CNN’s GUT CHECK for April 5, 2012
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin faces a contentious recall election.
April 5th, 2012
05:23 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for April 5, 2012

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

BREAKING: Mitt Romney waded into the Augusta National controversy over whether women should be members by stating: "Of course. I am not a member of Augusta. I don’t know if I would qualify. My golf game is not that good. Certainly if I were a member, if I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course I’d have women into Augusta."

(Answer below)
Which presidential candidate’s wife wrote a book that Bono, lead singer of U2, described as a “book of manners for Rock Stars?”

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

Iowa was the center of the political universe when the New Year rang in a few months back as the national media descended upon Des Moines and Council Bluffs and Cedar Rapids for the Republican presidential primary. By January 4, the media and candidates pulled up stakes as the campaign turned east to New Hampshire, and stayed there until it was time to move onto South Carolina.

So long Iowa and New Hampshire, since you are battleground states we will see you again in the fall. South Carolina, we will be back in four years.

This same scenario has played out for the past three months, as the candidates criss-cross the country and individual states have a brief moment to bathe in the national spotlight until the votes are cast and the media moves on to the next primaries and caucuses.

Except Wisconsin, which held its primary this week. The lights haven’t even been turned off. In fact, the lights are likely to be turned on even brighter as the state prepares for the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.

The effort to oust Walker has become an important national political story as Democrats and labor unions seek to remove the controversial conservative from office. The recall election takes place on June 5 – one month after Democrats hold a contentious primary.

Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s consultant on political television advertising, said that 37 separate advertisers had run nearly $4 million of commercials in the two weeks leading up to the Republican presidential primary.

Given the high stakes of the presidential election, one would think that most of the ads were related to the GOP primary. But that’s not true. “Most of these advertisers were not seeking to affect the outcome of the state’s GOP presidential primary,” Elizabeth Wilner, CMAG’s vice president, wrote in her analysis.

The recall election is the centerpiece of a major political year for this presidential battleground state that also has a competitive Senate race. And all of this attention has made Wisconsin a magnet for issue-advocacy spending.

“I think some of what is going on is that political advertising begets political advertising,” Wilner said. “If you have a political hot zone … you may see advertisers who may not be just focusing on specific races, but are tangentially interested in trying to make a point.”

While it might be record-setting, it really is unclear how much money will be spent on political advertising in Wisconsin this year. But the high volume of political advertising so far is a good indicator that Wisconsin, unlike other battleground states, won’t be forgotten by the media and the nation until the fall.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Obama administration heeds judges' health care order
The Justice Department obeyed a federal appeals court's unusual order Thursday in a legal and political spat over the health care law championed by President Barack Obama. LINK

Leading Drudge: GOP warns against attack on court
The Republican backlash against President Barack Obama’s health care-SCOTUS remarks shows no sign of subsiding. LINK

Leading HuffPo: Obama JOBS Act Leaves Labor Fuming In Democratic Feud
President Barack Obama will sign the JOBS Act into law Thursday, clinching a rare and hard-fought bipartisan victory for his presidency. But to secure the legislative win, he had to pick sides in a simmering feud between interest groups aligned with the Democratic Party. One side of the fight - the tech industry and venture capital allies - is all smiles. But the other side - organized labor - is seething. LINK

Leading Politico: Rick Santorum huddles with conservatives about future
Rick Santorum huddled in Virginia Thursday with a group of conservative leaders led by Reagan-era activists Richard Viguerie and Rebecca Hagelin to chart a path forward in the presidential race, multiple sources familiar with the meeting told POLITICO. LINK

Leading New York Times: Santorum Sees Long Campaign Road Ahead, but Many See Dead End
In public, Rick Santorum brushes off the messages from party leaders and rising numbers of conservative voters that the Republican race is all but over, that his campaign has entered its end game. LINK

The political bites of the day

- A brief moment of bipartisanship in Washington -
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR, AT THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE JOBS ACT BILL SIGNING: “It’s a straight-up solutions-oriented bill. I hope it represents the kind of bipartisan work that we can actually accomplish here in Washington over the next few months. We have a very difficult economic situation still. The president said today that he has always believed that it is the private sector that is the job generator in this country. I agree with him. I think most Americans agree with him.”

- Bipartisanship? What bipartisanship? -
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL SAID AT A ROTARY CLUB SPEECH: "The president crossed a dangerous line this week. And anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. … Respectfully, I would suggest the president back off."

