CNN's GUT CHECK for July 25, 2012
July 25th, 2012
05:19 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 25, 2012

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

BREAKING: Senate passes Democratic tax plan, rejects GOP version The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a Democratic plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for middle income Americans while rejecting a Republican alternative to continue all of the cuts - twin votes that help to crystallize the position of the two parties on a critical issue heading into the fall campaign.

JUST IN: READY, SET, DEBATE! … The Commission on Presidential Debates just announced the 2012 general election debate formats.

All four debates - three presidential and one vice presidential - will air from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET and feature a single moderator. The moderators will be announced next month.

– The first presidential debate, which will be held on October 3 at the University of Denver in Colorado, will focus on domestic policy and be divided into 15-minute topic segments.

– The second presidential debate, which will be held October   Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will use a town-hall format where undecided voters will ask the candidates questions on domestic and foreign issues.

– The third presidential debate, which will be held October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, will focus on foreign policy and be divided into 15-minute topic segments.

– The sole vice presidential debate, which will be held October 11 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, will feature questions on both domestic and foreign policy and be divided into 10 minute segments.

(Answer below)
What president had the longest post-presidency retirement?

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

Just hours ago, the House overwhelmingly approved Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and we couldn’t help but wonder what Darryl Williams and Benjamin Kline or Ashley Ryan were thinking when the 327 to 98 vote total was announced.

After all it is the likes of Williams, Kline and Ryan who helped fuel the “Ron Paul Revolution” – a grassroots movement made up of an eclectic group of people drawn to the Texas congressman’s brand of libertarian Republicanism in his 2008 and 2012 bids for the White House.

We met Williams and Kline in Philadelphia on a rainy April day in Philadelphia, and spoke with Ryan in mid-May as we contemplated the political future of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

While Ron Paul lost his presidential bids, he also gained fame and access to a broader audience on the campaign trail which he used as a soapbox to promote his ideals and ideas such as auditing the Federal Reserve and ending the war in Afghanistan. Paul is leaving Congress and Washington, but those who support him don’t think the movement will dissipate.

"I think the fire he has ignited is still going to keep burning in the hearts of people who love liberty and this country and are really tired of both sides of the political spectrum behaving in such an extreme fashion," Williams said back in April.

As for an eventual successor, in May we looked no further than his son, the Kentucky Republican beloved by tea party activists and respected by his father’s followers. We have no reason to change our minds, although we don’t expect Ron Paul to go away just because he is leaving elected office. For now, Paul is planning his rally at the Republican National Convention with the blessing of the Romney campaign.

But before Tampa, in fact in just a couple of hours, Ron Paul will be attending an event at Catholic University that will be attended by more than 300 young activists who fuel the Ron Paul Revolution. We were once told by a close associate of Ron Paul that he derives energy from speaking at college campuses. And we suspect that next year, when others are being sworn-in for a new two year term in the House – Paul will be finalizing his 2013 college tour.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Are Obama's negative ads getting bang for the buck?
President Obama's re-election campaign has spent millions of dollars over the past few weeks in an advertising blitz aimed at negatively defining GOP challenger Mitt Romney. – Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: Bogdanovich: Movies Partly To Blame
The director of "Targets" says: "People go to a movie to have a good time, and they get killed. … It makes me sick that I made a movie about it."

Leading HuffPo: Climate Change Effects: Things Global Warming Just Might Ruin For Your Kids
The continental U.S. has just experienced the hottest 12 month period in recorded history. The West is on fire. The Maldives are going underwater and California can expect a sea level rise of six inches in less than 20 years. – James Gerken

Leading Politico: Ron Paul's swan song
On Wednesday afternoon, a small piece of his grand vision will hit prime time, when a great majority of the House will vote to pass his Audit the Fed bill. To understand how remarkable this moment is — coming near the end of Paul’s congressional career — consider this: When Paul first introduced his bill a decade ago, it was written off as another piece of his far-flung libertarian worldview. For a long time, Paul was a lawmaker who was largely ignored by Washington — that guy on the losing end of 414-1 votes. – Kate Nocera

Leading New York Times: Hand-to-Hand Combat for Control of the House
Since 2006, members of the House have faced electoral waves that swept away scores of incumbents. But the 2012 struggle for control of the House is shaping up less as a partisan surge than as a series of squalls, in which the outcome will largely depend on individual survival skills rather than a national movement. – Jennifer Steinhauer

Leading Des Moines Register: Vilsack: Farm bill critical for livestock producers
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday passage of a new farm bill before the old one expires Sept. 30 is vital to help drought-stressed livestock producers, who lack the same emergency safety net that helps grain farmers. – Dan Piller

The political bites of the day

- Romney says he wants efficiency, not cuts -
MITT ROMNEY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KTVN IN RENO, NEVADA: “I have some programs I’d like to make more efficient. I’m sure there is waste and inefficiency in the Department of Defense but I want to use the funding in the Department of Defense to care for our veterans, to rebuild our military might and make sure America is so strong no one would think of testing us.”

- Biden calls top-down economics ‘like religion’ for Republicans -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN A SPEECH TO THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS: “This is not your father’s Republican Party. They really believe they have to cut you and millions of other middle class Americans to rebuild this economy. They believe, at its core, they believe the way to build the economy of this great nation is from the top down, it's like religion with them, they actually believe it.”

- Republican says negative ads won’t work … for either side -

REPUBLICAN REP. RANDY FORBES OF VIRGINIA IN AN INTERVIEW ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “I think we're going to continue to see a lot of these negative ads on both sides. I just don't think they are going to work that much. I think by the time we get to November, people are going to look on the records and make decisions based on the policies that both candidates have, and they are going to be basing their votes on their pocketbook. Who they think will turn this economy around and get them jobs.”

- Will Obama really visit Israel? Fallon is skeptical -

COMEDIAN JIMMY FALLON JOKED ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW: “The White House announced that President Obama will visit Israel during his second term in office. Of course when they heard the second term part, Israel was like, "we'll put you down as a maybe.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less








When Herbert Hoover’s presidential term ended on March 4, 1933, he was 58. Hoover lived to the ripe old age of 90, meaning the length of his post-presidential retirement was 11,553 days – the longest of any president.

But Hoover is not likely to hold this distinction for much longer. Jimmy Carter is only 44 days behind Hoover, with a total of 11,509 post-presidential retirement days. Since Carter is still living, every day is one day closer to passing Hoover, and Carter should become the president with the longest post-presidential retirement on September 8, 2012.

Another interesting tidbit – the president with the shortest post-presidential retirement is James Polk, who died at a young 53 years on June 15, 1849. His retirement was only 103 days long.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Gut Check fan and CNN employee Marlena Baldacci (@MarlenaCNN) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. Though Marlena first answered Carter – she must have been skewed by the fact she now works in Atlanta – she quickly corrected herself by tweeting “Herbert Hoover.” Gut Check awards a silver medal to Jonathan Kappler (@jonathankappler), who finished a close second to Baldacci.

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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 (22 Responses)
  1. WiredweirdinSF

    Just saw where the Senate voted on a democratic liberal bill to raise taxes after they defeated a Republican bill to lower taxes. Remember democrat liberals think all money you work for should go to them to give to the dope addicts, welfare frauds and corrupt union bosses. It get them votes you know, in fact, if you read something other than the liberally biased media, you will see how a democrat liberal organization in Virginia is sending preprinted registration forms to dead people and remember that our Attorney General has stated that it is okay for the Black Panthers to stand outside a polling place with clubs and vote for Obama, but it is not okay for the state of Texas to ask for identification from voters, particularly illegal aliens or other non eligible people.

    July 25, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. FORWARD into the Obama FISCAL ABYSS

    By all means, audit the FED! About time!!

    July 25, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. geggyg

    @wired The Dems in the senate voted to continue the tax cuts on income under $250,000 and not to extend the TEMPORARY tax cuts in income over $250,000 so millionairs will still get tax cuts on their first $250,000.
    Both parties in different areas have sent out pre printed enrolment forms , including to pets and dead people , the problem happens because that have contracted this important registration to PRIVATE ( who do everthing better lol) companies and they didnt use the right filters on the data bases to weed out ineligible names. However it is the person who sends back a signed form that is responsible for their actions .

    July 25, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. srenger

    Wired, you saw no such thing, because it didn't happen. The Democrat's bill allows Bush2's tax cuts to expire for people who wouldn't notice the extra money, but allows those unaffordable tax cuts to continue for anyone making less than a quarter-million dollars per year. Without spending cuts or revenue enhancements to balance this lost income, the Federal government will go deeper into debt. The Republican bill would continue the unaffordable tax cuts for everyone, without offsetting spending cuts or revenue enhancements, driving the government deeper into debt faster than the Democrat's bill. As for your paranoia about dead voters, the CBO reported prosecutions for an average of 40 dead voters per year, less than one dead voter per state per year, over the last decade. If Texas has registered illegal aliens and "other non eligible people" to vote, then Texas has incompetent people registering voters – voter identification requirements at the polls won't help that problem. Finally, what criminally insane person would want Congress to edit the Fed? Congress hasn't balanced a budget for over forty years! They can't even agree to raise the debt limit to cover money they already spent! If the Fed is to be audited, we should insure the auditors are intelligent and experienced financial experts, not Congressional morons with an average IQ in the high 70's.

    July 25, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Smartman2012

    2% of america should pay more. Period

    July 25, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. trufaldino

    WiredweirdinSF talks about liberals the way Nazis talked about Jews, and with about the same level of accuracy. Oh for a simpler time when the WiredweirdinSF restricted their crackpot theories to UFOs. Hey WiredweirdinSF, what really happened in Roswell Area 51? Don't you need to know? Isn't it your life's mission to know?

    July 25, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. steven harnack

    You guys are STILL exercized about those three guys that somebody said were Black Panthers? I think that you can probably put that one behind you, it ain't goin' no where. By the way, I'm curious 'cause I never heard, just how many people were prevented from casting a vote? You do know that you can't charge someone with intimidation simply because they are standing there being black?

    July 25, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Mick

    The Fed won't be audited...almost all the senators are in their pockets and the bill will be defeated by them. SHAME! The banks run the USA.

    July 25, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    Hey ENOUGH with the so-called symbolic votes just to try to make a point. We know the House isn't going to pass this bill so what's the point? We need a congress that WORKS not one that just tries to beat the other party for political gains all the time.

    July 25, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. Rudy Gonzales

    Ron Paul is and will stay a book mark in history! RomneyCare, now called Obama Care, received the sanctioning from the highest court in the land, and TEA-Republican's still cannot accept it. The the PPACA(Health Care Act) has already benefited the people in insurance coverage for children, extending insurance over pre-existing conditions and making insurance companies use 80 to 85 percent of monies collected for insureds rather than compensation for CEO' and CFO's. And now the CBO says the renamed RomneyCare, PPACA(Health Care Act), will save money. How outstanding is that? TEA-Republicans will stop at nothing to kill Obama's outstanding accomplishments. The truth is that Obama repeatedly cut taxes for such families, first through a tax credit in effect for 2009 and 2010, and beginning in 2011, through a reduction in the payroll tax that is worth $1,000 this year to workers earning $50,000 a year. And while it’s true that some tax increases contained in the new health care law would fall on individuals, they have mostly not taken effect yet and are small compared with the cuts the president already enacted. And this ad exaggerates them greatly. The ad — titled “Obama’s Promise” — lists several pledges that it claims the president has broken. The worst distortion it contains — one we haven’t addressed in this campaign — is an almost entirely groundless assertion that he broke his often-repeated promise not to raise taxes on persons making less than $200,000 a year, or couples making less than $250,000. The truth here is that Obama has lowered taxes for all workers through a 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax that started in 2011 and is scheduled to continue through the end of 2012. The cut is equal to $1,000 this year for a worker making $50,000 a year — or as much as $2,202 to any worker earning at least the maximum taxable level of wages or salary ($110,100 for 2012). America needs less confrontational TEA party extremist in office.

    July 25, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. oakhill

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!! It's about TIME the FED gets audited!!!!! They've been acting with impunity for FAR too many years.

    July 25, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. Shakingheadman

    Really people? How about we close loop holes in the tax code make it simpler? wow!!!what a concept....oh heres the my favorite thing TAX IMPORT GOODS, NOT AMERICA!!! win win for dems and the repubs ===== 5-10 years no national debt

    July 25, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    This is a prime example of what is wrong with our economy. The financial businesses are starting to do well (CEO’s are paid top dollar AGAIN!) while other Americans, supporting a family, kids trying to make money for college, older folks trying to pay for insurance, medicine etc, they will never do well! When the economy was good, companies shared profits and productivity gains with their employees. That is no longer the standard. The Income Gap shows why the AT WILL (voluntary), trickle down economics doesn't work & why we need MANDATORY PROFIT SHARING & a LIVING WAGE LAW, not a minimum wage law. A Living Wage Law will grow, balance and stabilize the economy, even if the legalized gambling, financial sector has another breakdown. Remember these consumers kept the U.S. Economy going, even though they had weak purchasing power. A LIVING WAGE LAW is already in place in several states. One place that has a LIVING WAGE LAW is at the Los Angeles Airport area, for hotel workers & the hotels are still doing business & making money as usual but now these workers can support their families & can contribute to the U.S. economy as consumers. This will help stabilize the economy with their consumer spending, since businesses are still clamoring for consumer spending (retail sales). Consumers are 70% of the economy & are JOB CREATORS.

    July 25, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. nolimits3333

    The stock market has doubled since the stimulus.
    4.3 million private sector jobs have been created since 2009.
    GDP has been growing since 2009.
    Americans net worth is up $10 trillion dollars since 2009.
    Auto sales are up. Retail sales are up. Home sales are up. Unemployment is down.
    Bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive.
    Obama has done a very good job.

    July 25, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. Celisti

    yeah, go Ron Paul and audit the Fed!

    July 25, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. TJeff1776

    Just saw where the demo tax bill was approved by the Senate. Of course the House will not even have a vote on the matter.
    All the conservatives organizations appaer to be propagandizing- as usual for the rich. By some strange quirk, they feel the rich should pay a lower tax percentage than the less fortunate. Yes, they feel someone supporting his family via trust bonds should pay less taxes than those working by the hour. Strange stuff. Lets just simply vote'em OUT. Conser are also anti-healthcare except for themselves.

    July 25, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. AgeofInsanity

    Ron Paul derives energy from college students – more like he sucks the life's blood out of them

    His bill is going nowhere – the Sen. Reid will not schedule a vote on it.

    July 25, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    Gosh the senate approves democratic tax proposals to maintain income tax reliefs for the $200k married $250K earners but repeals the income tax relief for those over $250k and rejects the GOP version of maintain income tax reliefs for all.
    Now hopefully this is simple bill regarding ONLY the " temporary" Bush or preferably Republican sponsored tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.
    I hope this being a "taxing bill" ( in more ways than one ha ha) is forced to go thru reconciliation that will then define clearly at least on this matter the electoral position of both parties, on taxes... I see no unemployment effects arising from this nor any major impacts on small business, but i do see if my number dat is correct $700bn over 10 years less debt or a $70bn annual reduction in budget deficit.
    I believe 65% of Voters overall agree the democratic position.
    C'mon Republicans start waving around your pledges to Grover and get yourselves unelected.

    July 26, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |

    Give it up Ron Paulbots. You are stuck with Mitt(I have nothing to offer)McCain.

    July 26, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  20. AmericanPeasant

    Nice the debates have been scheduled. CNN please pick someone good to moderate please, not John King. Get someone like Fareed if you get the foreign policy debate, or Erin Burnett if you get one of the other debates.

    Keep the Gut Checks coming, these are the best political pieces around.

    July 26, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  21. Don

    I cannot believe Paul again wasted his supporters' time and money on a campaign he could not win. If he had any guts, he'd run against the President and M!tt as a 3rd party candidate. He won't.

    July 26, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  22. GOP Brain Damaged

    What are they hoping to accomplish by auditing the FED other than spending millions of dollars with dubious results? Do they want someone to count all the gold in Ft Knox to see if it is still there? More nonsense from the tin foil hat crowd.

    July 26, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |