CNN's GUT CHECK for February 18, 2013
February 18th, 2013
04:10 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 18, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 18, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: RETIREMENT WATCH CONTINUES, as Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) adds his name to the list of senators not seeking re-election in 2014:

DEMOCRATS – Not running for re-election in 2014:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller – West Virginia – announced 1/11/13
Sen. Tom Harkin – Iowa – announced 1/26/13
Sen. Frank Lautenberg – New Jersey – announced 2/14/13

REPUBLICANS – Not running for re-election in 2014

Sen. Saxby Chambliss – Georgia – announced 1/25/13
Sen. Mike Johanns – Nebraska – announced 2/18/13

JUST IN: HAGEL LETTER TO SENATORS GRAHAM AND AYOTTE DISAVOWING A COMMENT ATTRIBUTED TO HIM IN 2007 ON ISRAEL... Read the letter, which was obtained by CNN’s Kevin Bohn, for yourself.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 15, 2013
February 15th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 15, 2013

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

DEVELOPING: DETAILS EMERGE IN REP. JESSE JACKSON JR. PLEA DEAL Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and a co-conspirator admitted to concealing about $750,000 in campaign funds for their personal use, court documents showed Friday. Jackson released a statement Friday: “Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties. Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for things that I did right.”

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 15, 2013
February 15th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 15, 2013

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

DEVELOPING: DETAILS EMERGE IN REP. JESSE JACKSON JR. PLEA DEAL Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and a co-conspirator admitted to concealing about $750,000 in campaign funds for their personal use, court documents showed Friday. Jackson released a statement Friday: “Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties. Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for things that I did right.”

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 14, 2013
February 14th, 2013
05:30 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 14, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 14, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: VOTE TO BREAK HAGEL FILIBUSTER FAILS, AS EXPECTED The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Fifty-eight senators voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. The chamber largely voted along party lines, with the exception of four Republicans – Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collin of Maine, Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska and Mike Johanns of Nebraska – who voted with Democrats. One Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present. Democrats needed 60 votes to end a filibuster, but the move failed due to GOP opposition surrounding questions about Hagel's finances, as well as remaining tension between some Republican senators and the White House over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

REID: “WE’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP”: Immediately following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor: “He saved his brother's life in combat in Vietnam. They are filibustering him. I'm going to call Chuck Hagel when I finish here and say I'm sorry this is happening. I'm sorry for the President. I'm sorry for the country. I'm sorry for you, but we're not going to give up on you.”

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Filed under: Uncategorized
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 14, 2013
February 14th, 2013
05:30 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 14, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 14, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: VOTE TO BREAK HAGEL FILIBUSTER FAILS, AS EXPECTED The Senate failed to garner enough votes Thursday to stop a filibuster of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Fifty-eight senators voted to move forward with the nomination, while 40 voted to hold it up. The chamber largely voted along party lines, with the exception of four Republicans – Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collin of Maine, Lisa Murkoswki of Alaska and Mike Johanns of Nebraska – who voted with Democrats. One Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch, announced present. Democrats needed 60 votes to end a filibuster, but the move failed due to GOP opposition surrounding questions about Hagel's finances, as well as remaining tension between some Republican senators and the White House over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

REID: “WE’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP”: Immediately following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor: “He saved his brother's life in combat in Vietnam. They are filibustering him. I'm going to call Chuck Hagel when I finish here and say I'm sorry this is happening. I'm sorry for the President. I'm sorry for the country. I'm sorry for you, but we're not going to give up on you.”

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Filed under: Uncategorized
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 13, 2013
February 13th, 2013
04:36 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 13, 2013

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

DOUBLE THREAT:

MCCAIN CONSIDERING FILIBUSTER OF HAGEL In an effort to pressure the Obama administration to answer a lingering question related to the Benghazi attack, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, according to his spokesman Brian Rogers. McCain wants to know if the president ever personally contacted anyone in the Libyan government during the Benghazi attack to seek assistance for the Americans in the compound. McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, have been trying to get the answer for months, said Rogers, and they reiterated their request in a letter to the president on Monday. – Ted Barrett and Dana Bash

RAND PAUL WANTS TO HOLD BRENNAN NOMINATION… In a written press release, Sen. Rand Paul said he is prepared to put a hold on the nomination of John Brennan as the Director of the CIA. “I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered. I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share,” Paul said. “These issues must be discussed openly so that the American people can understand what constraints exist on the government’s power to use lethal force against its citizens. Before confirming Mr. Brennan as the head of the CIA, it must be apparent that he understands and will honor the protections provided to every American by the Constitution.”

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 13, 2013
February 13th, 2013
04:36 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 13, 2013

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

DOUBLE THREAT:

MCCAIN CONSIDERING FILIBUSTER OF HAGEL In an effort to pressure the Obama administration to answer a lingering question related to the Benghazi attack, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, according to his spokesman Brian Rogers. McCain wants to know if the president ever personally contacted anyone in the Libyan government during the Benghazi attack to seek assistance for the Americans in the compound. McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, have been trying to get the answer for months, said Rogers, and they reiterated their request in a letter to the president on Monday. – Ted Barrett and Dana Bash

RAND PAUL WANTS TO HOLD BRENNAN NOMINATION… In a written press release, Sen. Rand Paul said he is prepared to put a hold on the nomination of John Brennan as the Director of the CIA. “I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered. I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share,” Paul said. “These issues must be discussed openly so that the American people can understand what constraints exist on the government’s power to use lethal force against its citizens. Before confirming Mr. Brennan as the head of the CIA, it must be apparent that he understands and will honor the protections provided to every American by the Constitution.”

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 12, 2013
February 12th, 2013
06:14 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 12, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 12, 2013 | 6 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: OBAMA: READ MY LIPS, NO ADDING TO THE DEFICIT… President Barack Obama in pre-released excerpts of his State of the Union address: “Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.” WATCH THE STATE OF THE UNION TONIGHT ON CNN.

DEVELOPING: HAGEL APPROVED IN COMMITTEE… On a straight party line vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense. The vote was 14-11. The nomination will now go to the Senate floor for a confirmation likely later this week.

LAST CHANCE? CNN’S DAVID GERGEN SAYS TONIGHT IS BARACK OBAMA’S LAST CHANCE FOR A GRAND BARGAIN “The president continues to say he would like a grand bargain but mostly on his terms, and he has done virtually nothing to fight for it. Indeed, in his inaugural, he seemed to step back from overhauling entitlements, portraying himself as chief defender of Medicare and Social Security.” – David Gergen

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Filed under: 2012
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 12, 2013
February 12th, 2013
06:14 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 12, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 12, 2013 | 6 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: OBAMA: READ MY LIPS, NO ADDING TO THE DEFICIT… President Barack Obama in pre-released excerpts of his State of the Union address: “Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.” WATCH THE STATE OF THE UNION TONIGHT ON CNN.

DEVELOPING: HAGEL APPROVED IN COMMITTEE… On a straight party line vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense. The vote was 14-11. The nomination will now go to the Senate floor for a confirmation likely later this week.

LAST CHANCE? CNN’S DAVID GERGEN SAYS TONIGHT IS BARACK OBAMA’S LAST CHANCE FOR A GRAND BARGAIN “The president continues to say he would like a grand bargain but mostly on his terms, and he has done virtually nothing to fight for it. Indeed, in his inaugural, he seemed to step back from overhauling entitlements, portraying himself as chief defender of Medicare and Social Security.” – David Gergen

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
CNN's GUT CHECK for February 11, 2013
February 11th, 2013
05:12 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 11, 2013

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

DEVELOPING: HAGEL VOTE COMING TUESDAY, WITH HIS PROSPECTS IMPROVING The Senate Armed Services Committee will vote on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary at 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the panel’s chairman, Carl Levin, said. … CNN learned last week there were at least five Republican senators who would oppose a filibuster, essentially ensuring the embattled nominee will be approved in the coming days. "There's a whole lot of hype and drama, but if he has 60 votes, he has 60 votes. And he probably does," a senior GOP Senate aide told CNN on Monday. – Ted Barrett and Gloria Borger

CASTELLANOS PREVIEWS THE STATE OF THE UNION WITH A QUESTION: WILL OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION HURT DEMOCRATS? CNN contributor and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos writes for CNN.com/Opinion: “If Barack Obama had previewed his inaugural speech before the November election, would he have been able to give it in January? Apparently, our president did not think so. From the first days of his re-election campaign until as recently as a month ago, President Obama described himself “a pretty practical guy” who is “not driven by some ideological agenda.” Dispensing with that fiction in his inaugural address, he's been commended for finally and honestly revealing himself. No longer is Barack Obama a national Rorschach test in which anyone can see anything. He has staked his ground: President Obama is an unabashed advocate of the old-fashioned American left. That's not good news for Democrats who have trekked with him to the end of an ideological limb.” – Alex Castellanos

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