- Romney pledges Pennsylvania win … in November -
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA: “I want to win Pennsylvania in November. I am going to win Pennsylvania in November. We are going to make this - and the reason that is going to happen, by the way, is the people of Pennsylvania have taken a good look at conservative leadership.”

- Leno: Voting for Romney = prom with sister -
JAY LENO JOKED ABOUT ROMNEY BEING THE PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW: “And Republicans are now starting to accept the fact that Mitt Romney will be their nominee for president, but you know what? They’re not that excited about it, you know. It’s kind like starting to accept that you're going to the prom with your sister. You know, not as exciting, you know.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Karen Santorum, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum’s wife, wrote the book “Everyday Graces: Child’s Book of Good Manners,” in 2003. According to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the publisher of the book, Bono described it as a “book of manners for Rock Stars.”

Though Bono and Santorum make an odd couple (international superstar rocker meets American conservative), they have worked closely over the years on international poverty issues - a cause Sen. Santorum championed in the Senate and Bono heralded through his ONE Campaign.

In 2006, Bono commended Santorum on his commitment to international anti-poverty work in Africa.

“I would suggest that Rick Santorum has a kind of Tourette’s disease,” Bono said. “He will always say the most unpopular thing. But on our issues, he has been a defender of the most vulnerable.”

Our inbox awaits:
Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Gut Check:

    Walker's sign in that photo is telling you to "Dream Big" because under his and the GOP/Teatrolls Koch-bought policies, you'll never make any of ti a reality.

    April 5, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Mikey

    Mitt – "if I were a member, if I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course I’d have women into Augusta."
    Is that before or after you got rid of Planned Parenthood and took away a wide variety of health services, including healthy pregnancy care, from poor women accross America. They can go somewhere else, right? And if you take away their bread, they can just eat cake???

    April 5, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. PJ/TX

    Guess nobody wants to remember what G.W. Bush said in 2007 regarding "activist" judges. Oh, I forgot, he is
    a Republican so that would be okay with McConnell. Every time these teapubs get on their high horse about
    something President Obama says, they forget there are miles of tape showing them saying the same thing, or
    worse. Mindless creatures of greed and fear mongering. Pathetic at best.

    April 5, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I swear practically EVERY photo I see of Gov Walker he looks like he is totally CLUELESS or has that "deer in the headlights" look on his face. I thought only Rick Perry down here in Texas could have mastered that. Little wonder most up in WI want this guy out of office.

    April 5, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. ED FL

    If Santorum has his way women would be allowed in Augusta [Masters] however they would not be allowed to use contraceptives,consequently Georgia would have so many children they would have to build housing on the golf course. They then would have to play mini golf.

    April 5, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. 111Dave111

    CNN will have to "check" its "guts" again. You entirely missed the Reince Priebus caterpillar story (you can find the story anywhere else). Maybe you should Rinse the Prius, it's dusty from rural roads in Wisconsin.

    April 5, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Jane

    Re: photo of Walker: that pretty much sums him up – not only is noone home, the lights are out. I've seen more light and intelligence in the eys of the cast of The Walking Dead

    April 5, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. Squigman

    Everytime I see a picture of this creep, I get the impression he's either in a daze, or just plain nuts. The man looks like he's searching for an invisable rabbit he's seen before, and recently too.

    April 6, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  9. king

    Under a mitten presidency, women and men would be left up to the luck of the stock market. Corporations will be over us, and the government will only support the arm forces. People will be left alone as they bow down to the will of big business. The people will not matter, because why should people get any advantage over corporations, afterall mitten said corporations are people too, so they're should be no discrimination.

    April 6, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  10. Marie MD

    Did this guy really win an election? People thought the teapublikan taliban were going to change DC politics. In a way they did but sometimes government just has to stay in our lives to make us a better country.

    April 6, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  11. Marlee

    I read the HuffPo article on the JOBS bill. Richard Trumka is something else! America needs more leaders like him.

    April 6, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  12. diridi

    vote all the Repthuglicans out...period. evil goes out of this nation...true.

    April 6, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Let's all get on our knees and speak in tongues and pray to God that small "g" small mind, governor Scott Walker gets recalled in June. He should be imprisoned without a fair trial for his assault on middle-class Americans. Why do Christians allow themselves to be hijacked by the far-right GOP monsters of hate into going to war against middle-class Americans. I have quit going to church because of the far right's outrageous insane plans to protect the rich and pull the plug on grandma. I cannot associate with people who say they love God and in the next sentence say they hope our president is destroyed by any means.

    People like Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris make me want to throw up in their faces.

    April 6, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |