to improve public safety and other basic services for its 700,000 residents. – Matt Helms, Nathan Bomey and Brent Snavely
Gut Check Full Service: Detroit bankruptcy plan: Up to 34% cuts in pensions, slashed payments for retiree health care and bondholders.
Leading CNNPolitics: Inside Politics: Obama and Boehner in midterm chess match
We now know President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner agree on at least one thing: In 2014, keeping the political base happy matters more than advancing once-critical policy initiatives. – John King
Gut Check DVR: Catch John King’s new show ‘Inside Politics’ on Sunday at 8:30am E.T. with guests David Maraniss, Amy Walter, Julie Pace and Jonathan Martin.
Leading Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal: Emails link Scott Walker to secret email system
Thousands of documents unsealed Wednesday link Gov. Scott Walker to a secret email system used in his office that would avoid public scrutiny when he was Milwaukee County executive. The records also show that on the day before he was elected governor in 2010, the secret investigation into links between Walker's county government staff and his political campaign was widened to include four more aides. That same day, search warrants were executed on Walker's campaign and county offices, as well as the homes of some of his assistants.- Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber and Kevin Crowe
Leading Drudge: DC SAFE ZONE ON NEW 'TONIGHT SHOW'
The curtain rose this week on a new era of late-night TV — altering the terrain for politicians who frequent the shows and complicating life for Republicans, who have lost their most comfortable seat in front of the camera. – Hadas Gold
Leading New York Magazine: How the GOP Sabotaged Marco Rubio, the Man Who Was Once Its Savior
The Rubio Plan sounded awfully appealing to Republicans, not least of them Rubio himself, who set about constructing the fund-raising and advisory apparatus of a top-tier presidential contender. For a few months, the plan proceeded to near perfection. Then everything started falling apart, and it has kept falling apart ever since. – Jonathan Chait
Leading New York Times: Challenger in Kentucky Sets Sights on Senate Heavyweight
Alison Lundergan Grimes leaned across a table at an upscale bar near her home in this city’s historic district, sipped Maker’s Mark bourbon — a Kentucky staple — mixed with Diet Coke, and let out a belly laugh. “We’re in this campaign to kick butt!” she said. – Sheryl Gay-Stolberg
The political bites of the day
– McCain: Obama is being naïve –
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN TO PIERS MORGAN IN AN INTERVIEW THURSDAY: “Let me just say that the president just displayed his incredible naiveté. Tell Vladimir after I’m re-elected he'll be more flexible? The president doesn't think it's a chess game. Certainly Vladimir Putin does.”
– Malia to Obama: Dad, stay away –
MICHELLE OBAMA ON JIMMY FALLON’S TONIGHT SHOW THURSDAY: “My kids, they’re 15 and 12 and they want nothing to do with us … Malia’s like, ‘God, Dad, please, just don’t come to my school. Just keep your SWAT Team.’ … They really want normalcy and the White House isn’t normal. So they go other places. And so I’ll say, ‘Don’t you want to invite your friends over to watch a movie?’ She’s like, ‘Dad, no one wants to come here.’”
– Sam Brownback: Blue-state model failed Kansas –
KANSAS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK TO POLITICO: “We tried the blue-state model. We were the second highest taxed state in the region …Kansas had a net loss of private-sector jobs last decade. Your public sector can’t be more robust than your private sector.” – Kyle Cheney
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN)
Out today: @Gallup finds 59% of Americans view Hillary Clinton favorably. Her high point: Monica Lewinsky scandal. http://bit.ly/1fh5kJ1\
Michelle Coffey (@m_cof)
A proposal to split California into six separate states has moved one step closer to getting on a ballot for vote http://on.mktw.net/1c83fcp
Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews)
Editorial: We recommend Greg Abbott in GOP race for Texas governor http://d-news.co/tEP0t @DMNOpinion
Sara Ganim (@sganim)
Looks like Jay Paterno is running for office in Pa. @DailyCollegian reports http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/article_10c77800-9a49-11e3-8493-0017a43b2370.html …
Brenda Nixon (@BrendaNixon)
101-y/o Florida man is running for congress, as a write-in! #Hope I'm still active & contribute at 101 yrs! \ #inspiration #health
nahomi Rachel Weber (@Nahomirachellw)
US Olympian Returns From Sochi and Turns to Politics: Snowboarder Ryan Stassel turns his attention to another ... http://bit.ly/1gRQDeC
Peter Lanier (@PeterLanier)
A @LEGO_Group version of @wolfblitzer via @ChromeExp .. fun site: https://www.buildwithchrome.com/
The LEGO Group (@LEGO_Group)
@PeterLanier Excellent creation. We hope Wolf approves.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
American author Mason Locke Weems, commonly known as Parson Weems, was the first person to write about the mythical tale of George Washington and the cherry tree.
Weems wrote many biographies of historical figures, his most famous being his 1800 biography of President George Washington called ‘The Life of Washington,’ published the year after the President’s death.
Weems also created the story about Washington praying at Valley Forge, as well as several other legends about Washington that many people today use to frame their understanding of the nation’s first president.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) AND Southside Central (@sosidece) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing email@example.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.