CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 28, 2012
March 28th, 2012
05:11 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 28, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March, 27 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


Forget ‘Get America Working,’ Time to Get the GOP Working:

– 37% have a favorable view of Mitt Romney
– 56% have a favorable view of Obama
– 35% have a favorable view of the GOP
– 48% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party
– 56% blame Bush and the GOP for the economy
– 29% blame Obama and the Democrats for the economy

General election matchups: Obama up by double digits: 54% – 43% against Romney; 55% – 42% against Santorum; full results.

(Answer below)
Name the law that turns 10 this week, yet is still a haunting legacy for its two lead sponsors: Both have derided the system the law has created, and one was voted out of office.

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

As we pay close attention to the health care hearings before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, Gut Check decided to look at the lobbying expenditures and political donations made by the health sector in this election cycle.

The numbers are staggering.

The health sector spent nearly $500 million on lobbying in 2011, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Of the $500 million, CRP data shows the pharmaceutical/health products industry accounted for $237.5 million, hospitals/nursing homes $99.5 million, health professionals $80.4 million, health services/HMOs $72.4 million, and additional $10 million was categorized as miscellaneous health.

As for political donations, it should come as no surprise that the health sector is on track in the 2012 presidential election year to eclipse the $145.7 million it contributed in 2010. Democrats received 51% of the donations in that midterm election. (In the 2008 presidential election, the health sector donated $174.6 million with Democrats receiving 55% of those contributions).

But in this election cycle the tables have turned. So far, more than $72.3 million has been donated by the health sector to Republicans and Democrats, according to CRP. This time it is the Republicans who are benefitting from the sector’s largesse, raking in 56% of donations.

The top recipient of all donations, though, is a Democrat: Barack Obama has received more than $2.5 million from the health sector. Mitt Romney received $1.6 million in contributions – making him the second-biggest recipient of donations from the health sector. As for the three other active Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul raked in $572,500, Newt Gingrich received $335,300 and Rick Santorum took in $160,600 from the health sector.

Health care has been and will continue to be a major issue on the campaign trail no matter how the Supreme Court rules. Even though how to address health care reform is a national discussion, it is still a really personal issue and challenge whether you are an individual struggling to pay health bills or a small-business owner grappling with health care costs.

And in Washington, there are many people with deep pockets trying to influence the debate.

And moments ago, on the steps of the high court, Paul Clement, the attorney opposing the individual mandate, made a promise that will likely mean even more money flowing from the health sector to the halls of Congress.

“I don’t think anybody thinks if all or some part of this statute is struck down that Congress is just going to call it a day,” he said. “So, I think that whatever the court decides if it strikes down part of this law, the Congress is going to revisit this issue.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNN Politics: Bush 41 to endorse Romney
In another sign the GOP establishment is coalescing behind Mitt Romney, former President George H.W. Bush is scheduled to formally endorse the Republican front-runner on Thursday. LINK

Leading Drudge: HOODIE ON THE HILL
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, lost his right to speak on the House floor after he violated rules by putting on a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot last month. LINK

The Supreme Court is signaling it could throw out some other key parts of President Barack Obama's health care law if it first finds the individual insurance requirement unconstitutional. LINK

Leading Politico: Justices take up fate of health law if mandate goes
The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday with a question that looks increasingly significant after conservative justices battered the individual mandate: Should the rest of President Barack Obama’s health care law stand if the requirement to purchase insurance falls? LINK

Leading New York Times: Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate
On the third and final day of Supreme Court arguments over President Obama’s health care overhaul law, several justices on Wednesday indicated a reluctance to pick and choose among the law's other provisions should the requirement that most Americans have health insurance be struck down. LINK

The political bites of the day

- Car talk, SCOTUS Edition -
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG AT HEALTH CARE HEARING: “Why should we say it is a choice between a wrecking operation which is what you are requesting or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything.”

- If wreckage, who will foot the bill? -
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT AFTER THE HEALTH CARE HEARING: “Here is the crux of the issue: the individual mandate would be the funding stream that makes all of the rest of the act work. If the funding stream falls, and all the expensive provisions in the act remain … the pre-existing condition, allowing Americans to stay on policy until age 27 and 2,700 pages worth of different items that are in this bill - if that stays in place - who will pay for it? Who will pay for it? Where will the money come to pay for these provisions?”

- McCain: Obama playing fast and loose with security -
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, ADDRESSED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S OPEN MIC MOMENT AT A NEWS CONFERENCE: “The president is playing fast and loose with national security in my view. This should be a lesson to all of us who are worried about an unfettered second Obama term as president of the United States.”

- Yes, he went there. Yes, it was uncomfortable -
FORMER SEN. ARLEN SPECTER OF PENNSYLVANIA TELLS AN X-RATED JOKE ON MSNBC’S “MORNING JOE”: “The Republican Party has moved so far to the right, you can’t recognize Mitt Romney. What Mitt Romney will appear in October? Mitt Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”

- What would Newt do for $200? -
JIMMY KIMMEL JOKED ABOUT THE GINGRICH CAMPAIGN’S MONEY WOES ON HIS SHOW “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE”: “Newt Gingrich is hoping to cut into his campaign debt by charging people $50 to take a photo with him. Just imagine, a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a personal picture with a man who will never be the president of the United States. I would pay the 50 bucks if he agreed to wear a prom dress in the photo. For $50, you get a nice formal portrait. For $100, he'll eat pellets out of your hand like a llama. And for $200, he will plank you.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin)
From #scotus pressroom . . . Big issue today: does whole law follow mandate into oblivion? Bad to worse for @BarackObama?

Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis)
Kennedy fretted just nixing mandate would be "more extreme than to strike it in the whole"

Meredith Shiner (@meredithshiner)
Bobby Rush dons a hoodie on the House floor. This was not in line with wardrobe rules. Mic is cut. LINK

Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller)
Newt is only doing one campaign event per day through Saturday.

Chris Moody ‏ (@Chris_Moody)
What is "overtime?" NYT reporters who work more over 35 hours are "entitled to put in for the overtime." LINK

CNN’s Gut Check (@GutCheckCNN)
TAKE 5: WashPo releases #Peeps pictures. Our Favorites? #29 & #30 but then there IS #36….that hair! LINK

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, teamed up to pass the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (also known as McCain-Feingold) over a decade ago. President George W. Bush signed the law on March 27, 2002. While their careers have taken drastically different courses – McCain made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency and Feingold is no longer in the Senate – their law has been on a similarly unpredictable path.

When the U.S. Supreme Court decided that money equals speech in their historic 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, their law was ostensibly undermined. “We put a brick on top of a wall, and the brick is intact, but the wall was smashed by the Citizens United decision,” Feingold told Roll Call for an article released today.

McCain has been equally critical. At a Newsweek/Daily Beast forum yesterday, McCain called the current state of campaign finance the “the worst joke in Washington.” In light of the ruling, the duo does seem to be using similar messaging on campaign finance. Not only have they both compared unrestricted super PAC spending to “a joke,” they have also agreed that the only way a similar campaign finance reform bill will get passed again is if “a huge scandal” forces action.

Our inbox awaits:
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Filed under: 2012 • CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Gut check:

    Lawyers across he country are hard at work finding every law they can possibly find to challenge on the basis of a SCOTUS decision that strikes down the ACA's "mandate." Yuo want a slippery slope? You got one.

    March 28, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Oh an before I forget:

    "- 37% have a favorable view of Mitt Romney
    – 56% have a favorable view of Obama
    – 35% have a favorable view of the GOP
    – 48% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party
    – 56% blame Bush and the GOP for the economy
    – 29% blame Obama and the Democrats for the economy"

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAhA...bite me, righties.

    March 28, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. 1crusader

    President Obama should be reelected even by the process of elimination.He is the only candidate in the race who has proven that he's looking out for the middle class, and disadvantaged; who has the right temperament and demeanor for the office, and who doesn't have a record of saying unwise , undisciplined remarks, time after time.

    March 28, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Lucy Toth

    More proof that Romney does not connect with the common public (A elevator for his cars?) while parents are trying to keep their children alive because of some illness and don't have insurance because THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT !!!! Bye the way, who pays for the congressman's health insurance....I believe the public does..Stop paying for their insurance and pay for the less fortunate.

    March 28, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    If the republican legislating court strikes down the law, all the republicans complaining about higher premiums will just have to suck it up. It's the republican legislators in the Supreme Court (remember Citizen's United? W's presidency where Gore got 600,000 more popular votes?).

    Let the wealth keep complaining about the hgher ins. premiums every year, rather than let everyone be a part of the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. They deserve it. ha ha ha ha ha

    March 28, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Fish

    Only a village idiot,sorry George eould believe W did not cause the economic collapse after eight years of give aways to his and dead eye Dick's buddies Obama simply failed to comprehend the scope of the disaster by applying a failed Keynsian solution. Even Keynes knew his solution did not apply during a massive debt started also by W!!! President Obama was simply dealt a terrible hand by a traitor worse than Benedict Arnold. I Pray our nation will survive.

    March 28, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. diridi

    This nation saw its destruction by GOP idiots. Do not vote. We need this health care Law. judges, if you have brain, conscience, morality, ethics, uphold the law. passed by Nation.

    March 28, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Nick

    Has former President George W. Bush announced who he is backing yet? Seems strange that he has not yet backed anyone unless I missed it.

    March 28, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I had hoped that I would no longer have to pay for uninsured republicans who show up at the emergency room, and those of us who are insured have to pay for the deadbeat baggers.

    March 28, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "Has former President George W. Bush announced who he is backing yet?"

    Rove and Rmoney are probably trying to get him to endorse one of the others.

    March 28, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. geg

    looks like romney care taking a dive

    March 28, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Joan

    President Obama was trying to bring America's health care into the 21st centruy. Comparied to all other industrialized countries it is way more expensive and has much lower outcomes. If the Supreme Court strikes it down then millions of ordinary people will suffer. How is that fair? I wish someone would ask all of those protestors against the bill if they have health insurance and if they don't, who do they think pays for them when they go to an emergency room? Everyone else does. Is that fair? If the court rules the mandate unconstitutional for the country, shouldn't it also be unconstitutional in Massachusettes? Shouldn't their health care be dismantled too? It almost seems like the Supreme Court is on trial too and if they kill health care they are going down in history with a horrible legacy. It will be much worse than the 2000 election fiasco. Perhaps there should be term limits in the Supreme Court to keep it more up with the times.

    March 28, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. bobcat2u

    The numbers are out. The truth has been shown. The majority of the american people have come to their senses and see the devastation caused by the republican party.
    Don't try to blame anyone elses. In your own words, even before he took the oath of office , stated they you would do whatever you could to make him a one term president. Your near destruction of our economy was thwarted only because the president didn't let you push him around. You tried your best to pin the blame on him, but the people were smart enough to see through all your crap. Maybe you'll have better luck in 2016.

    March 28, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. quinLee

    Even though opponents of "Obamacare" outspent proponents 2 to 1, it seems to me that the Obama admin could have done a lot more to educate people, defend, and promote the law. From death panels to fake outrage and fear mongering at town hall meetings to condoms, the administration stood flat footed while the opponents circled the wagons firing misinformation, fear bombs, distractions, and just plan lies. Complacency is dangerous-especially when you assume common sense and goodwill prevails automatically.

    March 28, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. Maxx

    I don't think W's going to endorse anyone, he's been laying low since the end of his presidency – 29% approval rating may have somethng to do with that. The republicans so want to pin this economy on Obama, thankfully most people realize what a mess W and the repubs created and fixing it was going to take time.

    March 28, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Bonnie

    Thank goodness, some Americans have been slow to figure out Pres. Obama has been on the right track all along, but now some of them are beginning to open their eyes. I only hope more and more of them really see the republican party for what it really is as time goes by.

    March 28, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |