CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 19, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
MILITARY ADVISERS HEADED TO IRAQ: Seeking a middle ground between calls for tough military action and none at all, President Barack Obama said Thursday he was sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the embattled government hold off a lightning advance from the north by Sunni militants. Obama told White House reporters the goal was to prevent a civil war in Iraq that could destabilize the region, and also prevent creation of a terrorist safe haven in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria from which U.S. enemies could plan and launch attacks against American interests.
updated Friday 8:20 am ET
(CNN) - Prosecutors claim that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an illegal effort to coordinate fundraising between his campaign and outside conservative groups as he battled for his political life in a 2012 recall election.
The possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate is pushing back against the allegations.
In documents released Thursday, local prosecutors in Wisconsin alleged wrongdoing by Walker, a Republican, and two top aides. They said the three took part in a "criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws that prohibit such coordination to help his campaign and those GOP state lawmakers also facing recalls.
Washington (CNN) - A pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC is stepping up its involvement in key presidential primary states – but swear they are primarily focused on 2014.
Ready for Hillary, the group that is urging the former secretary of state to run for president in 2016, has donated $10,000 to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The donation is the max the group can give to the party given their current FEC standing.
Washington (CNN) – Rick Santorum is making another primary state pilgrimage, this time involving himself in a high-profile Republican runoff election in South Carolina.
Santorum, a once and possibly future Republican presidential candidate, will appear in South Carolina on Monday to endorse Henry McMaster in his runoff campaign for lieutenant governor. McMaster, a former Attorney General, is facing off against businessman Mike Campbell, the son of the late former Gov. Carroll Campbell. The election is next Tuesday.
Washington (CNN) – House Republicans on Thursday elected Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, succeeding Eric Cantor, who is relinquishing the job after losing his primary election in an upset earlier this month.
The California Republican defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador for the No. 2 position, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the chamber and deciding which bills come to the floor for a vote.
Washington (CNN) – When it comes to someone as polarizing as Hillary Clinton, book sale success is increasingly in the eye of the beholder.
Clinton detractors and supporters are already spinning the sale numbers with little more than a week since "Hard Choices," Clinton's second memoir, went on sale.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz called on President Barack Obama to speak up for a Sudanese woman who's been sentenced to death because she won't renounce her Christian faith.
"We need to speak out against these atrocities," the Texas Republican said Thursday. "We need the president of the United States to say in no uncertain terms, 'Send Meriam home'."
(CNN) – He's said over and over that he won't run for the White House a third time, but a new poll indicates that if Mitt Romney changed his mind and made another bid for president, he'd be the frontrunner among Republicans in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.
According to the Suffolk University/Boston Herald survey, which was released Thursday, 24% of Granite State Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say that Romney would be their first choice for their party's presidential nomination.
Washington (CNN) - Ralph Reed can still draw a crowd.
Nine potential Republican presidential candidates will be speaking at the fifth annual Road to the Majority conference, which is organized by Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition. The event, which kicks off Thursday at a hotel in the nation's capital, is one of the largest annual gatherings of social conservative voters, who are a key part of the Republican Party's base.
(CNN) – The Chamber of Commerce has turned to a big gun as it tries to help Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi across the goal line in next Tuesday's primary runoff.
Mississippi native and retired NFL star Brett Favre, who was named MVP and led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win in 1997, stars in the Chamber's new spot lauding Cochran and his efforts to help the state.