March 30th, 2014
09:45 AM ET
9 years ago

The "Inside Politics" Forecast: GOP donors look to Walker, Rubio

CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.

1. GOP donors look to Walker, Rubio: Iowa, of course, remains the first official stop in the presidential nominating process. But there was an early GOP trial of sorts over the last several days in Las Vegas, and the buzz out of the meeting is a telling snapshot of the early – very early – state of play.

The Republican Jewish Coalition meeting drew a handful of GOP prospects and while the host, GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, got most of the attention, the gathering featured many important Republican fundraisers and activists.

[twitter-follow screen_name='CNNPolitics'][twitter-follow screen_name='JohnKingCNN']

Chris Christie had many fans and potential backers on hand, but reports from those at the meeting also indicated significant worries about the toll of Bridgegate. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also made a strong impression. But he is exploring, not committed to, a 2016 run, so even those inclined to support Bush were careful to think about a Plan B.

Word from the scene was that Scott Walker and Marco Rubio were getting a fair amount of buzz from those looking for a horse, especially in the event Bush doesn’t run and Christie is considered too weakened.

2. McConnell saving cash to counter potential outside group attack: Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell won’t have trouble raising money if he needs it for his re-election bid. And he is neck and neck in polls with Democrat Alison Lundgren Grimes. So you might expect a McConnell ad barrage against the Democrat.

But McConnell, even though comfortably ahead at the moment, also faces a tea party primary challenge from Matt Bevin.

So Manu Raju of Politico reports McConnell is marshaling his resources, in part because “they are worried about outside groups coming in and attacking McConnell ahead of that May primary.”

A freeze frame of Bevin’s ad poking fun at the McConnell campaign’s March Madness mistake:
Bevin political ad

3. Christie's comeback strategy: Two women deliberately picked for interviews: Politico’s Maggie Haberman shared word from Chris Christie’s inner circle that perhaps his new media offensive did not go as planned.

For starters, Maggie is told Team Christie deliberately picked two women: Diane Sawyer of ABC and Megyn Kelly of FOX.

“The idea was to go for a softer tone because they believed that they knew they were going to get heat “ for the Christie-commissioned report that said he knew nothing in advance about the George Washington Bridge lane closings.

“They felt it was important to get him back on the media bike essentially and let him just get back to normal,” Haberman told us. But Christie also had a press conference, and was at times combative. “A lot of his allies were caught by surprise at the confrontational tone,” Haberman said.

4. Democrats in the "chickens with their heads cut off stage": The Atlantic’s Molly Ball shared insights on the Democrats’ “chickens with their heads cut off stage.”

In her words assessing “the level of Democratic panic. There is a lot of 2010 déjà vu going around. They just lost a special election, they even got Scott Brown back to torment them. So there is a question about is this going to be 2010 all over again and if so how do they deal with it.”

And just in case you were wondering what this highly technical political term means:
chicken without its head

5. Biden's week courting the base with an eye to 2016?: When the boss is away, the understudy tends to the base – perhaps with an idea of a campaign to come.

That was the gist of what Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev shared with us, noting Vice President Biden’s busy week courting Democratic constituencies while President Obama was overseas this past week.

Among his stops: a gay rights gala in Los Angeles, a job training event in New Hampshire, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

A tweet from Biden’s office about his jobs training event in the state that happens to hold the first primary in the presidential race:

Filed under: Inside Politics
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Walker can become a contender. Rubio isn't ready. He still has a lot to learn.

    March 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. daviddavid

    If the Dems run Hillary, and the GOP run someone who's anti-war (say Amash or Paul), I'm really curious how the left leaning talking heads will spin it. I mean look at Code Pink. As a Libertarian they were group who I used to agree with on foreign policy. But they exposed themselves as not anti-war, but just anti GOP-war when they overlooked Obama's warmongering and went after Romney last election because he may turn into a warmonger. It was really weird to see them ignore (or even support) the real warmonger, and go after the guy who's never even been in a position to invade anyone.
    But how do you spin it with someone like Hillary, who actually voted to invade Afghanistan AND Iraq? We're going to see some mental gymnastics among the Left over that.

    March 30, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Switters

    Marco Rubio is not a good 'national candidate'.

    He was born in the U.S. while his parents only held 'temporary visas' – he is the prototype 'anchor baby'.

    He lied for years about his parents escaping Castro's Cuba. Actually, they left several years before Castro took power. They came to the United States for the economic opportunities that are here – just like all the Hispanic economic refugees that Marco works every day to help 'keep out'.

    He won his race in Florida with only 48% of the vote.

    He walked away from a home he was buying in Florida when the value went 'underwater'.

    He was a Mormon – then a Catholic – now he takes his family to a 'Southern Baptist' church.

    Not so good the GOP presidential choice.................

    March 30, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. king

    the repubs superior propaganda machine, with fox news' who still refuse to hire a single dem host for a half hour, along with all its corporate propaganda machine buddies, like fox business news, and cnbc, not counting the hoard of right winged radio station who out numbers dems 20 to 1. the mainstream media like nbc, cbs, cnn, and abc, better not say anything positive about the Obama administration, even though we are in one of the most successful time in american history, only jobs are not keeping up with every major part of the economy, such as housing, stock markets, jobs coming back to america, etc. if these mainstream media ever say anything about these succes, they will be jumped on by fox news and big corporate money, labeling them the lame stream media. only history will show how successful this administration was.

    March 30, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. maximusvad

    Can the GOP stay away from Christian Zeal and focus on the nation ? Christie wont make it past the primaries. The South and midwest will not have it ?

    March 30, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Scott walker, Marco Rubio? My stomach hurts laughing at these idiots. USA is not that stupid to buy these two.

    March 30, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Lizzie

    King, don't worry, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS have all the liberals and democrats in their lineup not a republican or conservative on their staff. They fired all conservatives and republicans, or those who do not follow their left leaning agenda.
    Cavuto ( likes Pres.Obama) or Beckel (a liberal) both are on FOX

    March 30, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Rose Gardener

    Paul is weak on defense.
    Christie is a RINO and a Obama hugger.
    Rubio, Jindal and Cruz are illegals and soft on immigration.
    Huckabee was a tax raiser.

    Real conservatives: Gov Perry and Gov. Palin

    March 30, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. On Streetwise

    Anyway you cut it, the coming GOP contenders for its 2016 nominee for president will be a, at the end of the day, will run a true hard Right Oligarch Plutocrat and Apartheid campaigner heading up their ticket and it will be a clear (and present threat) choice NOT to support; workers, elderly, women, children, students, vets and your pets included. Simply put, the Tea/GOP is and always will continue as a party for, by and of the 1%'s. Vote very, very carefully next November '14 and 2016 also.

    March 30, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Jay

    Over 6 Million people have signed up for Obama care and it is going up. GOP are in full panic mode and circling the wagons. Their big lie is no longer working.

    March 30, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Matt

    Walker and Rubio are not experienced enough, so I hope they run only so I can watch Hill mop the floor with them.

    March 30, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. hellsyeahs

    Tbags need to go and kiss the ring. Won't matter who you nuts run from your freak show. They will be destroyed just like Obama absolutely DESTROYED that guy with the magic undies and mom jeans. What was that dudes name again?

    March 30, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. texasnotea

    Same Klown car just different names, no answers, no solutions,no positive ideas, just klown acts

    March 30, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Lizzie

    Jay, you don't have a choice, you will sign up or face the wrath of the IRS.

    March 30, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Gwiz

    Hahahaha thats all im gonna say

    March 30, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. NameFrank Deery

    It will be Romney/Rubio in 2016. Gov Romney was right about so many of the issues we face now-from Russia to Obamacare-and he lost the election due to Obama's lies and smear tactics. I believe Americans see that. He could also save some of the better parts of Obamacare, while disposing of the ever confusing/changing parts Obama et al refuse to deal with. That, alone, assures a Republican sweep of both Houses of
    Congress in 2014.

    Republicans, unlike Democrats, give second chances. We know the nation and world would be a calmer, safer place had Mitt won.
    By 2016, voters will wiil, too-and Romney has had more hands-on experience with health care than Obama, Sibelius, Reid, or Pelosi, who Blew it out of the gate, but keep defending it-a mess-as if it even worked. It

    March 30, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. jerrylax

    and the dems are going to run clinton…please run clinton. This time she will not be able to stop the film on her past. The supreme court ruled against her. This is going to be fun.

    March 30, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. sifto

    Obviously, king does not watch fox..they have lots of liberals in their lineups..almost adnausem.. makes them more balanced than msm..

    March 30, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. bill

    no no no--it is all about a president that lies--obamacare-–38 times he lied just on obamamess and the left passed the bill WITHOUT EVEN READING IT. YOU CAN..................... when you here any left wing socialist say those words - run.

    March 30, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Time to see if the Koch Bros. really have enough money (most of it made in Russia) to buy the white house. Russia will take over this country one way or the other, sooner or latter. And we give them soooooooo much help with it.

    March 30, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Norma Vessels

    NameFrank Deery .. guess you were one of the many who "just knew" Gov. Romney was going to be the next President of the U.S .. only to watch in total surprise when President Obama went back for a second term, with so many votes, there was no reason to call for a recount in any state. Can you imagine.
    And I have to say .. if your Gov. Romney hadn't changed his views over and over again, on just about every subject that came up, he might have had a chance, but not likely. You see, we don't like people who don't tell the truth, over and over and over again. Not good for credibility.

    March 30, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Tony D

    Over 6 Million people have signed up for Obama care and it is going up. GOP are in full panic mode and circling the wagons. Their big lie is no longer working.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yeah, except that is NOT what all the poll numbers and the Democrat poll guru Nate Silver says. As usual, the lefties living in a dream world. And please remember, Obama was declared the Liar of the Year so the American people know who has been lying to them for years, Obama and the Democrats.

    March 30, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Namelinda

    If Rubio and Walker are the best the GOP can pick to run in 2016, then they all but lost. Anyone who has Tea party backers will lose the Presidency. Minorities will not vote for Walker and we realize Rubio is a sell-out among Hispanic voters.

    March 30, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Weezie

    Why would anyone with half a brain vote for a republican!!!!!!!These people don't care for the people who vote for them. Sure they're making all kinds of promises, which they have no concept of keeping. They only want to win to turn back the hands of time...jim crow, appeal one will have insurance, cut food stamps,cut medicare/medicade, and anything else that the people that voted for them need. They all need to be kicked to the curb, or better yet, pushed off that cliff that they tried a second time to take us over.

    March 30, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. J Anthony

    @Tony D: all poliiticians lie. That's how it works. If they all started telling the truth tomorrow, there'd be mass hysteria and the system would collapse. It would be rough, but in the long run the truth will set us free. Your childish partisan perspective is part of the problem, an impediment to a common platform.

    March 30, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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