It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check
October 10th, 2012
05:22 PM ET
9 years ago

It's Time for CNN's Political Gut Check

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

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Ryan says: I've always just believed that if you're going to do something, do it well … Joe Biden has been doing this for a long time. He ran for president twice, he's a sitting vice president. He's been on this big stage many times before, so this is new for me. … I'm just doing my homework and studying the issues and I'll know how he'll come and attack us. The problem he has is, he has Barack Obama's record he has to run on.

BASH: The only other person to debate Joe Biden in a vice presidential debate is Sarah Palin. Have you called her for advice?
RYAN: You know, I haven't. I don't really know her, I only met her once and that was about two years ago?
BASH: Would you?
RYAN: Sure, sure, sure.
BASH: She famously or maybe infamously said that she wanted to call him Joe because kept calling him Joe O’Biden in debate practice.
RYAN: You know I've known Joe a long time-
BASH: So you're not going to call him-
RYAN: I know him as Joe and he calls me Paul … You know, I haven't given it that much thought to be honest with you. Probably not unless he wants to make it casual. But we know each other. Actually, we've gotten along quite well over the years. I like Joe personally quite a bit. I just disagree with his policies.

GUT CHECK DVR: Tune into CNN’s Debate Night in America Thursday at 7 p.m. ET for more of the Ryan interview – including Ryan on how debate prep is like hunting.

(Answer below)

In what vice presidential debate did the use of a hearing aid come up?

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

Our eyes are fixated on the women of Ohio, a key demographic that highlights the hard sell that’s still on Mitt Romney’s to-do list.

A new CNN-ORC International Poll shows the stark gap: While Barak Obama is losing among white men in Ohio to Mitt Romney 34%-64%, the president leads Mitt Romney 52% – 46% among white women.

In Columbus on Wednesday, CNN’s John King writes that women in the state are a “battleground within a battleground.”

King’s reporting underscores the damage that Romney’s “47%” comments caused, especially among women who are concerned about a safety net. One Ohio voter, Jessica Lundgren, told King, “How can you put your faith and trust in a candidate that doesn't care about everybody?" Another, Sharon Wiseman, characterized her reaction to Romney’s comment this way, “That's me. He's talking about me."

Now that the Obama campaign has started using those comments in political advertisements, the seeds of distrust and concern will become more evident, even as the statewide polls tighten. The question then becomes less of rapid fire damage control and more of a race against time. With less than 30 days left, it is hard to repair trust, and perhaps even harder to get to 270 without Ohio.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Polls show size of Romney's post-debate bounce
Need any more evidence that debates do matter in the presidential election? A slew of national polls and surveys from crucial swing states suggests they do. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: Uh O: Obama Attended Wedding Of VP Debate Moderator
President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review. – The Daily Caller

Leading HuffPo: 'I Was Just Too Polite'
In addition to refiguring his approach to and preparation for the next debate, part of President Barack Obama's task is to reassure a base in despair. During a radio interview with Tom Joyner Wednesday morning, Obama tried to do just that, telling the hugely popular host that he understands he has to go for the jugular when he meets Mitt Romney again next Tuesday. – Sam Stein

Leading Politico: Angst grows among President Obama's supporters
After months of watching Mitt Romney twist in the media glare, a growing number of President Barack Obama’s supporters — though confined for now to a noisy minority of liberals — are peering into the Obama-might-actually-lose abyss for the first time after last week’s disastrous first debate. – Glenn Thrush

Leading The New York Times: As Romney Repeats Trade Message, Bain Maintains China Ties
The tale of Asimco Technologies, an auto parts manufacturer whose plants dot eastern China, would seem to underscore Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail complaint that China’s manufacturing juggernaut is costing America jobs. - Sharon LaFraniere And Mike McIntire

Intriguing Opinion: Rand Paul: Romney's wrong on Middle East, defense spending
This week, I will campaign for Gov. Mitt Romney. I believe this election will and should be about moving America back from the edge of the abyss on which we stand, where our debt and spending threaten to overwhelm and drown us. Romney's belief in free markets, limited government and trade make him the clear choice to lead our country come January. I do not, however, support a call for intervention in Syria. And, if such intervention were being contemplated, it is absolutely necessary that Congress give any such authority to the president. No president, Republican or Democrat, has the unilateral power to take our nation to war without the authority of the legislature. – Sen. Rand Paul

The political bites of the day

- Obama on his debate performance: I was ‘too polite’ –
OBAMA, ON LAST WEDNESDAY’S DEBATE, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH “THE TOM JOYNER MORNING SHOW:” “I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true. It gets repetitive. But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Gov. Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term. And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one.”

- Romney’s abortion answer that lit up the political world -
IN AN EDITORIAL BOARD MEETING WITH THE DES MOINES REGISTER, ROMNEY IS ASKED, “DO YOU INTEND TO PURSUE ANY LEGISLATION SPECIFICALLY REGARDING ABORTION?” ROMNEY’s REPLY: “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda. One thing I would change, however, which would be done by executive order, not by legislation, is that I’d reinstate the Mexico City policy, which is that foreign aid dollars from the United States would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries. It has long been our practice here that taxpayer dollars are not to be used to fund abortion in this country. President Obama on the 10th day of his in administration changed the Mexico City policy to say that abortion services were not prohibited in our foreign aid dollars. I would go back to the original so-called Mexico City policy.”

HOURS LATER, ROMNEY CLARIFIES HIS ABORTION STANCE ON THE ROPE LINE: “I think I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also, I‘ve indicated that I will reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy which keeps us from using foreign aid for abortions overseas.”

- Also in the Des Moines Register Editorial Board -
ROMNEY SUGGESTS HIS TAX REFORM ROUTE COULD INCLUDE A CAP ON DEDUCTIONS: “Say the number is $25,000 or $50,000 or whatever the number might be, and give deductions up to that amount. You can put housing into that. You can put charitable contributions into that. You can fill that bucket as you’d like, and once you reach that level, that’s the total amount of your deductions.”

GUT CHECK FLASHBACK – Romney floated the same number in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Tuesday, but offered a different number in an October 1 interview.

PRESSED BY CNN’S WOLF BLITZER ON TUESDAY: “I'm not going to lay out a piece of legislation here, because I intend to work together with Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But there are a number of ways one could approach this. One would be to have a total cap number. It could be $25,000, $50,000. And people could put whatever deduction in that total cap they'd like. Or, instead, you could take the posture that Bowles-Simpson did, which is going after specific deductions and limiting them in various ways.”

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN AFFILIATE KDVR ON OCTOBER 1: “You could do something, for instance, as an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction, and you can use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others – a health care deduction, and you can fill that bucket, if you will, that $17,000 bucket that way. And higher income people might have a lower number. Or you could do it by the same method that Bowles-Simpson did it, which is limiting certain deductions.”

- McCaskill ads feature sexual assault survivors –
ONE OF THREE NEW ADS OUT WEDNESDAY FROM SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL OF MISSOURI, WHOSE CHALLENGER IS REP. TODD AKIN, FEATURES “DIANA:” “I'm a Republican and a pro-life mother, and a rape survivor. In the hospital I was offered emergency contraception. Because of my personal beliefs, I declined. Here's what else I believe: No woman should be denied that choice. What Todd Akin said is offensive, but what he believes is worse. He would criminalize emergency contraception. I've never voted for Claire McCaskill, but because of Todd Akin, I will now.”

- Chaffetz defends vote to cut funding for Libyan diplomatic security –
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, REPUBLICAN OF UTAH, TO SOLEDAD O’BRIEN ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT:” “Absolutely. Look, we have to make priorities and choices in this country. … When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Martha Raddatz ‏(@MarthaRaddatz)
Just arriving Kentucky for #vpdebate with colleagues @jonkarl and @rickklein !!beautiful here!!

Mark Knoller ‏(@markknoller)
No good reason why we all couldn't be watching live coverage of Supreme Court arguments today in Affirmative Action case.

Peter Hamby ‏(@PeterHambyCNN)
Bain wants to invest in Gawker. "This is awkward." > (h/t @nickconfessore)

Jennifer Liberto ‏(@jenliberto)
Jamie Dimon is mad at Washington via @CNNMoney

Tyler Kepner ‏(@TylerKepner)
BREAKING: George, Tom, Abe and Teddy are doing the Gangnam Style dance on the warning track. And Teddy wins the race again! #natitude

CNN & Facebook’s Social Watch: Ryan trumps Biden on Facebook 10 to 1: Over the past 24 hours, people across the country have been talking over 10 times more on Facebook about Paul Ryan than Vice President Joe Biden. Females age 55 and up are buzzing the most on Facebook about Ryan and Biden, while people ages 18-24 have been talking the least about the vice presidential candidates. As Ryan and Biden prepare for their debate tomorrow, people from Kentucky, the state in which the face-off will occur, are talking more about the GOP vice presidential candidate on Facebook.


Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale was independent candidate Ross Perot’s vice presidential running mate in 1992. Though he was known as one of the most decorated members of the United States Navy, he was also known for his lackluster performance in the 1992 vice presidential debate with Al Gore and Dan Quayle.

After being asked a question during that debate, Stockdale looked questionably at the moderator and responded, “You know, I didn’t have my hearing aid turned on. Tell me again.”

That was not his only memorable line of the night. When moderator Hal Bruno, the political director of ABC News, asked for Stockdale’s opening statement, the vice admiral responded, “Who am I? Why am I here?

Years later, Stockdale explained the odd comments to Jim Lehrer.

“It was terribly frustrating because I remember I started with, ‘Who am I? Why am I here?’ and I never got back to that because there was never an opportunity for me to explain my life to people,” Stockdale said. “It was so different from Quayle and Gore. The four years in solitary confinement in Vietnam, seven-and-a-half years in prisons, drop the first bomb that started the ... American bombing raid in North Vietnam. We blew the oil storage tanks of them off the map. And I never—I couldn't approach—I don't say it just to brag, but, I mean, my sensitivities are completely different.”

(why aren’t you in it?)

Congratulations to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) of Phoenix for correctly identifying the debate and speaker.

Our inbox awaits:
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 shoes of Dan Merica, who is playing hookie today to be part of DC baseball history today.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Dave Funk

    How does something called "Gut Check" not ask about illegal Obama campaign donations, CCV checks turned off, site situated in China with an operator in China running it.

    October 10, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. brown291

    Wow there is something horribly wrong when we as a nation can accept someone who has changed his position over and over again. This is ridiculous What a joke.!

    October 10, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Francis

    Sooooo many people have a hard time believing anything that CNN posts. Why don't you guys try writing a story about propaganda? I always read to know what kind of lies I can expect dogmatic liberals to spew.

    October 10, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |