CNN's GUT CHECK for March 15, 2013
March 15th, 2013
05:26 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 15, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 15, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: Maryland legislature votes to end death penalty By an 82-56 margin, the Maryland House of Delegates voted Friday to ban the death penalty in that state. The bill now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley's desk. “To govern is to choose, and at a time where we understand the things that actually work to reduce violent crime, when we understand how lives can be saved, we have a moral responsibility to do more of the things that work to save lives,” O'Malley said at a news conference. – Mark Morgenstein

‘A CHANGE OF HEART’: CNN Exclusive: One conservative's dramatic reversal on gay marriage... Sen. Rob Portman has been a leading Republican voice on economic issues for four decades. Now, the prominent Ohio conservative will be known for something else: reversing his hard-line position against gay marriage. "I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry," Portman told CNN. It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay. "I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay," said Portman. – Dana Bash

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for March 14, 2013
March 14th, 2013
05:16 PM ET
11 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 14, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA ON THE HILL – DAY THREE: President Barack Obama went to Capitol Hill for the third straight day on Thursday, where he met with both Senate Republicans and House Democrats. The meeting with Republicans was “surprisingly positive,” a source told CNN’s Dana Bash, because the president heard Republicans out on things like entitlements and tax reform and then gave thoughtful and candid responses.

“It was a great conversation,” Obama told reporters walking out of the meeting with Senate Republicans. “Always good to be back in the Senate.”

GUNS: WEAPONS BAN HEADS TO SENATE A ban on semiautomatic firearms modeled after military assault weapons won approval Thursday from a Senate committee, sending the legislation to the full Senate for consideration as part of a package of gun measures being studied after the Connecticut school shootings last December that killed 20 first-graders. – Tom Cohen

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CNN's GUT CHECK for March 13, 2013
March 13th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 13, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HABEMUS PAPAM: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope. He is the first non-European pope of the modern era. The decision came after the fifth ballot cast by the 115 cardinals since the papal conclave began Tuesday. The new pope succeeds Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in hundreds of years. He stepped down February 28, citing advanced age. The new pope becomes the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

“Please pray for me,” the new pope said as he finished his first public appearance as pope on Wednesday night. “Tomorrow I’m going to go pray to the Virgin Mary. Good night, thank you and have a good rest.”

POPE FRANCIS: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the new pope, has chosen the name Francis, after Francis of Assisi.

BIDEN GOING TO ROME: A White House official confirms Vice President Joe Biden will lead the United States delegation to the installation of Pope Francis.

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Filed under: 2012
March 13th, 2013
03:53 PM ET
1 year ago

Bartender put Romney's campaign on the rocks

(CNN) - The man who filmed Mitt Romney making the now-infamous "47%" comments is speaking out about why he secretly-recorded the GOP presidential candidate at a fundraiser last May.

Scott Prouty, a bartender who worked for a catering company, said he was inspired to do so after a friendly encounter with former President Bill Clinton.
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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
CNN's GUT CHECK for March 12, 2013
March 12th, 2013
05:03 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 12, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 12, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA ON THE HILL: President Barack Obama met with Senate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon and stressed the importance of compromise, according to senators in the meeting. “He says working together with the Republicans in terms of getting a grand bargain or a major dent in this issue is critically important,” Sen. Carl Levin told CNN’s Ted Barrett. “Compromise is essential, but he hasn’t seen enough from them yet. But he is also going to continue trying.” Obama’s meeting with Senate Democrats is the first of three visits to Capitol Hill this week for talks with legislators.

IS THE CHARM OFFENSIVE GENUINE? After National Journal’s Ron Fournier reported that an anonymous “senior White House official” told him Obama’s Capitol Hill meetings are “a joke” and a waste of “the president's time,” White House press secretary Jay Carney sharply rejected the statement. “I have no idea who said that," Carney said in response to a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta. “But I can tell you that opinion has never been voiced in my presence, in the president's presence, in the West Wing. It does not represent the president's view, it does not represent the White House's view, and it does not represent the administration's view.”

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CNN's GUT CHECK for March 11, 2013
March 11th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 11, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 11, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

SODA BAN SETBACK: A state judge invalidated a New York City law banning certain venues from selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban was due to take effect on Tuesday. The judgment is a setback for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has backed several laws aimed at improving the health of New Yorkers. – Melanie Hicken

HOW OBAMA COULD SAVE MEDICARE: The White House often says President Barack Obama has a plan for reforming entitlements, particularly Medicare. However, the specifics of that proposal don't spring to mind as easily as the reforms being bandied about in Republican circles, such as providing seniors with vouchers to pay for premiums or raising the retirement age. Here are some of the key things that Obama would do… Pay less for drugs… Reduce payments for post-hospital care… Raise premiums on the wealthy and charge new enrollees more… Reduce payments to providers for unpaid debt. - Tami Luhby for CNN Money

MARKET WATCH: Dow adds 49 points to close at record high for 5th straight day. NASDAQ and S&P gain 0.3%. – Penelope Patruris for CNN Money

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CNN's GUT CHECK for March 8, 2013
March 8th, 2013
04:01 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 8, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 8, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2008 Hiring picked up in February, helping to bring the unemployment rate down to its lowest level since December 2008. The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs in February, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. That's much stronger growth than in January, when employers hired a revised 119,000 workers. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.7%, as 12 million workers were counted as unemployed. – Annalyn Kurtz

SPINNING THE JOBS REPORT…
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy.”
DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST AT THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: “The jobs numbers are, that came out today, are the latest data point to indicate that our economy is gaining traction as we recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

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CNN's GUT CHECK for March 7, 2013
March 7th, 2013
05:02 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 7, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 7, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: BRENNAN CONFIRMED AS CIA CHIEF AFTER DRONE DELAY The U.S. Senate approved John Brennan as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency Thursday after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, ended his delay of the vote earlier in the day. Brennan was confirmed by a 63-34 bipartisan vote. – Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough

#WINNING: RAND PAUL DECLARES VICTORY AFTER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RESPONDS Sen. Rand Paul said he was satisfied with a letter Attorney General Eric Holder sent to him on targeted killing by U.S. drones, in an interview with CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?,’” the letter from Attorney General Eric Holder reads. “The answer to that question is no.” That was good enough for Paul to drop his bid to block a vote on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director.

DRONES GO LOCAL… Detroit Free Press: Drones in the sky might have their eyes on you

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CNN's GUT CHECK for March 6, 2013
March 6th, 2013
05:07 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 6, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 6, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: HOUSE PASSES GOP MEASURE ON GOVERNMENT FUNDING A House Republican measure to keep the government funded through September, while softening the impact of forced spending cuts on the military and veterans affairs programs won approval Wednesday … 50 Democrats joined most Republicans in supporting it. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. – Tom Cohen

FILLIBUSTERS EN VOGUE…
SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCK FLOOR VOTE FOR KEY OBAMA JUDICIAL NOMINEE GOP senators denied a floor vote Wednesday on Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after expressing concern she would be an “activist” on the bench. Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to end debate on her nomination. Vote: 51-41. – Bill Mears
PAUL’S OLD SCHOOL FILIBUSTER At 11:47 a.m. ET, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, took to the Senate floor for a rare talking filibuster in an effort to stall a confirmation vote on John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA. The Kentucky senator, known for his libertarian leanings, has sharply questioned the Obama administration's use of drones against American citizens overseas. Brennan is considered one of the main architects of the drone program. Since starting the filibuster, Paul has been joined by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and others. – Ashley Killiough

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Filed under: 2012
March 6th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
1 year ago

CNN picks up Cronkite award for Tom Foreman's 'Reality Checks'

(CNN) – CNN's Tom Foreman and his team kept politicians honest last year with "Reality Checks," a new 3-D, visual way of getting to the root of some of the complex, carefully-crafted statements made on the campaign trail.

Because of Foreman's innovative use of graphics and technology to put the news into context, CNN was awarded the Cronkite/Jackson Prize for Fact Checking Political Messages, the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced Wednesday.
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