June 25th, 2014
05:36 PM ET
1 month ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 25, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 25, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

COCHRAN’S STRATEGY: GOOD OR BAD FOR GOP? ... A number of high-profile conservative activists are steamed over Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s decision to court traditionally Democratic voters – including African-Americans – in his primary runoff victory over tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel.

“I wonder what the campaign slogan was in Mississippi the past couple days,” Rush Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio show. “Uncle Toms for Thad?”


“If Republicans are going to act like Democrats, then what’s the use in getting all gung ho about getting Republicans in there?” Sarah Palin asked Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe also chimed in, saying, “If the only way the K Street wing of the GOP establishment can win is by courting Democrats to vote in GOP primaries, then we’ve already won.”

But Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 White House contender, had a different take. “I'm for more people voting, not less people voting," Paul told reporters Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.
rush rand
Gut Check Full Service: 61,410 more people voted in yesterday’s primary runoff than the June 3rd Mississippi GOP Senate primary.

RANGEL SURVIVES: New York Rep. Charles Rangel has survived a primary challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, beating him 47% to 44%. "I want each one of you to go home and know that this was your victory," Rangel declared. The veteran congressman, who was first elected to the House in 1970, has said this will be his final race.

IT’S CLEVELAND OR DALLAS FOR THE 2016 GOP CONVENTION ... It's down to the final two. The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Cleveland and Dallas are the finalists to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Following a meeting of the RNC's Site Selection Committee, the two other cities that had been in contention, Denver and Kansas City, were dropped. – Paul Steinhauser and Mark Preston

BOEHNER PLANNING TO SUE OBAMA OVER EXECUTIVE ORDERS ... House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday told reporters that he plans to sue President Barack Obama over his use of executive action. "I am," the Speaker said when asked if he was planning to initiate a lawsuit. "You know the Constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the President has not faithfully executed the laws," Boehner added at a news conference on Capitol Hill. Boehner later said that in July he will bring a bill to the House floor authorizing a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to file the lawsuit against the President.– Deirdre Walsh

HILLARY: BILL DOESN’T HAVE TO DEFEND MY RECORD ...A day after former President Bill Clinton defended his wife against wealth attacks, Hillary Clinton said in an interview that while she is appreciative for the defense, she thinks her record "speak for itself." "My husband was very sweet today," Clinton said in an interview with PBS NewsHour's Gwen Ifill that was taped on Tuesday night. "But I don’t need anybody to defend my record. I think my record speaks for itself." Bill Clinton rated his wife's much-talked about "dead broke" comment from earlier this month as "factually true," in an interview with NBC's David Gregory on Tuesday, and defended his wife as someone who isn't "out of touch." – Dan Merica

QUOTE OF THE DAY: HILLARY CLINTON TO GWEN IFILL: “You have to be a little bit crazy to run for president.”

THE BUZZ: SAWYER STEPS DOWN, MUIR MOVES UP ... Diane Sawyer will step down from ABC's flagship nightly newscast, "World News," in August, ABC said Wednesday. David Muir, the weekend "World News" anchor, will replace her starting September 2. The announcement ends months of speculation about a transition at ABC's anchor desk. – Brian Stelter

Diane Sawyer (@DianeSawyer)
Congrats to my friends @DavidMuir & @GStephanopoulos – big days and stories ahead for all at @ABC !

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher following a Supreme Court ruling that boosted media companies. Dow gains 49 points.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer Below)
Who was the only House Speaker to serve as President?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics:Utah appeals court strikes down same-sex marriage ban in major ruling
In a first, a U.S. appeals court has struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage, creating greater political and legal momentum for the Supreme Court to decide whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to wed. It happened on Wednesday in Utah, where a panel ruled 2-1 against the prohibition, saying that any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, has the right to marry. – Bill Mears

Leading CNNMoney: Media stocks surge after Aereo ruling
The Supreme Court's ruling against Aereo was a triumph for the country's broadcasters, and now media stocks are doing a victory dance. Shares of CBS Corporation (CBS), Disney, (DIS) Comcast (CMCSA), and Twenty-first Century Fox (FOX) jumped Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled that streaming service Aereo violates broadcasters rights by using tiny antennas to snatch up content on public airwaves. – Jesse Soloman

Leading Drudge: Supremes Strike Down Police Cellphone Snooping
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot go snooping through people’s cell phones without a warrant, in a unanimous decision that amounts to a major statement in favor of privacy rights. Police agencies had argued that searching through the data on cell phones was no different than asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cell phone is more fundamental. – Washington Times’ Stephanie Dinan

Leading HuffPo: Bigger Than Him: Investigation Targeting Walker Thrown Into Limbo
An investigation targeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) for alleged illegal coordination with independent conservative groups during his 2012 recall election has been thrown into limbo by a lawsuit that could turn into the next big challenge to campaign finance limits. – Paul Blumenthal

Leading Politico: EPA has missing emails too
Move over, IRS — now the EPA is having its own problems with missing emails. The environmental agency is having trouble locating emails belonging to a former agency employee and pulling information from his crashed hard drive, House members revealed Wednesday while questioning Administrator Gina McCarthy at a hearing on complaints of mismanagement. – Erica Martinson

Leading New York Times: Tennessee Tea Party Emboldened in Race to Unseat Republican Senator
As Senator Thad Cochran eked out a victory over a conservative insurgent Tuesday night in Mississippi, Tea Party members here were making a bold — even defiant — proclamation: They will win the Senate seat in Tennessee. – Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Leading Daily Beast: The View of Iraq From Troops in Afghanistan
The recent Afghan elections should have been the big news, but even troops deployed to Afghanistan are distracted by the spiraling chaos in Iraq. – Nick WIllard

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Clinton: ‘unartful’ use of words doesn’t change much –
HILLARY CLINTON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH GWEN IFILL: “I shouldn’t have said the five or so words that I said, but my unartful use of those few words doesn’t change who I am, what I’ve stood for my entire life, what I stand for today.”

– Pelosi spox: Boehner lawsuit ‘reprehensible’ –
PELOSI SPOKESMAN DREW HAMMILL ON BOEHNER’S LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMA: "While the urgent needs of the American people are ignored by House Republicans, it is reprehensible that Speaker Boehner plans another doomed, legal boondoggle after he spent $2.3 million in taxpayer dollars unsuccessfully defending discrimination in federal courts.”

– Cheney: I don’t take advice from Bill Clinton –
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO NBC IN AN INTERVIEW TO AIR SUNDAY: “I believe if they hadn’t gone into war in Iraq, none of this would be happening ... Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. I think it’s unseemly.”
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY ON FOX WEDNESDAY: “I usually haven’t looked at Bill for advice. He doesn’t call me very often.”

– Club for Growth: Backing McDaniel was a ‘calculated risk’–
CLUB FOR GROWTH PRESIDENT CHRIS CHOCOLA IN A STATEMENT: “Club for Growth Action went all in for Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi Senate race. And we have no regrets ... The Mississippi Senate race was a calculated risk – unfortunately, this one didn’t go our way. But it was close. Very close.”

– Pelosi on missing IRS emails: ‘It happens’ –
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: “You remember when President Bush lost how many millions of emails?   It happens … I would just say this: My experience, whether it is what’s happening at the VA, what happened with the rollout of the health care bill – the federal government needs work on its technology.”

– Prosecutor from 1975 case: Clinton had no choice but to defend rapist –
MAHLON GIBSON TO CNN:“She got appointed to represent this guy ... I would say she did a heck of a job of representing her client to the best of her ability ... If you are appointed by the court, you damn better do everything you can do to defend them.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

E McMorris-Santoro (‏@EvanMcSan)
so apparently RNC’s 2016 convention theme will be “Stop Over For A Few Minutes While You’re Waiting For Your Connecting Flight”

john r stanton (‏@dcbigjohn)
i'd rather be lit on fire and pushed into traffic while listening to Nickelback than go to Dallas in the summer.

James Hohmann (@jameshohmann)
2012 reminder: Republicans had their convention in Tampa & Romney lost FL. Democrats had their convention in Charlotte & Obama lost NC.

Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
Did anyone have “Thad Cochran” when asked who the next Dave Brat would be? Anyone?

Ron Fournier ‏(@ron_fournier)
You can feel @EWErickson's pain. Really, @davidaxelrod, you can http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/what-do-elizabeth-warren-rand-paul-and-erick-erickson-have-in-common-20140625

Amy Kremer ‏(@AmyKremer)
When you have to turn to Democrats to retain power, you have no principles. #mssen

Ana Navarro (‏@ananavarro)
People who thought it wad perfectly fine Democrats helped Cantor lose, are crying foul b/c Democrats helped Cochran win. Boo-hoo.

Susan Page (@SusanPage)
Immigration prospects? @SenJohnMcCain: 'I can't tell you we have a great shot.' @SenSchumer: Some Rs are in a 'pray yes, vote no' caucus.

Luke Russert (@LukeRussert)
Immigration, "grand bargain" all issues where #GOP won't move bc they trust Obama, hard to see movement when Speaker moves to sue Prez

Sam Stein ‏(@samsteinhp)
In light of Boehner suit threat —> Obama has issued executive orders at the slowest rate since Grover Cleveland http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/obama-executive-orders_n_5511513.html

Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
I know the WH was aware of Boehner lawsuit because I told them.

David M. Drucker ‏(@DavidMDrucker)
MS GOP sources who shld know tell me MS law doesn't permit write-in campaigns. Wld mean McDaniel out of options in #mssen. Checking w/ SoS

Peter Hamby ‏(@PeterHambyCNN)
"McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch, reached by phone late Wednesday morning, promptly hung up" http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2014/06/25/mcdaniel-concession-challenge-vote/11357855/

BuzzFeed Benny ‏(@bennyjohnson)
Gov. Scott Walker follows rappers, a porn site, cannabis dealers and satanic nazi rock on Twitter. http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/gov-scott-walker-follows-some-really-nsfw-people-on-twitter

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

President James Polk is the only House Speaker to also serve as commander-in-chief. Polk, a Tennessee Democrat, led the House as Speaker from 1835 to 1839. Elected the 11th President of the United States in 1844, he went on to serve one term in the White House.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(Why aren’t you in it?)

Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins), Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) and Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Chris-E...al

    I have not got nothing to say im not upset or happy :)

    June 25, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. rs

    In regards to the Republican National Convention- as Republicans seem to have a renewed interest in flushing more taxpayer dollars down the Iraq toilet, perhaps rather than Ohio or Texas they ought to be considering Iraq. Bagdad might be just the place for them.
    Speaking of wasting taxpayer's dollars, Boehner will sue the President for doing his job (naturally he cannot cite one law the President hasn't enforced)?- oh, well, it's just another few $million that the do-nothing Speaker of the House will waste on useless legal challenges that will result in nothing while he and the GOP run out the clock on their terms of office. We'll pay for these clowns for the rest of their lives-shameful!

    June 25, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    John Boehner, in his newest attempt at extorting campaign dollars, is going to sue the sitting President of the United States for having been voted in as the sitting President of the United States.

    And people want to know what is wrong with politics in America.

    June 25, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Greg Simpson

    I hope that the African American leaders made sure that Cochran knows his feet will be held to the fire.

    June 25, 2014 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  5. Gyrgyl

    Time to tighten security and borders because of Iraq violence. Air port security too needed.

    June 26, 2014 04:53 am at 4:53 am |