CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 25, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING … RUBIO ON 2016: HILLARY CLINTON WOULD ‘STRUGGLE’ … Sen. Marco Rubio, said he thinks if Hillary Clinton runs for president she would "struggle to win on multiple fronts." Rubio, speaking to Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” said, “I think she's going to be asked to account for her time as secretary of State and I don't think it's the sterling success people think it is. Quite frankly, much of the foreign policy failures we see in place today began when she ran the Department of State."
Asked about his mentor, Jeb Bush, Rubio said that Bush, who served two terms as the Sunshine State governor, wouldn't be a factor on his own decision making process for a White House run. The senator said Bush would be a "formidable candidate," but added "my decision will be based on me, not what anybody else decides."
"If I feel I can make a difference…from that office, to lead us in that direction, that's something I would have to strongly consider," Rubio told Blitzer, adding he'll make a decision "later this year, early next year."
THE COMEBACK KID HITS THE BLUEGRASS STATE
GRIMES CALLS IN CLINTON 8+ MONTHS BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION… Bill Clinton, arguably the most effective Democratic surrogate in politics, traveled to Kentucky Tuesday to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, who hopes she can knock off Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the most watched Senate races of 2014. Clinton is a long-time friend of Grimes’ father, Jerry, who chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign in Kentucky.
BILL CLINTON: “I watched both the Kentucky victory and the Louisville victory over the last few days and I like both the coaches, both the teams and I cheer for them both to win. But I don’t have a problem making a choice in this race for the Senate.”
GRIMES MAKES HER SOUNDTRACK …. AND SHE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED AT KATY PERRY? “For the pundits that are here in the room in case you are wondering what our theme song is, well I will tell you. I am a Neil Diamond ‘Kentucky Woman’ through and through but you will hear, over the course of this campaign especially on behalf of the women of this state – 53% of the electorate – a little Katy Perry ‘Roar’ and by the end of this, by the end of this race, eight months from now we will be bringing home our Kentucky girl Miley Cyrus with a little “Wrecking Ball” straight to the Guardian of Gridlock.”
CLINTON TO KENTUCKY: YOU’VE BEEN GOOD TO ME
“I love Kentucky. You’ve been good to me. You voted for me twice. You have been great to Hillary.”
AND MCCONNELL GETS THE RETORT … SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KENTUCKY, AT A GOP PARTY STAKEOUT: “In 2008 both Bill and Hillary Clinton came to town including the day before the election and I won by a 100,000 votes. So I welcome President Clinton back to Kentucky. Every time he has come it has been really good for me.”
ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER EXPECTED TO VETO 'RELIGIOUS FREEDOM' BILL … Dana Bash reports: All signs indicate Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will likely veto politically-charged legislation that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents contend discriminates against gays and lesbians. Brewer did not signal her intention either way in an exclusive interview with CNN on Monday at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington."I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona," she said.
DNC HUNTS FOR 2016 CONVENTION CITY … Mark Preston reports: As many as three dozen mayors from Atlanta to Sacramento received a letter earlier this month inquiring whether their cities were interested in hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It was no small request.
Hosting a national political convention comes with a hefty price tag, between $50 million to $60 million, but the payout could be triple the investment or more. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who hosted the 2012 Republican National Convention, estimated that the economic impact to his city was “well beyond $200 million.”
Among the cities that received letters from the DNC are: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus-Ohio, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville-Davidson, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa.
AMERICANS' CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY IMPROVES SLIGHTLY
More believe the U.S. economy is getting better than said this in prior weeks – Gallup’s Rebecca Riffin
THE BUZZ: WE’LL TOAST TO THAT … Hall of Fame shortstop, Ozzie Smith, has partnered with Budweiser, the Official Beer of Major League Baseball, to make Opening Day a holiday, beginning with a petition launched today at WhiteHouse.gov.
Where were the first Republican and Democratic conventions held and in what year did they occur?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheists at conservative conference
Organizers for the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference will not allow American Atheists to have an exhibition booth at the conservative conference, the group's spokeswoman said Tuesday. The decision comes just hours after American Atheists, the outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, announced that it would have a booth at the event. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tells CNN that a groundswell of opposition from high-ranking members of CPAC compelled the group to pull the invite. – Dan Merica
Leading Drudge: Dawn of the Designer Babies!
