CNN's GUT CHECK for May 17, 2013
May 17th, 2013
04:54 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 17, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 17, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

NOT AN ACT OF PARTISANSHIP: IRS official denies intentional political targeting, lying to Congress… A huge increase in workload, rather than deliberate targeting, led to "foolish mistakes" and the political discrimination in the Internal Revenue Service cited by an inspector general's report, the agency's outgoing commissioner said Friday. – Tom Cohen

STATE POLITICS: First on CNN: Gun battle in states heats up as NRA steps in to recall Colo. Senate president… The national battle over guns is headed to the states in a major way. Already groups supporting more gun restrictions have been active on the local level. And now for the first time in almost two decades, the National Rifle Association is attempting to coordinate the recall of a top state legislator for having successfully passed further gun restrictions in his state, CNN has learned. – Jake Tapper

MARKET WATCH: Fourth straight week of stock gains sends Dow and S&P to record highs.

(Answer below)
What states are only represented by two female U.S. senators?

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

Three years out from the 2016 presidential election, the list of possible Democratic candidates is long. There are the obvious: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. The dark horses: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

And then there are the governors, specifically, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

O’Malley has been fairly open about his interest in the presidency and has been beefing up his national profile in the past year. In the first five months of 2013, the Maryland legislature has tightened gun laws, repealed the death penalty and legalized medical marijuana. And in 2012, the state legalized same-sex marriage after O’Malley championed the measure.

Not to be outdone, Cuomo has also helped his state legalize same-sex marriage in 2011 and tightened gun laws in 2013. The New York Democrat has also proven in his time in Albany that he can fundraise effectively and work with the Democratic establishment.

If a governor is to win the Democratic nomination, Cuomo and O’Malley appear to be the most likely candidates. But they both can’t win, so who, between Cuomo and O’Malley, is the more likely to win the 2016 presidential nomination?

We reached out to our followers on Facebook, Twitter and email and here are the best responses.

In a possible tip to the fact that neither O’Malley nor Cuomo has high name ID, most people said they would rather see someone like Clinton or Biden, instead of the two governors.

Kimberly Hay: Hillary! With O'Malley as VP

Kyle Sinks: We want Hillary!!!!

Joey A. Lloyd: HILLARY 2016

While O’Malley was nearly shut out – with very little support – results for Cuomo were mixed. There were a number of people who were openly against his candidacy…

Joshua Isley: I certainly hope not Cuomo.

Scott David Diamond: Yea, NY is having too many scandals with the Dems. So, no on Cuomo.

… while he also had his supporters.

Adam Van Dale: Cuomo

Tim Nelson: I would hope Cuomo, he is my favorite Governor!

And then there was this.

Ben Johnson: Rand Paul

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Weiner: Decision on mayoral run coming 'soon'
Anthony Weiner will announce soon whether he's running for New York City mayor, the former congressman said Friday. He's already said he's eyeing a run, and has taken steps signaling he'll jump into the race, including publishing a detailed policy document about his plans for the city. – Adam Reiss

Leading CNN Opinion: Obama's troubles not related to race
Older industrial-age government is what President Obama insists upon. His administration still wants to control health care, retirement, the economy and almost everything else top-down, politically and artificially from distant palaces of marble. They want to run America from a bureaucracy so vast, its actions can't be known, even by those responsible for them. Yet the failure of Barack Obama's old ideas about governing may not be the most disappointing element of his legacy. – Alex Castellanos

Leading Drudge: IRS Hid Probe Until After Election
NBC's Lisa Myers reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election. – Daniel Halper for The Weekly Standard

Leading HuffPo: 'Astoundingly Disturbing'
The war authorization that Congress passed after 9/11 will be needed for at least 10 to 20 more years, and can be used to put the United States military on the ground anywhere, from Syria to the Congo to Boston, military officials argued Thursday. The revelations came during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee and surprised even experts in America's use of force stemming from the terrorist attacks in 2001. – Michael McAuliff

Leading Politico: Miller: IRS provided 'horrible customer service'
Republicans are training their fire on the ousted acting IRS commissioner, saying his departure isn’t enough to cure “systemic abuse” at the agency. In the first congressional hearing probing the agency’s recently revealed practice of targeting conservative groups seeking a tax exemption, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) accused IRS officials of lying. He and other Republicans are angry that acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller didn’t reveal the practice despite several inquiries from lawmakers over the past several years. – Lauren French and Kelsey Snell

Leading The New York Times: As I.R.S. Officials Testify, Lawmakers Ask: Who Knew?
A Congressional hearing on Friday into the revenue agency’s targeting of conservative groups for scrutiny quickly turned into partisan jousting. – Jonathan Weisman

The political bites of the day

- Hypocrisy at the IRS -
REPUBLICAN REP. MIKE KELLY OF PENNSYLVANIA AT A HOUSE HEARING ON THE IRS SCANDAL: “You talked about you are a horribly run organization, if you are on the other side of the fence, you are not given that excuse. When the IRS comes in, you are not allowed to be shoddy. You are not allowed to be run horribly. You are not allowed to make mistakes. You are not allowed to do one damn thing that doesn’t come in compliance. If you do you are held responsible right then. I just think the American people have seen what is going on right now in their government. This is absolutely an over reach and this is an outrage for all America.”

- Outgoing IRS director discussed with staff about how to disclose mistakes -
REPUBLICAN REP. PETER ROSKAM OF ILLINOIS AT A HEARING ABOUT THE IRS: Can you walk me through the logic that animated in your mind in that time where you thought it would be a good idea to make a public disclosure to the American Bar Association rather than coming and following up on your duty to disclose that to the House?
STEVE MILLER, ACTING IRS COMMISSIONER: So, we were going to do it at the same time I believe. Our attempt was to talk to you all at the same time.
ROSKAM: But that didn’t happen, did it?
MILLER: It did not happen I don’t believe.
ROSKAM: What other recollection do you have, or what other experience did you have when you were talking with Ms. Lerner about this scheme to have the planted question at the ABA?
MILLER: I am not sure what you are asking sir.
ROSKAM: I am asking what is your recollection of that conversation?
MILLER: We talked about what would be said and how we might do it.

- Top Democrat at hearing thinks politicizing the meeting ‘crossed the line’ -
DEMOCRATIC REP. SANDER LEVIN OF MICHIGAN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “I think there were times when we very much crossed the line and I think the chairman did when he talked about this as the latest example of a culture of cover up in this administration. When he did that I think it did a disservice, it was a mistake and it wasn't at all confirmed by this hearing. In fact I think the IG stated to the contrary.”

- Paul Ryan not satisfied with IRS answers at hearing -
REPUBLICAN REP. PAUL RYAN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JAKE TAPPER: “We have many more questions that resulted from today's hearing. The one answer we did get, though, is that the IRS withheld information from Congress. Jake, you had to know that last year, uh, we had these investigations on the Ways and Means Committee. We were receiving all of these reports of this kind of harassment. We questioned the IRS in hearings, in letters, and the IRS withheld all of this information that they were in possession of as to whether this targeting was occurring or not.”

- Obama says unlike some on Capitol Hill, his focus is the middle class -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT AN EVENT IN BALTIMORE: “I know it can seem frustrating some times when it seems like Washington’s priorities aren’t the same as your priorities. I know it often seems like folks down there are more concerned with their jobs than yours. Others may get distracted by chasing every fleeting issues that passes by, but the middle class will always be my number one focus. Period.”

Gut Check DVR: CNN is in the field surveying what Americans think of Washington’s week of scandals. The president says his team has come clean. Republicans might be over-playing their hand. We’ll release the results of CNN’s poll at 9am ET and get reaction from White House Senior Adviser, Dan Pfeiffer. Then one of President Obama’s toughest critics, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, will respond to the new poll numbers.

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


In the 113th Congress, three different states – California, Washington and New Hampshire – are represented by two women senators.

California is represented by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer. New Hampshire is represented by Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Washington is represented by Sen. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

In 1992, Feinstein and Boxer were the first two women to be elected to the Senate in the same election. The 1992 Senate is widely considered the "Year of the Woman," because five women were elected to the Senate – Feinstein, Boxer, Murray, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Doug Heye (@DougHeye) and his Frank Sinatra profile photo for correctly answering today’s trivia question. Happy Friday all.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Big Tex

    It should have been left to the states, to begin with. There's a lot of stuff that the Government wants to do, they want to decide what is best for each state, and that is plain wrong !! We would not be 17 Trillion in Debt if the government lets the States decide on a lot of things.

    May 17, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    CNN apparently values the right to shoot more than the right to vote. GOP/Teatrolls in OH enacted a budget that blatantly attempts to suppress college student voting and punish the public university system for helping them do so and would cost the public university system approximately $250M in lost tuition revenue per year.

    What do we get reports of instead? The NRA's latest publicity stunt.

    What will it take to get the MSM to pay attention to the GOP/Teatrolls' blatant targeting of certain demographic groups' right to vote? Do we have to wait until they throw their hands up and say "screw it, let's just propose that we go back to the 3/5 rule"?

    May 17, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "NBC's Lisa Myers reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election."

    Wrong. What a gross distortion in the name of sensationalism. The IG told general counsel for the Treasury that it was investigating whether any activities constituted WRONGFUL (key word) targeting on June 4, 2012.

    The IG's report was not completed and released until May 4, 2013. For the IRS to "reveal that it had WRONGFULLY targeted conservative groups" PRIOR to the election would have been literally impossible because that was PRIOR to the IG finishing its investigation and reporting its findings. It would also have been a gross violation of protocol and interference with the IG's investigation. IRS and Treasury knew of the investigation and "deliberately chose" not to state what this idiot Myers implies they should have stated before the election because (a) it hadn't been determined yet and (b) it wasn't their place to make that determination and there was an ongoing investigation taking place.

    Seriously. The MSM needs to grow the hell up.

    May 17, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Where's the outrage from the press on the state level with red governors and their buddies closing Planned Parenthood clinics to deny women affordable medical care?
    What about gerrymandering districts to win elections? They are already destroying our country and the press gives them a pass because is NOT big story.
    In other words it's not a story about the rich getting richer or the fools I congress voting for the 37th time to repeal Obamacare or take the man in the WH down.

    May 18, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |