CNN's GUT CHECK for April 5, 2013
April 5th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for April 5, 2013

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for April 5, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: OBAMA APOLOGIZES OVER “BEST LOOKING” REMARK California's attorney general received an apology call from President Barack Obama Thursday after he told a crowd of Democratic donors she was "by far the best looking attorney general."
"The president did speak with Attorney General [Kamala] Harris last night after he came back from his trip," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in response to CNN’s Brianna Keilar’s question about Obama’s comment. "He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments."

What seemed like good news in Friday's jobs report was a little less than that - the unemployment rate fell, but not because more people found work. Instead, the rate was lower because nearly 500,000 people told a Labor Department survey they were no longer in the labor force, which includes people with a job or looking for one. - Tami Luhby LINK

2016 MOMENT: PERRY’S PRESIDENTIAL DOOR REMAINS OPEN. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been open about the possibility that he may once again seek the GOP presidential nomination and today on
“The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” he spoke about his timeline on the decision making process. “I've got 55 days left of the men and women who are working in this building behind me, the Texas capital. Our legislature will be leaving in approximately 55 days. And hopefully with a great budget put together and continuing to make Texas the epicenter for economic growth in this country. And at that particular point in time, I'll sit down with friends and family and make a decision about 2016.”

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks slumped Friday after a sorely disappointing jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 40 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.7%. All three indexes were twice as deep in the red earlier in the day.

(Answer below)

On this day in 1792, President George Washington issued the first presidential veto in the country’s history. What bill did he veto?

What caught our eye today in politics

In the 1912 presidential election, Americans had a choice between two candidates who had occupied the Oval Office before – incumbent Republican William Howard Taft and Bull Moose Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt.

And neither won.

Instead, after a long and arduous Democratic nomination process, Woodrow Wilson, an academic and former governor of New Jersey, was selected to represent the party in an election he would eventually win handily. On a platform of “New Freedom,” Wilson focused largely on domestic issues such as disparaging business monopolies and stressing limited government intervention.

The competition for the Republican nomination was fierce and the competition between Taft and Roosevelt is still one of the most memorable political squabbles in American history. Taft eventually defeated Roosevelt for the nomination, prompting the latter to found the Bull Moose Party.

Historical record says Roosevelt eventually got the last laugh by helping Wilson win the 1912 election easily. By winning 27.4% of the popular vote, Roosevelt split the vote with Taft and led Wilson to trounce his competitors in the Electoral College.

But what if Taft had stepped aside in 1912 and let the popular ex-president run again? Could a unified Republican Party have defeated Wilson?

We reached out to two experts, one representing Roosevelt and one representing Wilson, and they both agreed: Roosevelt would have won.

“Roosevelt would have won, based mostly on the popular vote,” said Peggy Dillard, director of Librarian Archives at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. “Wilson only got about 42 % of the vote and this is going on the assumption that those who would have voted for Taft, would have voted to Roosevelt.”

After answering the question, Dillard laughed about how, if she was correct, she would be out of a job right now. “This would just be a rundown birthplace and other people would be living here,” she said sarcastically.

Even still, she said, the 1912 election would have “swayed in favor of Roosevelt.”

And, not surprisingly, Amy Verone, curator at Sagamore Hill, Roosevelt’s birthplace, agrees with Dillard.

“I think Roosevelt would have won,” she said confidently. “When you look at the numbers, Wilson got all the votes that he was going to get. And TR was pretty popular. What antagonism there was against him in 1912 was because he was bucking the party. If he was taking the party along with him, I bet he would have won.”

But we didn’t just stop with experts – we turned to you. On Facebook, Steve Liguori wrote, “Yes, I think the trouncing would have gone the other way, and Teddy would have won. His bog stick may have gotten us into WWI sooner though.”

We’ll have another Fantasy Politics match up next week; check for it and leave your thoughts at and

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics:States saying 'no' to Medicaid expansion, but some patients worried
Half of the states will expand Medicaid under Obamacare; the remainder refuse or are on the fence. Low-income citizens and their advocates say the expansion is necessary, but some states say it's costly and will fail. – Halimah Abdullah

Leading Drudge: 90 Million Out Of Labor Force
Things just keep getting worse for the American worker, and by implication US economy, where as we have shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks, than to work. – Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge

Leading HuffPo: The Final 4: 2 More Dems ‘Evolve’
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), both hailing from deeply red states, announced on Friday their support for gay marriage. – Luke Johnson

Leading Politico: Bad jobs report a warning sign
The economic recovery, which looked promising as the year began, appears ready to stall for the third year in a row. And once more, Washington gets much of the blame. – Ben White

Leading The New York Times: Schumer’s New Brief: Turning Foes Into Friends
The senator is not only an envoy to the White House but also the Democratic majority’s most important bipartisan bridge builder. - Jeremy W. Peters

The political bites of the day

- Clinton on unfinished business for American women -
HILLARY CLINTON AT WOMEN OF THE WORLD EVENT: "We now have American women at the high levels of business, academia, government, you name it. But as we've seen in recent months, we're still asking age old questions of how to make the women's way in male dominated fields...For too many American women the opportunity, and the dream of upward mobility - the American dream - remains elusive. That's not the way it's supposed to be."

- RNC chair asks why jobs are down –
REINCE PRIEBUS RESPONDS TO WEAK REPORT: “Why did President Obama spend the last three months giving speeches and interviews? Does he think talking about a problem is the same as fixing a problem? How many bills did he send to Congress in that time? Why won’t Washington Democrats learn from Republican governors? Is it a coincidence that Americans are fleeing tax-and-spend states like California for states that spend money responsibly? Could it be that lower taxes and less government intrusion translate to more jobs and more take-home pay?”

- Perry calls background checks a 'quick fix' -
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY ON CNN’S "THE SITUATION ROOM": "Rather than a quick fix that, frankly, I don't think is going to make a difference from the standpoint of gun violence, we need to be looking at who are the individuals who, in fact, are involved with these violent crimes. Who are the people that are pulling the triggers rather than a Band-Aid that, frankly, is not going to make one citizen safer?"

What stopped us in 140 characters or less









President George Washington vetoed a measure which would have changed the way representatives in the U.S. House were allocated. He found himself in a tricky situation: Northerners, who would have benefited from the bill, supported it, while Southerners, of which he was one, opposed it.

After thinking over the issue and seeking advice from several Cabinet members, Washington issued his veto. He wrote back to the “Gentlemen of the House of Representatives” that he had “maturely considered” it, but found it contrary to the Constitution.

Rather than vote on overriding the nation’s first veto, the House drafted a new proposal.

Washington went on to veto only one other measure. In his second term he rejected a bill to cut the number of cavalry units in the military.

(why aren’t you in it?)

Congratulations to Rob Fulton ‏of @glasshalfFULTON fame for his correct answer to today’s trivia question. For the rest of you, we’ll be back next week with more fresh political trivia.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. truth hurts but realiy bites


    The Obama adminstration is doing a wonderful job of lowering the unemployment rate by driving millions and millions out of the work force and onto the government dole. Pretty soon the labor participation rate will be back to 1930's Depression Era rates. We are now back to the good old Jimmy Carter days so I am sure Obama and the Democrats can get us back to the 1930's in another 4 years of leftists economic disaster.

    April 5, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    C'mon Mr Rubio your view that people are leaving California to go live in Republican sates is highly likely inaccurate or untrue. remember house prices are still down and many underwater thats a much bigger reason to stay where you are especially if you have job.
    First time I ever heard of a woman being angry because she was described as best or good looking.... I suspect a severe case of media indignity!!
    Jobs like it or not it is still going down 7.6%. the real message should be that austerity costs fuelough at least and also from October on higher unemployment especially at Ryan budget 2 cost cut levels. Its done just that all over europe and will do the same in the US!

    April 6, 2013 03:38 am at 3:38 am |