A new technology aimed at eliminating genetic disease in newborns would combine the DNA of three people, instead of just two, to create a child, potentially redrawing ethical lines for designer babies. – Elizabeth Lopatto
Leading HuffPo: Arizona Anti-Gay Law Would Be 'Devastating,' John McCain, Jeff Flake Warn
With signs emerging that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) may veto the anti-gay bill passed by the state legislature last week, Arizona's two U.S. senators repeated their pleas for her to do so, saying the law would be "devastating." – Michael McAuliffe
Leading Politico: Dem govs: Obama needs to sell Obamacare
Four years out from passage of the Affordable Care Act, it’s state executives in Obama’s party who may be bearing the heaviest load when it comes to making the law work and selling it to voters. They’ve grappled with their own glitch-ridden enrollment sites and fought their own legislatures over Medicaid expansion. – Alexander Burns, Kyle Cheney and Edward-Isaac Dovere
Leading Roll Call: GOP Leaders to Huddle on Obamacare Alternative
House Republican leaders will meet Friday to begin crafting an alternative to Democrats’ health care law, but they face a slate of challenges from inside and outside the conference to advancing a credible plan. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will meet privately with relevant committee heads, his staff said. Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline of Minnesota, as well as Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, both of Michigan, will attend. – Daniel Newhauser
The political bites of the day
– Bevin campaign ad hits Mitch McConnell for debt ceiling vote –
NARRATOR: “Mitch McConnell betrayed conservatives to give Obama a blank check. Matt Bevin opposes raising the national debt. Period. The choice is clear. Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate.”
– Clinton on Ukraine: It’s the darnedest thing I ever saw –
BILL CLINTON AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT FOR ALLISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES IN KENTUCKY: “Are you following what’s going on in Ukraine? It is the darnedest thing I ever saw. The politicians didn’t throw the president out, the people did. They said this guy is not in it for us anymore. Then they went into his presidential residence which he had privatized for himself. Can you imagine what somebody would do if the president or any president tried to say `I think I’ll privatize the White House and keep the paintings if it’s all the same to you.’”
– The anti-Gut Check –
ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER TO CNN’S DANA BASH ON WHETHER SHE WILL VETO ANTI-GAY BILL: “I am a woman and I don’t rely a whole lot on my gut because I have to look at what it (religious freedom bill) says and what the law says and take that information and do the right thing. I can assure you I will take that information and do the right thing for the state of Arizona.”
– Cheney: Obama would rather spend on food stamps than military –
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY TO SEAN HANNITY ON FOX ON MONDAY: “They (Middle-East policymakers) peddle this line that now we're going to pivot to Asia, but they've never justified it. And I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it's driven by budget considerations. He'd (Obama) much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
– Holder: No need to defend laws that discriminate –
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER AT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WINTER MEETING: “Any decisions at any level, not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare. They must be reserved only for truly exceptional circumstances and they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreements.”
– GOP A.G.: Defending state laws is our job –
ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERAL LUTHER STRANGE TO THE WASHINGTON POST: "A state attorney general has a solemn duty to the state and its people to defend state laws and constitutional provisions against challenge under federal law. To refuse to do so because of personal policy preferences or political pressure erodes the rule of law on which all of our freedoms are founded."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
On "The View" Joe Biden tells Barbara Walters that if she "stick(s) around, I will announce my decision with you.”
Luke Russert (@LukeRussert)
The Obama-Boehner docket from today: manufacturing, trade promotion authority, flood insurance, immigration, the President's health care law
jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
Confusing logic here: Carney says WH doesn't weigh in on state bills ... on same day Holder says states don't need to defend marriage bans.
Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
When I asked when Bill Clinton was coming back to Kentucky, Jerry Lundergan (@AlisonForKY's father) winked & said, "Whenever I call him."
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
First lady to unveil new federal guidelines aimed at banning junk food from being marketed in schools http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/25/new-rules-would-ban-junk-food-from-being-marketed-in-schools/ …
Reid Wilson (@PostReid)
More than 600 years of Congressional experience are retiring this year (h/t @FactTank) - pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014…
#NYC Mayor de Blasio +“Today” weather-guy #AlRoker make up. Roker presented with official 'sanitation dept. hat' ...http://bit.ly/1k6b5LT
Erin Biba (@erinbiba)
Great science journo Miles O'Brien had arm amputated. Will be interested to see how it affects his broadcast career. http://milesobrien.com/?p=3640
Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview)
The Goldman Sachs Elevator Stalker is Revealed—as a Fibber. My post: http://nyti.ms/1pp9KR3
Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre)
New paintings at Bush library will include portraits never before shown to the public #smumetro http://politi.co/MYS0NC
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
The first Democratic convention was held in 1832 in Baltimore, Maryland. At the convention, the Democratic Party established the tradition of the presidential roll call vote. Twenty-two of the 23 states sent delegates to Maryland and President Andrew Jackson was nominated to represent the party for a second term.
The first Republican convention was held in 1856 at the Music Fund Hall in Philadelphia. Hundreds of delegates representing all of the Northern states participated to nominate the famous Western explorer John Charles Fremont of California presidency.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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