CNN's GUT CHECK for May 31, 2013
May 31st, 2013
04:17 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 31, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

FROM SANTA FE TO WASHINGTON: GOP HEAVYWEIGHTS LINING UP BEHIND MARTINEZ Congressional leaders, potential presidential candidates and party elders will come together next week in the nation's capital to help fill New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's political war chest, CNN has learned. – Mark Preston

NO CONFIDENCE IN IMMIGRATION: POLL: AMERICANS NOT CONFIDENT IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL PASS More than two-thirds of Americans don't believe that Congress will be able to work together to pass immigration reform, according to a new poll released Friday. – Sara Fischer

MARKET WATCH: Despite Friday's 203-point drop, Dow ends higher for 6th straight month. NASDAQ, S&P gain for 7th month in a row.

(Answer below)
President Ronald Reagan's visit to the USSR in 1988 was a rare trip. Prior to Reagan, who was the last president to visit the USSR?

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

After the 2012 election, where Latinos not only helped President Barack Obama win in battleground states, but made up 10% of the electorate for the first time ever, CNN's Cindy Y. Rodriguez wrote that "the sleeping giant has awoken."

Latino support for Republican nominee Mitt Romney was markedly lower than past GOP presidential candidates – the former Massachusetts governor lost the Latino vote to Obama by a whopping 44 percentage points.

For many Republicans, the writing was on the wall – it was time to do more to attract Latino’s to the Republican Party.

One way to do that – but not the only – is running and supporting Hispanic candidates for higher office. Enter: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Time Magazine dubbed Rubio in February "The Republican Savior" and many other Republicans agree. The former Florida state legislator is seen as a mature, thoughtful and likable member of his party. His work on immigration reform, too, could earn him an important legislative victory to run on.

Cruz has made waves in Washington for clashing with older senators and saying he doesn't trust Democrats or Republicans and is a favorite of so-called anti-establishment conservatives who think that both political parties have failed.

Rubio and Cruz are both rumored to be seriously looking at a run for the White House. And if they do, only one can win. In this edition of Fantasy Politics - we have dispensed with all of the other potential GOP presidential candidates and narrowed it down to these two senators. In the 2016 Republican primary, who is more likely to win the GOP presidential nomination: Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio?

The majority of support was for Rubio…

Craig Paraszti: Rubio.rubio....RU...BEEE....OOHHH

Luis C Munoz: RUBIO!

Oumar Kaba: Marco Rubio will win. he's a moderate, compared to Ted Cruz .

And a number of people who were against Cruz cited the fact he was born in Canada…

Jerry Richards: Rubio. Ted is not qualified because he wasn't born in this country.

Cedric Cannon: Ted can't run he was literally born in Canada!

Matthew Poe: Ted Cruz cannot run for U.S. President. He wasn't born in the United States.

But Cruz wasn’t shut out…

Isaac Doyal: Ted Cruz! I have seen him quote Shakespeare and Johnathon Swift on the floor of the Senate while making an intellectual argument. Rubio on the other hand quoted Jay Z and the Godfather...... I would take either one over any of the left....

Willy Ndabaniwe: Go Ted Cruz Go!!

Tom Unger: Ted Cruz all the way!!!!

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Changing the subject: GOP resists White House effort to control message
When President Barack Obama headed to the Jersey Shore this week to tout the recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy, congressional Republicans sought to keep the nation's focus on Washington. – Tom Cohen

Leading Drudge: Obamacare Nightmare: 146% Rate Hike In California
Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent. – Avik Roy for Forbes

Leading HuffPo: Smoke & Mirrors: Conservative Groups' Unusual Support Revealed
Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. last year helped fund several of the nation’s most politically active — and secretive — nonprofit organizations, according to a company document reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. – Dave Levinthal

Leading Politico: Rising economy shifts 2014 landscape
The 2014 midterm election is shaping up as something the United States has not seen in nearly a decade: a campaign run in a strengthening economy with deficits on the decline. – Ben White

Leading The New York Times: G.O.P. Sizes Up Obama as Midterm Target
The debate within the Republican Party is whether to focus on criticizing President Obama at a time when his popularity ratings are high. – Jeremy Peters

The political bites of the day

- After Bachmann’s exit, her challenger bows out -
BUSINESSMAN JIM GRAVES, THE PROSPECTIVE CHALLENGER TO MICHELLE BACHMANN, IN A STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: This was never about Jim Graves; this was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents.”

- Obama talks student loans -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A ROSE GARDEN SPEECH ABOUT STUDENT LOANS: “Higher education cannot be a luxury for a privileged few, it is an economic necessity that every family should be able to afford, every young person with dreams and ambitions should be able to access and now's not the time for us to turn back on young people.”

- Boehner says Obama event was ‘misguided’ -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “With time so short and the differences between our proposals so slight, today’s event was misguided and deeply disappointing. A president who promised young people he would reject petty partisanship, today practiced it himself. If he really wants to shield students from higher rates, he should work with his former colleagues in the Senate to act. That’s what our students deserve.”

- No threat to planet Earth -
DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “It's my understanding the scientists have conclude that the asteroid poses no threat to planet Earth. I never really thought I'd be up here saying that, but I guess I am.”

- OPEC encouraged by economic growth -
SECRETARY GENERAL ABDALLA S EL-BARDI OF THE OIL PETROLIUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: “I am very encouraged because the American economy is growing and this is a good sign. Japanese is also growing, that is a good sign. The only problem we have now is the EU. … I hope by next year they can solve this problem.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan visited the USSR to ease Cold War tensions and meet with Mikhail Gorbachev.

A presidential visit to the USSR was rare, primarily because of the tensions between the two countries during the Cold War.

President Gerald Ford, in 1974, traveled to the USSR to attend the Vladivostok Summit, where the president met with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev to discuss a number of arms control provisions being worked on by the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the time.

Before Ford, the last president to visit the Soviet Union was Richard Nixon in 1972.

This was Nixon's first visit, although he did visit the Kremlin as vice president in 1959. The primary reason for the visit was to sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and a number of other agreements, including a promise for joint space flight in 1975.

President Nixon spent eight days in the communist country.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Happy Friday all.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, a picture of the Cuban anchor baby with his water bottle. How sweet. Barf

    May 31, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "“It's my understanding the scientists have conclude that the asteroid poses no threat to planet Earth. I never really thought I'd be up here saying that, but I guess I am.”"

    Teatrolls everywhere are now preparing for the asteroid to hit, because clearly the scientists are lying and it's all a hoax.

    May 31, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Thomas

    From House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, at least 27 people are listed as "Honored Guests" on a fundraising invitation that also features Republican Governors Association Chair Bobby Jindal, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among many others.

    Wow , sounds like the Lawrence Welk Show !

    May 31, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    The latest is that the twit might be coming back to "help" with elections or maybe give it a try again.
    Insanity's definition at its best with these tea trolls/rethugs. Even the oops governor from Texas might be planning a comeback (not sure from what) but a comeback nevertheless.

    May 31, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |