CNN's GUT CHECK for December 11, 2012
December 11th, 2012
04:28 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for December 11, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 11, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: MICHIGAN LAWMAKERS PASS BILLS WEAKENING UNION POWER As protesters descended on the Michigan Statehouse Tuesday, legislators passed a controversial "right-to-work" measure that would weaken unions' power. The House approved two bills, which the Senate already passed last week. Both chambers are dominated by Republicans. Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has said he will sign the legislation, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues. – Tami Luhby

REPLACING DEMINT: FIRST ON CNN: HALEY FINALIZES SHORT LIST FOR DEMINT SEAT... South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has whittled down the list of people she is considering for Jim DeMint's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat to five people, a Republican close to the governor told CNN on Tuesday. Her final choices for the seat are Rep. Tim Scott, Rep. Trey Gowdy, former state Attorney General Henry McMaster, former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford and Catherine Templeton, a conservative attorney chosen by Haley to head the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. One thing they have in common: a warm personal relationship with the governor, who is known to prize loyalty. – Peter Hamby

(Answer below)
On this day in history, a presidential assassination was attempted. What president was the target and where was it attempted?

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

More often than not at the end of a presidential campaign the winner drives the narrative, while the loser is forced to explain the defeat, namely to frustrated supporters. We are watching this play out now as Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers are proactively protecting the candidate from critics and defending themselves from fellow Republicans who are second guessing their campaign strategy.

At a CNN/Google post-election forum last week, Romney Digital Director Zac Moffatt explained the GOP nominee’s digital strategy, but told us afterwards he realized that people don’t know about the achievements the campaign made in such a short period of time.

In a Gut Check exclusive, Moffatt shared some of the Romney campaign’s digital highlights, which he has just now posted online. “Elections are zero sum games, but digital is not,” Moffatt wrote in his memo that accompanies the data.

“I think Republicans have a lot to look for as we go forward,” Moffatt said in an interview with Gut Check. “This election has created a foundation to build upon for 2013 and beyond. People have to realize what assets are available to them. There is such a legacy that Mitt has left that has never been there before.”

Here are some of the top line digital data points Moffatt mentions in his memo:

• “The campaign provided to the RNC more than 1,000,000+ online donor contacts with email addresses and over 2,200,000 active new emails. The donor file alone represents a digital community that contributed over $100 million in 2012.”
• “We built a comprehensive online store which launched in June and sold over 900,000 items, as well as pop up stores at every major Romney event around the country that leveraged Square technology. At the Convention we did over $700,000 of sales and ultimately sold an item to over 5% of all Convention attendees.”
• “On the social media front we grew our Facebook community by over 10.4 million between May 1 – November (almost double the growth Obama experienced during this period) to reach a total of 12 million+ with an additional 5.1 million for Paul Ryan (more than Obama experienced in the comparable time and almost 10 times larger than Vice President’s Biden’s page today after 2 general elections).”
• “On Twitter we created a community of over 1.7 million for Mitt Romney and 540,000 for Paul Ryan.”
• “On online advertising we delivered over 32 billion impressions over the course of the campaign and generated more than 55 million clicks on various ad units.”
• “We had over 676 million views of our various online video advertising content which produced an engagement time of over 471 years.”
• “We came out of the primary with a staff of 14 and were immediately given the resources to grow to over 140 including non political staff from technology companies across America. We achieved this growth in less than 60 days.”

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Angry with Obama, GOP threatens political war next year
They are losing the battle over higher taxes on the wealthy, so now Republicans are threatening a political war next year when it comes time to raise the nation's debt ceiling. With cracks appearing in their anti-tax facade and polls showing most Americans favoring President Barack Obama's stance in fiscal cliff negotiations, GOP legislators are starting to advocate a tactical retreat to fight another day. – Tom Cohen

Leading Drudge: 'There Will Be Blood'
“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state. “I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.” – Conn Carroll for the Washington Examiner

Leading HuffPo: 'Recipe For Disaster'
The 2012 election is barely five weeks behind us, but conservative "dark money" groups are already beginning their 2014 campaign. Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit co-founded by Karl Rove, has launched a series of radio ads to pressure five Democratic senators to reject President Barack Obama's outline of a "fiscal cliff" deal, particularly higher tax rates for the wealthy. While these spots bear all the hallmarks of issue ads - they don't call for the victory or defeat of a candidate, they appear nowhere near an election, and they focus on a specific issue currently under debate - the $240,000 radio ad buy targets only Democratic senators who face a potentially tough path to reelection in 2014. – Paul Blumenthal

Leading Politico: GOP mute as SCOTUS tackles gay marriage
House Republican leaders had a uniform response to the Supreme Court’s decision to take up gay marriage: silence. The high court’s decision last week to hear two cases relating to same-sex marriage puts that issue at the center of the national debate. And it does so at an exceedingly awkward time for Republicans, many of whom are trying to downplay or moderate their party’s views on social issues to chart a path back to electoral success. – Josh Gerstein

Leading The New York Times: In Talks, House Majority Weighs Loyalty to Voters
As their leaders inch toward agreeing to higher tax rates, dozens of House Republicans find themselves caught between the will of a larger American public that favors higher taxes on the rich and the wishes of constituents who re-elected them overwhelmingly to oppose the Obama agenda at every turn. – Jonathan Weisman

The political bites of the day

- The three amigos – McCain, Lieberman, Graham – split on Susan Rice -
McCain: “I don’t know if she’s even nominated or not. She deserves the process that every nominee goes through. But the fact is, she not only gave wrong information, but she gave the party line, that ... Al Qaeda is decimated – Al Qaeda is not decimated. That our embassies and consulates are secure – they are not secure. So ... we’re all responsible for what we say. So we’ll go through the process if she’s nominated and we’ll see.”
Lieberman: “On this one, we’re going to prove that the ‘Three Amigos’ can disagree and still be amigos. Here’s what I would say about Susan Rice – I’ve been over all of the intelligence that we had before she went on TV that Sunday morning, I've been over her comments. I don’t think she’s disqualified based on anything she said that morning, but the rest is up to the future and unfortunately I’ll be watching it on TV.”
Graham: “Personally, I don’t believe she would serve the country well in that capacity.”

- Right-to-work ‘a terrible idea’ says Michigan Democrat -
DEMOCRATIC MICHIGAN REP. SANDER LEVIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “So called right to work will cripple the efforts of a union to represent people in the workplace and that representation helped to create the middle class and look at labor relations in Michigan today, how the big three came back through a cooperative relationship between the union and management, and essentially what so-called right to work will do, is to destroy that kind of relationship, will create immense division. It's a terrible idea.”

- Could the right-to-work fight be good for the unions? -
BOB KING, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “I think things like this are waking a sleeping giant. I think that workers and working families are tired of losing. They want a fair share of the prosperity in this state and in this country. And I think that's going to help build the union movement.”

- Proof of a trust gap -
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “The truth is, until the president gets specific about cuts nobody should trust Democrats to put a dime in new revenue toward real deficit reduction or to stop their shakedown of the taxpayers at the top two percent.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less











After winning the presidency in 1928, President-elect Herbert Hoover took a seven-week trip throughout Latin America in order to explain his vision for economic and trade cooperation in the Western Hemisphere.

While in Argentina, the president-elect escaped an assassination attempt when the Argentine authorities arrested anarchist Severino Di Giovanni before he could carry out his plan to blow up a rail car that the president was traveling in. The attempt was especially real because Giovanni somehow received a detailed itinerary for the president.

In learning of the attempt, President Hipolito Irigoyen of Argentina sent this message to Hoover:

“I have learned with the utmost concern of the dastardly attempt on your life and desire to express to you my heartiest congratulations on your very fortunate escape. The people of the United States join with those of Argentina in deploring this unfortunate occurrence and in expressing their great relief and joy that you escaped unharmed.”

Interestingly enough, the president-elect never publicly addressed the assassination attempt.

(why aren’t you in it)

Today’s question proved to difficult – there were no correct answers. Better luck tomorrow.

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: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    I want to thank the mutant from AK for bringing us this SC tea trol. I take it that SC is still last, if not almost last, in education?

    December 11, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. RettasVegas

    I'am thrilled she has a list of the most conservative people she could muster, the more extreme, the further the GOP is from the majority of the voters, all nonpartisain polls indicate, Americans don't want TeaParty politics, the party is over!

    And if the GOP is not smart, the extreme right wing of their party will damage the party even more, if that's even possible at this time...

    December 11, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Willie Floyd

    Just so the entire country doesn't think we in SC love our gov.–many of us call her "Trikki Nikki"–and for good reason. It was a blessing to be rid of Demented,wish he had taken Graham with him. A recent poll,I didn't catch the name, had our pres.with a 48% approval rating. I'd have been pleased with 38%–maybe there's hope for my native state yet!!

    December 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "SCJ Scalia says 'If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder?' "

    Another intellectually dishonest argument. We're not legislating the morality of murder. We're legislating its objective, measurable, undeniable societal harms. Those do not exist, have failed to be proven and have been repeatedly proven to be imaginary with respect to being gay or gay people marrying. Heck, we even watched cases in which the state tried to put up experts and cockamamie evidence and to opine and demagogue the evils of gayitude over the past couple years and the courts have rejected it beacuse it was not credible in any way, shape or form. Scalia simply set up a false dichotomy as a straw man to knock down.

    Wanna know what you could make a case for? The societal harm of the government getting involved AT ALL in the marriage business. Go ahead. Look up how much of your state's judicial resources and how much lost state and federal tax revenue is eaten up by divorce cases and marriage deductions.

    December 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    How perfect. There she the photo above...governor of one of the biggest economic disasters of a red state...holding out her hand for more handouts from the blue states....

    December 11, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Pete

    Republicans in Michigan will see how first hand this bill they want passed in the RIGHT TO WORK BILL will benefit their state,IT WON'T!!I'm a union welder from a southern state and I'm lucky with my experience I have the chance to travel ..And from my vast experience working between the states pro union and right to work there is a difference in not only conditions but monetary as well..We have to go in to jobs after non union workers have been doing maintenence and from my time under the hood and others you can see how the non union suffers because of no schooling,etc .Union apprenticeships that go 5 years to learn a trade,non unions don't gave that and if they do it doesn't cover the trades professions as well as ours do nationwide!!You see it in their lack of craftsmanship and work ethics and if you go nationwide most of your large cities,refineries,manufacturing plants,nuclear power plants and others were built union ,its a fact you can't escape..And even with our supposid high pay,benefits republicans say we still bring in most jobs under time,schedule and save contractors money ,that's why they go union because of the man power that's experienced nationwide..You'll see the signing of this bill will ruin what's left with what's great about America and republicans are good at ruining anything that's proven beneficial to the populus including trying to dismantle SocialSecurity,Medicare and now Americas unions..Republicans won't stop until there is a two tyre class system,that's what they've been railing for all along ,the wealthy and us ,the ones that do the wealthys dirty work..Next the importing of foriegn slave labor if the republicans keep this up,that's their motive and they won't stop till they destroy America and its standards!!!You'll see I'm right if they sign this bill,you've been warned....

    December 11, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. rs

    So the GOP is re-declaring the war on Obama they started Jan. 9, 2009? When did they stop? Now they are expanding their fronts to take out the middle class and one of their SC players equated homosexuality with murder? They're on a roll! They want to be dead by 2014. I am glad they're doing their "autopsy" now. It'll save time.

    December 11, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    There should not be a word GOP nor Republican in next election. Defeat all these thugs of this nation. God bless. Michigan blow is an arson around this nation. Wake up, drive these GOP out!!! God bless!!

    December 11, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Scalia is not fit to sit on the Supreme Court.

    December 11, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    I know the labor laws thoroughly. What Michigan did is bad for that state and nation. Dollar slides–economy crumbles. True. Inter-linked.

    December 11, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Sharon

    The issue with Michigan passing the right to work is how it was done. A lame duck session with great anger at the people who supported Prop 2 (collective bargaining). My 93 year old mother is now lamenting that she voted against the prop. Many people in Michigan did not want to put in a state constituitional change and now are sorry. Most unionized workplaces in Michigan are closed shops, not union shops, meaning you pay the portion of the dues going to the management and administration of the union and you get the same benefits. I work in management for a non union auto supplier and our benefits, pay scales, etc closely follow the union. I have worked in RTW states and evern at 23, I would not work for an employer who would not pay vacation, sick, holiday. Took longer to find a job but I did find them – in either the public sector (university) or a branch of a northern state based firm. Pete is correct in that unions provide apprenticeships so people can learn a trade. It should be an interesting two years – Snyder has put a tax on pension income that is based on your age (under 60 – Michigan will tax it all, regardless of what you get, over 67 you can make a million a year in pension and Michigan will not tax a cent), cutting education payments to our school districts, increasing fees to use our state parks, trying to break the unions and currently, the Michigan Senate and House are looking at bills to restrict abortion rights.

    December 11, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Name Jon

    A very True statement. HOW MANY


    December 11, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. CBR

    First, the GOP loses the national election. Next the GOP passes this bill which is definitely seen as pro-boss and anti-workers. Do they really think the 47% will like this bill.? Once gain they have thrown out the baby with the bath water. There may be a need to change some language for unions and companies but unions have done so much for the middle class and people should look at the record and see what works and what does not. The GOP is just no capable of doing that. EVerything is there way or the highway.

    December 11, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    MD is a right to work state whioh means that they can fire you at the will of the super corporation company you work for without them batting an eye.
    Unions have a bad reputation, and some of it might be true, but if you work eight hours a day five days a week with vacation days and holidays thank the unions for that.
    Times are tough but if nobody has your back it's worse! The rethugs in MI, from what I understand watching the news tonight, ran on helping the middle class then they turn around and the true repug comes out. It's not just Michigan, they are doing it in other states Michigan is just the beginning and they need to be stopped come the next few elections.
    VOTE OUT ALL THE RETHUGS IN CONGRESS!!! Their god is really green as in money. Don't worry about them, they will leave DC with their big pensions and healthcare for life. They will be much better off than many Americans. Even those with a job.

    December 11, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    What is a workforce?
    A group of specifc types of skilled people assembling together by invitation from and to do work for an organisation owned by another assembled group (Directors and shareholders)
    The latter effectively setting terms that are only considering the interests of shareholders first ( the product and service quality thereof and super duper methods of delivery not the topic here) and profits and conserving cash for future business development. ( We can also leave aside partially companies who say the employee is the most important part of the company.)
    My point is they employees also have the right of assembly.
    If a corporate by whatever ""right"" may create a company and reward its constituent parts( economics 101 labor wages, capital interest or dividends, and property rents) with policies of its choosing.
    It creates employment but the right is not 100 % effective as we never have zero unemployment. And cannot therefore be legally defined as right to work. The economic reward for work is reasonable wages thats all.
    Unions are simply and constituionally a right of assembly. If thru so called "Right to work" laws you impose restrictions on unions right of assembly and add that they may not require payment for membership that is nonsense.
    If the legisaltion says that unions may not operate closed shop employment i.e you cant work here without joining a union that is also nonsense.
    Historically unions have made employers do the right things socially and morally, that they would not otherwise have done. the problem is that Unions in the US have morphed into political organisations rather than doing what they were good at in the past of getting reasonable terms, safe working conditions, and a fair days pay for a fair days work, and holding back when tradinfg conditions for the company were tough.
    I know because I encouraged Unions at all companies I worked for provided they did not demand closed shop, and negotiations started on pay/ conditions and benefits only when we had past latest actual results for the company and the budget and its risk analysis.
    I even sent our senior union reps on management/ finance courses to enable reasonable and serious discussion.
    The classic and major result was when the Pension defined benefit, defined contribution debate emerged, it took Our company 18 months to start a transition to the change and we ended up 5-7 year ahead of the pack, and gained ground on our struggling competitors.
    This Michigan law is a farce and is similar to other states attacking unions and the rights of assembly, or limiting negotiation rights.
    The problem is people who cannot negotiate sensibly but only in an indoctrinaire or ideological starting point.

    December 12, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  16. Right to work in mD


    Congratulations on being a welder, while you chose to go down the Union path that is your decision. Before you so casually state that there is no training for non union and the work is sub par. Open shops do, in fact, have apprenticeship programs which require the same amount of time and education as the union version, so really it is not about quality. I have seen Union work and, well lets say it needs to be redone continuously. But that is great work for me so we can go behind and fix your messes. With respect to quality of living that has been blathered all over this blog right to work states do enjoy some of the highest wages in the nations (Howard County, MD comes to mind as one of the wealthiest in the nation) right to work does work. All it allows union people to do is vote with their feet. If the union is not performing up to standards they stop paying, it works the same with employees. If they stop performing we stop paying what is the big deal? If you want to fund Mr. Hoffa or Trumka 1% lifestyle so be it, but that doesn't mean the guy next to you has to when he would rather feed his family or enjoy the fruits of his own labor.

    December 12, 2012 05:44 am at 5:44 am |