CNN's GUT CHECK for July 23, 2012
July 23rd, 2012
05:29 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 23, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 23, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING… OBAMA TALKS SEQUESTRATION DURING VFW REMARKS, ATTEMPTS TO PUT BALL IN REPUBLICAN’S COURT: “Let's understand, first of all, there's no reason that it should happen. People in congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan come together, lower deficit, keep military strong. It should be done. A number of Republican members of congress don't want you to know they voted for cuts. Trying to wriggle out of what they agreed to do. Instead of making tough choices to cut deficit, rather protect tax cuts for wealthiest Americans even if it risks big cuts in our military. I got to tell you, VFW. I disagree. If choice is between tax cuts that wealthy Americans don't need and funding our troops I will stand with our troops every single time. Let's stop playing politics with our military, let’s get serious, and reduce deficit and keep our military strong.”

DEVELOPING… NO MOVEMENT ON GUN CONTROL: CNN’s Candy Crowley reports on the dormant state of the gun control debate, and why it's likely to remain so: “Congress passed a 10-year ban on more than a dozen kinds of assault weapons in 1994. Months later, Democrats lost the House majority. In 1999, Al Gore brings down gavel on gun control. Gore lost his presidential bid for many reasons but by 2000, Democrats concluded that gun control was bad politics,” reports Crowley. “Since then Democrats have recruited pro-gun candidates in rural areas, the South and the interior West.”

“There has been no action because there is no outrage out there. People haven't rallied forward,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on Fox News Sunday. “Nothing has moved the meter for more than a decade. Not the deaths of 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, the 13 shooting deaths at Fort Hood in 2009, the six shot and killed outside a Safeway in Tucson in 2011. Not since Al Gore’s tie-breaking vote in 1999 has Congress passed a major piece of gun control legislation.”


(Answer below)
A number of Olympians have gone on to become House members. What former member of congress holds the most Olympic medals?

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

“Deep Throat”: Follow the money.

“Bob Woodward”: What do you mean? Where?

“Deep Throat”: Oh, I can't tell you that.

“Bob Woodward”: But you could tell me that.

“Deep Throat”: No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that's all. Just... follow the money.

– Pivotal Scene from All the President’s Men

“Follow the Money” has become part of journalism 101, thanks to Hollywood’s interpretation of the journalistic digging.

And we have found ourselves saying those words more often in our newsroom as Mitt Romney continues to out-raise an incumbent president known for his fund-raising prowess.

The issue took a turn after the latest financial disclosure reports, however, from not being one that could easily be spun away, to being “outspent” by “deep-pocketed Republicans and their special interests” because there are now murmurs and questions over not just the receipts the Obama campaign is bringing in but how many disbursements they are shelling out.

In June, Obama’s campaign spent June 2012: $58 million. Romney’s campaign spent $33 million in the same month.

"The burn rate—the investment in infrastructure and polling—is great if you've got the resources to follow through," Douglas Schoen, a Democratic pollster and Bill Clinton campaign alum told the Wall Street Journal. "It's unclear to me whether the president has the resources.

Today the Obama campaign hit back. “Ground organization matters and building one takes a lot of money. It’s an expensive proposition,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told the Chris Cillizza in an interview this afternoon.

Donna Brazile, a CNN Democratic contributor who managed Al Gore’s campaign, put it tactically, “This is the period in which Americans are learning about Mitt Romney’s record. So either the re-elect folks fill in the blanks or team Romney does.”

Democratic strategist Jim Jordan who managed John Kerry’s career for many years put it even more bluntly in an interview with Gut Check this afternoon, “Why would anyone in the Democratic Party doubt that this team has the fundamental competence to cash flow a campaign? This is probably the savviest group of operatives ever assembled, and cash flow honestly isn't quantum physics, especially in a race that in some fundamental ways is really being run in 7 or 8 states. Honestly, the silliest and lamest carping I've ever seen.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Cost of debt ceiling fight: $1.3 billion
Turns out there's a price to pay for incessant fighting in Congress and political grandstanding. The federal government spent an extra $1.3 billion to borrow last year because of the showdown over the debt ceiling, the Government Accountability Office reported Monday. – Jeanne Sahadi

Leading Drudge: Not A Word
His hair dyed orange-red and a dazed look on his face, the man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage at the opening of the new Batman movie appeared Monday in court for the first time.

Leading HuffPo: Scott Brown, Mitt Romney Share Staff, But Differ In Approaches
Outside a sweltering campaign office where the air conditioner was broken, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown boasted to supporters about the reach of his re-election campaign against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard law professor. – Samuel P. Jacobs

Leading Politico: Michele Bachmann finds plenty of friends back home
The verdict from Washington last week was swift and bipartisan: Michele Bachmann was out of line. But the Northeast corridor’s stunned disbelief at what it saw as a loony conspiracy theory is replaced with hollers of support among Bachmann’s many devoted fans here in the exurbs north of the Twin Cities that she represents. – Jake Sherman

Leading New York Times: Republican Party in California Is Caught in Cycle of Decline
This would seem a moment of great opportunity for California Republicans. The state has become a national symbol of fiscal turmoil and dysfunction, the Legislature is nearly as unpopular as Congress and Democrats control every branch of government. – Adam Nagourney

The political bites of the day

- Peres warns about Iran’s ticking clock toward endangering civilian life -
ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S ELISE LABOTT: “If you have enough information about a certain person which is a ticking clock that can explode a bomb that can endanger civilian life, clearly you have to prevent him from doing so.”

- Chicago dares Romney to dig deep on foreign policy -
ROBERT GIBBS, SENIOR ADVISER FOR OBAMA FOR AMERICA, IN A CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE PRESS: “This week Mitt Romney is beginning a foreign policy trip where he will need to prove to the American people that he sees foreign policy issues as worthy of substantive decision rather than just generalities and sound bites in this campaign.”

- Colorado 18th District attorney brings victims’ wishes into question of whether or not to seek the death penalty -
CAROL CHAMBERS, COLORADO 18TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE MONDAY: “There is so much that victims have to take into account and victims will be impacted by that decision in an enormous way for years. If the death penalty is sought, that's a very long process that impacts their lives for years and so they will want to have and we will want to get their input before we make any kind of a decision on that.”

- With experience, Biden recalls getting over pain of loss -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN REMARKS TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS: “With the grace of God, although the pain will never vanish, there will come a moment, I promise those who have been hurt, there will come a moment when the memory of your daughter, son, or husband will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. It will come.”

- Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begrudges spending in Afghanistan -
SEN. JOHN KERRY, D-MASSACHUSETTS, IN A SPEECH TO THE INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON: “Some people in politics would say that in a time of budget crisis we can't find $24 billion for AIDS, but I think that each and every one of them has to explain why it is we could keep pouring $100 billion a year into Afghanistan and then refuse to find a quarter of that to conquer a global pandemic and save millions of lives.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


When Rep. Ralph Metcalfe was elected to represent Illinois’ 1st district in the United States Congress – a job he held from 1971 to 1978 – he came to Congress with a lot of Olympic hardware.

From 1932 to 1934, Ralph Metcalfe was known as the fastest human in the world. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Metcalfe came in second to Jesse Owens in the 100 meter race. And in a total of three Olympics, Metcalfe medaled four times – one gold, two silver and a bronze.

Those four medals make Metcalfe the former member of the U.S. House of Representatives with the most Olympic medals.

(why aren’t you in it)

It took Bernard Lin (@blin11592) a few minutes to answer Gut Check trivia – but he was the only person to answer the question correctly by tweeting Rep. Ralph Metcalfe. Congrats to Lin.

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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.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Darryl

    President Obama is looking out for everyone in this country. Not just the working class and the poor be he is looking out for the wealthiest people of this country too.He believes people do not have a problem with people being rich, and they don't.But he also believes the people who benifited the most have an obligation to help out a little more and if the average person doesn't feel like he's carrying the whole thing on his shoulders it's better for everybody and everybody is in the game so to speak.This President is someone who will go down in our History as the best, most loved and the only fair president we have ever had among many other things as well deserved.

    July 23, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. The_Mick

    Why do we get nothing about the GOP's new bill to phase out support for public broadcasting? At a time when academic progress is limited why does the GOP want to destroy Sid the Science Kid, Word Girl, Sesame Street, and the lessons teachers and systems put on at night for student to tape in French, Spanish, Economics, etc? Not to mention most kids and adults only exposure to classical music, classic plays like Romeo and Juliet or Les Miserables, and Nature, Nova, The Human Spark, etc.

    July 23, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Former Governor of Texas vetoed a concealed carry law and the population was enraged to the point that she lost her reelection bid. It is a touchy subject for a politician.

    July 23, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Sequestration. Time for Obama to say and now. OK Republicans the budget act stands or you compromise on taxes somewhere.
    Failure is the budget act implementing sequestration stands, and we battle it out on policies in the election and let the American people choose.
    We democrats have given you multiple options specifically the AJA and Bowles Simpson, both of which you rejected on tax grounds. OK then live with the Budget act you passed along with Democrats or compromise on taxes somwehere otherwise no deal. Then its democrats our way or the highway which means solutions from a Republican house to defund PPACA or repeal Dodd Frank are meaningless, because I will veto all those right up to Jan 20th 2013.

    July 24, 2012 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  5. Justin Adriaanse

    I live in South Africa with very strict gun laws.On a daily basis criminals use military rifles to rob and murder innocent civilians.Strict gun controls do not deter the use of military rifles by criminals.

    July 24, 2012 05:20 am at 5:20 am |