CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 11, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT HITS 8 MILLION … “The repeal debate is and should be over,” President Obama said while announcing the new figures at the White House. The Republicans are “wrong to try to keep trying to repeal a law that is working when they have no alternative answer.”
… BUT HILL REPUBLICANS REMAIN UNIMPRESSED: “This law has disrupted health care for millions of Americans, sent premiums skyrocketing, limited access to doctors, and cancelled plans, and even after all of that havoc, its ability to add to the insurance rolls is based largely on the fact that it forced Americans to purchase government-mandated coverage under the threat of costly penalties from the IRS,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan. “The administration still has not answered basic questions about enrollment and why it will not support fairness for all.”
CHELSEA CLINTON IS PREGNANT: “I have one more thing to say, very quickly,” the former first daughter said at a Clinton Foundation event in New York. “Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year, and I certainly feel all the better whether it’s a girl or a boy that she or he will grow up in a world of so many strong, young female leaders. So thank you for inspiring me and for thank you inspiring future generations, including the one that we’ll be lucky enough to welcome into our family later this year.”
Clinton added, “I just hope that I would be just as good of a mom to my child, and hopefully children, as my mom was to me.”
BIDEN (JR.) IN ‘16: BEAU BIDEN IS EYEING DELAWARE’S TOP JOB… Beau Biden, the vice president’s oldest son, said Thursday he won't seek re-election this year as Delaware attorney general. He is instead planning to run for governor in 2016.
"What started as a thought – a very persistent thought - has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue," Biden said in a written statement. “After my term (as attorney general) is completed, I look forward to meeting with Delawareans and continuing to discuss my plans as a candidate for governor.”
BUT OBAMA’S NOT PUBLICLY BACKING BIDEN (SR.) IN ’16 ... President Barack Obama, who has never been less than glowing in public praise of his vice president, said in an interview which aired Thursday that Joe Biden “will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history” and has been “a great partner in everything that I do.” But Obama stopped short – as he’ll likely do until a Democratic nominee emerges in 2016 – from saying he’d support Biden if he makes a third run for the White House. – Kevin Liptak
DIPLOMATS TRY TO EASE UKRAINE BACK FROM THE BRINK… Diplomats meeting for emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine issued a joint statement Thursday aimed at de-escalating the tensions and ensuring the security of all Ukrainians. (They called) for all illegal armed groups to be disarmed, all illegally seized buildings to be returned to their legitimate owners, and for all occupied public spaces to be vacated. – Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Laura Smith-Spark
WHAT WOULD MCCONNELL DO?… ”I would be sending arms to the Ukrainian army,” the Senate Minority Leader said in a statement. “I would encourage the European Union to expand and take in Ukraine…I would provide serious assistance to the Ukrainians so that they could defend themselves.”
'CHILLING' ANTI-SEMITIC LEAFLETS HANDED OUT IN EASTERN UKRAINE …"Chilling" leaflets warning Jews to register and document their property with the pro-Russian government that has claimed power in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk are "the real deal," the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper” Thursday. The Jewish community in Donetsk said the act "smells like a provocation." – Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper, Nick Paton Walsh and Sherisse Pham
THE BUZZ: BIDEN-MOBILE UP FOR SALE… A Delaware man has posted pictures on Craigslist of a car he is hoping to sell. The kicker? The 2005 Cadillac was once owned by Vice President Joe Biden, according to the post. The listing reads, “Joe Biden caddy sts v8 North Star engine 4×4 … Needs shocks and suspension and minor engine work… Don't miss out this is a one in a life time chance to own a piece of history! Joe Biden is the man!”
Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson)
I want proof! It better have aviators in the glove compartment and a Scranton ball cap on the dash...
MARKET WATCH: Major U.S. indexes gain more than 2% in holiday-shortened week. NASDAQ and S&P 500 rise Thursday, Dow ends lower.
Which two senators arrived at Harvard Law School in 1992?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: In the Virginia woods, Mark Warner is trailed by Obamacare
Mark Warner was weaving his way through the crowd on a chilly Wednesday afternoon at the Shad Planking, the annual Virginia fish fry that brings beer-sipping politicos together in the tall pines of southeastern Virginia, when a burly man sporting an NRA sticker approached. “Senator, did you read the Affordable Care Act before you voted for it?” he asked. Warner, his brow furrowed earnestly, was prepared.– Peter Hamby
Leading CNNMoney: Obama would cut deficits by another $1 trillion
The official nonpartisan take on President Obama's 2015 budget proposal is in: He would curb deficits even more than today's policies. Of course, the budget wheels for next year are already in motion in Congress, making the president's budget, in effect, a dead letter. It is, however, his wish list for taxes and spending. – Jeanne Sahadi
Leading Drudge: Grandma Hillary
Chelsea Clinton has announced that she her husband, Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child. The Former First Daughter, 34, revealed the happy news this afternoon at a Clinton Foundation event. She told the assembled guests: 'I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me.' – Tamara Abraham and Sadie Whitelocks
Leading HuffPo: William Bryk, Brooklyn Attorney, Running For Senate In Alaska, Idaho, Oregon
When asked what he would do if he were to win in multiple states, Byrk replied, "To be candid, I do not believe that will happen. If it did happen, I would probably have to sit down with the party leadership in the two states and make some fast calculations and pick whichever state … I would most likely be able to be of service to." – Amanda Terkel
Leading Politico: The tea party radio network
The FreedomWorks-Glenn Beck relationship is just one example of a powerful and profitable alliance between the conservative movement’s most aggressive groups and most popular radio hosts. – Kenneth Vogel and Mackenzie Weigner
Leading New York Times: In a Switch, Some Campaign Ads Press the Positive
Outside political groups, long known for their darkly negative advertisements featuring ominous music and foreboding narration, are trying something new this campaign season: a pivot to the positive. – Ashley Parker
The political bites of the day
– Kerry: Jewish targeting reports are ‘grotesque’ –
SECRETARY KERRY SPEAKING TO REPORTERS IN GENEVA: “In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled in all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it is grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.”
– Carney: Obama’s toughest interview was with Jon Stewart –
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY TO CBS’ MAJOR GARRETT AT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: “Probably the toughest interview (President Obama had in 2012) had was with Jon Stewart. (It was) probably the most substantive, challenging interview (he) had in the election year.”
– Bloomberg: Gun campaign will aim to mobilize voters, weaken NRA –
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG AND SHANNON WATTS IN AN OP-ED FOR CNN.COM: “We will make progress by doing something that no gun group, other than the National Rifle Association, has ever done: inform and mobilize voters. The reason the NRA has political influence - in addition to its campaign contributions - is that it has scared elected officials into believing that voters will oppose them unless they follow the NRA's Washington leadership, which has grown increasingly extreme and increasingly out of touch with its own members.”
– Putin to Snowden: From one spy to another –
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN AND NSA LEAKER EDWARD SNOWDEN IN A TELEVISED Q&A:
SNOWDEN: (I’ve) seen “little discussion of Russia’s own involvement in the policies of mass surveillance… So I’d like to ask you, does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?”
PUTIN: “Mr. Snowden, you are a former agent. I used to work for an intelligence service. Let’s speak in a professional language … Our intelligence efforts are strictly regulated by our law. You have to get a court’s permission first … Of course we do this, but we don’t use this on such a massive scale and I hope that we won’t.”
– Christie lost a close friend to drug abuse –
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AT A PANEL DISCUSSION IN JERSEY CITY: “I could tell you that as we all stood around at his wake at 52 years old, that all of us were in a sense at the same moment of both disbelief and inevitability. I said to my wife that night, 'Is it possible to be completely stunned and not the least bit surprised at the same time?' And I can tell you from just having experienced this, it is absolutely possible."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Bill Clinton (@billclinton)
Excited to add a new line to my Twitter bio...grandfather-to-be! @HillaryClinton and I are so happy for Chelsea and Marc!
Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
My most exciting title yet: Grandmother-To-Be! @billclinton and I are thrilled that Chelsea and Marc are expecting their first child!
Matt Hoye (@mattyhoyeCNN)
@BarackObama just called out states that have "chosen not to expand Medicare out of political spite." Says 5 million more could be insured.
No, we can’t. RT @ZekeJMiller: Obama: "I think we can all agree that it's well past time to move on.
– @MajorCBS asks Jay Carney why Obama didn't fire anyone for bungling the rollout of the healthcare .gov
Matt Gang (@mattgang)
Carney: "Ceremoniously firing people" for Obamacare debacle would have exacerbated the problem. #GWCarney
Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour)
“There are very few things the Ukrainian government can do now to keep their country together,” Putin ally warns: http://cnn.it/1tfcKBs
Ali Weinberg (@AliABCNews)
Caveat on the reports of anti-Semitic demands for Jews to register in Ukraine... US gov can't confirm who's doing/how many leaflets, etc.
Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz)
Fox News Poll: Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul lead Republican nomination for 2016 http://video.foxnews.com/v/3478016964001/fox-news-poll-christie-bush-paul-lead-gop-2016-pack/…
Alan Silverleib (@AlanSilverleib)
Dead for now: Kentucky bill allowing twin Paul 2016 runs - http://cnn.it/1qQ80Qt
Chris Cillizza (@TheFix)
Not speaking with your friends and family? Good, they can set up a super PAC for you. http://ow.ly/vU5D6
Leslie Bentz (@lbentzterp)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize-winning author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera," has died
Eric Weisbrod (@EricWeisbrod)
Garcia Marquez was regularly denied U.S. travel visas until President Clinton, a fan of "Solitude," revoked the ban http://cnn.it/1gEquga
Sara Ganim (@sganim)
Google wants to make contact lenses with a camera. #theborg http://www.iflscience.com/technology/google-seeks-integrate-cameras-contact-lenses…
Sarah Pulliam Bailey (@spulliam)
Pope Francis is washing the feet of women, a Muslim and disabled for Holy Thursday. Watch live here: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/04/17/watch-live-pope-francis-washes-feet-disabled-holy-thursday/…
David Daniel (@CNNLADavid)
.@TheAcademy announces #Oscars dates: Dec. 29-Jan. 8: noms voting Jan. 15: noms announced Feb. 6-17: final voting Feb. 22: 87th Oscars
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, enrolled in Harvard Law School in the fall of 1992. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, began teaching as a visiting professor that same year and became a full time professor three years later in 1995. Warren never taught Cruz.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.