CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2014
January 31st, 2014
04:13 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for January 31, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 31, 2014 | 4 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle




TAPPER: “When your director of National Intelligence General James Clapper testified before Congress and said, before the Snowden leaks, that there were no mass surveillance going on a lot of Democrats in the Senate think that he was not honest. He said like – later, that it was the least untruthful answer he could give.

I know that you have faith in Clapper. I know that you believe that these programs protect the American people.

But I can't believe that you weren't disappointed by his answer, because least untruthful is not a phrase I remember hearing on the campaign trail.”

OBAMA: “I think that Jim Clapper himself would acknowledge, and has acknowledged, that he should have been more careful about how he responded.”


OBAMA: “Well, I actually think that we have a good chance of immigration reform.”


OBAMA: “If you want to go to the Olympics, you should go to the Olympics. You know, we're not discouraging, in any way, Americans from participating in what is just always an amazing, wonderful event.”


OBAMA: “I stand by my belief, based, I think, on the scientific evidence that marijuana for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is, and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge.”


OBAMA: “I have been really impressed so far with the way he has communicated what I think is the essence of the Christian faith and that is a true sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and a true sense of regard for those who are less fortunate … I don't think he needs any advice from me on staying humble.”

MEANWHILE IN THE STATES …. WE FIND OUR QUOTE OF THE DAY:– Kashkari: If G.W. Bush could beat Ann Richards, I could beat Jerry Brown - FORMER U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NEEL KASHKARI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BUZZFEED ABOUT HIS RUN FOR CA GOV. AGAINST DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT JERRY BROWN: “Ann Richards was a wildly popular Democratic governor of Texas … People loved her, she was a really funny lady and everyone thought she was unbeatable. And then here was this young man named George W. Bush who had never held elected office before and said, ‘I think I can beat her,’ and then beat her.”

(Answer below)
President Obama says that Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman took a page out of which athlete’s playbook in his dramatic post-NFC championship game interview two weeks ago?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Obama economic adviser: Class warfare charges are 'hyperventilation'
With the White House seizing on income inequality as a key issue ahead of this year’s midterm elections, President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser on Friday brushed off “class warfare” charges from the nation’s wealthiest citizens as “hyperventilation." – Peter Hamby

Leading Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Scott Walker raised $5 million at end of 2013, triple Mary Burke’s total
In the last half of 2013, Gov. Scott Walker raised more than $5 million, nearly three times as much as his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke. From July to December, Walker's campaign spent $2.7 million, leaving the Republican governor with a formidable $4.6 million in cash heading into this election year. – Jason Stein and Patrick Marley

Leading Tampa Bay Times: Conservative groups pumping $1.2 million into Jolly-Sink race
The outside money keeps piling up in FL-13. Today another $1.2 million has been reported from conservative groups. The American Action Network said today that it will spend $500,000 in the Florida Congressional District 13 race featuring Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly. Additionally, American Crossroads said that starting Feb. 18, it will spend $500,000, including $357,000 on broadcast and cable and the rest in direct mail. Politico, which first reported the spending, also notes that YG Network will spend $200,000 on TV, bringing the total spending to $1.2 million. – Alex Leary

Leading Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Democratic poll: 63% of metro Atlanta voters say Nathan Deal flunked his own ice storm test
73 percent of voters in the snow-affected areas of metro Atlanta rated the performance of Deal, the state Department of Transportation and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency as fair or poor. Statewide, 63 percent disapproved. – Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Leading Des Moines Register: Gallup Poll: Iowans twice as likely to self-identify as conservatives than as liberals
Iowans are twice as likely to self-identify as conservatives than as liberals, but other statistics indicate the Hawkeye state remains a swing state, according to a Gallup Poll released today. The survey shows 40.1 percent of Iowans identify themselves as conservatives, 37.9 percent as moderates, and 19.8 percent as liberals. – William Petroski

Leading Drudge: I’m Not Going!
For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the bad news keeps piling up. On Thursday, longtime Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, a Pelosi ally and fellow Californian, announced he would retire at the end of this Congress. That closely follows Rep. George Miller’s (D-Calif.) decision to also leave the House at the end of the year. – John Bresnahan

The political bites of the day

- Kerry on Syria: No option is off the table –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE IN GERMANY: “The options are all the options that originally existed. No option has been taken off the table … We call on Bashar al-Assad to live up to his obligations or we will join together with our friends and talk about which, if any, of the options we deem necessary at this point to proceed forward.”

- Mitch Landrieu: Let me help ya, sis–
NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES ON HIS SISTER MARY LANDRIEU’S, REELECTION CAMPAIGN: “I just spent $3 million on name recognition … And my last name is Landrieu, and so is hers.”

- Atlanta political operative: Tells his city to ‘man’ up -
FINANCIER PHIL WILHEIT JR. ON HIS FACEBOOK PAGE: “Hey Atlanta! Quit whining about how inconvenient the last few days have been. It’s called earth and weather and it does what it wants … The “men” in Atlanta need to drink less cosmotinis and forget about ever getting another pedicure. Be a man like the guy who hiked 6 miles through the snow and ice to be with his daughter. Spend more time in nature and less time bitching about it.”

- Kashkari: If someone like me doesn’t run for office, who would? –
FORMER TREASURY DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NEEL KASHKARI ON HIS RUN FOR CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BUZZFEED: “I don’t see a long line of people running to Sacramento to make major changes in the state, and so I said, ‘Look, if a guy like me — 40 years old, a lot of energy, experience in public policy — if a guy like me is not willing to try and turn it around, how’s the government going to get better?”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

The Star-Ledger ‏(@starledger)
#BreakingNews: Suspicious letters, powder delivered to hotels near @MLStadium #SuperBowl #sb48 #superjersey

Ryan Sloane (@RyanSloaneCNN)
#BREAKING - East Rutherford mayor says letter sent to Homewood Suites contained cornstarch. #CNN

Dan Merica ‏(@danmericaCNN)
State Department's Keystone report finds operating the pipeline would produce the equivalent of 300,000 vehicles operating for 1 year.

Kevin Madden (‏@KevinMaddenDC)
Obama approval rating in top '14 battlegrounds is 36%. Dem incumbents there voted w/ him 93% of the time –

Greg Sargent ‏(@ThePlumLineGS)
If Rs wait on immigration, Ted Cruz will turn GOP prez primary into an anti-amnesty sludge-fest

Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
Begich's potential GOP opponent, Dan Sullivan, outraised him in 4Q ($1.25m), but Begich has lots of cash on hand. #AKSEN

Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto)
Inside Tehran's internet culture: a new web start-up aiming to be the TripAdvisor for #Iran

Walt Mossberg ‏(@waltmossberg)
Facebook offers free ads and "internal organic" promotion to stars who post about the Super Bowl via @pkafka

Duanecia A. Evans ‏(@Duanecia)
Rutgers University now offering "Politicizing Beyoncé," exploring American race, gender and sexual politics

Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC)
Here Jackie Robinson (born 95 years ago today) embraces son David at March on Washington 1963: #Schapiro

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

When asked by CNN’s chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper about Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-NFC Championship game interview with Erin Andrews, President Obama said that it seemed Sherman took a page out of Muhammad Ali’s playbook.

The President at first defended Sherman saying, “Well, first of all he’s a great cornerback who made a great play and won the game for the Seahawks. He is obviously a very smart guy - wonderful story that he came up from Compton, went to Stanford, has helped other people graduate and go to college from his old school.”

He then went on to compare Sherman’s sideline interview to a stunt Muhammad Ali pulled. “My sense is he’s taking a page out of Muhammad Ali’s playbook, which is - I think he’s said explicitly - this is a good way to get attention. In fact, Ali said he got his shtick from wrestlers he used to watch. … So I think it’s part of that tradition of, ‘Let me get some attention.’ Obviously, it’s worked. I suspect he’s going to have a lot more endorsement contracts and I think more jersey sales after that.”

When asked who he thought was going to win the Super Bowl game Sunday, Obama didn’t pick a team, but did say that he anticipated an exciting game.

“I think it’s going to be a lot like the Seahawks-49ers game,” he said. “I think it’s going to come down to the last play and I think (at) the end of the day - I’m not going to pick, because I don’t want to offend any of the great cities participating.”

See the full interview on ”The Lead with Jake Tapper” airing at 4pm E.T. or check it out on their blog at

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to yesterday’s trivia SUBJECT, and today’s trivia WINNER Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877), a true Gut Check MVP, for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    David Wildstein's attorney: The lane closures were “the Christie administration’s order.....evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”

    Will this be ignored by the CNN Ticker as thoroughly as all the inaccuracies in McMorris Roger's SOTU response "Obamacare victim" anecdote?

    January 31, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    He's hoping that nothing ungodly happens in Sochi. If anything bad happened to an American athlete or tourist, we all know what the result will be in American politics. The name Sochi will become another Benghazi, and Hillary will be blamed.

    January 31, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "State Department's Keystone report finds operating the pipeline would produce the equivalent of 300,000 vehicles operating for 1 year."

    And, since crude production is up over 8,300% since 2006 (yes, that's thousands), which has created the need for an industry of rail and trucks to transport it, you can bet your bippy that there will be a lot of unemployed people as a result of the pipeline....a lot more jobs than it will create.

    January 31, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Negative on that, Control. That's a negative. The enemy has raised shields. We cannot get any signals through."

    Haha...gave me the giggles.

    January 31, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Leading Des Moines Register: Gallup Poll: Iowans twice as likely to self-identify as conservatives than as liberals"

    That's ok. Despite it being completely and utterly unreflective of the population at large, please keep using Iowa as your litmus test, GOPers/Teatrolls. Your confirmation bias is our advantage. Just ask President Romney.

    January 31, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "“Well, I actually think that we have a good chance of immigration reform.”"

    Lie. He's too smart to think that...but of course he can't exactly say anything other than that or he'd give the GOP/Teatrolls a sad and Faux News would spend the next 2 weeks coming up with new talking points about him being divisive for speaking the truth that the GOP/Teatrolls are looking for a way to kill immigration reform that will give them some superficial toe-hold for claiming that the Dems are at fault for it blowing up. They can't just refuse it...they have to fabricate something the MSM can latch onto for manufacturing a false equivalence narrative first.

    January 31, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    “the Christie administration’s order.....evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”
    Like nobody knew that ...

    January 31, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |