CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 17, 2012
September 17th, 2012
05:30 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 17, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 17, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: OBAMA VS. ROMNEY ON CHINA... President Barack Obama campaigned in America's car country on Monday after his administration filed a trade complaint against China's auto industry subsidies, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney complained the move was "too little, too late." – Tom Cohen

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “He has been running around Ohio claiming he is going to roll up his sleeves and he is going to take the fight to China. Here, here’s the thing – his experience has been owning companies that have been called pioneers in outsourcing jobs to countries like China. He, he, he made money investing in companies that uprooted from here and went to China. Pioneers. Now Ohio, you can’t stand up to China when all you have done is sent them our jobs. You can talk a good game, but I like to walk the walk not just talk the talk.”

MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN LOS ANGELES: “The president may think that announcing new trade lawsuits less than two months from the election will distract from his record, but American businesses and workers struggling on an uneven playing field know better. If I had known that all it took to get him to take action was to run an ad citing his inaction on China’s cheating, I would have run one a long time ago.”

(Answer below)
Why did former President George Washington date his farewell address on September 17, 1796?

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

“Resolute” - That was the one word Mitt Romney used during the Arizona Republican Presidential Debate in February when asked by John King: “Describe yourself using one word and one word only.”

So, how did the man who wanted to be known for constancy suddenly become seen managing a campaign that Politico describes in detail as stumbling, with “few lines of authority or accountability."

Over the past three weeks, Republican conversation about the Romney campaign switched from curiosity over how the Clint Eastwood convention fiasco happened to concern over the Romney campaign’s command of issues after their rapid response to President Barack Obama’s handling of the deadly anti-American protests in Libya and other protests in other parts of the Middle East.

A new Pew poll shows that the concern is not unwarranted: 48% - nearly half - of people who followed last week’s news developments in the Middle East disapproved of Romney’s comments on the situation.

Adding to the concern, a slew of new swing state polls over the weekend revealed Romney losing ground in an otherwise tight presidential race.

With this backdrop in the media cycle, it comes as no surprise that the Romney campaign unveiled a new strategy today, in which it promises specifics on a wide range of policies to contrast his plans with Obama’s policy-by-policy.

And on an interesting note, the strategy includes a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, so perhaps Republicans will aim to get a Bill Clinton-bump in the polls of their own.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Windy City's teachers' strike a local uproar politically
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's showdown with the city's teachers' union is making waves in the Windy City but the standoff involving President Barack Obama's former chief of staff will cause few ripples with voters nationally, political experts say. The labor battle intensified on Monday as a Cook County judge refused to immediately hear a school system request to force members of the Chicago Teachers Union to return to the classroom and end the walkout affecting more than 350,000 students since last week. – Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: GM Wants Out Of Gov't; Obama Says No
The Treasury Department is resisting General Motors' push for the government to sell off its stake in the auto maker, The Wall Street Journal reports. After a $50 billion bailout in 2009, the U.S. taxpayers now own almost 27% of the company. But the newspaper said GM executives are now chafing at that, saying it hurts the company's reputation and its ability to attract top talent due to pay restrictions. – William Spain

Leading HuffPo: Romney Leak: Obama Voters 'Dependent On Government'… Caught Off The Record In Secret Fundraiser Footage... Campaign Mum...
The overwhelming majority of voters who back President Barack Obama do so because they are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," Mitt Romney told a closed-door gathering of about 30 major donors earlier this year, according to video of the event that has surfaced on the Internet. – Ryan Grim and Matt Sledge

Gut Check Full Service: The Romney campaign would not comment by press time on the validity of the video posted by Mother Jones and the Huffington Post, they did institute a new policy allowing the press pool to cover campaign fundraisers. While the press has been able to cover fundraisers for months, the press is now allowed to videotape at least the speech portion of the same fundraisers.

Leading Politico: Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled
Romney’s convention stumbles have provoked weeks of public griping and internal sniping about not only Romney but also his mercurial campaign muse, Stevens. Viewed warily by conservatives, known for his impulsiveness and described by a colleague as a “tortured artist,” Stevens has become the leading staff scapegoat for a campaign that suddenly is behind in a race that had been expected to stay neck and neck through Nov. 6. – Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei

Leading The New York Times: Looking, Very Closely, for Voter Fraud
True the Vote’s plan is to scrutinize the validity of voter registration rolls and voters who appear at the polls. Among those in their cross hairs: noncitizens who are registered to vote, those without proper identification, others who may be registered twice, and dead people. In Ohio and Indiana, True the Vote recently filed lawsuits to force officials to clean up voter rolls. – Stephanie Saul

The political bites of the day

- Romney campaign looking forward to renewed emphasis of contrast -
ED GILLESPIE, A ROMNEY ADVISER, ON A CONFERENCE CALL: “We are looking forward to this new emphasis and renewed emphasis on why it is that electing Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan would result in better, higher take home pay, more jobs in a better economy and you'll see that in a number of formats.”

- Citizenship ceremony marks Constitution’s anniversary -
CHIEF JUDGE ROYCE LAMBERTH, A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, AT AN EVENT HONOR THE 225TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONSTITUTION: “Two hundred and twenty-five years ago today, 39 delegates in Philadelphia signed the final version of the Constitution that was later adopted. And so we celebrate that as Constitution Day today. It's also Citizenship Day. We've recognized from the beginning that we all came from somewhere else. Except for a few Native Americans that were here, all of us came from somewhere else and we have become citizens of this great nation coming from somewhere else as you are doing today. We're delighted to have you as our newest citizens today.”

- Guarding the change vs. changing the guard -
ROD SMITH, CHAIRMAN OF THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY, RILES THE BASE AT A MICHELLE OBAMA CAMPAIGN EVENT: “Now is the time. This is the place. You're the generation that can help us win this race. Today, I ask you to join this first lady. Welcome this first lady and the president. Fight with the president as they continue. For as it has been said, four years ago, folks, it was about changing the guard. Now it's about guarding the change! Thank you, Gators!”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less








In 1796, the idea of a world leader offering a voluntary farewell address was remarkable and rare. In a time of despotic European leaders fighting to stay in power, the thought that President George Washington would cede power willingly was seen as extraordinary.

But that is exactly what Washington did on September 19, 1796, when he published his “farewell address,” as it came to be known, in the American Daily Advertiser, a Philadelphia publication.

The letter, which was dated September 17, 1796, to coincide with the ninth anniversary of the Constitution’s publication, was in effect a call to arms to preserve the American idea. Both in content and in symbolism, Washington’s letter validated American democracy.

In it, Washington outlined what the country should do to be successful and what he had learned over his 45 years in politics and public service. In particular, the first president warned Americans about the perils of political parties.

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism,” Washington wrote about political parties. “But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.”

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations for Greg Dean (@gregdean11) – he correctly tweeted that Washington dated his farewell address on September 17, 1796, the ninth anniversary to the publication of the Constitution.

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This guy is a total nonsense. He has no brain. Laughing stack to the world.

    September 17, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. PADoc1

    Well, CNN, this is a new sort of low. You are actually printing out the president's stutter? You would ridicule someone's speach impediment?? Simply amazing.

    September 17, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Gurgyl....I agree!. That's a very good description of Obama.

    September 17, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Non-partisan Congressional Research Service study concludes no evidence exists in the past 65 years that tax cuts create jobs or spur economic growth.

    CNN reports on same: 0

    Grade: F.

    September 17, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. thank you sir may I have another

    I am voting for Obama. Four more years of record unemployment and debt, who cares? I still get my free government stuff. I'll ride the gravy train until it rides no more. It's the Democrat way.

    September 17, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. cali girl

    Will the real Robmey please stand up, please stand up.
    Will the real Robmey please stand up, please stand up.

    September 17, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Mitt is twitt....

    September 17, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    Sniffit - Non-partisan Congressional Research Service study concludes no evidence exists in the past 65 years that tax cuts create jobs or spur economic growth
    Then why has Obama and hte Democrats given MANY of them? He wanted and signed into law the Obama Tax Cuts for the Rich (everybody that actually pays taxes).

    And if tax cuts are bad, then tax increases must be better, so why is everybody so worried about Obama's TAXmageddon in January?!!

    So are you actually saying if the federal government takes a trillion dollars OUT of the economy in taxes, it will not have an affect on jobs and spending, aka the economy?

    September 17, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Free stuff for tax evaders, loopholes for businesses that outsource, free stuff for Haliburton contracts, idiots these are free stuff for wealthy–if you lack jobs, it is government take care in democratic society. I bet you are not wealthy either., idiots.

    September 17, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "And if you want a LOT more jobs America, get rid of Obama and the leftist Democrats. They could care less about jobs. They only care about their leftist ideology."

    Sweetheart, you are a tool. Almost as bad as Mitt Romney. Those jobs you cite are from the Obama Stimulus NOT your Republican controlled obstructionists. P.S. Your desperation is humorous and well rounded.

    September 17, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Most right wingnuts know that Mittens will finish the economic fiasco that the Bush/republicans handed our president in 2009.

    September 17, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. kayla

    "thank you" , atleast the koch brothers don't own the president the way they own the stiff

    September 17, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. T'sah From Virginia

    ►cali girl
    Will the real Robmey please stand up, please stand up.
    Will the real Robmey please stand up, please stand up.◄
    If he does it will be a real FLIP, a real FLOP, a real FLIP-FLOP
    If he does it will be a real FLIP, a real FLOP, a real FLIP FLOP!!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    September 17, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    The paid republican trolls are out in force. Guess Adelson's Communist Chinese cash is putting some folks to work. ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Funny tho, they all copy and paste the same republican talking points.

    September 17, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. india

    i believe your news are so out of touch or reality inmigration is a situation i am form another country i have legal papers every country do wants legal residents please do not cover reality do not cover your eye with your hands people who work do not have to support people on welfare that should be temporary not a life style i want to see my money i am republican and everyday people like you make me realize you and obama make parasites out of people not forcing them to be responsible life is that been responsible get your legal paper 30 or 40 years in this country have no justification and children not born in this country should not be before our children born in this country i paid taxes my husband pay taxes an my child pay taxes since he was 16 why this children illegal get more than my child i am dominican i know what it is to be illegal i paid for health insurance at work why people dont want to pay for insurance i will not vote for obama or anybody who will give credit to the working class that is denigrating and the racist card about him is just a lie an excuse to do what wants i think mexico do not have any rights to force this country to take their people or any other country those goverments on other spanish country become rich because of their people demanding the rights that we do not demand in our country to our goverments and people like your channel and other very similar go along with all those unfair ideas against people who work

    September 17, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. CBR

    How many items were bought by the candidates that were manufactured outside of the USA? Do they pay taxes on everything they own? Do they shop at stores whose inventory is mostly made up of items which come from outside of the country. Mr. Romney's shirts may be made in China yet he lets us know he is a regular guy shopping the box stores. Don't think he has to look at labels or price tags.

    September 17, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    This twit campaign gets better by the minute. Is there anything else they have tried that has worked? I can't think of one and every time he or that boy toy open their mouths to spew more lies more people are going to vote Democrat.
    BTW – you lost keeping the President off the ballot iin Kansas just like you will vote suppressing voting rights to ALL AMERICANS in other swing state that you need to win but you won't.

    September 17, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. deangarr

    It is going to be more than that 47% of Americans who vote against you, Mr. Romney.
    We don't want to see you anywhere NEAR the White House.
    You are not only cynical and vacant, you are frightening.

    September 17, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Craig RB

    The Republican party is a mess. We're on the right track with Obama and thank God he's going to win.

    September 18, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Business men are not too happy with the twit's comments on China either.
    Can this guy insult or tick off anybody else except the super rich and his right wing zealots (who are really not that into him but are stuck with him)?

    September 18, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  21. BrianB

    It seems that the mainstream media is completely ignoring the fact that the President of the United States doesn't seem to think it is important enough to stop campaigning to deal with attacks on our sovereign ground in several countries. These attacks are huge in their overall meaning to the standing of the U.S. around the world, and are being overshadowed by such things as clandestine video clips taken out of context... This is WAY more important than a few fundraiser parties on the campaign trail.

    September 18, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |