May 30th, 2014
04:34 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 30, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 30, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI RESIGNS ... In the end, even Eric Shinseki knew he had to go, President Barack Obama said Friday in announcing the resignation of his only Veterans Affairs secretary over a growing scandal involving sometimes deadly waits for care at VA hospitals.

Obama went before reporters shortly after meeting with Shinseki at the White House and said the retired Army general told him that "the VA needs new leadership" to address the widespread problems chronicled in new reports this week, adding that Shinseki "does not want to be a distraction" to fixing the situation.

"That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans, and I agree. We don't have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem," Obama said.

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May 29th, 2014
05:23 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 29, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 29, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

MORE DEMOCRATS CALL FOR SHINSEKI TO RESIGN ...The Democratic dam has burst. It started Wednesday afternoon when Mark Udall became the first Democrat in the Senate to call for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. Udall was soon joined by other members of the chamber, including John Walsh of Montana, an appointee, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Warner of Virginia and Tim Kaine of Virginia.

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May 28th, 2014
05:21 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 28, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 28, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

MOUNTING PRESSURE FOR SHINSEKI TO RESIGN AFTER NEW REVELATIONS ... Congressional support for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki dwindled further Wednesday in the wake of a new report documenting multiple unofficial wait lists of veterans seeking care at a Phoenix facility.1,700 veterans also waiting to be seen did not appear on any list.

Colorado’s Mark Udall – who is up for re-election this year – became the first Democratic senator to call for Shinseki to resign. “Secretary Shinseki must step down," Udall said in a statement. "We need new leadership who will demand accountability to fix these problems.”

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 27, 2014
May 27th, 2014
05:41 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 27, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 27, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA: COMBAT IN AFGHANISTAN TO END IN 2014 …  President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he wants more than 9,800 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, with the number cut roughly in half by the end of 2015. By the end of 2016, he said, the military "will draw down to a normal embassy presence in Kabul, with a security assistance component."

Obama said this is a "pivotal year" in Afghanistan, noting that 2014 will mark the conclusion of the U.S. combat mission there. "We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," he said. – Tom Cohen

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 23, 2014
May 23rd, 2014
05:31 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 23, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 23, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA TAPS CASTRO FOR HUD, DONOVAN FOR OMB … President Barack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, a move that comes as part of a wider cabinet shakeup and has stepped up interest in the rising Democratic star. The 39-year old, three-term mayor first gained national recognition when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention – the first Hispanic to do so … If confirmed by the Senate, Castro will replace Shaun Donovan, who the President will nominate as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan is an original member of Obama's cabinet, starting with the president in 2009. – Jim Acosta and Dan Merica

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May 22nd, 2014
04:39 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 22, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 22, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DOWN TO THE FINAL FOUR … VEGAS AND CINCINNATI OUT OF RNC SWEEPSTAKES: The Republican National Committee announced Thursday that Las Vegas and Cincinnati are no longer in the running as potential hosts for the 2016 GOP convention. Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Kansas City are still in contention to host the convention where Republicans will officially choose their presidential nominee. Site Selection Committee Chairwoman Enid Mickelsen said that Cincinnati and Las Vegas withdrew their bids.- Mark Preston and Ashley Killough

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 21, 2014
May 21st, 2014
01:12 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 21, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 21, 2014 | 12 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN … OBAMA DEFENDS SHINSEKI, CALLS V.A. ALLEGATIONS “DISHONORABLE, DISGRACEFUL”…"I will not stand for it," President Barack Obama said today about allegations of misconduct at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. Obama said he understands that the public wants a "swift reckoning" in the VA scandal, but he asked for time to allow the investigation into allegations of fraudulent record-keeping to run its course.

Obama met today with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and said he told him there will be accountability throughout the VA system.

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May 20th, 2014
06:12 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 20, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 20, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

GAME DAY: FIVE PRIMARIES TO WATCH

IN KENTUCKY ... Tuesday's marquee battle is in Kentucky, where Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell is being challenged by businessman Matt Bevin, who enjoys strong support from many tea party groups and influential conservative anti-establishment organizations. While this race has seen big spending by the campaigns and outside groups, McConnell is expected to cruise to re-nomination for a sixth term.

See HOT SOTS: Final pitches are in for the Kentucky primary contenders

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May 19th, 2014
04:39 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 19, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 19, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

U.S. CHARGES CHINA WITH CYBERSPYING … Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that members of the Chinese military have engaged in the hacking of American businesses and entities, including U.S. Steel Corp., Westinghouse, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies, the United Steel Workers Union and SolarWorld. The victims operate in Pennsylvania, and a grand jury there returned an indictment against members of the Chinese military, accusing them of hacking to spy and steal secrets, Holder said. – Ashley Fantz

CARNEY: “We have consistently and candidly raised these concerns with the Chinese government and today’s announcement reflects our growing concern that this Chinese behavior has continued.”

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May 16th, 2014
05:07 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 16, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

VA OFFICIAL RESIGNS IN WAKE OF SCANDAL OVER WAIT TIMES, CARE … A top official at the Department of Veterans Affairs has resigned amid the growing scandal about wait times and care at veterans’ hospitals, the department’s leader said Friday. News about the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, came one day after he spoke at a Senate hearing about the issue alongside Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. Petzel was scheduled to retire sometime this year, the department said in 2013.

HOUSE VETERANS' AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN JEFF MILLER: “Today’s announcement from VA regarding Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel’s ‘resignation’ is the pinnacle of disingenuous political doublespeak.”

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