CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 13, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA MULLS IRAQ AIRSTRIKES BUT SAYS NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND ... No troops to Iraq, but other options are being considered. That was President Barack Obama's message Friday in response to the lightning advance by Sunni militant fighters in Iraq that could threaten the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. In a statement delivered from the White House South Lawn, Obama said the United States "will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq," but that he would be reviewing a range of other options in coming days. – Barbara Starr and Tom Cohen
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AS MILITARY PLANNERS WORRY AIRSTRIKES COULD BE FUTILE: U.S. military planners trying to find a way to help Iraq fend off the sweeping advances of militant fighters are worried that even airstrikes could prove futile, several officials have told CNN. Among other complications, U.S. officials don't have good intelligence about where militants are, and even if they did, the militants don't have the kinds of targets - command and control centers, air defense sites, military bases - that lend themselves to aerial attacks. – Barbara Starr
A senior administration official tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that even if U.S. forces had remained in Iraq, they would not be fighting ISIL militants today. "The idea our forces would be taking on ISIL on the ground is nuts. They would have been stuck in the middle. And our embassy would have remained a target. As soon as our troops left, the Shiite militia stood down and there were zero attacks on the embassy.”
KERRY: EXPECT QUICK DECISIONS... “Iraq is facing a brutal enemy that also poses a threat to America's interest and to the interest of our allies in Europe and in the region,” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters at a news conference in London. “Given the gravity of the situation, I would anticipate timely decisions from the president regarding the challenge.”
CANTOR QUAKE UPDATE: COULD LABRADOR HAVE A SHOT? One day after Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions announced his decision not to run for House Majority Leader, Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador announced his candidacy for the post, saying in a statement that he wants “a House Leadership team that reflects the best of our conference.” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, however, appears to remain the frontrunner for the job.
Gut Check DVR: Catch State of the Union at 9:00am E.T. Sunday with CNN’s Dana Bash and Gloria Borger for an interview with Eric Cantor. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, and Iraq veterans Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii will also be guests on the show.
THE BUZZ ... CHRISTIE VS. CLINTON: DANCE OFF EDITION ... New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie busted a move Thursday night on late night TV. The New Jersey Republican danced with "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon around testy issues such as the George Washington Bridge controversy, which has cast a shadow over the governor’s administration and potential run for president. Fallon and Christie also discussed the governor’s weight and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking primary loss.
During the interview, Fallon asked Christie to consider a hypothetical scenario in which the Garden State governor faces off against Hillary Clinton for the the White House in 2016.
"Do you think you could beat her?" asked Fallon. "You bet," Christie answered.
"In a dance off?" Fallon asked. "That's what I was talking about. What were you talking about?" replied Christie. – Gabe LaMonica
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower for the week amid concerns about conflict in Iraq. Dow falls nearly 1%.
How many members of the current Congress served in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: First on CNN: Chamber mounting new effort for embattled Cochran
As the Mississippi GOP Senate runoff contest is about to enter into its final week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to go up with a new television ad for embattled incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, CNN has learned. Cochran is squaring off against tea party favorite Chris McDaniel, a state senator, in a June 24th runoff. – Kevin Bohn
Gut Check Full Service: Cochran told Fox news that he didn’t know about Eric Cantor’s historical defeat. His spokesperson later told CNN the senator had already answered the question repeatedly and that he was being sarcastic.
Leading CNNMoney: GM recalls 512,000 Camaros
General Motors announced a new recall of 512,000 Camaros, saying a flaw can switch the popular sports car off while it's being driven. GM said that the problem is similar but not identical to the flawed ignition switch in 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts that has been tied to at least 13 deaths. – Chris Isidore
Leading Drudge: Iran To The Rescue?
Shi'te Muslim Iran is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters. – Reuters’ Parisa Hafezi
Leading HuffPo: The Heat Is On
In the next few days, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) plans to sign into law a contentious bill the legislature passed last month that rolls back state renewable energy standards. His Democratic challenger in this fall's governor's race, Ed FitzGerald, thinks he can make the subject key in his case against Kasich. The reversal on energy policy, FitzGerald said in an interview with The Huffington Post, is "a very big deal." – Kate Sheppard
Leading Politico: The fall of teachers unions
As the two big national teachers unions prepare for their conventions this summer, they are struggling to navigate one of the most tumultuous moments in their history. Long among the most powerful forces in American politics, the unions are contending with falling revenue and declining membership, damaging court cases, the defection of once-loyal Democratic allies — and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish. – Stephanie Simon
Leading New York Times: Obama’s Odds With Congress: Bad to Worse
One day in April, President Obama called Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, to wish him a happy Passover. However the call started, it went downhill from there. By day’s end, both sides were arguing about what was said and taking shots at the other for not getting along. The relationship was in fact prickly from the start. Mr. Obama considered the Republican leader a partisan obstructionist and his main bête noire in the House, while Mr. Cantor viewed the president as an aloof liberal intent on shoving his agenda down the throat of Congress. – Peter Baker
The political bites of the day
- McKeon: Obama’s national security team isn’t ‘equal’ to Iraq crisis –
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN BUCK MCKEON IN A STATEMENT: "The White House has a history of ‘considering all options’ while choosing none. There are no quick fix solutions to this crisis and I will not support a one shot strike that looks good for the cameras but has no enduring effect. What is needed here is a new strategy for our regional engagement, adequate resourcing of our national security enterprise, and renewed American leadership. The President should also ask himself if his White House National Security team is equal to the crisis at hand. I don’t believe they are. "
- Arne Duncan: I ‘absolutely’ back teacher tenure, but…–
EDUCATION SECRETARY ARNE DUNCAN TO CNN’S CHRISTINE ROMANS: “I absolutely believe in tenure. I believe in due process. We have to have supports in there. But, having said that, having teachers get tenures in 18 months or two years where there’s not a meaningful bar, that doesn't make sense to me. (We need) an inability to remove grossly ineffective teachers.”
- FreedomWorks: Run Raúl, run! –
FREEDOMWORKS PRESIDENT MATT KIBBE IN A STATEMENT: “Raúl Labrador is the perfect leadership choice for constitutional conservatives who are ready to shake things up in Congress. He has an authentic commitment to rejecting special interests, and defending limited government. Kevin McCarthy represents the status quo of growing government and spending money we don’t have.”
- NRSC slams Udall for fundraising with Obama –
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE PRESS SECRETARY BROOK HOUGESON IN A STATEMENT: "Throughout Mark Udall's time in the Senate he has loyally stood with President Obama, breaking promise after promise to Coloradans when it comes to their health care and supporting an anti-energy agenda that would hurt jobs. Mark Udall is a loyal rubber stamp."
Gut Check DVR: Watch Inside Politics at 8:30am E.T. Sunday with CNN’s John King and guests David Maraniss, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, and Juana Summers.
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Corey Jacobson (@CoreyJacobson)
Just like with decision over #Syria strike, Obama won't be able to rely on domestic political support for action in #Iraq.
Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit)
Iraq: "911? The neighbor set my house on fire!" Operator Obama: "You haven't been keeping fresh batteries in the smoke detectors."
Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
Romney: “I don’t know exactly what the pres stands for. I presume some would say social justice – taking from some to give to others.”
Ana Navarro (@ananavarro)
Peyton Manning is luncheon speaker at Romney E2 Retreat. Politicos & donors in room are mega-star struck. pic.twitter.com/PDTbGiFniH
Neel Kashkari (@neelkashkari)
Terrific event with @GovChristie this morning in SF. Really appreciate his support. @The_RGA
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Politico: Chelsea's now on a month-to-month NBC contract "so that the two parties could sever ties" if Hillary runs. http://politi.co/1hTqTlv
Ben Terris (@bterris)
"Obviously the bus isn't ready" says a guy walking past as Ready for Hillary staffers crawl under bus try and fix it pic.twitter.com/Ogdr8PM9rb
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Sixteen members of current Congress are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reps. Chris Gibson, R-New York, Duncan Hunter, R-California, Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas, Joe Heck, R-Nevada, Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, and Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, were reelected in 2012 to serve in the 113th Congress.
Reps. James Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, Kerry Bentivolio, R-Michigan, Doug Collins, R-Georgia, Tom Cotton R-Arkansas, Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, Tulsi Gabbard D-Hawaii, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, were first elected to Congress in 2012.
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Congrats to Melanie Parker (@parkerml) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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