CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 9, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
THE RETURN OF RICK PERRY… Two years removed from his disastrous 2012 presidential bid, Rick Perry is fully recovered from back surgery, sporting new glasses, reengaging with the Republican conservative base, and showing signs that he's considering another run for the White House. Immigration policy helped sink the Texas governor's previous bid, but it has now put him back in the spotlight. – Dana Bash and Paul Steinhauser
PORTMAN KEEPS 2016 DOOR OPEN… Rob Portman isn't shutting any doors to a potential 2016 run for the White House. But the Republican senator from Ohio Wednesday seemed to down play any talk that he's actively considering a bid for his party's nomination.
"What I did say though in that article when pressed about 2016 was I'm going to wait and see who runs," Portman told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper, anchor of "The Lead with Jake Tapper." The article Portman was referencing was a much talked about write by the Washington Post's Robert Costa, in which the senator said he wasn't "particularly eager to do it myself" but added that "if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart." – Paul Steinhauser
UDALL A NO-SHOW: VULNERABLE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR SKIPPING FUNDRAISER WITH OBAMA…
President Barack Obama says keeping the Democrats in control of the Senate is one of his top priorities this year. But his trip to Colorado is a vivid illustration of just how much the President – who is the party's top fundraiser but who is also saddled with low approval ratings – can, and can't, help. Obama will headline a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser Wednesday afternoon in Denver, with half the money raised at the event going to Sen. Mark Udall's campaign….While the President speaks and takes questions from those attending the fundraiser at a downtown Denver hotel, Udall won't be there. – Paul Steinhauser
GOP POUNCES ON ABSENCE: NRSC blast: “The President is beyond toxic, and Mark Udall's campaign is running scared.”
ANALYSIS: DISTRUST OF OBAMA MAKES BORDER FIX TOUGHER… It's a national outcry. Republicans and Democrats have urgently pressed President Barack Obama to do something to stem the flow of child immigrants crossing the southern border - and fast. But in the hours after Obama announced Tuesday his request to Congress for $3.7 billion to slow the surge, objections began to mount on Capitol Hill. The opposition is entrenched and extends beyond the current crisis of more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border since October. It's rooted in distrust of the President, especially on immigration. – Leigh Ann Caldwell
NAGIN GETS 10 YEARS: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday in a bribery scandal that rocked the city, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper and CNN affiliate WDSU. In February, a jury found him guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and other favors from businessmen looking for a break from his administration. Of the 21 counts against him, he was convicted of 20. The former mayor maintained his innocence even after the
THE BUZZ: BRAZIL: WE WILL OVERCOME
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Brazil’s crushing 7-1 defeat in the World Cup:
AMANPOUR: “Did you ever dream, in your wildest nightmares, that this would be the result of the semi-final?”
ROUSSEFF: “No, in honesty, in all honesty, no. Truly never. My nightmares never got so bad, Christiane. They never went that far. As a supporter, of course, I am deeply sorry because I share the same sorrow of all supporters. But I also know that we are a country that has one very peculiar feature. We rise to the challenge in the face of adversity. We are able to overcome.”
ICYMI: OBAMA PASSES ON ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH IN DENVER
"Do you want to hit this?" a man asked President Barack Obama in a bar in Denver Tuesday night. The President laughed but didn't indulge. It wasn't the only time Obama was offered weed on his night out. That's apparently what happens in Colorado, which recently legalized recreational marijuana.
White House on Obama’s Mary Jane moment: "He smiled and didn't react,” Cecilia Munoz, Domestic Policy Council director, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Asked if the federal government should follow the lead of Washington and Colorado and legalize pot, Munoz said, “It would not be appropriate for the federal government to do that.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks finish higher after Fed comments ease concerns about rate hikes. Dow gains 79 points.
Argentina faces off against the Netherlands today in the World Cup. Which country did Argentina declare its independence from on this day in 1816?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Obama heads to Texas amid 'urgent humanitarian situation'
He'll be in Texas on Wednesday, but President Barack Obama has no plans to visit the border area where tens of thousands of young immigrants have illegally entered the country in recent months to create what his administration labels an urgent humanitarian problem. The trip to the Lone Star State - the epicenter of the immigration influx - includes a Democratic Party fundraising event, and after some political squabbling, a meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Perry. That's not enough for GOP critics and even some of Obama's fellow Democrats. – Tom Cohen
Leading CNNMoney: The new plague: Computer viruses that extort you
Ransomware, a particularly annoying breed of computer virus, is spreading like the plague. This malware locks you out of your computer files until you pay up - and it is proving incredibly difficult to exterminate. A major ransomware operation called Cryptolocker was supposedly halted by the FBI in May. Not so fast, security experts say. It's only a setback. – Jose Pagliery
Leading HuffPo: STUMPED: Warren question trips up Wall Street exec
It seems like a simple question. With only 15 percent of Americans trusting the stock market and a declining percentage who invest in it, what can market bosses do to restore the people's faith? That's what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wanted to know in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday. Her query was sparked in part by revelations in Michael Lewis' recent book, Flash Boys, about how high-frequency stock trading rigs the markets. – Michael McAuliff
Leading Politico: Do Democrats need a Bubba strategy?
On a balmy summer afternoon, Dave “Mudcat” Saunders sits in the shade of his porch in Roanoke, Va., with a tall cup of iced tea, a highlighter and a copy of I Heard My Country Calling. That’s the new book by former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a Reagan Democrat whose 2006 upset over one-time GOP star George Allen in Virginia represents the last time Mudcat could claim victory for his “Bubba Strategy.” – Mason Adams
Leading New York Times: Snowden Asks Russia to Extend Asylum
Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency analyst who fled to Russia last year after releasing reams of sensitive American government documents, has applied to have his temporary asylum extended, his lawyer was quoted as telling Russian news agencies on Wednesday. Anatoly Kucherna, the attorney, said that he had submitted documents to the Moscow branch of the Federal Migration Service for Mr. Snowden to remain in Russia after his initial one-year asylum expires on July 31. – Neil MacFarquhar
Leading Drudge: Boehner: No Impeachment
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) disagrees with Republicans calling for the impeachment of President Obama. Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of Republicans calling for the impeachment of Obama, writing in an op-ed that the influx of young illegal immigrants over the southern border "is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.' " "I disagree," Boehner said when asked by reporters Wednesday morning. When a reporter pointed out that some House Republicans also are calling for impeachment, Boehner said again: "I disagree." – Ed O’Keefe for the Washington Post
The political bites of the day
- Portman: Cleveland’s no guarantee for the GOP in Ohio in 2016 —
SEN. ROB PORTMAN, R-OHIO, TO CNN’S JAKE TAPPER: “Cleveland’s on the upswing, just like the Republican Party needs to be on the upswing. And I think it makes it a more inclusive convention almost by location, so I think it’s really great for Cleveland (and) great for Ohio. But I also think it was the right choice for the Republican Party.
TAPPER: You didn’t mention of course that Ohio is kind of an important state when it comes to winning presidential elections.
PORTMAN: It’s the swingy—it’s the swingiest of swing states. But having said that, you know, last go around (the) Democrats chose North Carolina. They lost (that state) even though they’d won it four years before.”
- Schumer: there’s no moral equivalence in the Middle East —
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK, ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “The dangerous notion is that there is a moral equivalence between the actions and reactions in Israel and the Palestinian state to the violence and response in the Middle East … It must be said, there is no moral equivalence between the actions and reactions of Israel and Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to the violence that has occurred there.”
- Cruz: Obama cares more about fundraising than the border crisis —
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, ON THE SENATE FLOOR: Obama’s “not visiting the border. He's not visiting the children who are suffering as a result of the failures of the Obama policies. Instead, he's doing fundraisers. He's visiting Democratic fat cats to collect checks, and apparently there's no time to look at the disaster and the devastation that's being caused by his policies.”
–Boehner: Don’t expect a fast vote on Obama’s border request –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, TO REPORTERS AFTER A CLOSED-DOOR MEETING WITH HOUSE REPUBLICANS:
"If we don't secure the border, nothing is going to change. If you look at the President's request, it's all more about continuing to deal with the problem. We've got to do something about sealing the border and ending this problem so that we can begin to move onto the bigger questions of immigration reform."
–Johnson: Stop ‘incentivizing parents’ parents to send kids to the U.S.—
SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WISCONSIN, AT A SENATE HEARING ON THE BORDER CRISIS: “Put them in a hotel, feed them and return them to the country of origin. Because I can't think of a better signal to parents in Guatemala and El Salvador and Honduras (than) to say, 'Do not subject your children to the beast. Do not subject your children to rape and murder. Don't send them to the United States because when they get here, they will not be allowed to stay… The root cause is literally we have got to stop incentivizing parents and other immigrants coming into this nation.”
–Obama: Congress is to blame for immigration problems -
OBAMA IN DENVER SPEECH: “Congress just said no to fixing our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders and our businesses. Despite the fact that everybody from law enforcement to corporations to evangelicals. … There is a coalition around immigration reform that is unprecedented. (But) these guys still can’t get their act together.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Daniel Burke (@BurkeCNN)
If Argentina wins today, it will be Pope vs. Pope in the #WorldCup Finals. Which means God has a very difficult decision to make.
Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
"We simply cannot incarcerate our way out of the drug problem," says WH drug strategy.
Dylan Byers (@DylanByers)
Chelsea Clinton is commanding as much as $75,000 per speaking appearance.
Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein)
WSJ poll: 52% of Americans would like Sarah Palin to "be quiet" on national issues.
AP Sports (@AP_Sports)
.@TwitterData says Germany-Brazil w/ 35.6M tweets is most-discussed game ever on Twitter. Looked like:
Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS)
GOP Senate candidate in Colorado may soon have to vote on a lawsuit that targets Obama for not deporting the DREAMers.
Michael Li (@mcpli)
Cornyn a 'yes' on the Castro nomination, Cruz a 'no.'
Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP)
Castro confirmed for HUD with impressive 71-26 margin. Good thing @MarkUdall was there to be the swing vote
Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
Barack has never cracked the Top 1000 baby names in USA
TRIVIA ANSWER from @danadavidsenCNN
On this day in 1816, Argentina formally declared its political independence from Spain. Today, Argentinians celebrate their independence day as the country faces the Netherlands in the World Cup semifinal in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(Why aren’t you in it?)
Congrats to Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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