CNN's GUT CHECK for June 20, 2013
June 20th, 2013
05:27 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 20, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 20, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

GAME ON 2016: CNN’s Peter Hamby reports: Howard Dean is open to 2016 presidential bid, and says Hillary won't go unchallenged.

And Erin McPike reports a conservative “Stop Hillary” campaign has launched today: Pro-Republican Super PAC America Rising is launching a fundraising effort today as their answer to the growing tide of support for Clinton. The PAC has a brand new site,

IMMIGRATION WATCH: THE GIST OF SENATE COMPORMISE: Before green card status can be achieved for people who are in the U.S. now illegally, the Department of Homeland Security must: hire and deploy 20,000 new border patrol agents, complete the 700 mile fence between the United States and Mexico, purchase and deploy $3.2 billion worth of technology upgrades wanted by the Border Patrol, implement e-verify system and implement an Entry/Exit control system.

COMEY TO FBI: President Obama on Friday will nominate former prosecutor James Comey to head the FBI, a White House official tells CNN.

MARKET WATCH: Dow falls 352 points in worst loss of 2013 as investors worry Fed stimulus will wind down. S&P and NASDAQ lose 2%.

(Answer below)
What international icon was convicted on this day for violating the Selective Service Act?

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

What do you get when you combine a skeptical GOP base, a controversial immigration reform proposal and a Republican politician who is rumored to hold national office aspirations?

Answer: A high wire act without a net.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the key members of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of lawmakers looking to spearhead immigration reform in the Senate, is in a particularly tricky spot with this legislative fight.

If Rubio decides to run for president in 2016, as many in his own party hope he will, his success could hang on how he manages to walk the political minefield of immigration reform. While not wanting to anger conservatives, who call the immigration reform an “amnesty” bill, Rubio wants to show he is a pragmatic leader who can work through difficult issues.

It is a tough needle to thread, for sure, and in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Rubio acknowledged the politics of immigration reform are extremely difficult.

“I understand why people are frustrated, I do,” Rubio said about Republicans who oppose immigration reform. “We shouldn’t do this for politics. I can tell you politically this is as much a negative as it is a positive. People are really upset and I respect it and I understand it.”

As much a negative as it is a positive? That is not how many Republicans see immigration reform. After Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the Latino vote by more than 40 percentage points, the loss was a clarion call for some in the GOP, which later admitted it needed to soften the message to Latinos.

“If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence," an RNC report from early 2013 states. In one of the report’s few policy recommendations, it counsels Republicans to "embrace and champion" comprehensive immigration reform.

But it appears Rubio doesn’t totally agree. Check out this excerpt:

Bash: In all candor, how much of your personal credibility and viability is on the line here? I mean nobody talks about this without talking about Marco Rubio in the same breath.

Rubio: I honestly have not analyzed it that way.

Bash: Come on.

Rubio: No, because if I wanted to do something political, the easiest thing to do politically is just not deal with the issue. Give a couple of speeches and not plan and get involved in all of it. I am dealing with this because this is hurting our country, badly.

Rubio is right, it may have been easier for him to just sit back, “give a couple of speeches” and not get involved. But he is already in it, and more than just immigration, much of Marco Rubio’s future could hang on this bill.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Senate immigration deal includes tougher border security
A bipartisan group of senators unveiled a compromise on Thursday intended to ensure Senate passage of a major immigration reform bill with enough Republican support to persuade the GOP-controlled House to also take up the measure that is a priority of President Barack Obama. – Dana Bash, Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen

Leading Drudge: Study: 70% On Prescription Drugs
Researchers find that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half receive at least two prescriptions. Mayo Clinic researchers report that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids are the most common prescriptions given to Americans. For CBS Atlanta

Leading HuffPo: Objection
The Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve White House international economic affairs adviser Michael Froman to be the next U.S. trade representative, sending him into the fray of huge trade negotiations in Asia and Europe. Froman was approved in a 93-4 vote. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, was among the few senators to vote against him, citing what she called a lack of transparency in U.S. trade negotiations, a complaint many civil society groups have made in the past. – Doug Palmer for Reuters

Leading Politico: John Boehner: ‘Bipartisan’ immigration reform only way
Speaker John Boehner dipped his toe back into the public immigration debate Thursday, saying Congress shouldn’t pass a package unless it receives “broad bipartisan support.” – Jake Sherman

Leading The New York Times: Strategist Out of Closet and Into Fray, This Time for Gay Marriage
Ken Mehlman, the strategist who ran President George W. Bush’s re-election bid, is trying to convince Republicans that gay marriage is consistent with conservative values. – Sheryl Gay Stolberg

The political bites of the day

- Biden gets biblical in a plea for immigration reform -
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN A SPEECH TO THE NATIONAL HISPANIC PRAYER BREAKFAST: “Romans Chapter 2, verse 12, tells us ‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.’ I can't think of another community that Romans describes better than yours.”
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN A SPEECH TO THE NATIONAL HISPANIC PRAYER BREAKFAST: “Representative King and his colleagues fail to understand. In my view, these aren't just Hispanic children. These are our children, all of our children. … Many of these same representatives talk about their Christianity and their fidelity to the Bible, but they forget Matthew Chapter 25, Verse 34, where scripture teaches us: ‘I was hungry, you gave me food. I was thirsty, you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”

- Boehner demands border security -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN HIS WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: “America needs to secure our borders and reform our immigration laws but immigration reform must, I mean must, be grounded in real border security. That's what the American people believe and it's a principle that this House majority will insist upon. I've said for weeks that the border security in the Senate bill is not sufficient to solve the problem.”

- Manchin defends himself against NRA critiques -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. JOE MANCHIN OF WEST VIRGINIA IN A TELEVISION AD: “I'm a lifetime NRA member, but I don't walk in lockstep with the NRA's Washington leadership, this administration or any special interest group. West Virginia, you know me. I haven't changed and you know I've always fought for our gun rights. I believe that we can protect the Second Amendment and make the community safer. I think most law abiding gun owners agree.”

Gut Check Full Service: The NRA responds… “He may speak like an NRA member and tout NRA values when he's in West Virginia but when he's in Washington, D.C., he votes the way Mike Bloomberg tells him to and repeats all of Bloomberg's talking points,” NRA Spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN.

- Hillary Clinton called McCaskill after endorsement -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL OF MISSOURI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MSNBC: “She did call me after this all happened the other day. We had a great conversation. I'm not going to talk about what we said. But I think she's got a big decision to make and I think she's in the process of making it.”

Gut Check Flashback (h/t @PeterHambyCNN): McCaskill once said she “wouldn't want” her “daughter near” former President Bill Clinton.

- Winning voters back, one email at a time -
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “President Obama’s approval rating has dropped eight points over the past month, down to 45%, his lowest in more than a year-and-a-half. But Obama is not letting it get him down. He's vowing to find out whose approval he has lost, track them down using their e-mail and phone records, and personally win them back.”

A Personal Gut Check: Take a moment for the ultimate Gut Check; courtesy of our brilliant colleague Robert Yoon: Lessons learned from my birthday friend

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


When legendary boxer Muhammad Ali declared he wasn't going to obey the Vietnam-era draft, he did it in his colorful way.

"I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong," Ali said.

In 1964, a young boxer named Cassius Clay joined the nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Because of his affiliation with the religious group, Ali appealed for a draft exemption as a conscientious objector.

When his appeals fell on deaf ears, he refused to be inducted into the armed forces on April 28, 1967. "I have searched my conscience and I find I cannot be true to my belief in my religion by accepting such a call," Ali said in a statement after his refusal.

Two months later, on this day in 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion and given a five-year sentence and a $10,000 fine. Ali would appeal the ruling and, in 1971, his case reached the Supreme Court.

The high court unanimously ruled – in Clay v. United States – that Ali was a conscientious objector and his conviction was reversed.

Ali would go on to become arguably the greatest boxer of all time.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Drew Cline (@DrewHampshire) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Thomas Antel

    Rubio thought he could deal with the tea party , he was wrong .

    Guns , God and no Tax's

    June 20, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I see conservative senators are beginning to sign on to the immigration bill now that the GOP has added an additional $30 billion in amendments to the bill. Fiscal conservatives are non existent, but conservatives are brain dead.

    June 20, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Kravitz

    I'd bet that no one in the republican party, knows this persons name. The reason they don't know it, he's not of the proper color, or origin. To the republicans, this means everything, and damn few others matter.

    June 20, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |