CNN's GUT CHECK for July 3, 2012
July 3rd, 2012
04:54 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 3, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 3, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING… ECONOMIC OPTIMISM JUMPS, NEITHER CANDIDATE HAS EDGE: Although most Americans think the economy is in poor shape, economic optimism has climbed steeply since last fall. In 2011, polls for the first time found that more than half the country thought economic conditions would worsen in the next 12 months. Now that trend has reversed itself, with only four in 10 saying the economy will be in poor shape a year from now. … The public is split right down the middle, with 48% saying Romney would do a better job on the economy and 47% choosing Obama.

DEVELOPING… NO THANK YOU’S ARE BIPARTISAN: George Allen, who's running in a heated Senate race in Virginia, will not be attending the Republican National Convention in August, his campaign confirmed Tuesday. A number of Democrats facing re-election have announced they won’t be attending their convention this year, but Allen joins the relatively few Republicans – Heather Wilson, a Senate candidate in New Mexico and Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Senate candidate in Montana – who have made similar decisions for their own party's big gathering.

(Answer below)
How many presidential elections had to be decided by the House of Representatives and who won those elections?

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

Years of public service can often translate to lucrative secondary careers for lawmakers, bureaucrats, political aides, and yes, presidents. Former President Bill Clinton is a prime example of somebody who has been earning millions each year for delivering speeches around the world, which is chronicled in a new report by CNN Director of Political Research Robert Yoon.

As Yoon points out, Clinton is closing in on the $100 million mark in earnings for paid speeches since leaving the White House in 2001. Here are some key nuggets of Yoon’s reporting from data contained in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's annual financial disclosure report:

– Former President Clinton has earned $89 million from speeches after serving two terms in the White House

– In 2011, former President Clinton commanded the largest speaking fees of his career, a whopping $13.4 million.

– Almost half the former president's speech income last year, $6.1 million, came from 16 speeches delivered in 11 other countries, ranging from Canada to Saudi Arabia. The remainder was earned in 38 domestic speeches delivered in nine states and the District of Columbia.

– Bill Clinton earned $10.7 million in 2010 and $7.5 million in 2009 from speeches.

To read more, check out Yoon’s story on

And we offer this bit of Gut Check advice: Follow @yoonCNN, a new addition to Twitter and one of the sharpest political minds in Washington.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Mormon influence in Nevada fading, but still a factor
Although Mitt Romney is certain to energize Mormon voters this election season as the first member of his church to helm a major party's presidential ticket, political watchers here say the LDS vote in Nevada rarely lives up to its billing in the national media. – Peter Hamby

Leading Drudge: Team Obama ♥ Bain-Backed Staples
While their candidate is out bashing Mitt Romney's Bain Capital as a job outsourcer and greedy corporate raider, President Obama's campaign is endorsing the essence of one of Bain's biggest success stories, low-price office supply store Staples. Team Obama turns out to be a big fan, spending $17,963.04 at Staples this year alone, according to Federal Election Commission reports. – Paul Bedard

Leading HuffPo: John Roberts' Switch On Obamacare Sparks Fascination With Supreme Court, Possible Leaks
Since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling to uphold the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the media’s fascination with Chief Justice John Roberts' decision to side with the majority and uphold the mandate as a tax has reached a fever pitch. – Sabrina Siddiqui

Leading Politico: The Medicaid ruling's ripple effect
Think last Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling was just about health care? Think again. Chief Justice John Roberts’s surprise opinion, which allows states to opt out of the law’s Medicaid expansion, could set up a series of legal showdowns between states and the federal government over the strings attached to billions of dollars in federal grants for everything from transportation to education and the environment. – J. Lester Feder and Darren Samuelsohn

Leading New York Times: Romney, an Eye on Campaign, Plans a Trip to Israel
Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will visit Israel this summer to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders, a senior aide to the prime minister confirmed on Monday evening. – Jodi Rudoren

The political bites of the day

- Answering the call is a start -
NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE IN AN INTERVEIW WITH CNBC: “I love being governor of New Jersey, you can tell. I think every day the way I do my job I love it. But the fact is, if Gov. Romney picks up the phone and calls, you have to answer the call and listen at least.”

- Running as a Dem in a Republican state means tempered view on Obamacare -
FORMER NEBRASKA GOVERNOR AND SENATE CANDIDATE BOB KERREY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA: "I'm a Democrat and generally supportive of the Health Care Act but I am willing to make significant modifications in a way I think Republicans would appreciate."

- Brown, though, channels Bon Jovi in Blue Massachusetts -
SEN. SCOTT BROWN IN A RADIO AD: “The ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the Federal Health Care Law is bad medicine for the economy, the budget and jobs. … This massive new entitlement means trillions in new spending and higher taxes, not to mention half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts for our seniors. I talked to many employers, especially small business owners, and they tell me they're afraid to hire more people because of the law.”

- Joe Biden: The populist attack dog -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION CONVENTION CONTINUES HIS ATTACK ON MITT ROMNEY: “Your cause in life is preventing children from having a real chance. Is he serious? He is, though. He is. I believe he believes what he says. That’s why I believe they mean what they say about their budget. I have been doing this for awhile. I can’t think of a candidate for president who has ever made such a direct assault on such an honorable profession.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less







Only two presidential elections have been decided by the House of Representatives.

First, in 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr contested the presidency from the same party and received the same number of Electoral College votes – 73 to 73. The United States was made up of 16 states at that point, so when the presidential election went to the House, at least nine state delegations needed to agree on Jefferson or Burr.

Over six days, the House voted 35 times and Jefferson only received eight state delegations, one less than the nine needed. It was Alexander Hamilton, Jefferson’s political nemesis, who broke the stalemate with a letter campaign to the anti-Jefferson delegations. On vote number 36, Jefferson earned 10 state delegations and won the presidency.

According to the House clerk, the Jefferson-Burr election spurred passage of the 12th Amendment.

Twenty-four years later in 1824, the 12th Amendment was used when none of the three presidential candidates, Sen. Andrew Jackson, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford, received a majority of Electoral College votes.

Even though Jackson won a majority of the popular vote, the election was thrown to the House to decide. Henry Clay, speaker of the House at the time, had run for president in 1824 but finished fourth and was not included in the House runoff. He did, however, end up playing a large role in selecting the president when he made his loathing of Jackson well known and threw his support behind Adams.

With Clay by his side (and later rewarded as his future secretary of State), John Quincy Adams became the sixth president of the United States with a majority of the House of Representatives voting for him.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Matthew Gilbertson (‏@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia Question correctly. Today’s question was obviously tough for some people – a number of incorrect answers.

Have a question for Wolf Blitzer? Want his take on politics or what it was like to have Herman Cain label him “the Blitz” in a national debate? Tweet @WolfBlitzer with #AskWolf or send a question via Tune into the new 6pm hour of The Situation Room to see if your question is asked.

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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 (12 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Bill Clinton , who ate my last piece of strawberry short cake ?

    July 3, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. gt

    if obama is the gay president..cnn is the gay news network....cnn has more gays than straights....

    July 3, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. rs

    It is hard to believe the rising economic conditions (and perceptions thereof), don't help Mr. Obama more. Given the huge effort the GOP has put into: driving home any negative economic news (or spin thereof-especially in their proxy mouthpieces: FOX and Limbaugh); their complete denial of a man named George W. Bush; the complete inaction on the GOP controlled House of passing anything resembling a jobs bill; the GOP minority in the Senate filibustering anything that might lead to jobs (like a linger-than-a-month Transportation budget) certainly reinforces Mr. Romney's "the economy is terrible, I'm a businessman, I'm here to help" message.

    If the economy does go out of the picture, Mr. Romney has nothing: a foreign affairs outlook slightly more informed than Ms. Palin's; ditching the social safety net; no ecological credibility (at all); and a firm anti-immigrant (anti-minority) platform.

    July 3, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. wendell

    Young people, women,blacks, and Hispanics make up the majority in this country. As groups, they all heavily favor Obama. CNN polls say that the race is close. That is only because they poll predominately white households. CNN should be ashamed for attempting to distort the issue. President Obama is clearly in the lead. Lastly,funny how whites are allowed to take lavish vacations while blacks are not. Isn't that a double standard.

    July 3, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. joshua

    The improvement in the polls for those who see improvement in the economy is due to the fact that most americans see that obama might lose this fall. If Obama loses, the economy will explode like it did after clinton lost. Businesses hate democrat presidents. Those are the facts.

    July 3, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Larry L

    President G.W. Bush is offering to give a seminar on economics to anybody willing to listen... So far nobody has come up with the $500 fee. I guess the recession has money tight...

    July 4, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  7. DON

    The bottom line in this story is "Who cares what CNN thinks?????? I am betting all of the Good Reports in the World will not pay down our National Debt. Nothing else matters because it will consume all of our money. End of Story.

    July 4, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    I am at a loss as to why this topic is such a big deal or being discussed.
    I thought that looking after or attending to ones voters was far more important than the quadrennial jolly of party conventions blah blah.
    I am quire sure any Rep and Senator can make thier views known on how thier vote goes at any convention where I guess if you are a current incumbent you can vote in absentia!!? on anything coming up.

    July 4, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  9. republican rebel

    I wish i could pull in 13 million just for talking

    July 4, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  10. Thomas

    if obama is the gay president..cnn is the gay news network....cnn has more gays than straights....

    Sounds like you have an in-depth experience in these matters. I hope your not working for TSA or any other security company . Thank god your not in charge of profiling terorists , our country would be in grave danger.

    July 4, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  11. Xpolitix

    Romney doesn't have a solution for our healthcare, if he does repeal ACA. Could that be because he created ACA and he doesn't have a better plan? It seems he is fighting to repeal his own mandate because his Tea Party overloards (the religious right) have ordered him to, so now he vows with a vengeance to repeal it. But it's not what he really believes in so he seems so phony and fake. He sacrificed his integrity to win the GOP nomination so now he has to play the role of Tea Party extremist, though we all know he is a liberal at heart. Now he panders to the far right like a submissive slave promising to fight for them so he can become president to satisfy his own arrogant ambition. He will stop at nothing be president including lying and faking people out. He has no backbone, no principle, and no integrity.

    July 4, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  12. cobra129

    ROTFLMAO.......economic optimism.......guess you didn't poll those 14 million that have been out of work for the entire obama presidency......

    July 4, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |