CNN's GUT CHECK for October 15, 2012
October 15th, 2012
05:09 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 15, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 15, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: ROMNEY PULLS IN $170 MILLION IN SEPTEMBER; $11 MILLION LESS THAN OBAMA … “Mitt Romney's campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, raised $170 million in September, the campaign announced Monday. The number comes more than a week after President Barack Obama's team said they raised a record $181 million for the president's re-election effort in the same month. … The GOP nominee's $170 million haul came in before Romney's widely proclaimed win in the first presidential debate.”

A campaign spokeswoman tweets that fundraising in October has been strong, too:


(Answer below)
In possibly the most iconic town-hall debate moment, George H.W. Bush struggled to relate with a woman's question in 1992. What was her question about?

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

The political battle over Benghazi still has our attention.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been personally removed from the political volleying, has agreed to a round robin of interviews later tonight, including one with CNN’s Elise Labott.

Gut Check’s take on this, in layman’s terms, is that the Department of State is worried enough about the implications of the story to send out its high profile (and nationally popular) leader to defend its actions. It also means that the story in the next news cycle (yes, the same one leading up to tomorrow’s presidential debate) will be dominated by Hillary Clinton.

The battle has three main fronts:

1: The crucial debate over the security budget at the State Department. Many operatives have used the killings of four Americans to showcase the hardship in defending embassies in a world of widespread turmoil and budget constraints.

2: The presidential debate between the Romney and Obama campaigns over leadership abroad. Romney has used the event as an example of Obama’s “weakness” on what had been considered a key strength in the presidents bid for re-election.

3: The battle to (re)define Hillary Clinton’s legacy before the 2016 campaign.

Each of these fronts make Clinton’s decision to sit down with reporters and answer questions on the eve of a crucial presidential debate intriguing.

After all, it was in the last debate that Vice President Joe Biden re-ignited the issue by separating himself and the president from the State Department’s security decisions. “We weren't told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again."

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, defended Biden on Friday saying, that Biden “was speaking directly for himself and for the president,” and that the security requests mentioned in congressional oversight hearings were “handled by security professionals at the State Department.”

The security professionals at the State Department, having navigated the Arab Spring and WikiLeaks, and are still reeling from the death of their revered colleagues, will be certain to demand an exacting defense from their secretary. As will her boss, the president.

And that diplomatic, political dance has already caught our eye.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Obama expected to 'come out swinging' at Tuesday's debate
After near-universal bad reviews of his first presidential debate with Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama will bring more energy and passion to his second showdown with the GOP nominee, advisers to the president said Sunday. Yet the come-out-swinging attitude many Democrats crave could be hindered by the debate's town-hall format, which requires a likability factor not completely compatible with aggressive attacks. – Kevin Liptak

Leading Drudge: Trick Or Treat: Candy Told To Follow Rules
The Commission on Presidential Debates does not want Candy Crowley, the debate moderator, to reinterpret audience members' questions - a small but important point in this ongoing debate over what role the moderator is meant to play in the town hall-format debate. – Dylan Byers for Politico

Gut Check Reality Check: CNN’s Candy Crowley: “There will be questioners to the right and the left of me and in front of the candidates and they will have the questions and as was the case in the Charlie Gibson town hall meeting and the Tom Brokaw town hall meeting in presidential campaigns past, there is a time after that for follow up and for furthering the discussion.” VIDEO

Leading HuffPo: 'It Sounds Crazy, But It's True' – The Tea Party Conspiracy You've Never Heard Of
If you don't know what Agenda 21 is, you're not alone – only about 15 percent of Americans do. It is a nonbinding U.N. resolution signed by more than 170 world leaders (including Republican U.S. President George H.W. Bush) at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to promote sustainable development in the face of a rapidly growing global population. A small percentage of Americans say it is an attack on their very existence – part of a grand conspiracy to take away their gun rights, destroy suburbia and turn America into a modern-day Soviet state. – Nick Carey for Reuters

Leading Politico: The 3 states that may decide the election
With less than a month until Election Day, the primary battlefields for the presidential campaign can be found in just three states: Ohio, Florida and Virginia. – Jonathan Martin

Leading The New York Times: Never to Be Outdone, Vegas Sets Record for Political Ads
No one comes here expecting anything in moderation. But to turn on the television these days is to shatter even Vegas-size notions of excess. More political commercials have been broadcast in this city than anywhere else, giving it the dubious distinction of being the most saturated media market in the most profligate year in American politics. – Jeremy Peters

The political bites of the day

- Ohio Senate debate centers on auto bailout, change in Washington -
REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE JOSH MANDEL: “I could not have supported a process that stripped pensions from middle class retirees, and stripped jobs from mechanics and salesmen throughout the state of Ohio. I will do everything I can in Washington to grow the economy through strong manufacturing policy, strong auto manufacturing policy, but I'm not a bailout senator. He's the bailout senator who bailed out Wall Street, Fannie, and Freddie, and large corporations.”
DEMOCRATIC SEN. SHERROD BROWN: “Josh, do you know about the Chevy Cruze and the Chevy Eco? The steel and the aluminum are made right here in Cleveland. The transmission comes out of Toledo. In Defiance, they build the engines. These are real jobs and real people that's a big part of the reason that before the auto rescue, well in early 2010, the unemployment in this state was over 10.5%, now it's under 7%. It's not good enough, there are far too many people still unemployed, but we're going in the right (direction).”

- Need proof at how much Ohio matters? -
PAUL RYAN AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “Ohioans you know you have a big say... You know you're the battleground state of battleground states. You understand your responsibility, right? You understand your opportunity, right?”

- Senate candidate’s son flirts with birtherism at GOP event -
JASON THOMPSON, SON OF WISCONSIN SENATE CANDIDATE TOMMY THOMPSON, AT A REPUBLICAN PARTY EVENT IN WISCONSIN: “Ladies and gentlemen, America’s at a crossroads. The election here in November will chart our course as a country not only for our generation, but our kid’s generation. We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago or Kenya.

- Democrats: Where is Dubya? -
BRAD WOODHOUSE ON A DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CONFERENCE CALL: “The last Democratic president is going to be campaigning for President Obama. … President Clinton is popular in his post-presidency. He is going to campaign for the president in critical battleground states. It raises a question: Why is George W. Bush not campaigning for Mitt Romney? George W. Bush is not campaigning for Mitt Romney, because George W. Bush's policies crashed the economy. He's an unpopular former president, and he really wouldn't do Mitt Romney any good on the stump, but guess what Mitt Romney wants to do? He wants to repeat George W. Bush's economic policies.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less









All in all, the 1992 town-hall debate was a bad few hours for President George H.W. Bush.

Facing off against independent candidate Ross Perrot and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton, Bush made two gaffes that many political watchers say helped cost him the 1992 election.

The first was an exchange with a questioner.

Yes, how has the national debt personally affected each of your lives,” questioned the woman in the crowd. “And if it hasn’t, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what is ailing them?”

“I think the national debt affects everybody,” Bush responded. “Obviously, it has a lot to do with interest rates …” The president was then interrupted with a follow up from the woman.

“How has it affected you on a personal basis,” she pressed.

“Well listen, you ought to be in the White House for a day and hear what I hear and see what I see and read the mail I read …” Bush responded directly. “Of course you feel it when you are President of the United States and that is why I am trying to do something about it.”

The response made Bush seem cold and out of touch with real people and directly contrasted the style in which Clinton answered the question.

This is the same debate in which Bush famously checked his watch while Clinton answered an audience member’s question, a move that made him look uninterested in answering America’s questions.

(why aren’t you in it)

Lots of correct answers today, but Evan Goldstein (@egoldstein93) was first. Shout outs to Jonathan Kappler (@jonathankappler), Kevin DeWine (@KevinDeWine) and Greg Dean (@gregdean11) for also answering correctly.

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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 (11 Responses)
  1. carlos

    willard/LDS = Lie...Deceive...Smear........and still NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURNS.....hypocrisy at its best. When will the media touch this subject with the cheater????

    October 15, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Speaking of arithmetic, here's CNN's:

    Maintaining the APPEARANCE of being unbiased by avoiding real factchecking and creating false equivalencies > Women dying from unscreened breast, cervical, ovarian, etc., cancers.

    October 15, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Maintaining the APPEARANCE of being unbiased by avoiding real factchecking and creating false equivalencies > Medicare premiums rising for the elderly as a result of the voucher program as the Kaiser study just showed (but hey, why report on something so damaging to Mittens when we can report on Mittens' latest campaign talking points without fact checking them instead?"

    October 15, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Maintaining the APPEARANCE of being unbiased by avoiding real factchecking and creating false equivalencies > Helping inform the public and prevent the largest concerted and calculated attempts to suppress votes since the red states tried to make an end-run around the Civil Rights Act in the 1960's.

