CNN's GUT CHECK for September 24, 2013
September 24th, 2013
05:30 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for September 24, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 24, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

TED CRUZ STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT WITH A PLEDGE: “I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand"... At 2:41 PM ET, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor to deliver remarks on the shutdown debate that could potentially last through the night - a dramatic step in defense of his high profile, controversial plan to prevent any funding for Obamacare: “I intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand. To do everything that I can to help Americans stand together and recognize that this grand experiment three and half years ago is quite simply not working.”

THE MOST TALKED ABOUT (NON) EVENT: OBAMA-ROUHANI MEETING 'TOO COMPLICATED' President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will not meet during the U.N. General Assembly, two senior administration officials said. The officials noted that such an encounter proved too complicated for Iran. – Jim Sciutto. Jennifer Rizzo and Tom Cohen

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed. Dow falls for fourth straight day, down 65 points. NASDAQ gains 0.1%.

(Answer below)
What U.S. president used his speech to the United Nations to propose a “peace race” with the Soviet Union?

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

Well that was fast.

Just hours after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Monday that he would not support Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's filibuster of the government funding bill, a well-known tea party group began to express displeasure with the Senate GOP leader.

"It is time for us to reconsider our support for Mitch McConnell. It is time for every Tea Party group that is supporting McConnell to reconsider that support," Judson Phillips of the Tea Party Nation wrote in a blog post. "Why? Mitch McConnell is not supporting Ted Cruz in his attempt to filibuster Obamacare."

McConnell is up for reelection in 2014 and Phillips had originally endorsed the incumbent senator over his tea party challenger Matt Bevin. Phillips has now changed his mind.

"Obamacare is a bridge too far," Phillips wrote. "If Mitch McConnell is not going to support efforts to defund Obamacare and in fact is going to work against them, then Tea Party groups simply need to abandon him."

It is not unheard of for tea party organizations to express discontent with McConnell, who is considered a face of the Republican establishment. And McConnell’s decision not to support a Cruz filibuster on Obamacare just highlights the growing friction between Republican leaders and the newer GOP members who rode to victory on a wave of tea party support.

Since taking office, Cruz has made it a point to distance himself from the GOP establishment and that is helping him establish strong support with conservative grassroots activists.

Just look at Twitter: "Throw RINO McConnell out for not backing Ted Cruz to defund ObamaCare," tweeted Pamela Scott, calling McConnell a "Republican In Name Only."

And Timothy A Barry simply tweeted: "It's time to retire Mitch!!"

So as one Republican is facing the wrath of the tea party, it appears to be emboldening another.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Women Break for McAuliffe in VA
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, holds an 18-point lead among women voters in the NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll and a 27-point margin in the Washington Post/Abt SRBI survey, with Republican hopeful Ken Cuccinelli leading by only 10 points and eight points among men in the two surveys. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Drudge: Let's Talk
A meeting between Iran's top diplomats and world powers at the United Nations this week will start a "new era" in efforts to end a dispute with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Leading HuffPo: Doomed To Fail… McConnell: 'None Of Us Want' Cruz's Plan
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, argued Tuesday that Sen. Ted Cruz's plan to defund Obamacare by taking government spending hostage will fail, even as McConnell tried to shift the focus in the fight onto Democrats. – Michael McAuliff

Leading Politico: Obama's revamped Middle East strategy
President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled a reformed Middle East doctrine: the United States won’t go it alone in pursuit of its “core interests,” but will be ready to use force to prod the international community into action. – Edward-Isaac Dovere

Leading The New York Times: Senate Democratic Leader Sets Stage for Budget Showdown
Senator Harry Reid, vowing, “We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists,” paved the way for a vote to strip the House spending bill of language that would defund President Obama’s health care law. – Jonathan Weisman

The political bites of the day

- Obama looks to inspire U.N. with an aside about race -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A SPEECH AT THE UNITED NATIONS: "Last month, I stood where fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. told America about his dream, at a time when many people of my race could not even vote for President. Earlier this year, I stood in the small cell where Nelson Mandela endured decades cut off from his own people and the world. Who are we to believe that today’s challenges cannot be overcome, when we have seen what changes the human spirit can bring? Who in this hall can argue that the future belongs to those who seek to repress that spirit, rather than those who seek to liberate it?"

- Brazilian president blasts U.S. over NSA spying -
BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF IN A SPEECH TO THE UNITED NATIONS: “Without the right to privacy there is no real freedom of speech or freedom of opinion and therefore there is no actual democracy. Without respect to sovereignty there is no base for proper relations among nations. What we have before us Mr. President is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties; a case of invasion and capture of confidential secret information pertaining to business activities, and above all a case of disrespect to national sovereignty, the national sovereignty of my country.”

- Debate over Obamacare rankles senator -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. PATRICK LEAHY IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: "They (Republicans) have no interest in fixing problems or making it better, only in blowing it up! They don’t come up with on single idea of how they might make it better! They don’t come up with anything that they propose – here’s our idea that could be better. No! Let’s get rid of it all!"

- Haley Barbour blasts GOP support for shutdown over Obamacare -
FORMER MISSISSIPPI GOV. HALEY BARBOUR IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: "The guys that wanted to make Obamacare the trip wire for closing down the government and making Obama cave in… that’s not going to happen, that was never going to happen.”

- Even after loss, Weiner’s legacy lives on -
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “I tell you, the new iPhone has got some, it's got some pretty cool features, like you can take photos in black and white. So it looks like you're sending someone a picture of your p**** from 1928. It's Anthony Weiner's grandfather!”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt)
Obama rebuts Putin: "I believe America is exceptional" because it stands up not just for its own interests but "for the interests of all."

ian bremmer (@ianbremmer)
Obama UN Speech: One mention of China...with regard to Iran. No other E Asian country mentioned. #PivotToAsia #RIP

Adam Levine (@cnnadam)
Iranian TV reporting that Pres. Rouhani skipped UN luncheon, forgoing a chance to cross paths w/ Obama, because alcohol was served.

Dorsey Shaw (@dorseyshaw)
Cornell West + “Crossfire” = One Hell Of A GIF Factory

Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery)
Senate makes history: Confirms Todd Hughes as the first openly gay circuit judge, 98-0.

Cheryl Blodgett (@CherylQBlodgett)
I'm done with him too! John McCain's daughter says she's 'done' with Chris Christie |

BostonTweet (@BostonTweet)
Boston Mayoral Preliminary Election is today – 2 candidates will then advance to final election on Nov 5. Find Polls:

Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
Bono does a spot-on @billclinton impression

Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo)
On this day in history in 1998, the current $20 bill was introduced. #GreatThings


When President John F. Kennedy stepped to the podium at the United Nations in 1961, the international diplomatic body was in a state of turmoil: U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld had been killed one week later in a plane crash in Congo.

Although some Kennedy aides suggested the president either cancel his speech in light of the death, according to his presidential library, the president went ahead with the remarks and outlined a sweeping international vision, including challenging the USSR to a "peace race."

"It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race - to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved," Obama said. "We invite them now to go beyond agreement in principle to reach agreement on actual plans."

The suggestion was seen as provocative, according to news reports from the time. Did it work, though? No.

Just the next year, the U.S. and the USSR engaged in the 13-day Cuban missile crisis – where missile deliveries to Cuba caused the two superpowers to come as close as they ever did to a nuclear conflict.

(why aren’t you in it)

No correct answers to today’s Gut Check trivia question. Better luck tomorrow.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Oh please CNN, "steal the spotlight"? That spotlight are the fires in hell all around this Canadian born fool.
    That picture reminds me of an ugly duckling like him thinking that he is hot as he walks the catwalk! Poor, poor little nobody.
    We Americans don't need a Canadian to help us stand together. You should be helping your teatards in congress because a house divided cannot stand and you, Rafael, are doing a superb job of destroying what little I left.

    September 24, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "“I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand"

    I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer allowed to keep talking because this is not really a filibuster, and I can only ramble on incoherently, occasionally interrupted for questions from my plants amongst the rest of the Senate, until the vote that has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, at which point I must shut my silly yap and sit down whether I want to or not. Oh, and by the way, I negotiated the 'terms' of my FAUXLIBUSTER with Reid in the first place, so we all agreed anyway on how long I'd be allowed to turn the Senate into a media circus for my own benefit in 2016. Did I mention Nazis?


    September 24, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    Has anybody decided yet whether or not this mouth can even run for president? I mean the way they went after the POTUS for being Kenyan born (which was a lie), Teddy does not qualify to be president. Or is that rule also up for GOTP interpretation. But if the right keeps working really hard maybe they can hold Obama to two terms.

    September 24, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Larry in Houston

    hope 'ol cruze talks till his voice box gives out – it will give the dems fodder for 2014 – + 2016

    September 24, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Since he's clearly not winning any friends on either side of the aisle, I'd say that he is doing this based on what he thinks is right vs what will placate the repub leaders. That's just common sense."

    OR he just sees a future in pandering to the Teatrolls and believes that this kind of grandstanding will gain him enough attention and spotlight to increase his prominence, make him a hero to their cause and set him up nicely for being their "chose one" for 2016. He's a smart enough not to believe half the crap falling out of his piehole. Moreover, interviews and reports from his college and law school friends confirm that he IS just the type of guy to be doing this dance for self-advancement and not because he believes a single word of it.

    September 24, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. g

    so far he said -you got a better chance to go to the moon then get health care from republicans

    September 24, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Canadian Rafael is now comparing Obamacare to our Civil War and Nazi Germany.
    I don't know about world history but how much of Smerican history does this fool know aaa out. Comparing health care to slavery? Can't figure out the nazi part no matter how much he twists it. This is about helping Americans just like his country of birth, Canada, helps his fellow countrymen/women.
    He says that congress/DC is not listening to the American people. If he means the teatards then yes, I agree with him.
    This guy is a gift from above for 2014 and beyond.

    September 24, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. rs

    Not that Mr. Cruz's "filibuster" will mean much, but the fallout may be catastrophic for the GOP. Another massive right-ward shift by the radicals threatens to take out one of their most partisan- Mr. McConnell hypothetically to be replaced by someone even more rightist and partisan. How long can the GOP sustain this ongoing shift? The farther right they go, the less attractive the party becomes to voters. Will the GOP become two parties? Will the TEA Party oust the former GOP? Will the GOP grow a backbone and shut down the TEA Party.

    The vitriol is flowing; the statements are outrageous, and even funnier- no Dems are talking- this is the GOP in full-on self-destruct mode. Normally, that might be fine, but we are a two-party nation. If the Right can't field a unified voice, they're through- at least until someone takes charge again.

    September 24, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    "Market Watch" at least the community organizer in chief keeps giving the gift that keeps on giving.... him & Bernanke is like 2 peas in a pod – Bernanke keeps printing & printing money – in addition to the fact that he is flooding the market with tons of cash. Guess my 401 K is doing good.

    September 24, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    better figure on a "republican sweep" in 2014......the mayoral race in a city that has 4.5 million – has only an attendance of less than 20% of it's voting electorate – showing up at the polls in the mayoral race. Now, is that pitiful, or what ?

    September 24, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Joan

    The media plays a huge part in Cruz "stealing the spotlight" and they should be ashamed. He is like a kid who just wants attention and the best thing to do is ignore it. It is a huge waste of time, is totally pointless, will not result in what he wants as far a repealing Obamacare goes but it is giving him the attention he craves. It is like the summer when the Democrats had gone home to have town hall meetings to explain the health care bill and the rude, loud, disruptive Tea Partiers hijacked the meetings. The media lapped up the controversy and gave the health care explanations about 5% of the coverage and gave the rude Tea Partiers about 95%. Then journalists have the gall to say the President and the administration hasn't got their message out. How can they if certain journalists and the media don't cover it. They cut off his speeches when he is explaining it and allow the extremists to spout their rhetoric as if it is truth. The media has lost a lot of integrity and respect on this issue.

    September 24, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Name Uche Agonsi

    What goes around comes around. Assuming the Tea party group instals madman Cruz as US President today( but not in this life), how does such chaos-prone leadship survives the highly complex world of today. He will even one day nuke all of us. He does not have any solution to anything than criticise people that suggest solution. Such governance will play, eat, drink, and rest on Filibusters.

    September 24, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    In the Kennedy quote, the author put "Obama said." REALLY?? How stupid.

    September 25, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |