CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 14, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING… ANDERSON COOPER ON THE SYRIAN BORDER: “You know, it’s one thing to report on it from a distance. It’s another thing to meet people in their tent homes and hear their stories, hear the atrocities they have witnessed, to learn about the loved ones they have lost. You go to these refugee camps and Wolf, as you know, there’s some 23,000 Syrians living in refugee camps along the Turkish border. There’s more in Lebanon. There’s more in Iraq and the entire region, about 70,000 in total. But I haven’t met anybody who has not lost a loved one. It’s a question of how many people have you lost?
What Middle Eastern country is celebrating its birthday today?
Gut Check DVR Alert: Tonight, Jeopardy! launches its “Power Players” series. Round One: Robert Gibbs, Chris Matthews and CNN’s own Lizzie O’Leary face off. In the D.C. area, Jeopardy! airs on WJLA at 7:30 p.m. ET. (Check local listings for show times in other cities).
We are still debating Mitt Romney’s commencement address at Liberty University on Saturday: Did the faith-heavy speech put to rest the talk of needing to get evangelical voters back in the Republican fold?
Romney’s speech did paint the picture of a unified conservative base. “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology,” Romney said. “Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation.”
While he never mentioned his Mormon faith, Romney did mention that his faith differed from the many evangelical Christians in the crowd. What caught our eye, however, was that Romney received one-and-only-one standing ovation: after his line that “Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.”
We must note that while evangelicals have questioned Romney, polling shows that he is beating President Obama among white evangelical voters by nearly 50 points – even before Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage.
Now that Obama has put same-sex marriage front and center, does all the talk about evangelical voters boil down to a new campaign mantra: It’s about marriage, stupid?
Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, says no. “While it is an important symbolic issue in many ways, even for evangelicals, it is not a leading voting issue,” Jones told Gut Check. “Things like the economy, jobs, unemployment, immigration, the environment, all rank higher than the issue of same-sex marriage among evangelicals.”
We are left thinking about that public, sustained, ovation for “traditional” marriage, though. Even if other issues rank higher, will marriage be the get-out-the-vote catalyst that Romney needs? In six months we will know the answer.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Zelizer: Tea party key for Romney
Julian Zelizer says Mitt Romney is facing a challenge in determining what his relationship should be with the tea party Republicans.
Leading Drudge: Obama: Romney A 'Vampire'
President Obama’s campaign is out with a tough new ad, “Steel,” attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s record on job creation.
Leading HuffPo: Barack Obama 2012 Takes Multiple Pages From GOP Playbook
As he tries to become only the second Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection, Barack Obama is adopting much of the strategic playbook Republicans have developed and used for 40 years.
Leading Politico: President Obama's Wall Street problem
The giant $2 billion trading loss at JPMorgan Chase highlights a central problem in President Barack Obama’s case for a second term: Four years after the financial crisis nearly brought the nation to its knees, very little appears to have changed.
Leading New York Times: After Obama’s Decision on Marriage, a Call to Pastors
About two hours after declaring his support for same-sex marriage last week, President Obama gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself. He had struggled with the decision, he said, but had come to believe it was the right one.
The political bites of the day
- So this is what Ron Paul is doing -
RON PAUL EFFECTIVELY SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN IN A STATEMENT: “Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and congressional elections, where so many defenders of freedom are fighting and need your support.”
- Latina GOP Governor ISO sincerity -
NEW MEXICO GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ CRITICIZES ROMNEY’S IMMIGRATION PLANS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NEWSWEEK: “Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean? ... I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there’s an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why.”
Gut Check Flashback: Martinez shuts door on VP slot in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal – “The family has to be a consideration, and for me to take (my sister) to Washington would be to separate her from … the family that's down there, and that would be devastating. I just couldn't do it."
- Romney forecasts that same-sex marriage talk may fizzle by November -
MITT ROMNEY TALKS ABOUT MARRIAGE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK: “I'll do my very best to connect with the American people on the issues that they care most about. What I speak about day to day in some respects reflects what I'm being asked about. And so those issues, by virtue of the president's change of view on this topic, has become more current today. How important it is to the people a few months from now, time will tell. But my positions are, I think, out there for people to see and, hopefully, I will attract the kind of support that I need to be successful in November.”
- Bair: These institutions are just too big to manage -
SHEILA BAIR, FORMER FDIC CHAIR, ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “I think it does underscore that even with very good management these institutions are just too big to manage, and especially when dealing with very complex derivatives instruments trying to hedge risk in large securities trading books, even the best of managers can stumble. And so it does I think require, suggests smaller, simpler institutions, ones that have more focused management on particular business lines.”
- Warren talks financial regulation after JP Morgan Chase losses -
U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE ELIZABETH WARREN ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “The root of the problem is the largest financial institutions don't want any government regulation. And Washington is a place where money talks. And Wall Street has plenty of money to spread around. They have hired an army of lobbyists to make sure the rules are friendlier to Wall Street than the rest of the country. As a consequence of that it's a case of middle-class families getting nothing, where the taxpayers are the ones who are left behind to pick up. And, yet, the largest financial institutions are the ones who are writing the laws. That's not going to work for us.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
“We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” said Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948. Standing in the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion’s announcement was met with cheers and tears from the assembled crowd.
Later that night, under the presidency of Harry Truman, the United States recognized Israel, making it one of the first countries to do so. According to historians from the Harry S Truman Library and Museum, “the U.S. delegates to the U.N. and top ranking State Department officials were angered that Truman released his recognition statement to the press without notifying them first.”
The day after Ben-Gurion’s announcement, May 15, 1948, the countries of Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded Israel and started the 1948 Arab-Israeli War (also known as Israel’s War of Independence). These countries had been vocally against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine before 1948.
The war continued until January 1949, when Israel isolated the Egyptian military and the United Nations brokered a cease-fire between the countries on January 7, 1949. This cease-fire effectively left Israel in control of all its conquered territory and, because around 400,000 Palestinians fled Israel during the conflict, the country was left with a substantial Jewish majority.
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