CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 13, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
ROVE WALKS BACK CLINTON 'BRAIN INJURY' SUGGESTION AFTER COMMENTS ATTACKED … Karl Rove is walking back his comments suggesting that Hillary Clinton suffers from a brain injury, telling Fox News Tuesday, "No, no. I didn't say she had brain damage. She had a serious health episode … My point was that Hillary Clinton wants to run for president, but she would not be human if this didn't enter in as a consideration. My other point is this will be an issue in the 2016 race whether she likes it or not. Every presidential candidate is asked for their health records.”
The New York Post’s Page Six gossip column reported Tuesday that Rove, the mastermind behind George W. Bush's two presidential election victories, said at a conference last week that Clinton spent “thirty days in the hospital” in December 2012 after suffering from a blood clot, and that “when she reappears, she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that." The Post also reported that Rove repeated the claim to the audience a number of times.
Gut Check Full Service: Clinton was admitted for a three-day stay at a hospital in New York City.
Democrats and others were quick to slam Rove. The Democratic National Committee put out a statement saying, "It appears Karl Rove's medical diagnoses are about as solid as his election night prognostications." A Clinton representative told CNN, "From the moment this happened seventeen months ago, the Right has politicized her health. First they accused her of faking it, now they’ve resorted to the other extreme – and are flat out lying.." As for Clinton's health, the spokesman added, "She is 100%. Period."
Former Obama campaign adviser David Plouffe said Clinton is even tougher to beat now: “Having run the campaign that beat her last time, and we barely beat her, she's in a much stronger position than she was then.” Plouffe said at a trade expo in Washington, as quoted by The Hill. Reacting to Rove’s comments Plouffe said it shows “the Republican fascination with her, and they realize, I think, how tough she will be to beat.”
NOW ROVE FACES A POTENTIAL FALLOUT: COULD TACTICS SCARE AWAY GOP DONORS? Washington Post’s Robert Costa on CNN’s Inside Politics: (Rove) “is very connected to wealthy conservative donors and I think he is trying to signal to them that in 2016 Hillary Clinton’s health will be part of his conversation. He’s trying to cross that threshold early. The problem for Rove is, as much as some in the GOP base may cheer speculation about Clinton’s health, at the same time some wealthy donors may be weary of Rove’s comments, and when they look at groups he’s associated with, like American Crossroads, will those dollars still be there if this is how Karl Rove is going to operate ahead of 2016?”
AND CAN FOX HAVE IT BOTH WAYS? Gut Check flashback: John Bolton tells Greta Van Susteren on Fox News on December 17, 2012 that Hillary Clinton faked brain injury to avoid testifying on Benghazi.
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
On Rove's Hillary Clinton remarks, Carney notes "Dr. Rove" was one of last political experts to recognize POTUS won reelection in 2012.
GORE: GOP REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE CLIMATE CHANGE BECAUSE OF KOCHS …Former Vice President Al Gore blamed Republicans’ fear of crossing the mega-donor Koch brothers for the GOP's skepticism on climate change. Gore, during an interview Monday, said it is not "complicated why they have all been cowed into abandoning" their position on the issue, asserting that Republicans fear facing opponents financed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have poured millions into the midterm elections this year.
"Anyone who wants to set his or her aspirations on the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016 already knows that they can't possibly cross the Koch brothers and the others that are part of the group," Gore said Monday during a discussion at the University of Chicago. The former vice president was reacting to recent comments made by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), two potential GOP presidential candidates.– The Hill's Mario Trujillo
CLAY AIKEN EDGES OUT PRIMARY CHALLENGER BY 390 VOTES … Results show "American Idol" star Clay Aiken won the Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina by fewer than 400 votes, one day after his chief opponent died suddenly. The results from the May 6 vote were certified by the counties showing that he won the 2nd Congressional District contest over Keith Crisco and a third candidate. Crisco, a respected businessman and a former top state official, died on Monday at his home. The tally from the North Carolina Board of Elections showed Aiken with 11,678 votes, Crisco with 11,288, and Toni Morris, third with 5,616. – Dana Davidsen
THE BUZZ: LETTERS TO PRIEST PROVIDE RARE INSIGHT INTO LIFE OF JACKIE KENNEDY … Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s thoughts about her marriage to President John F. Kennedy, their life in the White House and her reaction to his assassination are revealed in newly discovered letters she wrote to an Irish priest before and after she became first lady of the United States from 1950 to 1964. The archive of her 14-year-long correspondence with Father Joseph Leonard – a Vincentian priest who lived in All Hallows in Drumcondra in Dublin – will be sold at an auction in Ireland next month. In the previously unpublished letters, Jackie tells Father Leonard how Kennedy, who was then a rising star in American politics, was consumed by ambition “like Macbeth”. – Irish Times’ Michael Parsons
MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P 500 end at record highs for second straight day. NASDAQ finishes 0.3% lower.
Hillary Clinton inquired as a teenager about working for which organization?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Obama to make new pitch for immigration reform
President Barack Obama renewed his push on Tuesday for House Republicans to approve most of what exists in the Senate-passed version of comprehensive immigration reform. But he signaled a willingness to compromise. At an event with law enforcement officials, Obama said "we're not hell-bent" on seeing every word from the Senate version in any immigration bill that reaches his desk. – Jim Acosta
Leading CNNMoney: 8 worst terms of service ever
Websites have one-sided, unfair contracts. Apps access phone features that let them spy on you. You're not reading the fine print. But you should. – Jose Pagliery
Leading Drudge: Iran: We Cloned Your Drone!
Iran has unveiled its own copy of an American stealth drone it captured in late 2011, claiming to have cracked the “secrets” of the bat-wing craft and added weapons capabilities. Today, Fars News Agency reported that while Iran’s duplicate of the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone was smaller, it also had a “bombing capability to attack the U.S. warships in any possible battle.” – Scott Peterson
Leading HuffPo: Cease And Desist: Liberals Pile Opposition Onto Obama Nominee
As he heads into his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Georgia judicial nominee Michael Boggs faces a fresh wave of opposition from Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups determined to sink his nomination over votes he took as a state legislator against gay rights, civil rights and abortion rights. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, on Monday called it "despicable" that President Barack Obama supports Boggs for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Among other things, Boggs has come under fire for past votes as a Georgia legislator to keep the Confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag, to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and to restrict access to abortion. – Jeniffer Bendery
Leading Politico: Jeb 2016: The Bush battle within
Jeb Bush’s decision whether to run for president in 2016 is being driven by competing impulses within his own family. On one side is his eldest son, George P., who’s unabashedly and publicly supportive of his father’s potential candidacy. On the other are Jeb Bush’s mother and wife, who are clearly reluctant. In between is his older brother, George W., who is passively supportive but seems to friends to be more indifferent than enthusiastic. – Maggie Haberman
Leading New York Times: Conservative Pick Set to Win GOP Primary in Nebraska
Sensing an opportunity to make a difference in an open-seat (Nebraska Senate) race, groups such as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, along with the Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, got behind Benjamin E. Sasse, arguing he would be a bolder pick. At the same time, many well-connected Republican lobbyists in Washington, including some with ties to the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, have backed Mr. Osborn. In recent weeks, though, Mr. Osborn has faded in the polls and Sid Dinsdale, a wealthy banker, has emerged as perhaps Mr. Sasse’s chief rival. – Jonathan Martin
The political bites of the day
– Hunter Biden joins Ukraine gas provider company as new director –
BURISMA HOLDINGS ON ITS WEBSITE: “Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R. Hunter Biden as a new director. R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”
– The right’s take on Biden 's move –
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF REDSTATE.COM ERICK ERICKSON ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE: “We've become a third world kleptocracy. Joe Biden's son and his son's business partner both get appointed to a Ukraine company's board WHILE Joe Biden is visiting the country. Kickbacks and favors.”
– Obama: GOP needs ‘political space’ to get immigration reform done –
PRESIDENT OBAMA At an event with law enforcement officials: “To their (Republican leaders) credit, I think Speaker Boehner and some of the other leaders there do believe that immigration reform is the right thing, but they've got to have political space that allows them to go ahead and get it through their caucus and get it done.”
– Rush: What difference does it make if Hillary has brain damage? –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “If Hillary has brain damage, what difference does it make now? What possible difference does it make now how it happened, or even if she has brain damage? If you're going to start going down this road with Mrs. Clinton, you've got to go back a little farther than December of 2012.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
The White House (@WhiteHouse)
"Today, we pay tribute to a soldier who embodies the courage of his generation." —President Obama on Sergeant Kyle White #MedalOfHonor
Dr Karl Rove (@DrKarlRove)
Hillary Clinton has brain damage... trust me I know all about brain damage
Alex Burns (@aburnspolitico)
Ever feel like Republicans are actively trying to make Hillary Clinton as sympathetic as possible? http://pagesix.com/2014/05/12/karl-rove-hillary-clinton-may-have-brain-damage/ … Since like 1997?
Patricia DiCarlo (@pdicarlocnn)
Atty. Gen. Holder on VA allegations: they are monitoring to decide "whether federal agents need to be deployed".
Michael Czin (@MikeCzin)
SHOT: Boehner says he's not involved w/ NRCC CHASER: Boehner sends fundraising email for NRCC https://twitter.com/samsteinhp/status/466223470406144000 …
Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
Will primary day bring relief to Nebrasksa residents suffering from a flood of camapign ad spending by outside groups http://cnn.it/1iPln1m
Matt Lewis (@mattklewis)
As Shane Osborn ends his campaign on a low note, Ben Sasse ends his in classy style - with an olive branch – http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/13/ben …
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
Ben Sasse could give tea party major win tonight. But he's got something very, very few tea party candidates have: $$ http://wapo.st/SYfTIr
Adam Smith (@adamsmithtimes)
Dems' candidate to take on @DavidJollyCD13 – Ed Jany – is dropping out. Cites work conflict, days after we found holes in resume claims
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
It may be best for the DCCC to just move on from Florida 13 at this point http://bit.ly/1ltpKPy
Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk)
Thanks @SenScottBrown for your 35 years of service in the @NationalGuard & congratulations on being awarded the Legion of Merit.
E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan)
Carney Michael Sam: “The president congratulates” Sam, NFL for draft pick
Ed O'Keefe (@nowthised)
Something looks different – thrilled to join @CNN as VP @CNNMoney + @CNNPolitics: http://recode.net/2014/05/13/nowthisnews-top-editor-ed-okeefe-heads-to-cnn/ …
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
In a speech in May 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted that she wrote to NASA as a teenager, inquiring about how to become an astronaut.
“Of course, there weren’t any women astronauts,” Clinton said. “NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts. And I was just crestfallen.” Clinton continued, “But I knew that there were women … who, if given the chance, would certainly be able to live up to their own God-given potential and lead the way for others.”
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