    October 15, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    List is endless. Anyone who can find a way of completing the comparison with a "less than" symbol...with something other than another example of CNN's self-interests and profit motives, well, you get a cookie. Go ahead...fill int he blank:

    Maintaining the APPEARANCE of being unbiased by avoiding real factchecking and creating false equivalencies > ________.

    October 15, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Mitt Romney Previous Job Experience.
    Bain’s modus operandi was to invest in companies, leverage them up with debt, and then sell them off for scrap, allowing Bain’s investors to walk away with huge profits while the companies in which Bain invested wound up in bankruptcy, laying off workers and reneging on benefits. Last week, Reuters profiled one company, Worldwide Grinding Systems, that went belly up after Bain invested in it. The company not only lost 750 jobs, but the federal government had to come in to bail out its pension fund, while Bain walked away with millions in profits.
    Adding insult to injury, Bain would hide its profits in tax havens, not even paying the rate it was supposed to on the profits it made laying off workers. Romney has tried to spin his firm’s record of destruction as simply the way “free enterprise” works, claiming that Bain, overall, created 100,000 jobs. However, the campaign recently admitted that the 100,000 statistic is bogus, cherry-picked from a few successful ventures. One of Romney’s former partners at Bain has even said, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation…The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.” This is the fact about investment firms It is true that Romney know about business., Profit and not the human factor people. Is this the person you want to lead the usa

    October 15, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    Remember the SIX studies that guaranteed Etch-A-Sketch Romney and Paul LYAN’s numbers will add up in their tax cut plan that they both “bragged” about in their debate??? Remember? Well, thank you Chris Wallace from FOX NEWS for pointing out the facts that all of the studies are “questionable” and most of them are by bloggers. NONE of them are NON-Partisan. The studies are:

    1. Harvey Rosen paper.
    2. Marty Feldstein Wall Street Journal op-ed
    3. Marty Feldstein blog post
    4. Matt Jensen blog post at AEI
    5. Curtis Dubay blog post at Heritage
    6. Romney Tax Reform White Paper

    Now, I don’t watch FOX NEWS – maybe sometimes when I feel I need a reason to remind me why I am on the other side – but all of those FOX NEWS watchers I really hope you learned a lesson from this. One of your OWN pointed out how deceiving RobMe and his sidekick boy Lyan is.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Romney and Lyan are trying to etch their way back to the middle and they are doing a very poor job of it – And keep in mind, flip-flops are a lie; etch-a-sketching is a lie and a LIE is a LIE – they are guilty of all three!! These studies were tweeted and posted from facebook...LMAO

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

    October 15, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. jackie

    When obama talk about change in the 2008 election. He gave hope to many people. Some went back to school with federal grant. American started to eat healthy and participating in fitness programs. Those who never own a house was able to get one, two, three..etc. Those with high mortgage was able to refinance at a lower rate. We took the money and we took the opportunity. and what did american do. They voted the republican senate in which block every aspect of change propose by the oboma's administration, because change wasn't fast enough. Those were people who romantize with the hollywood version of change. Change does not come from one man change comes from every american. who are willing to stand up and said we are tired of the melarkey in washington. Those democrat who are still winding over the loss of the clinton race get over it. I can still see your pain on cnn. It's not about you it's about the american people. Romney is from a world of profit and not people. That what and how investment company thinks it all about the money and prestige. He was not mistaken about what he said about the poor and middle class american. That the cold fact about, the business mind. If I promise you a thousand dollar if you vote for me does not garantee you will get the money. Know the fact. Look at the man's resume and were he's coming from. A lepord cannot change is spot. Oboma cannot do this on is own he need the help of the american people, who are willing to stand up and fight for change.

    October 15, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |

    Hillary participated in Watergate hearings - she is trying to prevent repeat of history

    October 15, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. Dan

    $171 million does not include the super PACs.
    Remember, billionaire Adelson alone said he would contribute unlimited funds to defeat Obama.

    October 15, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    After more than a year (I stopped watching at one point, but still scan their headlines) I can say definitely that CNN has had more republicans on their programs than democrats. And they never call out even the most blatant lies. They have become FOX-lite.

    I get my news by reading everything I can find and then forming my own opinion.

    There is only ONE real State of the Union (once a year) and there is only ONE Situation Room (and that is in the White House). Comprehend?

    October 16, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |