CNN's GUT CHECK for October 30, 2013
October 30th, 2013
05:48 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 30, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 30, 2013| 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING … RAHM SAYS HEADS ARE ROLLING … Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tells Jake Tapper that “heads are rolling” inside the White House in regards to Obamacare rollout problems. Interview airs shortly on CNN.

“I APOLOGIZE” … In a testy hearing on Capitol Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius started with contrition, “Let me say directly to these Americans, you deserve better. I apologize. I'm accountable to you for fixing these problems. And I'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site.”


REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TN.: Madam Secretary, during - before, during and after the law was passed, the President kept saying, "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it," so is he keeping his promise?

SEBELIUS: Yes, he is.

CHANGE! THE (NEW) PROMISE ON KEEPING YOUR HEALTH CARE: PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKING IN BOSTON TODAY: “Now if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you were able to keep it. That's what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is, you've got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage because that too was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.”

Gut Check Flashback
READ HIS LIPS: REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ON JUNE 15 2009: "So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage. They like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: Fix what's broken and build on what works. And that's what we intend to do."


CNN: NOT THE FULL STORY Jake Tapper explains, “Ah ... the government is not going to make you change plans. Though the government might impose a situation that would cause a change of plans. So the promise was never quite as presented. And yet the president kept presenting it that way.”


“The administration is defending this pledge with a rather slim reed — that there is nothing in the law that makes insurance companies force people out of plans they were enrolled in before the law passed. That explanation conveniently ignores the regulations written by the administration to implement the law.”


BLACKBURN: Can you give me a ballpark on what you have spent on this website that does not work, that individuals cannot get to? What is your cost estimate?

SEBELIUS: So far, Congresswoman, we have spent about $118 million on the website itself, and about $56 million has been expended on other IT to support the web.

SECRET LETTER?? ABC’s Rick Klein is reporting that all of the female Democratic senators signed a secret letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton early this year encouraging her to run for president in 2016 – a letter that reportedly includes the signature of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other senators who are mentioned as potential candidates, two high-ranking Democratic Senate aides told ABC News. -Rick Klein

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower after Fed statement, as record-setting rally loses steam. Dow falls 61 points.

(Answer below)

Which is more frequently listed by members of Congress as their occupation, doctor or farmer?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Government memo warned of high security risk at health care website
An internal government memo obtained by CNN and written just days before the start of open enrollment for Obamacare warned of a "high" security risk because of a lack of testing of the website – Joe Johns

It’s Kathleen Sebelius’s turn now. On the Hill, they’re calling for her resignation and tossing around words like “subpoena.” Pundits are merrily debating her future. (She’s toast! Or is Obama too loyal to fire her so soon?) Her interviews, more closely parsed than usual, seem wobbly. Though never a colorful presence on the political scene, she’s suddenly a late-night TV punch line. – Amy Argetsinger

Leading HuffPo: Virginia Polls Show Terry McAuliffe Leading Ken Cuccinelli By Either A Little Or A Lot
Two respected polls have produced conflicting stories about the standings in Virginia's race for governor. With less than a week to go before the election, Democrat Terry McAuliffe either has a "substantial" advantage over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli or is "clinging" to a narrow lead. – Mark Blumenthal

Leading Politico: Romneycare returns
President Barack Obama wants Americans to believe this about his health care law: It’s just like Mitt’s. – Kyle Cheney and Jonathon Allen

Leading The New York Times: Where the Buck Stops, Some See a Bystander
President Obama finds himself under fire on two disparate fronts these days, both for the botched rollout of his signature health care program and for the secret spying on allied heads of state. In both instances, his explanation roughly boils down to this: I didn’t know. – Peter Baker

The political bites of the day

- RomneyCare is back –
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AT THE FANEUIL HALL IN BOSTON: “Now, Mitt Romney and I ran a long and spirited campaign against one another. But I've always believed that when he was governor here in Massachusetts he did the right thing on health care. And then Deval did the right thing by picking up the torch and working to make the law work even better. And it's because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on this template of proven, bipartisan success.”

- Romney: Health care should be left to the states –
MITT ROMNEY’S STATEMENT ON THE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE ROLLOUT AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S VISIT TO BOSTON: “In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country. Beyond that, had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts health care, millions of Americans would not lose the insurance they were promised they could keep, millions more would not see their premiums skyrocket, and the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment. Health reform is best crafted by states with bipartisan support and input from its employers, as we did, without raising taxes, and by carefully phasing it in to avoid the type of disruptions we are seeing nationally.”

- Rush: This is insulting –
RUSH LIMBAUGH RESPONDING TO VALERIE JARRETT TWEET THAT OBAMACARE DOESN'T FORCE YOU OFF YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN: "This is worse than disingenuous. It's worse than just out-and-out lying. This is insulting. ‘Obamacare doesn't force you off your plan. Your insurance company does.’ The only reason the insurance companies with are changing anything is like everybody else: They've got to change to comply with what the law is."

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jay Newton-Small (@JNSmall)
Is it just me or does the @BarackObama cabinet only exist to occasionally get thrown under the bus?

Mark Knoller ‏(@markknoller)
On AF-1, @jearnest44 says Sebelius did a very good job today: "The president has complete confidence in Secretary Sebelius."

Charlie Savage ‏(@charlie_savage)
NSA says WP's assertion it collects overseas to get around FISA limits & collects vast quantities of US person's data that way "not true"

James Martin, SJ‏ (@JamesMartinSJ)
If it's true that the NSA has been spying on Vatican officials, and cardinals and the future pope, even during the conclave we should ask...

Forbes (‏@Forbes)
Putin is the most powerful person in the world: (Obama is No. 2) #powerfulpeople

Mike McNamara ‏(@MikeAMcNamara)
Fargo woman giving out letter, not #Halloween candy, to "moderately" obese kids aimed at parents lack of discipline –

Brian Stelter ‏(@brianstelter)
For the first time ever, "ESPN mobile properties saw more unique visitors than in September."

Dave McKinney ‏(@davemckinney123)
Former Bears great Urlacher to headline Schock re-election event … via @suntimes

Mary Bruce (‏@marykbruce)
Obama is not taking sides in tonight's game - he's a White Sox fan - but WH says he understands the "passion" of Red Sox fans.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

According to the Congressional Research Service, 29 members of Congress describe themselves as farmers, ranchers or cattle owners, while only 28 members of Congress describe themselves as doctors.

Twenty members describe themselves as physicians, including one ophthalmologist. There are also two dentists, two veterinarians, one psychiatrist and three psychologists.

Five medical professionals were panelists at the House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing Tuesday questioning Kathleen Sebelius about the website failures of, including Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) a psychologist, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), an Ob-Gyn, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), an Ob-Gyn, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a physician and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) a nurse.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Devon Horowitz ‏(@devonhorowitz) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Donna

    BREAKING … RAHM SAYS HEADS ARE ROLLING … Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tells Jake Tapper that “heads are rolling” inside the White House in regards to Obamacare rollout problems. Interview airs shortly on

    Oh, I'm sure every head that rolls will be of a low level person that had nothing to do with this fiasco. Or people will be shuffled and promoted like they were with the Benghazi debacle. Rahm Emmanuel is bigger liar and thug than Obama.

    October 30, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "I don't recall the article stating she started it, but fact is she said it and that is what is important!"

    The entire posture of the article was that Pelosi is coming out and stating this as if to say she and the Dems "will not negotiate" and "will not compromise" despite some quotes of Republicans in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal claiming that Obama said he would agree to not reforming the tax code to raise revenues. If your reading comprehension is so poor that you can't detect the subtext of the article and the underlying narrative it is pushing, then perhaps you should stick with RedState, which reads more like the coloring books you're used to. When Paul Ryan instigates the issue by standing up at the meeting and, very first thing, saying that the GOP/Teatrolls refuse to compromise and allow tax reforms that would generate new revenue, but CNN chooses to focus on Pelosi sticking to her guns and insisting that Dems should get something out of any "compromise," caging it as though she's the one refusing to negotiate, then there's a definite attempt to spin the narrative to blame the Dems afoot.

    And BTW, no, "smith" was not truthful when he said that more people are angry and hating it every day. The ACA"s popularity has actually increased in the polling since October 1st when the website rolled out. That's not deniable. We can argue all day about why those numbers exist...and you'll no doubt blather about skewed polling...but the raw data is not deniable.

    October 30, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    You don't need to apologize, they will fix this GLITCH. Period. It is not draining treasury of USA in Iraq, Afganistan and 40 billion dollars yearly into Pakistan nevertheless Bin Laden hid there.

    October 30, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    US Budget deficit down to $680B, the lowest in 5 years, and somehow CNN fails to report this fact. Too busy sucking the sweet sweet nontroversy juice from the GOP/Teatrolls' teats, eh CNN?

    October 30, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. tom l

    Real life story (but is anecdotal and not necessarily representative of everyone) – my healthcare insurance has drastically changed. I actually was quite happy with my healthcare coverage and liked my doctor. I now have gone to a lower premium, yet higher deductible coverage with an HSA. I have no desire for this but it is what it is. So, basically what I'm trying to say is that Obama misled me (and by me, I mean me personally). To me, and I didn't believe him at the time, but he kept trying to reassure someone like me that nothing was going to change for me. Also, it's noteworthy that Obama supporters keep posting that the only ones really affected by this were those with private insurance. Well I work for a major corporation and they have dropped my PPO in exchange for the new plan. That means I was affected by this. Majorly. So can you understand why someone like me, who was suspicious at the time, and now have a real life experience of how much this law affects me, would be frustrated and angry? I'd like an acknowledgement from rs, Rudy, Data, Sniffit, DMFO, Wake Up, Ol Yeller, Lynda and anyone else that supports the ACA of why I feel the way I do with regards to this law? I'm not exaggerating nor am I making one thing up. If you think I'm the only one who feels this way, I would respectfully tell you how many people in the office were blown away by the insurance options and how much this affected them, especially those with kids. And I can only tell you that not one of them (and most of them are apolitical) really made any negative comments about the company we work for. They didn't blame Obama, either. But if you, on the left, think that people won't pin this newfound hassle and inconvenience on the ones who actually changed all the rules then I would suggest that you might want to take a step back and get out of your echo chamber.

    October 30, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |