CNN’s GUT CHECK for October 8, 2012
October 8th, 2012
04:50 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for October 8, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 8, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: ROMNEY LEADS OBAMA 49% – 45% IN NEW PEW POLL… “Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling,” President of Pew Research Center Andrew Kohut writes. “Romney has drawn even with Obama in the presidential race among registered voters (46% to 46%) after trailing by nine points (42% to 51%) in September. Among likely voters, Romney holds a slight 49% to 45% edge over Obama. He trailed by eight points among likely voters last month.”

WHY?By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the Republican is now better regarded on most personal dimensions and on most issues than he was in September. Romney is seen as the candidate who has new ideas and is viewed as better able than Obama to improve the jobs situation and reduce the budget deficit. Fully 66% of registered voters say Romney did the better job in last Wednesday’s debate, compared with just 20% who say Obama did better,” Kohut explains.

METHODOLOGY: “The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters (1,112 likely voters), finds that 67% of Romney’s backers support him strongly, up from 56% last month. For the first time in the campaign, Romney draws as much strong support as does Obama.”

DEVELOPING: VP DEBATE PREP UNDERWAY Vice President Joe Biden is currently in Wilmington, Delaware prepping for the vice presidential debate Thursday. However, the Obama campaign does not expect Biden, a former senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to make up for the president's showing in the first presidential debate, according to multiple Democratic sources.- Jesscia Yellin

MEANWHILE: Paul Ryan says Romney raised the bar; warns listeners to watch for a “flying” Biden… Paul Ryan in an interview with Detroit radio station WJR: “He raised the bar quite high, that's for sure. Mitt definitely put the pressure on from that perspective. … Joe Biden is just going to come flying at us. It seems pretty clear that their new strategy is just basically to call us liars, to descend down into a mud pit, and hopefully with enough mudslinging back and forth–and distortion–people get demoralized and they can win by default.”

(Answer below)
Last week, the Washington Nationals’ Teddy Roosevelt showed his athletic prowess by winning his first president’s race. Known for his athletic prowess, what did the real Teddy say when he encountered an obstacle on a hike?

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

Just hours after Mitt Romney delivered what was billed as a major foreign policy address by his campaign, what caught our eye today was not what we saw, but what we didn’t in terms of reaction from conservative thought leaders.

As of late this afternoon, Red State, The Weekly Standard and National Review did not have a fresh take on Romney’s speech from the Virginia Military Institute where he accused President Obama of leading “from behind” in terms of the Middle East. The speech was an effort by the Romney campaign to call into question Obama’s record on foreign policy at a time when polls shows that voters have confidence in the president on this subject.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did weigh in on Twitter and described Romney’s address as a “Terrific, comprehensive speech by Gov. Romney at VMI. He knows America's role in the world should be as a leader not as a spectator.”

The liberal blogs pounced on Romney’s address with ThinkProgress saying that the former Massachusetts governor reversed himself on foreign aid and a post on DailyKos mocked Rumsfeld’s tweet.

It is a federal holiday and Washington, DC is only half open, so we will likely see reaction from conservatives overnight, as Red State Editor Erick Erickson suggested.

Erickson said that the speech was important because it highlighted that “Barack Obama’s campaign went from Osama bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is on the run to al-Qaeda is alive and our ambassador is dead.”

But Erickson noted that his foreign policy review of the Obama administration cannot stand on its own, rather it should be part of a larger argument against another four years for Obama.

“I think that Mitt Romney is going to need to turn this into a larger critique of the Obama administration,” said Erickson, who is a CNN contributor. “They can’t handle foreign policy and the economy separately.”

Still, there are only 29 days left until Election Day, maybe some conservatives would rather see Romney devote his time and energy to the economy. A Romney adviser, who asked not to be named, did tell us that the focus in these closing days should be 100 percent dedicated to contrasting the governor’s economic vision to the president’s record.

The topic du jour of Columbus Day was foreign policy – will Romney follow Erickson’s counsel and link it tomorrow to his economic message?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Romney calls for strong U.S. role in world affairs
Mitt Romney promised Monday to restore the traditional U.S. foreign policy dating to the end of World War II, based on exerting influence through military and economic power, in a major speech two weeks before he debates President Barack Obama on international issues. – Tom Cohen

Leading Drudge: 'Hope Is Not A Strategy'
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Monday that President Obama has embraced a passive foreign policy that retreats from the bipartisan consensus that has governed for generations, and said that under Mr. Obama the United States no longer shapes events on the global stage. – Seth McLaughlin for The Washington Times

Leading HuffPo: Too Close for Comfort
The surprisingly strong debate performance by Republican nominee Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama last week has resulted in a dramatic tightening in the presidential race, according to tracking surveys conducted since Wednesday. – Mark Blumenthal

Leading Politico: Mitt Romney: Obama has made U.S. less safe
Using his harshest language yet, Mitt Romney charged Monday that President Barack Obama has made America less safe during his time in office, citing the recent attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya as a case in point. In a tough foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute here, Romney linked the attacks in Benghazi — including the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens — to a broader critique of Obama’s foreign policy as naïve and weak. – James Hohmann

Leading The New York Times: Romney Strives to Stand Apart in Global Policy
Mitt Romney intensified his efforts Monday to draw a sharp contrast with President Obama on national security in the presidential campaign’s closing stages, portraying Mr. Obama as having mishandled the tumult in the Arab world and having left the nation exposed to a terrorist attack in Libya. – David E. Sanger

The political bites of the day

- Romney talks tough on Iran, says he would increase sanctions – but on what? -
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN VIRGINIA: “I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination. For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions - not just words - that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.”

- Obama surrogates blast Romney speech, say he goes the way the wind goes on foreign policy -
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, ON AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE CALL: “I watched the speech with great interest trying to figure out what Gov. Romney’s policies really are. This is, I think, the seventh speech he has given on foreign policy over the years but I think I have come out more confused because he has changed his mind on a number of different issues in terms of Libya, for instance, I mean first he was for the intervention, now he is against it.”

- Obama honors Cesar Chavez -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT AN EVENT ESTABLISHING THE CÉSAR E. CHÁVEZ NATIONAL MONUMENT: “Our world is a better place because Cesar Chavez decided to change it. Let us honor his memory, but most importantly, let’s live up to his example.”

- GM to hire 2,000 in a battleground Michigan county -
MICHIGAN GOV. RICK SNYDER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DETROIT FREE PRESS: “Michigan's the place to be, to innovate, and to do it on a significant scale of 1,500 jobs is very exciting. I'm fired up by this.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Daniel Gross (@grossdm)
Freaked-out Obamaphiles should keep one thing in mind: Romney is about to talk about foreign policy. That is all.

Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell)
Liberals say Mitt's foreign policy is same as Obama's or he's war mongering or he's lying. Their excuses are as confusing as their policy.

Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg)
The greatest foreign policy assumption in this race is that any president can shape in a dispositive way the flow of Middle East history.

Adam P. Levy (@adamplevycnn)
Welcome to twitter, @David_Cameron. No need for Brits to pay for long distance calls to DC now. Simply tweet @BarackObama #TwitterDiplomacy

Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
Christie's re-election bid complicates RGA succession. Looks like he will chair 2014. Jindal likely to chair 2013

Jon Ralston (‏@RalstonReports)
Inbox: "TOMORROW: SHELLEY BERKLEY TO CAMPAIGN WITH PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN LAS VEGAS" #popularitytransferplease #dragmeoverthefinishline


President Teddy Roosevelt was known for his “White House walks” - strenuous jaunts throughout largely unkempt terrain of Washington. According to TIME Magazine, this occasionally included a nude swim across the Potomac.

Occasionally, these walks would include foreign dignitaries and high level government officials. According to Edmund Morris’ biography of Roosevelt, “A Strenuous Life,” the president had only one rule about these jaunts: Whenever the group encountered an obstacle, the entire party was not allowed to go around.

“Over, under, or through—but never around,” Roosevelt was known to say.

After more than 500 attempts, the beloved Teddy Roosevelt mascot that has become a staple at Washington Nationals home games finally won his first race of the presidents last week. Competing against “George Washington,” “Abraham Lincoln” and “Thomas Jefferson,” Teddy has been shut out for years, much to the chagrin of Nationals fans.

Finally, however, Teddy lived up to his adage and went “through” the finish line first.

(why aren’t you in it)

Is everybody out celebrating Columbus Day? Discovering new worlds? No correct answers to today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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 Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This is bunch of fabricated stuff. Mitt the twit is going to wash away. No one in the right mind will ever consider this idiot. This dude is a pathological LIAR.

    October 8, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Bolthead


    Pew Research really has Governor Romney up by four?

    That's amazing.

    President Obama's in trouble.

    Pew Research IS NOT a right-leaning organization, to say the least.

    October 8, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Paul

    Really? Hard to believe, that lieing your way through a debate would shift poll numbers in this way. Is there a segment of the population that has no clue as to how these policies are going to effect them.

    October 8, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Borderless

    Ryan, summing up Obama camp's strategy. Lets face it, when your only recourse is to constantly accuse your opponent of lying or flip flopping, your campaign has run out of gas. Here's a thought, Obama. Go on Nick and try to convince a bunch of impressionable young kids that your a good president. Also, try finding some demographic to pander by offering them a memorial. If all else fails, offer a voting block money. There you go. Obama Campaigning 101.

    October 8, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. john2655

    do you REALLY think that we believe that Romney is leading Obama. How stupid do you think we are?

    October 8, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. enfilmigult

    Okay, look. I think Romney was embarrassing, and I think the only reason he's getting a bounce from the debate is that undecided voters largely weren't paying attention to the race earlier, and have no idea how abruptly he changed his platforms right there on the stage.

    But I know confirmation bias can be fearsome, so I want someone to tell me I'm wrong, and why. What makes you think he's better able to handle the jobs situation, or better at coming up with fresh ideas, or better in general? Because rightly or wrongly, I just can't see evidence of any of that.

    October 8, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Wade

    First PEW research is a good pollster but they were using 2008 political data to weight their polls like so many others have done so there results are 7 to 9 points off in favor of Obama. The reason of course s that DEMS registration is way down while GOP is way up. Second Pew is counting registered voters. That is absurd since 30% of Registered voters never vote. Third the polls that count LIKELY VOTERS which is the one that actually matters show Romney winning or a tie for Obama.

    October 8, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. ronb

    LOL. Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes! Romney is toast. If anyone was swayed by the lies he told during the debate, shame on them.

    October 8, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. bob

    Romney changes his story as often as he changes his clothes... Now he says he was all wrong with his "47% comments" and he's not going to lower taxes for the rich??? How can anyone believe what he says at any given time? What you can believe are Paul Ryan's views on social issues. If one has daughters and doesn't think they should have to carry a rapist's baby then you had better not put him a heartbeat away from being president...

    October 8, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. Thomas

    That Image of Mitt says it all ," Chronic constipation ".

    With all his traveling and flip flopping he looks like he needs to ad a little fiber into his life.

    Love that Photo , Angry constipated white guy !

    October 8, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Bill Hart

    Newt Gingrich said that during the debate Romney flipped flopped on taxes. Last spring Romney proposed 20% cuts in taxes for all, including the top 1%. During the debate he denied ever saying it. Mitt will say anything to win. Middle class beware if Romney wins.

    October 8, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Frankie

    I'm sure when people see that Mitt Romney could even debate himself and we don't know which Mitt will show up from event to event, they may change their minds. Mitt should just stick to the business world where it is okay for him to do what ever he needs to close the deal, but in politics, people want someone with core values who will stick to their core beliefs. Right now, I don't know what Romney's core beliefs are because he has changed positions so many times on nearly every issue. I can't trust him, how can Republicans trust him, he may be moderate. How can moderates trust him, he may really be "extremely conservative" as he has labeled himself in the primaries.

    October 8, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. Vsb

    Romney is stupid. The debate was equal. They did an ok job. But Obama is more educated. I will vote for Obama!

    October 8, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Ms Edyeluv

    The Devil is not even in disguise. True Americans see the truth before you, vote with your eyes open. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. No votes for Lyin Robme/Lyin Ryan/Lyin Rethugs-Pugs. Let's not break rank, nor look back. But continue to move Onward and Forward.

    October 8, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Mitt is selling himself out! He is lying his way to the top because Americans are too lazy to check the accuracy of his statements in his debate. Style and energy, yes! Substance, NO! Get the facts people!

    October 8, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. CBR

    We certainly did hear many reports after the debate telling us that Mr. Romney was the winner. Perhaps his debating style was good that night. He did what all good CEO's do when they present a new idea or plan. It is our job to decide if his responses will help or hinder us growth. He has this policy which has not been explained to us. Do we accept a statements that someone has a policy without explaining it to us.

    I prefer to look at everything that the candidates are saying and how they envision moving the country forward. When I get enough info I will decide. Debate performances do not influence me. Past performance as an elected official would be important. Since I lived in MA at the time he was governor I know how I think Mr. Romney did. I know how he allowed the western part of the start to fall down even more. He left a deficit and a health plan that could not be paid for. He left the Republican candidate to fend for herself even after she had taken on some tough and not too popular initiatives.She failed to be elected.

    October 8, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Pete

    It's funny how Ryan is accusing Biden of throwing mud in their future debate and calling us liars,hey Ryan does truth hurt!!Romney saying no foriegn economic trade treaties have been signed under this president, he got three that Bushs crew couldn't get thru and he's working on a major deal,any more unfactual rants big mouth!!And to all his republicans hypocrites out there all the president has to do is state your facts,Romney doesn't have any,not to fact check and he's always changing his policies,can't dispute something that doesn't exist right and most what the president did say about his policies that Romney said about is just that lies that just were made up to appease you ignorent voters looking out for an instant fix.Bush had 8 years to screw this country up so you should give this president the same consideration as well,but you won't being racist and all!!

    October 8, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. Deborah

    Romney was more than stellar. Obama should be impeached for his failure to lead.If Romney said um as many times as Obama it would have been herald by CNN. The only ones afraid of losing Obama are those abusing the dole. Better start looking for work people. You're gonna need one. McDonalds is hiring.And 53% so far are done paying for unemployed winers.

    October 8, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Robert

    Tired of the liberal bias. How come no one is fact checking Obama who is stealing 716 billion from medicare to pay for Al Queda?

    October 8, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Mkimbizi

    The extremists in the (read) Rehabilitating party have no idea a hurricane 5 is on the way! Obama will come storming back and they will be out of the window. We start with the Biden hurricane 4 sweeping Ryan this week. I can bet ya!

    October 8, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. Jason

    You mean to tell me after one debate, the public have already switch over to this pathological liar. Mitt Romney will do or say anything to get elected. I cannot believe that this poll is acurate. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not going to do right by the poor and middle class. This cannot be true, it just can't! Who are they polling, because within a few days Romney is leading President Obama. This is not true.

    October 8, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |