CNN’s GUT CHECK for May 25, 2012
May 25th, 2012
05:13 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for May 25, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 25, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING… Obama campaign defends raising money from Bain employees to CNN’s Dana Bash: "No one aside from Mitt Romney is running for president highlighting their tenure as a corporate buyout specialist as one of job creation, when in fact, his goal was profit maximization," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told CNN...

(Answer below)
“Never before has the voice and understanding of a concerned woman been so needed.” What famous female Senate candidate used this as her campaign slogan?

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

On Fridays, we like to take a step back and learn from the “masters of the political class” to see things from a different perspective.

Our question this week stems from President Obama framing his argument against Mitt Romney as a choice of political fairness vs. private equity.

Do you think the man who won running on "hope" is wise to run this time on the mantle of "fairness"? Why or Why not?

Todd Harris, Republican Media Consultant (@dtoddharris)

“For all the talk in the media about Bain and private equity, this attack on Romney has nothing to do with either of them. This is all about the Obama campaign trying to undercut Romney’s credibility as a job creator, and his character as a leader. It would likely be an effective attack if it was true, which it’s not, and if Obama himself hadn’t taken millions from the so-called “vampires” of private equity. I also have a hard time believing this race will be more about hypothetical job creation under a President Romney than it is about the very real lack of job creation under President Obama.”

Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress (@neeratanden)

“Between 2008 and now, the country faces a near-cataclysmic economic dislocation, brought on by some decisions by Wall Street and overleveraging in the housing market. Those decisions hurt almost all Americans economically. And while we have had economic growth, that growth hasn't been broadly shared. Indeed, in 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the top 1 percent. In the face of these facts, Republicans have chosen to double down on the policies they championed before the economic crisis: large scale taxes for the wealthy, and cuts to programs for the middle class. Despite the fact that from 2000 to 2008, we had both massive tax cuts, and the lowest average growth rate for the period of any decade since the 1950s, the GOP's only answer for growth is tax cuts and austerity. All of which disproportionately favor the rich and well-connected. So the President's focus on fairness is the right principle for the times and the right answer to the Republican party's insistence that really the only solution for growth is to make rich people richer through the tax code and other means.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: The big tryout: VP possibles playing attack dog for Romney
Wanted: A political attack dog ready to tear into President Barack Obama. Must play by team rules, be able to withstand the pressure of a presidential campaign and pass a rigorous vetting process. – By Shannon Travis

Leading Drudge: Another Jobless Summer For Teens
Did somebody say McJobless? The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. – By Ben Wolfgang

Leading HuffPo: Rick Scott's Florida Unemployment Reform Shortchanges the Jobless: Formal Complaint
Two legal groups want the federal government to investigate Florida's treatment of jobless workers following reforms that made the Sunshine State's unemployment insurance program the most stingy in the nation. – By Arthur Delaney

Leading Politico: Perry tests his strength in Texas
After a disastrous 2012 presidential campaign that left his national political profile in tatters, Rick Perry is now embarking on an all-out effort to revive his standing in Texas and prove he’s still a dominant force in the Lone Star State. – By Alexander Burns

Leading New York Times: Both Campaigns Seize on Romney’s Years at Bain
Mitt Romney’s campaign sees the time he spent at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded and ran for more than a decade, as a positive experience that highlights his leadership skills and his ability to turn around companies and create jobs. President Obama’s campaign, meanwhile, views Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital years as a political liability that underscores his image as an out-of-touch multimillionaire, concerned only with turning profits for his wealthy investors. – By Ashley Parker

Leading Boston Globe: Filings raise more questions on Warren’s ethnic claims
U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago. But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.

The political bites of the day

- Memorial Day Weekend Gut Check, Biden edition -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A SEMINAR FOR MILITARY FAMILES WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED A DEATH IN THEIR FAMILY: “When I was a 29-year-old kid I got elected to the United States Senate out of nowhere on November 7 and I got a phone call like you guys got or someone walking up to me. On December 18, I was down in Washington. I'm the first United States senator I ever knew and I was down in Washington hiring my staff and I got a phone call saying that my family had been in an accident and just like you guys know, by the tone of the phone call, you just knew, didn't you? You knew when they walked up the path. You knew when the call came. You knew. You just felt it in your bones something bad happened and I knew. I don't know how I knew but the call said my wife was dead. My daughter was dead and wasn't sure how my sons were going to make it. Christmas shopping and a tractor trailer broadsided them in one instant.”

- Future politicians: Watch Elizabeth Warren Not Answer 101 -
WARREN AND MYFOXBOSTON REPORTER SHARMAN SACCHETTI GO BACK AND FORTH ON WARREN’S HERITAGE IN TENSE EXCHANGE YESTERDAY: Sacchetti: Elizabeth, can you put this issue to bed and tell us whether or not, as a matter of fact, you are a member of a minority group. Warren: Middle-class families are getting hammered. I have been out here talking about this all across the Commonwealth. And what they care about are what Washington are going to do about that. My Republican opponent–Sacchetti: Members of the Cherokee Nation want to know. They say you should come clean.
Warren: I have made the facts clear and what I am trying to do is talk about in this Senate race, what matters to Americas families….

- Dear diary, It’s Me Mitt …. (Paging Bob Graham)–
PEGGY NOONAN WRITES ABOUT MITT ROMNEY’S CAMPAIGN JOURNAL IN HER LATEST WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMN: “He keeps a campaign journal on his iPad: "Now this is going to make my iPad a subject of potential theft!" He used to speak his entries, but now he types them on an attached keyboard. "I've kept up pretty well, actually." He writes every two or three days, so that 10 years from now he can "remember what it was like," but also to capture "the feelings - the ups the downs, the people I meet and the sense I have about what's going to happen. It's kind of fun to go back and read, as Ann and I do from time to time.”

- Conan jokes about Congress’ lackluster speaking level -
CONAN O’BIREN JOKES ABOUT CONGRESS ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW ‘CONAN’: “Speaking of children, I couldn't believe this. A new study shows current members of Congress speak at a 10-grade level. That's true. They speak at a 10-grade level. When reached for comment, Eric Cantor said, ‘nuh-uh!’”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less







Lenore Romney’s campaign for U.S. Senate was truly a family affair. According to a lengthy story released by Time Magazine, Lenore was nearly forced into the race by her kin – especially after a family meeting on Christmas in 1969, where Lenore’s husband and former Michigan governor, George Romney, called the family together to implore their mother to run.

Of course one of those family members was the 2012 presumptive Republican presidential nominee – Mitt Romney, her son and close campaign confidant.

“Mitt Romney, the youngest of four children, was deeply engaged in his mother's campaign, far more than the ones his father ran when Mitt was young,” reads the Time article. “He accompanied her on hundreds of campaign stops, driving together across all 83 Michigan counties in a blue truck festooned with Lenore signs.”

Despite her pedigree, Lenore Romney’s campaign stumbled. “She had a hard time articulating what she was about. Nobody to this day is really sure what Lenore Romney was really for,” Bill Ballenger, editor of the political newsletter Inside Michigan Politics, told The Washington Post earlier this year.

Lenore went on to lose that campaign by a large 2-to-1 margin. According to the great Time magazine piece by Barton Gellman, Lenore was embarrassed, her husband blamed “everyone but himself,” and the young Mitt learned from the loss.

Gut Check’s Winner’s Circle
(Why Aren’t you In it)

Congratulations to self-describted Star Wars enthusiast Jason Warner ‏(@JasonEWarner) for correctly answering today’s trivia question. Birthday boy Jonathan Gormley ‏(@JonathanGormley) must have been partying or else he would have answered correctly.

Since no one got the trivia right, we are going to salute Michelle’s dad, Joe, instead, who is in the winner’s circle for getting a hole-in-one this week on a golf course in Los Angeles. This was his second career hole-in-one but his first in his native California.

Our inbox awaits:
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing
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 (24 Responses)
  1. Tyrone

    Yo Mitt, you always said taht you were never a Washington Insider. 1.482 BILLION on 1 PROJECT 02 games. You are not only King Tabby Nackle of Boston , But also KING EARMARK TAKER. I know, You be lovin all up in That RAPING of Factory Workers Pensions. SLIMEBALL!!!!!!!!!

    May 25, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Todd Harris should know that Mittens brought the Bain attacks on himself, about lying about creating jobs. Most of the jobs created were long after Mittens was on his way to destroying MA. I am sure some of the people at Bain are a little angry that Mittens almost hung them out to dry with the bad press he caused.

    May 25, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Myviewis

    Seriously, it couldn't get better for Romney. Obama running his campaign on some Bain Capital money, the very evil Obama criticized, shredded to pieces, bad mouthed. Bain Capital was baddddddd, Romney badddddd, capitalism bad and now Obama's campaign is enjoying some of that bad money. Thank goodness Romney created these jobs so that Bain Capital employees could support Obama as Obama claims Romney is not a job creator.

    May 25, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Myview – I believe the ads point out that Mittens was lying again as usual, trying to take credit for something he did not do. The only part that you got right is that Romney badddddd.

    May 25, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Len


    You need a history lesson. Venture Capitalist (Bain Capital) does not create jobs just to create jobs. They are brought in to revamp the company.....they either succeed, close the business and people are fired.... Know what happens...Bain Capital makes millions of dollars...even if the company folds, people lose their jobs, it doesn't matter...they make millions!!!

    May 25, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In republican talk, being 47th in job creation as governor of MA is the new number 1 in job creation. Adding over $5 trillion in national debt for unfunded wars, unfunded tax cuts, unfunded drug programs, unfunded TARP, privatizing government work. Yet Mittens surrounds himself with these Bush republican near depression advisors and thinks he will lower the national debt and lower unemployment, with the same failed Bush policies.

    May 25, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Myviewis

    So now Democrats are trying to separate Romney from Bain Capital. I thought Bain Capital was Obama's point of attack against Romney?? What happened? I can't keep up with all these flip-flopping. No wait, wasn't the point of attack the Romney's attack on women? No wait, it was Mormon? No, it was Romney cutting some kids hair in high school?

    May 25, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    Perry states in regards to attacking Bain ►"It didn't work then. It's not going to work now." ◄
    BULL-CRAP – You spoke the truth THEN and we'll speak the truth NOW!!
    It didn't work for YOU because, hmm, let me see, OOPS!!
    PerryWinkle, the GRINCH and next Santorum – NICE TRY with your talking point BLOOPS!!!

    Have you noticed – the Republicans are going to be out there preaching "talking Bain is not going to work" – they will stick to that talking point knowing doggone well IT WILL WORK!!! The candidates were not LYING when they started it – but they are LYING now trying to "Etch-A-Sketch" it!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forwar

    May 25, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Myviewis

    Thank you all for writing me. I love your excuses, change of direction, very typical behavior of Democrats. You guys have to agree with me on one thing, Romney couldn't have written this script even if he had hired Spielberg and Obama must be scratching his head as to how he didn't see this one coming. Bain Capital money in Obama campaign. Only in America.

    May 25, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After seeing that Mittens is so clueless about foreign policy, the economy, government, job creation, debt reduction, education, the middle class, separation of church and state, I would think that republicans would like a do over and select either Ron Paul or Newt.

    May 25, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Myviewis

    1st Mayor Booker and now Bain Capital? Wow.

    May 25, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    Four – for a minute I almost thought you cared about the middle class, but then I woke up.
    You might be surprised. I have 20 employees in my business. Every one of them gets full benefits, every one of them is paid more than I am and I work longer hours than anyone else. I will get mine when I retire and sell the company.

    May 25, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Myviewis

    @Len – save it. This is too deep of a hole for Democrats to crawl out of. People will read, hear and remember Obama's words on Bain Capital, Romney and on keeping the money from Bain Capital employees.

    May 25, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. judy

    myviews is a repo therefore cutting education . so can't read . Obama 2012

    May 25, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. You Heard it worst on CNN

    Here we go again argueing about the lesser of two evils. Here we go again trying to decide which candidate Wall Street picked out for us is the one to cast a meaningless vote for. Here we go again with another decade of government and coalition expansion backed by corporate irresponsibility and the criminal misuse of our federal reserve. Here we go again with the smoke screen of lies and finger pointing between the the two party corporate owned tyrants who hold our government hostage while our people continue to struggle and suffer.

    May 25, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Romney was a tiger on jobs destruction and you know what they say about a tiger never changing its spots!

    May 25, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    Bain capitl will ship jobs to china, India. Bring whole bunch of foreigners into out!!!!!

    May 25, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    "Seriously, it couldn't get better for Romney. Obama running his campaign on some Bain Capital money, the very evil Obama criticized, shredded to pieces, bad mouthed. Bain Capital was baddddddd, Romney badddddd, capitalism bad and now Obama's campaign is enjoying some of that bad money. Thank goodness Romney created these jobs so that Bain Capital employees could support Obama as Obama claims Romney is not a job creator."

    You repeat tiresome gibberish so often I'm beginning to think it's a deliberate attempt to blur the issues. NO ONE has ever said Bain didn't create jobs for its own employees. What is truly bizarre is that you rightwing nuts think it's "hypocritical" for an employee who knows Bain and Rmoney better than you or most Americans, do "speak" with their money and back the more appropriate candidate. Bain paid them a paycheck. It didn't buy their slavish, dog-like loyalty to Mittens. And if he, or you, thought a paycheck does buy that, then the real problem is in your mirrors.

    May 25, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. Dave

    It won't help. The gas prices will not fall back to pre-Obama prices. Our president has increased prices with his anti-energy policies (and failed Solyndra ventures).

    May 25, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. Common Sense!!

    If Bain and other firms succeed we have a great economy if they fail unemployment goes up and so do welfare and other social programs!!

    May 25, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. rc coleman

    Obama, might as well run on fairness, because there is no longer any Hope after four years.

    May 25, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Susan Stegall


    I to worked at a company that another company would come in and down-side they call it,people would lose all that they had worked for and these people have no remorse what so ever as long as it's not them....

    May 25, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |

    I'm serouis warning people what about frauad check scam from afrcian amercian so I wouuld luke charge against afrcian amercian so peope are cheat support vote for presdient obama from frauad check scam. Why people sent money to western uniom to afrcain amercian like support for presdient obama

    May 25, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    Vulture capitalist, "PRIVATE CAPITALIST" not for job creation but for stashing all the money in "CAYMAN ISLANDS" Swiss Banks.....there is no love last for you, idiots, learn.....yes on obamawith single voice....period.

    May 26, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |