April 15th, 2014
05:24 PM ET
5 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for April 15, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for  April 15, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BIDEN TO BOSTON: ‘TWISTED’ TERRORISTS WON’T PREVAIL … Honoring victims of last year’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday the terrorists who carried out the act could never claim victory over America’s ideals.

“You will send a resounding message around the world - not just around the world but to the terrorists - that we will never yield. We will never cower. America will never ever stand down,” Biden told survivors. – Kevin Liptak

See More:  Poll: No partisan divide over Boston Marathon investigation


DEVELOPING … WHITE HOUSE SUPPORTS UKRAINE'S MILITARY MOVES FOR NOW, BUT URGES CAUTION … For weeks, the White House has on an almost daily basis applauded the Ukrainian government's restraint in dealing with what many see as an attempted Russian takeover of more than just Crimea, repeatedly stating there should not be a military solution. The Obama administration reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday, while also supporting Ukraine's movement of troops toward the worst trouble zones in the eastern part of the country. – Michelle Kosinski

A NEW POLL INDICATES MOST AMERICANS OPPOSE USING FORCE AGAINST RUSSIA … A majority of Americans say Ukraine is important to U.S. national interests, but when it comes to the crisis there, only a small sliver of the public says Washington should consider military action against Russia, according to a new national poll. And the McClatchy/Marist survey also indicates Americans are divided on how President Barack Obama's handled the situation.

2014 WATCH: THE UNDERDOGS BITE BACK IN Q1
ON THE LEFT … GRIMES OUTRAISES MCCONNELL … In what is shaping up as one of the most expensive and bitter Senate races in the 2014 cycle, Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes outraised Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell ($2.7 million to $2.4 million) in the first three months of this year. She’s now outraised him in two of the three fundraising quarters since she entered the race. McConnell still has a two-to-one advantage ($10 million to $5 million) when it comes to cash on hand. – Paul Steinhauser

ON THE RIGHT … GILLESPIE TOUTS FUNDRAISING HAUL … Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie raised $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, according to his campaign. Gillespie announced his GOP candidacy in January against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner.

HAPPY TAX DAY FROM THE RNC… The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday, the day Americans file their taxes, it's suing the Internal Revenue Service over withholding records involved in the agency's targeting of conservative and other groups.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) has spent nearly a year investigating why the agency used conservative political terms like "Tea Party" and "patriot" to flag some applications for tax-exempt status.

THE BUZZ: FIRST ON CNN: TAX-WRITING LAWMAKERS' TAX ISSUES - DO AS I SAY... The House Ways and Means Committee is the oldest, and arguably the most powerful, in Congress with members responsible for writing the nation's tax laws. But a CNN investigation of all 39 Democrats and Republicans on the committee found that at least eight members have faced tax problems of their own. Examples involve a range of issues, including state and property taxes. – Chris Frates

See More: Tax poll: Is the middle class paying too much?

MARKET WATCH: Seesaw day on Wall Street ends with gains. Dow adds 88 points. S&P 500 climbs 0.7%. NASDAQ rises 0.3%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Which president started the tradition of political candidates releasing their tax returns?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading Boston Globe: One Year, One City
On April 15, 2013, their lives intersected at the Marathon. One year later, they returned to the scene for a historic photo shoot.

Leading CNNPolitics.com: Authors to write sequel on 'the next chapter in Clinton's political career'
Crown Publishing announced on Tuesday that Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the authors of the recently released "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton," are set to write another book about her "as she determines her next move." – Dan Merica

Leading CNNMoney: Oklahoma bans local minimum wage hikes
Oklahoma cities and towns are banned from raising the local minimum wage under a new state law. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the measure Monday. The new law also bars localities from requiring that employees receive a certain number of sick or vacation days, either paid or unpaid. – Gregory Wallace

Leading Kansas City Star: Dole barnstorming through eastern Kansas. Is he really not running for anything?
Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole keeps saying at 90, he’s not running for any more political offices. But check out the ambitious schedule that he’s laid out next week, and you wonder. Atchison. Leavenworth. Hiawatha. Holton. Paola. Ottawa. Olathe. All over the course of three days. “I’m not running for anything,” Dole said in a statement. “I just want to see old friends and meet new ones, regardless of party.” – Steve Kraske

Leading Drudge: Ukraine on Brink
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday said Ukraine was on the verge of civil war as Kiev authorities launched a military operation against pro-Kremlin militants in the separatist east. "I will be brief: Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, it's frightening," the country's former president was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Leading HuffPo: Budding Optimism
Attorney General Eric Holder is "cautiously optimistic" about how things are going in Washington state and Colorado following the legalization and state regulation of marijuana. But the nation's top law enforcement official, who spoke to The Huffington Post in an interview on Friday, also said it was tough to predict where marijuana legalization will be in 10 years. – Ryan J. Reilly

Leading Politico: GOP Senate may run purple
Republicans on the campaign trail say they’re going to take control of the Senate in November. But what they don’t say is that they’ll still need Democrats to get anything done. – Burgess Everett and Manu Raju

Leading New York Times: Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law Effects
The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said. The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said. – Robert Pear

Ezra Klein (‏@ezraklein)
The new Census numbers begin in 2013, not 2014. So we can still measure Obamacare: http://www.vox.com/2014/4/15/5617084/obamacare-new-census-insurance

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Boehner does reporter-style video on trip to Afghanistan –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A VIDEO FROM HIS CODEL: “I’m here at Kabul meeting with (U.S. Marine) Gen. (Joseph F.) Dunford who heads up our international coalition effort to continue to drive the terrorists out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, to try to bring some democracy here to this part of the world … What happened on 9/11 is still fresh in the memory of many Americans. That’s why we’re here … Our continued commitment here in Afghanistan is critically important to provide the security that the American people deserve and expect.”

– Landrieu ad touts Washington power and her fight for oil and gas jobs --
NARRATOR IN A NEW CAMPAIGN AD FOR SEN. MARY LANDRIEU, D-LOUISIANA: “For years she's forced Washington to respect Louisiana … Like stopping offshore drilling … so she forced it to end … When we were cheated out of oil royalties” … LANDRIEU: “I will not rest until this injustice is fixed.” … NARRATOR: “And she won … Now as the new Chairman of the Energy Committee … she holds the most powerful position in the Senate for Louisiana.”

– Will Chelsea Clinton go into family business? –
CHELSEA CLINTON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FAST COMPANY: “I live in a city and a state and a country where I support my elected representatives. If at some point that weren't the case, and I didn't support my mayor or my city councilwoman or my congresswoman or either of my senators – and I'm lucky to live in a state where I have lots of women representing me, you know – maybe then I'd have to ask and answer the question for myself, and come to a different answer.”

– Gov. Kasich up with first TV ad in Ohio governor’s race touting his upbringing along ‘Ohio River’ –
NARRATOR IN THE NEW AD FOR GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO: “He grew up in a hard-working steel town on the Ohio River … Here, John Kasich learned the value of a job, the dignity of work and a passion for helping others … And when he stepped out on his own, those values went with him.”

Gut Check Full Service: Neither leading gubernatorial candidate from either party in the Ohio governor’s race is from Ohio originally. According to his bio, Gov. Kasich, R, grew up in McKee’s Rocks, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. Kasich’s Democratic opponent, Ed Fitzgerald, D, grew up in Indianapolis.

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Dan Lamothe (‏@DanLamothe)
BREAKING: Obama to award Medal of Honor to Army Sgt Kyle White for actions in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, on 11/9/2007.

Peter Baker (‏@peterbakernyt)
WH’s @PressSec says there’s no “military solution” to Ukraine crisis but @PostScottWilson asks what if Russia doesn’t see it that way.

Scott Wilson ‏(@PostScottWilson)
.@PressSec says administration "not considering lethal assistance" to Ukrainian govt, leaves door open for non-lethal military aid.

Garrett Quinn ‏(@GarrettQuinn)
"The heartbeat of Boston is a mighty force." – @mayortommenino #BostonMarathon #BostonStrong

Matt Soleyn ‏(@MattSoleyn)
. @VP Biden calls Mayor Menino "Tommy," says "your heart is as big as this City, it's an honor to be here with you."

Mike Lowe ‏(@MikeLoweReports)
@ScottWalker officially announces his bid for reelection at Dane Manufacturing, a small town outside of Madison. pic.twitter.com/GIgSqHQd62

Sabrina Singh (‏@sabrinasingh2)
.@emilyslist, @DemGovs memo: Scott Walker Can’t Buy A New Record http://goo.gl/f7Mi1o

Marc Caputo ‏(@MarcACaputo)
Alex Sink will NOT run in CD13, which she narrowly lost to now-Republican Rep. David Jolly

Jason Seher (‏@jhseher)
After @dccc spins that Sink decision doesn't impact #FL13's competitiveness in fall, @NRCC emails w/ subject, "another one bites the dust."

Emily Cahn (‏@CahnEmily)
Clay Aiken's first-quarter report is less than expected for a celeb with rich Hollywood friends #NC02 http://bit.ly/1l1XuCd

Rob Portman (‏@robportman)
Check out my #BuzzFeed list: "8 Things That Make Americans Cringe On Tax Day" via @Buzzfeeders http://bzfd.it/Qn3pbk

CNNMoney PF (@CNNMoneyPF)
Can't make the tax deadline? If you're owed a refund, there's no penalty for filing late http://cnnmon.ie/1iHTBjb via @CNNMoneyPF

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Richard Nixon indirectly started the tradition of candidates releasing their tax returns, although not by releasing his own. In his 1952 “Checkers” speech, the then-vice presidential nominee tried to settle a controversy over his finances and called on the Democratic ticket, Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman, to release their financial information to the public. Stevenson and Sparkman wound up releasing several years of tax returns but Nixon never followed through with releasing his own until after he was elected.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Tommy G

    Marcus (from...?)
    Tommy G – 'I am not asking for a war with Russia. I am asking for freedom for Ukrainians and their right to have their own country without fear of invasion from a belligerent neighbor.'
    ---
    The '500 caskets a week' had me fooled that you wanted a war...
    Just propose something minimally feasible, not knee-jerking reaction, and we can discuss it.
    -–

    What exactly is not feasible about a country of 48 million people standing up for their country and freedom? They are not invading Russia so those body bags will be the result of Russia invading. Our only decision is do we stand with people under attack and fighting for their country and freedom, or do we sit idly by and do nothing? Like the world did back in the 30's when it was Hitler playing these exact cards?

    PS: Of the pipelines, 13 last time I counted, that connects Russian gas with Europe, 5 goes through Ukraine, they cut those five there still be 8 to use to deliver their gas (And the Europeans countries that need them will ensure that nothing happens on those, or won't they?).
    ---

    Well, you know, pipelines are very,very long and very very vulnerable. Doesn't take much for one or two people to wreck them. If I were people in Europe I would be taking measures to ensure some sort of fuel supply because those pipelines are goners if all hell breaks loose.

    April 15, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. just saying

    Scott Wilson ‏(@PostScottWilson)
    .@PressSec says administration "not considering lethal assistance" to Ukrainian govt, leaves door open for non-lethal military aid.
    ----–

    our feckless mommy pants leader strikes again. ukrainians need weapons, obama sends them surrender flags and russian language lessons. obama is such a major embarrassment for this country. no wonder putin laughs at him and rampages over ukraine.

    April 15, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    Wait – I see where Tommy G is coming from – pipelines, Russia, Europe, one or two people disrupting....
    I read that Tom Clancy book!
    Dude – we gotta go back to Reality now. There are real problems to solve.

    April 15, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    I hear john bonner has a little electrical DISFUNCTION, but I hear if you get on healthcare . Gov they may cover that cheap, my 34 year old son got a silver blue cross policy in Florida for 65.20 a MONTH!!!!

    April 15, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    CNN, why has the oops governor from Texas hired a lawyer? Anyone interested? I sure am.
    Here's a little taste of what's going on with this loser. Another bites the dust? I certainly hope so.
    "A grand jury will be seated Monday afternoon to consider a criminal case against Governor Rick Perry.
    At issue is whether Perry illegally vetoed funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit, which operates out of the Travis County District Attorney’s office.
    The conflict began with Travis County D-A Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving conviction last April. Perry nixed funding for the state office she ran, saying the public lost faith in her.
    The Public Integrity Unit investigated allegations of wrongdoing by state elected officials. The office is still functioning, but no longer handles state cases.

    April 15, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Knowing SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER is in Afganistan makes me feel safer ?

    The best Speaker Money can buy .

    April 15, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Stuffitu

    Do you know that you need an ID card to get into both the White House and DOJ? Pretty hypocritical of Obozo and Holder, but hypocrisy and corruption as well as race baiting is their stock in trade.

    April 15, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |