CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 14, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
PERRY VS. PAUL: ROUND TWO ... Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is firing back at Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, in an escalation of a war of words between two potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders over U.S. foreign policy and the country's role in the bloody outbreak of fighting in Iraq.
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"There are many things I like about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, including his stance on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. But apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly," Paul wrote in an op-ed that appeared Monday in Politico, taking aim at the much talked about eye-wear Perry's been sporting since last year.
"There are obviously many important events going on in the world right now, but with 60,000 foreign children streaming across the Texas border, I am surprised Governor Perry has apparently still found time to mischaracterize and attack my foreign policy," added the first-term senator who doesn't want the U.S. to be the world's policeman.
Paul's critics, such as Perry, liken the senator’s stance to outright isolationism.
WARREN TO RED COUNTRY ...First Kentucky, now West Virginia for the woman who at the moment is the hottest commodity among Democratic campaign surrogates. Elizabeth Warren – not Hillary Clinton. Last week, the freshman Massachusetts senator made a foray into Kentucky to help Alison Lundergan Grimes in her race against Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. This week, Warren heads to West Virginia to stump for and with Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant. – John King
RYAN ALSO STOPPING IN WEST VIRGINIA ... West Virginia also gets a visit from another national political star this week. As Robert Costa noted on CNN’s Inside Politics, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan – the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee – is scheduled to campaign for the Republican nominee, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. – John King
CONSERVATIVES: HOLDER PLAYING RACIAL POLITICS ... Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday on ABC’s “The Week” that he sees "racial animus" in strident Republican opposition to some Obama administration policies. Some media conservatives say he's playing racial politics … (and are accusing) the White House of "playing to the fears and anxieties of minorities in hopes of scaring them to the polls in November," as Wall Street Journal opinion writer Jason L. Riley wrote in an editorial for the paper on Monday ... The Washington Times, a conservative paper, said Holder had "thrown down the race card." – Halimah Abdullah
PEACH STATE SMACKDOWN: GEORGIA GOP SENATE RACE GETTING UGLY ...With just over a week to go until the runoff, the two candidates in the Republican Senate primary in Georgia are sharpening their attacks on each other. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue fired away at each other as Sunday night's one and only televised debate between the two candidates turned into a testy affair. The winner of the July 22 runoff will face off against Democrat Michelle Nunn in November's general election.
CHENEY: IRAQ INVASION WAS THE ‘ABSOLUTE RIGHT THING TO DO’: ... Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago on Monday, saying, “I believed in it then. I look back on it now - it was absolutely the right thing to do.” A few minutes into a Politico event in Washington, where Cheney, his wife Lynne and his daughter Liz were speaking, protesters began to heckle the three members of the Cheney family, calling the former Vice President a “war criminal” and yelling, “You Destroyed Iraq,” while holding signs reading “Arrest Cheney.” Cheney’s wife Lynne brushed off the interruption, saying, “I wondered why the line (to the event) was so long.” – Sara Fischer
QUOTE OF THE DAY: FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY ON LIFE AFTER HEART TRANSPLANT SURGERY: “Every day when I wake up I’m thankful with a smile on my face. (Things like this) really affect your sense of what’s important and what isn’t.”
SPEAKING OF HEALTH... GEORGE W. BUSH HAS SECOND PARTIAL KNEE REPLACEMENT: Former President George W. Bush had partial knee replacement surgery over the weekend – this time on his left knee, just weeks after the similar procedure on his right, his spokesman Freddy Ford said. The most recent outpatient operation was performed by the same doctor who worked on the right knee in Chicago on May 27, Ford said. – Kevin Bohn
THE BUZZ ... BOOKER: THE 'SELFIE' SENATOR: Like a high schooler collecting yearbook messages before summer break, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is roaming the halls of the Senate before August recess asking his peers to pose for selfies. Booker, who rose to national prominence through social media, may be the most selfied (can that be a verb?) politician. After Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), he has the most Twitter followers of any member of Congress with nearly 1.5 million. – Washington Post’s Colby Itkowitz
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher after an upbeat market outlook. Dow adds 112 points, easing from an intraday record.
Who was the first president to employ a full-time speechwriter?
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Leading CNNPolitics: First on CNN: Republicans try to expand the midterm map, in new push
With the midterm elections less than four months away and closing, the Republican National Committee is launching a new messaging campaign to highlight what it considers the GOP's favorable political landscape, as the party tries to expand the campaign map. – Paul Steinhauser
Leading CNN US: Bergdahl could return to active duty
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has finished undergoing therapy and counseling at an Army hospital in San Antonio and could return to active duty as early as Monday, a defense official tells CNN. – Barbara Starr
Leading CNNMoney: Citi inks $7 billion mortgage settlement
Citigroup agreed to pay $7 billion to settle charges that it packaged bad mortgages during the run-up to the financial crisis. It includes $4 billion in penalties, $2.5 billion in mortgage modifications and other relief to homeowners, and $500 million going to a number of states and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. – Chris Isidore
Leading HuffPo: Surprise, Surprise: Huge Number Of Republicans Back Impeachment
Sarah Palin raised eyebrows last week when she called on Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that the former Alaska governor is not alone. A third of Americans, and two-thirds of Republicans, think Obama should be impeached. Among all Americans, those saying Congress would not be justified in beginning impeachment proceedings against Obama outnumber those who think it would be justified, 44 percent to 35 percent, while 21 percent said they weren't sure. – Emily Swanson
Leading Drudge: Protesters In Germany: 'Jews Are Beasts'
A demonstration in Frankfurt against Operation Protective Edge erupted into violence, with protesters tossing stones at the police. According to the Frankfurter Rundschau paper, about 2,500 protesters appeared in downtown Frankfurt, screaming “God is great,” and slogans such as “freedom for Palestine” and “children-murderer Israel.” – Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal
Leading Politico: Huckabee's private plane habit
Now a Fox News commentator and highly paid public speaker, Huckabee has in just a few years racked up at least $253,000 in private air travel bills on the way to political events, according to a POLITICO review of federal and state campaign finance records. – Alexander Burns
Leading New York Times: Dirty Tricks, Tea Party Suicide and Rising Mississippi Anger
Mark Mayfield, one of the founders of the Mississippi Tea Party, had lost his political appetite. He stayed away from Facebook and stopped writing letters to the editor. He went to his law office, but often had little to do, since his major clients had all but cut him off. When the runoff for the Republican primary came around, pitting longtime Senator Thad Cochran against State Senator Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party challenger whom Mr. Mayfield deeply believed in, friends said Mr. Mayfield could not even bring himself to vote. Then on the morning of June 27, three days after the runoff that left Mr. Cochran the victor, Mr. Mayfield killed himself. The story of Mr. Mayfield has only deepened the enmity left by a divisive Republican primary. – Campbell Robertson
The political bites of the day
– Liz Cheney: ‘Fox News is not always right’ –
LIZ CHENEY AT A POLITICO EVENT: "The notion that because Fox News criticized us, that's a message - I keep thinking that I tell you all the time - Fox News is not always right.”
– Earnest: Kerry’s dance card ‘pretty full’ the last few days –
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST AT A PRESS BRIEFING: “I am not sure that there has been a hesitation to send Secretary Kerry (to the Middle East) … Over the last several days Secretary Kerry has been in China negotiating with his Chinese counterparts in the context of the security and economic dialogue there. Then he traveled straight to Afghanistan where he mediated this agreement between the two presidential candidates. Then he was on to Vienna where he was sitting down with his Iranian counterpart a couple of times in the context of the P-5-plus one negotiations. So, his dance card has been pretty full for the last few days.”
– Turner makes pitch for Issa’s job –
REP. MICHAEL TURNER, R-OHIO, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ROLL CALL: “I’m actively pursuing this with very strong support from the Steering Committee, and I think it’s because they look at my experience and what needs to occur at the committee ... Our conference agrees that the Oversight and Government Reform Committee needs to be taken in a different direction ... The committee has atrophied, and it needs to be fired up.”
– House Oversight Committee Dems: Issa’s on a ‘subpoena binge’ –
STATEMENT FROM HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS: “As of Friday morning, Issa had issued 96 subpoenas without any debate or a vote of the Committee — more than all three previous committee chairmen combined —in less than half the time. In the eight years from 2003 to 2010, former Republican and Democratic Chairmen Tom Davis, Henry A. Waxman, and Edolphus Towns issued a combined total of 78 subpoenas. With only rare exceptions, they issued all of their subpoenas with the concurrence of the Ranking Member or a vote of the Committee.”
– Holder on terror threat from foreign and domestic fighters: ‘This is a very real thing’ –
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER AT A BRIEFING IN WASHINGTON: “This is a very real thing. I guess just last month or so the first American became a suicide bomber. So this is not a theoretical problem that we are dealing with. This is something that is very real.”
– Iowa GOP: Braley threatened legal action over chickens –
IOWA GOP IN STATEMENT: “Earlier today, it was revealed that liberal trial lawyer Bruce Braley threatened legal action against his neighbor, because four chickens that are used to help children with mental health and communication issues stepped onto his vacation home property. This is a disturbing pattern for a man who mocked Senator Chuck Grassley because he w a farmer who never attended law school, used chickens to characterize his opponent and lied about being a farmer.”
Gut Check Full Service: NRSC REACTION: “What a jerk.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
Joe Biden speaking at Generation Progress’s National Summit on July 16. 2nd progressive event in 2 weeks for him. #2016?
jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
There's a WH petition calling for a lawsuit against John Boehner... for wasting time on frivolous lawsuits http://1.usa.gov/1oVMBVV
Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski)
Reid says Boehner should take his case to Judge Judy: "I think she would throw this case out in half a second"
Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller)
.@presssec responds to @GovernorOMalley: “The president has made clear that we’re going to enforce the law.”
Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
New slogan? "Give us your children with a 'credible threat of death.' Poor, huddled masses, everybody else, scram."
Jeb Bush (@JebBush)
Great to be with @SenScottBrown and his family today. Proud to support his campaign for U.S. Senate! #nhpolitics pic.twitter.com/hBXQpw5bNf
Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr)
Omg, Real Clear Politics has a media/politics version of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." http://realclearpolitics.com/video/changing …
Julia Boorstin (@JBoorstin)
Germany vs. Argentina on ABC averaged 9.7 overnight rating, 3rd highest metered market rating for any World Cup match on ESPN & ABC
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President Warren Harding was the first chief executive to hire a full-time speechwriter. Harding hired Judson P. Welliver and gave him the official title of literary executive secretary to the president. Welliver continued to write for President Calvin Coolidge after Harding’s death.
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Congrats to Rick Stoddard (@stodrick), Sean Evins @Evins and Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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