CNN's GUT CHECK for October 30, 2012
October 30th, 2012
05:08 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 30, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 30, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


BREAKING: EARLY VOTING SHOWS DEMOCRATS UP IN NEVADA, GOP UP IN COLORADO Early voting turnout numbers released Tuesday in two western battleground states show mixed results one week before Election Day. In Nevada, more Democrats have cast their ballots already, while more Republicans have done the same in Colorado, according to the official numbers. – Ashley Killough MAP

(Answer below)
On this day in 2001, President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of The World Series in New York City – just months after the attacks of September 11th. This was the second time during the Major League Baseball season that Bush threw out a first pitch. Where was the first?

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

Mitt Romney’s most effective surrogate in this campaign, in terms of blunt, stark criticism of President Barack Obama, has changed his tone.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is now heaping praise on the president, one week before Election Day. Why? Sandy.

Make no mistake about it, Christie supports Romney for president, but it is hard not to watch and listen to what he has had to say about Obama over the past 24 hours.

The governor did not just make an off-the-cuff remark thanking the federal government for the focus on his state in this time of crisis – the governor has been downright effusive about Obama’s focus on it.

In a trio of tweets over the past 24 hours, Christie expressed: 1. Confidence in the president; 2. Thanked the president personally; 3. Praised the president for his leadership.

Governor Christie (@GovChristie)
I have confidence that we will have support from the President and federal authorities. #Sandy
October 30 at 4:27am

Governor Christie (@GovChristie)
I want to thank the President personally for all his assistance as w recover from the storm.
October 30 at 1:28am

Governor Christie (@GovChristie)
President Obama then said if I needed anything to call him directly. I appreciated that leadership and I will if/when we do.
October 29 at 11:54am

In several interviews, Christie echoed his praise. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “It’s been very good working with the president.” On NBC: “I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president personally. He has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area.” To Politico: “The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.”

Not exactly what you would expect to hear from the tough-talking New Jersey governor, who defied political odds in 2009 to defeat the deep pocketed incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine in one of the bluest of blue states. It is Christie’s “tell it like it is” demeanor that prompted several wealthy Republicans last year to try and convince the New Jersey governor to run for president. Instead, Christie backed Romney and he has become a favorite of Republican audiences on the campaign trail.

But for now, one of Romney’s top surrogates is sidelined as he focuses on helping his state recover from the devastating storm. Asked on Fox & Friends if Romney will visit New Jersey to see firsthand the damage Sandy wrought, Christie was, well, blunt.

“I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” he said. “I have got a job to do here in New Jersey that is much bigger than presidential politics. And I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, than you don't know me.”

As if this wasn’t damning enough to a campaign that is out of the news cycle a week before Election Day, Christie will stand side-by-side with Obama tomorrow as they tour the storm damaged areas.

In the closing days of the campaign, it is a photo-op that a political consultant can only dream of.

Which consultants' dreams came true? In the short term, Obama’s. And next on the list, Christie’s own advisers who have an eye on a different calendar year: The governor’s up for re-election in 2013.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Looking presidential: The optics of leadership during a disaster
As Sandy took aim at the East Coast, President Barack Obama discarded campaign events in Florida and Virginia to return to Washington and address the storm from the White House. Mitt Romney adjusted his schedule to hit the battleground state of Ohio and direct campaign resources in Virginia and New Hampshire to focus on storm relief. – Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: Hell And High Water
A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood Tuesday, forcing firefighters to undertake daring rescues and injuring three people. More than 190 firefighters contained the blaze but were still putting out some pockets of fire more than nine hours after it erupted. – Larry Neumeister

Leading HuffPo: Atlas Drenched
If it had been up to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, disaster response agencies would likely face lower funding to handle the huge costs of dealing with storms such as Hurricane Sandy, a review of his much-touted budget shows. The budget plan put forward by Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee requires massive cuts to discretionary spending, which includes everything but entitlements. Those cuts would almost certainly extend to the Department of Homeland Security and its disaster relief programs under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). – Elise Foley

Leading Politico: Hurricane Sandy shakes up campaign calendar
Hurricane Sandy has cut in half the final stretch of the presidential race, leaving both the Obama and Romney campaigns uncertain as to when it’s possible to resume a full political schedule with a week to go until Election Day. – Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman

Leading The New York Times: Storm Pushes Aside Presidential Politics, Mostly
The presidential campaign entered a delicate and disrupted phase on Tuesday morning, suddenly becoming a sideshow to a devastating storm that posed an improvised leadership test to both sides as they sought to navigate the politics of a natural disaster. – Michael Barbaro and Michael D. Shear

The political bites of the day

- Obama: ‘no bureaucracy, no red tape’
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A STATEMENT AT THE RED CROSS IN WASHINGTON: “My instructions to the federal agency has been do not figure out why we can't do something, I want you to figure out how we do something. I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy, there's no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and make sure we are getting the resources … where they're needed as quickly as possible. So I want to repeat, my message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape, get resources where they're needed as fast as possible.”

- Romney heralds makings a difference -
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “We won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort this morning. There are a lot of people that will be looking for goods even though we've gathered these things as you know. One of the things you learn in life, is you make the difference you can. And you can't always solve all the problems yourself. But you can make the difference in the lives of one or two people - as a result of one or two people taking an effort.”

- Biden on FEMA: “One hell of a job” -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN BEFORE A FLIGHT IN OHIO: “This is working like it's supposed to. FEMA has been reorganized; they are doing one hell of a job. They pre-positioned resources. The governors are all cooperating with one another. Mayor's all cooperating. Never in all my experience (have I) seen cooperation, and acknowledgment of that cooperation, from city, state, and federal levels. It’s working like it's supposed to.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins)
Romney relief event seemed to mostly hit the right tone. Optimistic, but not very political. A few nonpartisan remarks, then canned goods

Rachel Streitfeld (@streitfeldcnn)
TV pool asked Romney about his plans for FEMA as president. No response.

