It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check
August 10th, 2012
05:19 PM ET
9 years ago

It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check

CNN's POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 10, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING... HOPE AND CHANGE, ROMNEY BUS TOUR EDITION: CNN’s Dana Bash reports, “Privately frustrated senior Republicans continue to complain to CNN that the Romney camp can’t find its footing in an economic environment that should be devastating for the president. Now Team Romney is trying to get back on offense... launching a bus tour entirely on the president’s turf: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio - all states the President won in 2008, up for grabs now. … The Romney camp is trying to course-correct not just with where the candidate goes, but what he says. It’s a two-pronged approach: streamline his economic message and reclaim the idea of Romney-the-businessman as a positive, not a negative. .. And try to shred the president's calling card: his credibility and character.... like with this brand new ad slamming the president for a pro-Obama super PAC commercial blaming Romney for a woman's death – an ad CNN found was not accurate.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading Who will it be? Romney's VP pick could step off the bus this weekend
As Mitt Romney hits the road for his four-state bus tour this weekend, the Republican candidate could possibly reveal his running mate pick during the trip through the key battleground states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

Leading Drudge: Lawsuit: Big Sis Favored Gal Pals
A veteran US law-enforcement official has filed a blockbuster discrimination lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, charging she pushed him aside to make way for a less-qualified woman who’s “enjoyed a long-standing relationship” with the anti-terror chief. – Bruce Golding

Leading HuffPo: Romney Camp: We're Taking 'High Ground'
Advisers to Mitt Romney on Friday said that President Barack Obama has diminished the presidency with his attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee, and defended their own questionable ads by saying they are part of a campaign that's "based on issues." – Jon Ward

Leading Politico: Republican hopefuls jockey for 2016
Take their word for it: Every major official in the Republican Party is really, truly, 100 percent enthusiastically committed to electing Mitt Romney this November, and they’re convinced he’ll win on Nov. 6. – Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman

Leading The New York Times: In Real Estate Deal, Romney Made His Loss a Couple’s Gain
Look closely and it is there, sandwiched between Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners II and D3 Family Bulldog Fund: the mortgage on Timothy and Betty Stamps’s modest home on Gentle Bend Drive here. – Mike McIntire

(Answer below)

How many female athletes competed in the first Olympics in which women were allowed to compete?

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

We are entering the zone where a decision by Romney is imminent, so it is hard to concentrate on anything else. We are 17 days away from the Republican convention, and most likely less away from knowing the name of Mitt Romney’s running mate – a perfect time to catch up with CNN’s Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein.

You are an expert in demographics. Are demographic groups more powerful than states to think of when weighing the upside of a potential nominee?

RON BROWNSTEIN: It’s unclear that the vice presidential choice has much impact on any measure, whether geographic or demographic. Candidates seem to veer between choices they think will help them govern (Biden, Cheney) and those they believe will help them win (Kemp, Gore, Edwards). Maybe the best you can hope for, I think, is sending a message signal, the way Clinton for instance underlined his message of generational change by picking Gore. McCain might have done the same thing, with a message about prioritizing country over party, if an internal Republican uprising had not forced him to abandon Lieberman. Not clear what big message is available to Romney except inclusion through Rubio or more likely Jindal. Allowing Democrats to keep winning 80% of all nonwhite voters is a recipe for futility.

Is there anything Romney can do in picking a VP that would help him close the gender gap in swing states?

RON BROWNSTEIN: Along the lines of the previous point, picking a woman might at least get people's attention. But I don't think it would matter much. All year, Romney has faced a gender gap among upscale white women rooted in social issues; some more recent polls (particularly in battleground states) also show some movement toward Obama among the waitress moms, those non-college white women who usually lean
Republican, that seems rooted in the sense Romney lacks empathy for their economic struggles. In theory, a VP pick might help him a little more there than with upscale women, but no one on his list really fills that bill.

In the Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol argue for Ryan and Rubio, in the name of conservative hope and change. Is that a good strategy: go for future leaders or ones who strengthen future demographic growth?

