CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 10, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: QUESTIONS ARISE OVER STOLEN PASSPORTS ON MISSING MALAYSIAN FLIGHT… It is perplexing enough that a jetliner seemed to have vanished without a trace. Adding to the mystery is the news that at least two people on board were traveling on passports stolen from an Austrian and an Italian. According to Thai police officials, an Iranian man by the name of Kazem Ali purchased the tickets for two friends who he said wanted to return home to Europe. While Ali made the initial booking by telephone, either Ali or someone acting on his behalf paid for the tickets in cash, according to police. – Saeed Ahmed
Round 1: Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas highlighted his foreign policy disagreement with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in an interview with ABC on Sunday. “I don't agree with him on foreign policy. I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad," Cruz said. The Texas Republican went on to invoke Reagan's declaration of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and heralded the former president’s foreign policy views.
Round 2: Paul, who is known for his libertarian views, penned an op-ed on Monday that faulted Republicans for distorting Reagan's views on foreign policy. While the piece didn’t mention Cruz by name, it was a fairly obvious swipe. “I will remind anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous Republican nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of (Ronald) Reagan, that splintering the party is not the route to victory," the Kentucky Republican wrote in an opinion piece for Breitbart.com. – Ashley Killough
(CNN) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept his distance on Monday from controversy surrounding Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who is under pressure over agency business dealings and whose name has surfaced in a separate political scandal roiling the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"The chairman of the Port Authority is an appointee of the governor of New Jersey and I will leave it to the governor of New Jersey to make that decision," Cuomo told WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer when asked whether Samson should resign.
(CNN) – Recent tension between Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz flared on Monday after Paul doubled-down in his criticism of Cruz's rhetoric.
"I will remind anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous Republican nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of (Ronald) Reagan, that splintering the party is not the route to victory," the Kentucky Republican wrote in an opinion piece for Breitbart.com.
Updated 1:54 p.m. ET, 3/10/2014
Washington (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will continue her focus on women’s rights when she appears at the fifth annual Women in the World Summit next month.
Clinton will share the stage with Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, at the event hosted by Tina Brown, the former editor of Newsweek.
(CNN) - The leaders of some national tea party groups aren't taking kindly to tough talk by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The top Senate Republican, who's running for re-election this year, said over the weekend that he's not concerned about facing a tea party supported primary challenger back home in Kentucky.
(CNN) - Sen. Mark Begich is taking aim at the Koch brothers.
The first-term Alaska Democrat, who faces a challenging re-election this November, has been targeted in two TV commercials put up by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the deep pockets of the billionaire industrialist brothers, David and Charles Koch.
Clearwater, Florida (CNN) - It's for just one congressional seat for about eight months, but Tuesday's special election in Florida has taken on huge political significance.
National Republicans are framing Tuesday's special election as a referendum on Obamacare. But their message - plus a flood of outside spending by Democrats focused on the issue of Social Security - is drowning out other issues in the race, Republican candidate David Jolly says.
Washington (CNN) - Slightly more Americans approve than disapprove of how President Barack Obama has so far handled the crisis in Ukraine, but that has not affected the President's overall job approval rating, according to a new national poll.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that economic sanctions against Russia appears to be the only option that a majority of Americans support that's available to the U.S. to try and end the crisis in the Ukraine.