David Mark (@PolitixDavid)
Al Gore: Climate Change to Blame For Hurricane Sandy #politix

Nick Valencia (@CNNValencia)
The @NYSE_Euronext will Reopen on Wednesday via #CNNMoney

Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN)
Shouldn't Michael 'Brownie' Brown be the absolute last person to criticize emergency response efforts?

Men's Humor (@MensHumor)
Disney bought LucasFilm for 4 billion and announced Star Wars 7. I'm sure it will be terrific. Did I say terrific? I meant terrible.

Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith)
Hurricane victims: If you can find Obama's transcripts, Donald Trump will donate $5 million to your relief. #sandy


In April of 2001, President George W. Bush was a new president and was invited to throw out the first pitch at the new Miller Park in Milwaukee.

After the September 11th attacks, Bush, in a sign of American strength, threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium in New York. On October 30, wearing a FDNY sweatshirt, Bush threw a strike in front of the sell out crowd.

Before becoming president, Bush owned the Texas Rangers – the first president to be a baseball owner before occupying the Oval Office.

Bush also threw out a first pitch at the College World Series and the Little League World Series in 2001.

(why aren’t you in it)

Wow, that took a long time. Congrats to Rich Killion (@nhkillion) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question after countless incorrect answers by some Gut Check staples.

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Filed under: 2012
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. DENNA

    I have already voted for our president. By the way, Mittens wants to defund and get rid of FEMA. Why don't you ask Governor Christie of New Jersey if FEMA administered locally would be helpful to him. I have not liked Governor Christie before, but seeing him working to get help for NJ has made me see a good side of him. President Obama is working with Gov. Christie to get New Jersey and the rest of the devastated states back on their feet though FEMA. Good luck and God bless to all who are affected.

    October 30, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |

    RE: Gov Christie -- UGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH LOL There's not enough FEMA to go around - we need to see men in federal uniform swarming around like bees.

    October 30, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |

    To Romney critics: chill out. The man has three choices at this moment: 91) keep doing what he's doing to help, (2) fly off and camapign or (3) stay at home and watch CNN 24/7. He's damned if he does or if he doesn't among the blind Obama sheep. Just ignore Axelrod's responses to Candy Crowley last Sunday on CNN State of the Union, and you'll be fine (wink).

    October 30, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. 333maxwell

    Governor Christie is a smart man with political ambitions of his own.

    In fact, I think he just cinched the nomination for 2016.

    Governor Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt (his editorial, not mine).

    Mr Romney wanted to let home foreclosures hit bottom (his words, not mine).

    He says we can't afford FEMA and we should turn it over to the states. (his words, not mine)........

    Governor Romney really is a very dangerous man. Certainly the wrong type of leader for these precarious times.

    October 30, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. SilentObserver

    Contrary to MITT ways of thinking, the Federal gov must always provide needed help to the Union States. This is why we pay taxes. To say that States should take care of themselves in the wake of natural disaters is clearly a misunderstanding of the sacred pleged to the UNION

    For some time rich people have been buying senators, Congressmen; Now they can also buy a President. I wonder what MITT think of that

    October 30, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Name deb

    Like I said go ahead an vote for mit and ryan no feml.
    state are on there own

    October 30, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    The purpose of the U.S. Gov't is to protect the citizens..

    A lot of citizens in the NE would NOT be safe wth Romney in charge right now.

    How about Florida? How many hurricanes next year? None – One – Six? Romney will give you zero help. Go ahead and vote for Romney. Then the workers in the blue states can stop sending the welfare down there.

    October 30, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. voluka

    As an outside observer of the presidential election I'm puzzled at the BIG PRESS question of "When the campaign would resume" as if it has ever stopped! Is that they underestimate people's intelligence or what? What President Obama has been doing since the outburst of the natural tragedy was to take advantage of his official duties and carry on with a huge propaganda of himself as a very efficient leader of the Nation, and relentless provider to the needed. SHAME on him and on the biased Press!!!! Is it to much to remind them all that that is what he is paid for!!!!!!! That's his job to which he has to respond efficiently! He is not been generous at all, because all money drawn to help people are people's money!!!!!! What a shame! As for Mr. Romney, he is in disadvantage here. He is in no position to help in ways BARACK can. He's not in charge, at least not yet! Did the major stress this single, although relevant aspect? Why?

    October 30, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Serre

    In regard to Governor Christie's praise for the president – is President Obama doing something extraordinary in his response to the tragedy that hit the Northeast or is he doing what he is supposed to be doing as the president of the United States? Governor Romney would be doing the same thing as president. And Governor Romney did not say to do away with FEMA but to give more responsibility to the states during natural disasters that were not as large so that the federal government could concentrate on large scale disasters.

    October 30, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  10. Laura

    I can't believe that you haven't put some focus on the fact that Romney states he's not campaigning in Ohio. What is he doing there then? Standing on a stage, addressing a crowd. USA TODAY saw right thru him. Did I hear that he's delivering his "care" packages to NJ tomorrow? I understand he has to stay up front in the last days before the election but he could continue with his false ads?? I wish CNN would talk about Romney's deviousness. Also, I wish you would put the issues regarding Romney on more of your shows, false ads, campaign or support, Benghazi families ask Romney to cease and desist, On and on. Maybe a little more negative focus in Romney.

    October 31, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |