CNN's GUT CHECK for April 10, 2013
April 10th, 2013
04:57 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for April 10, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 10, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

WHAT'S IN OBAMA'S BUDGET: President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $3.77 trillion budget for 2014 that would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. Obama's budget blueprint - which has already drawn criticism from the left and the right - offers changes to Medicare and Social Security. It also includes tax increases that would primarily hit high-income households and corporations. – Jeanne Sahadi

SURPLUS ON PRINTING: The budget is 2,460 pages, including the historical tables and the appendix, and weighs a whopping 5.55 pounds.

HIT FROM LEFT: “I made a promise to the people of Rhode Island that I would always oppose cuts to Social Security, and I’m going to keep that promise,” wrote Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a written statement. “I cannot support a proposal that would force seniors to pay for deficits Social Security had no part in creating.”

PRAISED FROM RIGHT… SORT OF: “He (Obama) does deserve some credit for some incremental entitlement reforms that he has outlined in his budget, but I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes.”

MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P end at record highs. Tech sector leads the rally, sending NASDAQ 1.8% higher.

(Answer below)
Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush told Iraqis that “Your nation will soon be free.” How did he get this message to the Iraqi people?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

All political sex scandals are not created equal.

Circumstance, timing and level of public outcry all dictate the level with which a wayward politician must atone for his or her sins. But in spite of these differences, one result of a political downfall remains true: politicians almost always look to bounce back.

Which brings us to today’s lesson in the politics of redemption.

What caught our eye was what caught almost everyone’s attention: The comprehensive New York Times Magazine story about Anthony Weiner – the disgraced Democratic New York congressman who resigned office in 2011 after tweeting lewd pictures to multiple women – and his wife, Huma Abedin, a close aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Weiner makes no bones about it in the article: He is looking for a comeback and in particular, the New York City mayor's race in 2013.

“I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something,” Weiner told the newspaper. “I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is . . . am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”

Weiner’s rebirth, whether a success or a failure, will be the next chapter in what has become an epically long book on political redemption.

“I want to ask people to give me a second chance," Weiner said in the article. "I do want to have that conversation with people whom I let down and with people who put their faith in me and who wanted to support me. I think to some degree I do want to say to them, ‘Give me another chance.’"

This should sound familiar.

Politicians looking for redemption aren’t starved for company. Quite the opposite, the club is crowded: President Grover Cleveland in 1884, Sen. Gary Hart for president in 1988, President Bill Clinton throughout the 2000s and so on.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is the most recent redeemer. Just four years after Sanford lied to his constituents and abandoned the state for a week to have an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina, Sanford won a runoff for South Carolina’s First Congressional seat by defeating Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic by 15 points. The general election next month and Sanford will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Before the primary, Gut Check wrote that Sanford needed voters to “accept his apology.” “I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes,” Sanford said in a straight to the camera ad. “But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it.”

Republican voters in South Carolina have accepted Sanford’s apology and now we wait to see what happens in the general election.

And with that, Weiner may be looking – though from afar – to see what happens in the Sanford race. An odd couple no doubt: the once unabashedly, in-your-face liberal congressman and the tea-party-before-the-tea-party-was-cool former governor.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Pass the salt: GOP senators to dine with Obama
On a day with gun control and the federal budget in the spotlight, President Barack Obama will continue his congressional outreach Wednesday night when he dines with Senate Republicans in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House. This marks Obama second dinner with Senate Republicans in a little more than a month, though the guest list is expected to be different from the last meet-up. – Steve Brusk, Jessica Yellin and Gabriella Schwarz

Leading Drudge: 32 Gun Purchases Every Minute Under Obama
During Barack Obama's presidency there have been 32 background checks for gun purchases every minute. Since February of 2009, the first full month of Obama's presidency, there have been 70,291,049 background checks for gun purchases, according to data released by the FBI. – Gregory Gwyn-Williams Jr. for CNS News

Leading HuffPo: No Butts: Obama Plan Pits Kids Against Cigarettes
President Barack Obama's 2014 budget pits education activists against the tobacco industry by proposing to help fund a new early childhood education program with a tax hike on tobacco. The education advocates took up that fight early Wednesday. The Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank with close ties to the administration, released an analysis showing the expansion is badly needed. – Joy Resmovits

Leading Politico: Obama budget: Don't rock the boat
President Barack Obama’s second-term vision, rolled out in a Wednesday budget proposal, turns out to be little more than a call for a do-over on deficit reduction — a cautious approach as he courts Congress on other issues, including guns and immigration reform. The centerpiece of the thousands of pages of text and tables is a carbon copy of a deal he offered Republicans last December, before the two sides signed off on a smaller fiscal cliff deal. – Jonathan Allen

Leading The New York Times: Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers
A bipartisan collection of senators on Wednesday announced a compromise measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, increasing the chances that a viable package of new gun safety laws will soon hit the Senate floor. – Jennifer Steinhauer

The political bites of the day

- Senators announce bipartisan background check compromise -
REPUBLICAN SEN. PAT TOOMEY OF PENNSYLVANIA IN A CAPITOL HILL NEWS CONFERENCE: “The common ground rests on a simple proposition and that is that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns. … So if we start with the notion that dangerous criminals and dangerously mentally ill people shouldn’t have guns the question is how can we accomplish that? Background checks are not a cure all but they can be helpful.”
DEMOCRATIC SEN. JOE MANCHIN OF WEST VIRGINIA IN A CAPITOL HILL NEWS CONFERENCE: “They (gun owners) understand this is common sense. This is gun sense. We are not infringing on their rights as an individual citizen but basically if you are going to go to a gun show you should be subjected the same as if you went to the gun store.”

Gut Check Full Service: Where is Chuck Schumer? When Toomey and Manchin announced the background check compromise, absent was another lawmaker with a long history of advocating for gun control: Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat. Two sources familiar with the situation told CNN that Toomey did not think it was a good idea for Schumer to attend the press conference announcing a bipartisan background check deal, because Toomey feared it would antagonize the powerful National Rifle Association. – Dana Bash

- NRA: Background checks don’t help -
A WRITTEN STATEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: “Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. … The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson.”

Gut Check Full Service: “Sen. Toomey Betrays Gun Owners,” says Gun Owners of America in an email to supporters.

- FLOTUS parrots POTUS, says gun bill ‘deserves a vote’ -
FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA IN A SPEECH AT A YOUTH VIOLENCE EVENT IN CHICAGO: “Right now my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence and these reforms deserve a vote in Congress.”

CNN Poll: Importance of guns soars, as do gun owner concerns… A majority of Americans generally favor stricter gun control laws, and there has been a big jump in the number of Americans who say that gun policy is extremely important, according to a new national poll. But a CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday also indicates that the increase is only good enough to move gun control to the middle of the pack when it comes to the issues that Americans think are most important to deal with over the next year.

- Boehner leans toward enforcing current gun laws -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A NEWS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: “One of the issues that we have today is that if there is a background check required that they don’t actually check all the backgrounds and that is what I was suggesting. We are not enforcing the laws that we have on the books today. So if we are going to have a background check that is in the law, let’s make sure we do a real background check, which in not all cases actually happens.”

Gut Check DVR: The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will air an hour-long special – Guns Under Fire – at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a representative from Gun Owners of America will examine whether the Toomey-Manchin legislation will even help prevent the next mass shooting.

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


More than a month after he declared major combat operations were over in Iraq, President George W. Bush used Towards Freedom TV, a Middle East television station, to air a message directly to the Iraqi people.

In the message, Bush told viewers that America’s war was not with the Iraqi people, but with “Saddam's brutal regime.”

“And that regime is your enemy as well,” he said.

“In the new era that is coming to Iraq, your country will no longer be held captive to the will of a cruel dictator,” Bush implored. “You will be free to build a better life, instead of building more palaces for Saddam and his sons, free to pursue economic prosperity without the hardship of economic sanctions, free to travel and speak your mind, free to join in the political affairs of Iraq.”

Bush closed by saying, “You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.”

The broadcast was paired with a similar speech by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which was also aired on Towards Freedom TV.

(why aren’t you in it)

No correct answers today – too obscure?

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soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. just askin

    are perverts, crooks and socialists all the democrat party has for candidates these days???

    April 10, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Pete

    @just askin,you hypocrites should talk with the likes of Akin,McCain,Gingrich and now Sanford the sanctumonious ones you call republicans..Aren't they all adulterers and Akin just hates women that's all but you all praise them for running again obviously not thinking women that they've screwed over might just vote too right..Weiner guilty of just lewd internet photos and all these republicans with the real skeletons hiding in their closets being holier than tho,what BS from the party of No ..And wasn't it you or "just sayin" also that came out of the closet as well just yesterday in a party that hates your kind as well,nice ha and we'll keep your secret secret as well "JUST ASKIN" if it is you!!

    April 10, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. sonnie3

    Tell the wiener dog to bark up another tree. He already peed on the last one. This guy make the common sense person want to up chuck.

    April 10, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Donna

    Pete - Weiner guilty of just lewd internet photos

    Yeah, heaven forbid we expect the holders of our highest government offices to keep their private parts from floating across the iphones of our children. Way to set that bar real high Democrats! I cannot believe ANYBODY would line up to defend this disgusting pervert. Public office is the LAST place we need people like this, if for nothing else, for what it says about his complete lack of judgement.

    April 10, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. mark h.

    Why cant we focuse our attention to the points that realy matter like north koria. So what weiner was sexting some one that has no affect on my life people need to focus on the stuff that realy matters not the trivial stuff. Come on america we are smarter then this I hope.

    April 10, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "what it says about his complete lack of judgement."

    Oh yawn. Two consenting adults sexting each other is not a complete lack of judgment. Accidentally doing it wrong and having it tweet across the intertubes is not a complete lack of judgment either...just a complete lack of Twitter competence. Doing all this behind one's spouse's back is somewhat reprehensible, but par for the course across Amurika for politicians and, well, pretty much everyone else. Wiener screwed up worst when he denied and lied and tried to deflect...just like the crap McConnell is pulling right now with conspiracy theories about getting bugged. It's the cover up, not the underlying crap, that gets these guys burned.

    April 10, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. The Elephant in the Room

    Oh Donna, please save us from your false trumped up , outrage. Anthony Weiner was pushed out of Congress by the Democratic leadership; THEY held him accountable. Most intellegent people can not imagine the SAME HIGH STANDARDS from the Republicans if the shoe was on the other foot. In fact, under even worse behavior [Ensign, Vitter, Sanford, Craig] the GOP has shown it is far slower or severe in demanding accountability. Mr. Weiner would be a smaet, formidable Democrat against traditional right wing interests. His knowledge of Congress would allow him to expose GOP vulnerabilities, It is those reasons, not his prior daliences, that upset Republicans.

    April 10, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Alger Dave

    While background checks are unlikely to prevent mass shootings in the future, they are more likely to prevent some of the crime we see on the local news every night. A tighter rein on gun purchases, particularly by known criminals, would be a very good thing. Common criminals are getting guns everyday to perform their crimes. Tightening background checks would certainly mean fewer guns available to these local, known criminals. Don't expect mass shootings to stop, but better background checks may mean the nightly news is a bit duller going forward. And that's good for all of us.

    April 10, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Pete

    @Donna,wasn't that the republicans who had a habit of courting pages around Washington..Wasn't it that republican that was caught in an air port rest room playing footsys with an air port security officer and had to resign over it..Go back Donna and see all your sanctumonious reps and how they were caught many times in the act..People like your reps shouldn't be in glass houses because theirs might get hit as well!!Republicans just like you a bunch of uninformed hypocrites!!

    April 10, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Catmandew

    Donna I ain't defending him or anything, but just about all these politicians anymore have something hid away. They all seem to think they are holier than us regular folk. Hey they don't even have Obamacare! It isn't good enough for them! In other news Obama finally made a budget 2500 pages worth, you would think a fella concerned about the environment like he claims to be would be easier on the trees. Maybe it will be a decent starting point. And there appears to be movement on the gun issue so may e they will reach a compromise.

    April 10, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  11. Harleigh Kiffer

    First the former congressman needs to get a show on CNN so he will have the media support necessary to run for mayor. Good luck

    April 11, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |