CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 4, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … ISRAEL, PALESTINIANS AGREE TO 3-DAY CEASE-FIRE: Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that Israel has agreed to a three-day cease-fire proposed by Egypt. A Palestinian delegation has also agreed to the cease-fire, according to senior Hamas official Izzat Risheq. The ceasefire starts 1am EST, or 8am local time.
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FIRST ON CNN: ROMNEY, CHRISTIE TEAMING UP FOR JERSEY FUNDRAISER … CNN’s Peter Hamby reports: Mitt Romney is Jersey bound. The former Republican presidential nominee will team up with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a fundraiser benefiting the New Jersey Republican Party next month, sources familiar with the plans told CNN. The event is billed as a birthday celebration for Christie, who turns 52 next month. The September 10 fundraiser — co-hosted by Christie allies Bill Palatucci, New Jersey GOP Chairman Sam Raia, state Sen. Tom Kean and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick — will take place in East Brunswick.
Gut Check Flash Back: Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in ‘Double Down’: “Christie had banned Romney from raising money in New Jersey until Christie had given the O.K. to do so — a move Romney found galling, like something out of The Sopranos.”
BARNSTORM: RAND PAUL LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN-STYLE TOUR ACROSS IOWA … Sen. Rand Paul kicks off a three-day swing Monday across Iowa, holding campaign-style events and fund-raisers with local politicians as the potential Republican presidential contender barnstorms the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Paul's route will take him through nine cities from the state's western border to its eastern edge. The Kentucky Republican will also help the state Republican Party open multiple offices ahead of the midterm elections. – Ashley Killough
PAUL'S CHIEF IOWA STRATEGIST STEVE GRUBBS: "One of the reasons I signed on to work with Sen. Paul is I could see how he appeals to all of our party … There are very few candidates who have that ability to unify our party. I think that he can do that."
PRIMARY WATCH: LAST CALL FOR TEA PARTY PRIMARY CHALLENGERS … Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday in Kansas in an ugly showdown for the GOP Senate nomination. The race has seen controversies over residency and Facebook photos, and a rare street-side confrontation last week involving the incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts – a longtime member of Congress – and tea party-backed challenger Milton Wolf – who's related to President Barack Obama. The Kansas primary, as well Thursday's GOP nomination contest in Tennessee, where Sen. Lamar Alexander faces a bunch of conservative challengers, are the last two chances – albeit remote – for a tea party-backed candidate to try and knock off an incumbent Republican senator. – Paul Steinhauser
… MCDANIEL: I WON THAT PRIMARY AND CAN PROVE IT: Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) demanded that the state Republican Party overturn Sen. Thad Cochran's primary victory and declare him the winner in a Monday press conference. "They asked us to put up or shut up. Here we are. Here we are with the evidence," McDaniel declared before yielding the podium to his lawyer, who said that the state party should overturn the election's results because of allegations of crossover voting from Democrats, many of them black. Cochran won the June 24 runoff election by 7,667 votes. – The Hill’s Cameron Joseph
THE BUZZ: MONTANA NEWSPAPERS URGE WALSH TO DROP OUT OF SENATE RACE… Under fire for plagiarism, Democratic Sen. John Walsh of Montana is now feeling the pressure at home. Newspapers from the two largest cities in Montana are calling for Walsh to end his Senate campaign in light of charges that he plagiarized part of a paper needed to complete his master's degree at the Army War College. – Dan Merica
EBOLA UPDATE: CAN AN EXPERIMENTAL SERUM SAVE PATIENTS? An American doctor infected with Ebola is making progress a day after he received a dose of an experimental serum before leaving Liberia. The drug was developed by the biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. Patients were told that this treatment had never been tried before in a human being, but had shown promise in small experiments with monkeys. – Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Danielle Dellorto
JAMES BRADY DIES … James Brady, former press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was severely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on the President, has died, the White House said on Monday. He was 73. Following the shooting of Reagan in Washington that left Brady partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair, he became one of the nation's most prominent gun-control advocates. Reagan's first press secretary, Brady was one of four people hurt when John Hinckley opened fire on Reagan as he left a hotel. After leaving the White House, Brady launched the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which pushes for stricter firearms laws. – Dan Merica
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks bounce back after last week's sell-off. Dow adds 76 points; S&P 500 and NASDAQ both add less than 1%.
In which month were the most U.S. presidents born?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Poll: Only 3% of voters think Congress is very productive
Only 19% of registered voters said Congress has been "somewhat productive," while only 3% of registered voters said the senators and House members of Capitol Hill have been "productive," according to a new poll. – Dan Merica
Leading CNNMoney: LA residents call 911 when Facebook goes down
When Facebook goes down, you can gripe on Twitter, or even go outside. Or you can call the cops. That's what some Los Angeles County residents apparently did on Friday when the social media network went down for a few hours, according to tweets from a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant. – Ben Brody
Leading HuffPo: Free-for-all: Grimes, McConnell Hurl Jabs At Annual Event
On Saturday, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) was giving a speech and was interrupted by a heckler supporting her opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) … Welcome to the Fancy Farm picnic, an annual political rite of passage in the Bluegrass State, where the Commonwealth’s most powerful lawmakers and their opponents convene on the same stage to rally supporters and endure the consternation of their detractors. – Eliot Nelson
Leading Drudge: Dozens From Ebola-struck Countries Caught Sneaking Into USA
A leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries. The report was obtained by a trusted source within the CBP agency who leaked the document and spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity. The report is labeled as "Unclassified//For Official Use Only" and indicates that the data should be handled as "Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)." – Brandon Darby
Leading Politico: Obama to reporters: 'I'll take a question'
President Barack Obama had just done the unthinkable.
He took questions last week from the White House press corps — not just once, but twice. He didn’t call only on the reporters who were selected ahead of time by his senior aides. He even stuck around longer than he wanted at a briefing Friday to appease the room of shouting correspondents. – Edward Isaac Dovere
Leading New York Times: Democrats Seize on Social Issues as Values Wedge Cuts Their Way
The tumultuous social changes that began in the 1960s supplied decades of political ammunition for Republicans. Beginning with Richard M. Nixon, they rallied Americans disturbed by noisy protests over civil rights, the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War. – John Harwood
The political bites of the day
– GOP lawmaker: Obama, Democrats waging ‘war on whites’ –
MO BROOKS, R-ARIZONA, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH LAURA INGRAHAM: “This (clip of a reporter’s comments on Republicans alienating minorities) is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It's part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”
– Democratic lawmaker: Voters are tired of GOP obstruction –
DEBBIE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ, D-FLORIDA, IN A CNN OP-ED: “Voters are tired of the Republican obsession with obstruction. They are fed up with the more than 50 votes to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, and they don't appreciate that Republicans shut down the government over it, too. They don't want Congress to waste more time and taxpayer money holding redundant hearings on Benghazi. But that's all the Republican House is offering them.”
– Bonjean: Voters should expect headaches from both parties in August –
REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST AND FORMER HOUSE, SENATE PRESS SECRETARY RON BONJEAN IN A CNN OP-ED: “Expect to hear Democrats complain loudly that Republicans are going to try to impeach Obama, that an attempt to sue the President is a useless partisan exercise designed to fundraise from conservatives across the country and that women should be very afraid of the Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. Republicans will shout that Democrats are driving the impeachment story to fundraise off their liberal base, that the Senate is obstructing progress to protect their vulnerable members in red states from having to take tough votes and that suing Obama is necessary because he isn't doing his real job of working with Congress.”
– Coons: U.S. business shouldn't miss 'the next China' –
CHRIS COONS, D-DELAWARE, IN A CNN OP-ED: “With more than 40 African heads of state coming to Washington this week for three days of meetings with President Barack Obama, Cabinet officials, members of Congress and American business leaders, the United States has a real opportunity to jump-start what has been a slow evolution in the way we have engaged with Africa. It's an opportunity that should not be missed.”
– Psaki: Israel can do more to hold itself to a higher standard –
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN JEN PSAKI ON CNN’S ‘NEW DAY’: “When you have a situation where innocent civilians are killed in Gaza, there's more that Israel can do to hold themselves to their own standards. And the United States, of all countries, has experienced this in places like Afghanistan. We're saying they need to hold themselves to their own standards and do more here in Gaza.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Chris Moody (@moody)
Rand Paul visits a wood shop in Omaha before his Iowa pilgrimage. I love the sign. pic.twitter.com/wVq4swTX0Q
Todd J. Gillman (@toddgillman)
Obama guru @davidplouffe sees @tedcruz w/headstart in #2016 GOP field: "He is emblematic of where that hardcore primary vote is right now"
Ed Kilgore (@ed_kilgore)
After Cantor's abrupt resignation, there are no Jewish GOP Members of Congress for 1st time since 1955. http://bit.ly/1osU4fO
Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire)
McConnell on Paul: "If he chose to run, he would be the most creditable candidate for president since Henry Clay." http://politicalwire.com/archives/2014/
Todd Zwillich (@toddzwillich)
Has the current climate reduced Henry Clay's Ky. legacy to political underhandedness and rich mahogany? http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118956
Ana Navarro (@ananavarro)
Glad @wolfblitzer is back in his Situation Room from DC. It's sad to think he was in Israel for so long covering a war that's still raging.
An Israeli web poll asked what Obama should get for his birthday. 48 percent said "ebola." http://vox.com/e/5731246
The First Lady (@FLOTUS)
Happy Birthday to the man who always makes me proud. Thank you for your friendship, honesty and compassion. I will love you always. -mo
Bret Baier (@BretBaier)
Thanks @mikeallen -it's a very "fair & balanced" birthday day- "BIRTHDAYS: President Obama is 53 …Sheldon Adelson is 81...Bret Baier" is 44
CNN Video (@CNNVideo)
100 years ago today, #WWI began in Europe. This is how the warring parties commemorated the day and honored the dead: http://cnn.it/1o7Ezdu
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Six U.S. presidents have been born in the month of October, the most of any month. Five presidents were born in August and November.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) Blake Hirst (@BlakeHirst) and Sean Evins (@Evins) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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