CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 24, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
TONIGHT: FINAL CHAPTER IN MISSISSIPPI SHOWDOWN ... State Sen. Chris McDaniel narrowly edged out six-term incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran in the primary three weeks ago, but with neither man cracking 50%, the contest has moved on to a competitive runoff that will be decided tonight. Mississippi law allows anyone to vote in the runoff, meaning Democrats can go to the polls so long as they didn't vote in the Democratic primary and they don't plan to support their party candidate in the general election. The question is whether Cochran can shore up enough support to beat back the tea party wave against him. McDaniel got about 1,400 more votes than Cochran in the primary, and national conservative groups have actively rallied around the challenger. – Dana Bash and Ashley Killough
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OTHER RACES TO WATCH ON TUESDAY...
1. Rangel's last run: Win or lose, Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York says this is his last campaign. The Korean War veteran, who was first elected to the House of Representatives 44 years ago, is trying keep from getting pushed out office by his main primary challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who came within around 1,100 votes of ousting Rangel in the Democratic primary two years ago.
2. A run to the right in Oklahoma: Sen. Tom Coburn's announcement in January that he would step down at the end of the year - with two years left in his term - sparked a competitive primary to replace the conservative senator. There are seven candidates in the race, but the contest is really a battle between the two frontrunners: Rep. James Lankford and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
3. Controversial figure: Colorado's Tom Tancredo is making noise once again and giving fellow Republicans headaches. The former congressman, known for his hardline stance against illegal immigration, is running for his state's GOP gubernatorial nomination, in the hopes of facing off in November against Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
4. Cocaine congressman's seat up for grabs in Florida: Candidates vying to replace embattled former Rep. Trey Radel face off Tuesday in Florida's special general election for the state's 19th Congressional District.
5. 2014 primary with 2016 implications: South Carolina Republicans are headed to the polls for a second time this month to vote for their party's nominee for lieutenant governor. – Paul Steinhauser
NARA CHIEF: IRS DID NOT FOLLOW THE LAW ... To the pile of accusations against the IRS around conservative targeting and lost emails, now add one of the first nonpartisan opinions that the agency went outside the law. That conclusion on Tuesday from the official responsible for managing historically important U.S. records came at a congressional hearing during which Republicans also tried to widen the IRS scandal spotlight to include the White House. David Ferriero, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration, told a House panel that the IRS "did not follow the law" when it failed to tell his agency about the loss of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner. – Lisa Desjardins
LAWMAKERS BICKER OVER BORDER CRISIS ... Hill lawmakers bickered Tuesday about the cause of – and solution to – the ongoing crisis of migrant children flooding across America’s southern border. Republicans at a hearing argued that the situation has become a “humanitarian crisis” and placed the blame squarely on President Obama’s policies. “The president has allowed a national security and humanitarian crisis to develop on the U.S. southern border,” Speaker Boehner later said. Boehner also announced the formation of a new “working group” to address the issue.
Democrats argued that Republicans were simply playing politics. To “those out there who are looking for simple answers to lay the blame on President Obama’s policy on deferred action for childhood arrivals, or even the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, I would note that neither would apply to these kids,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee. “The assertion that the recent surge in unaccompanied children is due to lax immigration enforcement does not pass the smell test.”
THE BUZZ: RANGEL RELEASES campaign RAP ... It’s not every day that a 43-year veteran of Congress releases a rap song to support his reelection campaign. But New York Rep. Charlie Rangel’s campaign has done just that. The catchy tune urges voters to vote for Rangel while also highlighting his past. “You know Charlie?” a rapper asks. “He was born in Harlem. Got a Purple Heart and Bronze Star ...earned them in the army. Got orders that he executes, graduated NYU.”
Listen to the track here.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks back away from record highs to end lower. Dow falls 117 points. S&P 500 slips 0.6%. NASDAQ eases 0.4%.
What year was Charlie Rangel first elected to Congress and whom did he defeat?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics:Billionaire activist to meet with White House officials
Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who’s pledged to spend millions in this year’s midterm contests, will discuss climate change with top White House officials and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this week, according to officials. At the Wednesday meeting, Steyer will also sit down with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros to confer on a forthcoming report assessing the economic effects of climate change. – Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak
Leading CNNMoney: World Cup winner: Buffalo Wild Wings
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Americans' newfound love of soccer is Buffalo Wild Wings. Americans are picking up beers and wings to watch football - the World Cup kind. And unlike the Super Bowl, the World Cup goes on for a month, providing lots of opportunities for sports fans to buy cheap wings. – Melvin Backman
Leading Tampa Bay Times: Charlie Crist calls off visit to Cuba next month
Charlie Crist has scrapped plans to go to Cuba this summer, citing time demands in his campaign for governor and delays in getting federal permission to visit the island nation. "I had to make a decision," Crist said. "We've got to win this thing, and we can't sap any more of my time or staff's time to the detriment of victory. … I need to stay focused on Florida." – Steve Bousquet
Leading Drudge: Border Mess: 'Homeland' Underwear Crises: Urgently Need 42,000 Pairs!
he Department of Homeland Security is looking to fulfill an order for thousands of pairs of men’s underwear – with hundreds of the requested men’s briefs in the 5X and 6X-large sizes. – Benjamin Fearnow
Leading HuffPo: House Committee Makes Rare Move In Favor Of Abortion Rights
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote an amendment that will extend abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers who are raped during their service. – Laura Bassett
Leading Politico: Porn star’s tweet prompts Steve Stivers aide Adam Kuhn to resign
The chief of staff to Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Stivers has resigned after a former porn actress posted an explicit photo of the aide online. Adam Kuhn, a longtime Stivers’ aide and chief of staff, resigned on Tuesday. Kuhn is single, while the actress is married. – John Bresnahan
Leading New York Times: As Cochran Courts Blacks, Tea Party Vows to Police Polls
Voters here headed to the polls on Tuesday in a Republican Senate primary that has won national attention as Senator Thad Cochran has made the unusual move of reaching out to black Democrats in an attempt to hold back State Senator Chris McDaniel, his Tea Party-backed challenger. – Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
– Jeh Johnson to GOP lawmaker: Be careful about how we treat border crisis children –
REP. PATRICK MEEHAN, R-PENNSYLVANIA, AT A HOUSE HEARING ON BORDER CRISIS: “When I was a prosecutor, it took two agents to accompany that child back to his country. We used to fly an individual back. 65,000 children? How are we going to return them?”
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JEH JOHNSON RESPONDS TO MEEHAN AT A HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL: “We are talking about children as young as five and seven years old. This is a humanitarian issue. And so when you are talking about somebody who is desperate to be reunited with her mother or her father in the United States, I think as Americans we need to be careful about how we treat these kids.”
– Rush: ‘Obama regime planned the influx of illegal alien children at the border’ –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “The bottom line is, in January the regime was predicting and readying the transportation for 65,000 unaccompanied alien children.”
– Boehner on IRS scandal: ‘This doesn't pass the straight face test.’ –
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER TO REPORTERS ON CAPITOL HILL: “We invite people to come and provide testimony. And frankly, they should be treated with respect. But when you look at the president (and) his own remarks when this IRS scandal unfolded almost a year ago, he said that he would fully cooperate. He and his administration, they have not only not cooperated, they have not done a damn thing to help us get to the truth of what really happened. We know it wasn’t just a group of staffers in a Cincinnati office that were making these calls, Lois Lerner refuses to tell us the truth, and then 'oh my goodness' we lost two years of emails. Listen, I grew up in a bar. This doesn't pass the straight face test.”
– Boehner: ‘All in’ for another term as speaker -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER TO REPORTERS:“I told my colleagues two weeks ago I was all in. When I'm all in, I'm all in."
– Kerry: 'Words are cheap' but there are promising signs in Iraq –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S JIM SCIUTTO: “Words are cheap. I'm not taking anything I hear to the bank and saying, 'Wow, it's going to be solved.’ ... But I'm hearing things that indicate to me that if (the Iraqis) follow through on the things they're saying, there's a capacity to have a new government that could be a unity government, that could reflect a greater capacity for success.”
– Senate GOP contender knocks hometown paper after losing endorsement –
T.W. SHANNON TO KTUL: "It's the voters that decide elections. Remember, The Oklahoman is also the same newspaper that called Kevin Durant 'Mr. Unreliable.'"
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti)
“It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt,” Bill Clinton says. Then, on Hillary: “She’s not out of touch.”
Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
Hillary Clinton to collect $225,000 for keynote at University of Nevada Las Vegas fundraiser, by @lmyerslvrj http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/hillary-clinton-collect-225000-keynote-unlv-fundraiser …
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
Asked whether GOP making use of summer window to work on passing some sort of immigration reform, Earnest: "sadly no."
Elise Foley (@elisefoley)
WH spokesman Josh Earnest was asked three times whether they would send National Guard troops to the border, but never said.
Justin Snow (@JustinCSnow)
Looks like someone just fainted in the middle of the White House press briefing, causing Josh Earnest to end early on his second day
Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport)
Twitter reacts to LeBron James opting out of his contract by putting him in the uniform of every NBA team http://bit.ly/1nBZ7q8
Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols)
Today is the 3rd time Uruguay's Luis Suárez has been accused of biting an opponent, which is why his occasional nickname is "The Cannibal"
Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes)
Best part of the Suarez bite is that he flops afterwards. What's Spanish for chutzpah?
Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile)
A Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 & a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Charlie Rangel defeated longtime incumbent Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in the Democratic primary during his first run for Congress in 1970. Rangel went on to win the general election against with 88% of the vote in his Harlem district. He has kept for over four decades.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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