RON BROWNSTEIN: Romney has allowed the process to get away from him. His natural instinct may have been a “do no harm” cautious pick like Pawlenty and Portman. But now that would probably seem like a letdown to the party. At this point I think he needs someone who projects energy, change, and freshness more than a particular geographic or ideological point. Ryan, Rubio, Jindal, Christie seem best suited for that role.

While youthful, wouldn’t Paul Ryan hurt Romney with the one group he needs to keep on his side most: seniors?

RON BROWNSTEIN: Ryan would be a huge roll of the dice. Base loves him and he's personable and articulate. On the other hand, he embodies the House GOP budget whose centerpiece - converting Medicare into a premium support or voucher system - consistently faces majority disapproval, sometimes two-thirds.

White seniors are moving strongly Republican: over three-fifths of them voted for the GOP in 2010 House races. Ryan might hurt Romney there but those older white voters are pretty skeptical of Obama; I wonder if the bigger risk in a Ryan pick isn't with both those upscale (especially) and downscale women who put higher priority than white men on the safety net. He could be a strong choice among white men and a problematic one among white women (not to mention minorities who are consistently very cool on his plan.) Safest prediction would be that Ryan widens the gender gap.

The political bites of the day

- The Olympic spirit? -
“I don’t think a world champion limbo dancer could get any lower than the Obama campaign right now.”

- Priebus deflects Romney tax question -
“Any second we spend not talking about the fact that this president failed in his mission - the mission to fix this economy, he campaigned on this economy and hasn't accomplished a darn thing - we're worse off. That's the issue and I’m not spending any more time talking about this issue.”

- Powell evaluates Obama foreign policy -
“I think he’s done reasonably well. I think he’s done rather well, in fact. I mean, we are out of Iraq, which is a timetable that President Bush had established, and I think we are slowly turning over in Afghanistan in a sensible way. Sooner or later, the two countries, the two peoples - the Afghanistan population and the Iraqi population have to take responsibility for their own destiny and their own future. So I think he’s handled that well. He has not gotten us in any new conflicts. I think he has been vicious on terrorists with drone attacks, getting rid of Bin Laden, and things like that. I think he’s protected the country rather well. We’ve had these crazy people who run around trying to be ‘wanna be’ terrorists, but other than that, the country has been relatively safe. And most of the policies that made us safe in the Bush administration have been carried out, carried forward by President Obama. I think our relations with other countries in the world like China and the Russian Federation and many of our friends and allies, irritations come along - trade irritations more so than any other kinds of irritations these days. And I think he’s worked his way through that.”
GUT CHECK DVR: The full interview airs Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. Also on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET, Candy Crowley’s “State of the Union” has Sen. John Thune and the senior advisers to both campaigns – David Axelrod and Ed Gillespie.

What stopped us in 140 characters or less







Twenty-two women participated in the 1900 Olympic games held in Paris, and the International Olympic Committee credits two French croquet competitors - “Mrs. Brohy and Miss Ohnier” - as the first female Olympians. Women also competed in tennis and golf that year, while the committee says only one ticket was sold to the croquet competition.

In London this summer, women are taking a far more prominent role. For the first time in the Games’ history, every participating country includes women athletes, and – with the addition of women’s boxing - women are competing in every sport. Female competitors have won more than 660 medals of the 1,300 awarded so far this year, including 51 won so far by U.S. women. American men have won 38 medals thus far this year.

This year is notably the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law signed in 1972, which required equal sport opportunities for men and women.

(why aren’t you in it)

No gold to award in today’s Gut Check trivia, but while the Olympic Games end this weekend, we’ll be back with a new question for you on Monday.

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 Greg Wallace, who is filling the big shoes of the vacationing Dan Merica.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. IrvineCAVoter

    I could care less about Ronmey Campaign. His campaign is over. He could not tell the truth if it bit him on his nose. Robmey is one of the whineniest candidates in the history of US Presidents.

    Obama/Bidend is moving forward in 2012

    August 10, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    A veteran US law-enforcement official has filed a blockbuster discrimination lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, charging she pushed him aside to make way for a less-qualified woman who’s “enjoyed a long-standing relationship” with the anti-terror chief.
    Definitely NOT surprising. Napolitano is one of the MANY incompetents in the Obama adminstration. The best way to hide your incompetency is to surround yourself with other incompetents. Nobody will ever say a word.

    August 10, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Look at all the people lining up for the "Mittens' Road to Ruin Tour."

    August 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. drake mallard

    i missed the bus romney is doa.

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did
    at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine
    what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't
    in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making money

    The high unemployement is due to people like romney out sourcing jobs. that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much.

    August 10, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Looks like the same 43 people at his last stop. Is that his family?

    August 10, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Has Mittens "RETROACTIVELY RETIRED" as the GOVERNOR of MA back to before he signed ROMNEYCARE???

    Nate called North Carolina for Mittens months ago with a 65%, why are still acting like it is a toss-up state and yammerin' breathlessly about it?

    VA and Ohio look like a waste of time for the Team Robme Blind Bus Tour, with 67% and 71%, FL could go Mitt the twits way but is now 56% towards Obama(pretty sure a Ryan VP pick would bump that up 15 points).

    August 10, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Tubby the Tuba Texasc

    Dfinitely tell CNN is pushing for Romney! Constant coverage on Romney and none on the President's campaign, except the negatives!

    August 10, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Pete

    Romney and his hypocritical advisors should watch out what they say now,they might regret it later.Some saying Pres.Obama couldn't get any lower,what about Romneys primary campaign ,destroy all challengers,now he's on the other end and he's whinning about it,ya can't have it both ways Romney,if you give negetives ,you'll recieve the same in kind,remember that ya poor little Mormon moron...You're with the big boys now,so watch out what ya say or where ya step,either one could be messy!!!

    August 10, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Ed1

    On TV, the Colorado Springs police chief begged Obama not to come as he had no resources to protect him, and didn't need the extra burden ....but Obama came here anyway..
    Read this.
    Colorado Springs ..…they had to suspend flights of the fire fighting tankers because the big O came to town.
    No air traffic could be in his vicinity, so the firefighting planes had to stop. The big O (zero) spent hundreds of thosands of taxpayers money to fly across the country in Air Force One to Colorado to make a campaign stop in the middle of a tremendous fire, thereby totally disrupting all the firefighting and police efforts, and causing millions more in fire damage to forestsand homes.. and peoples lives.. all just to make himself look more prominent in the news. This is what we have for a President of our country now folks.
    He sure has the best interests of Americans at heart does'nt he! We got "change" alright !

    August 10, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Deb in MT

    "...reclaim the idea of Romney-the-businessman as a positive, not a negative..."
    Now, this is where it gets interesting, in a gob-smacked kind of way. You see, Romney's biggest (only?) selling point is his business career (because he sure as heck doesn't want to talk about his MA Governor experience–Romneycare, proChoice, assault weapon ban et al).

    So a few hours ago, Romney came out practically begging the WH and Obama campaign NOT to discuss his business experience or his taxes, and instead 'focus on issues'. He admitted that his campaign would be 'helped immensely' if no-one talked about this stuff. Well, yeah.

    That's right: Romney doesn't want to go there anymore. I think blood has been drawn–might be arterial gushing, who knows?

    Now I'm seriously wondering if Mittens will take his ball and go home before the Convention: must be some really hellacious stuff in his tax returns. If you can't take the heat, Mittens....

    August 10, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Mitt's loosing ground .

    Look at the crowd .

    August 11, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  12. Fladabosco

    I love the comments about how the economy should reflect poorly on Obama. Obama didn't create this economy – Bush II and his Republican cronies made the recession happen on purpose so they could profit on the world's economic collapse, then they went running to mommy begging for money and got billions and billions.

    It's a credit to Obama that we are not all wearing barrels.

    August 11, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Fladabosco

    And to Obama 2012 – you are right his entire administration is a failure. They haven't started any wars, ruined a banking system, put millions of people out of their homes, quadrupled the price of oil, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, or advocated torture.

    What a loser and a failure. How incompetent.

    August 11, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. retief1954

    CNN found the Obama ad insinuating that Romney and his actions are responsible for a woman's death is not true? Oh well! Obama's just playin' the game by the Republican Rules! It's a page lifted directly from the Rove/Romney playbook! Funny how they don't like it when their signature tactics are used against them. Oh, the protesting! Oh, the accusations! Oh, the whining!

    August 12, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |