CNN's GUT CHECK for April 16, 2014
April 16th, 2014
04:51 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for April 16, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA SLAMS HOUSE GOP ON IMMIGRATION … Marking the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s passage of a comprehensive immigration reform plan, President Obama released a statement Wednesday ripping House Republicans for "repeatedly failing to take action” on the issue. The president said the House GOP seems to prefer “the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform.”

AS DIAZ-BALART URGES GOP NOT TO CEDE THE ISSUE: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, warned fellow Hill Republicans on Wednesday that if they do not take action on immigration reform, Obama will take the matter into his own hands.

“I’m convinced that if we don’t get it done by the August break, the president, who is feeling a lot of pressure from having not done anything on immigration reform, will feel that he has to act through executive action,” Diaz-Balart told the Washington Post. “If he does that, the window for Republicans and Democrats to negotiate on this issue is closed until the next president.

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WHITE HOUSE PUSHES JOB TRAINING … Hoping to help close the gap between workers' skills and the needs of businesses, President Obama announced Wednesday he's putting hundreds of millions toward job training programs. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to a community college in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to make the announcement. – Kevin Liptak

BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES BIG FUNDS TO COMBAT GUNS: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investing another chunk of his vast personal fortune to combat the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to his new group Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella organization for his two other gun control groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“We’re going to do everything we can…to make sure that we reward those who are protecting lives and make sure that those who are trying to keep people from being protected lose elections,” Bloomberg said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today Show.” – Leigh Ann Caldwell, Kevin Bohn and Ed Payne

NEW AL QAEDA VIDEO: A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn't know about it or couldn't get a drone there in time to strike. U.S. officials won't comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed. – Barbara Starr

THE BUZZ: TWITTER CO-FOUNDER CLAIMS SITE WORTH OVER $25 BILLION … In 2011, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg he thought Twitter was worth around $500 million. Asked on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” what it is worth now, Stone tweaked his estimate. “It’s north of $25 billion, I think,” he said.

Gut Check Full Service: For some perspective…
-Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion
-Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion
-eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion
-Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion
-Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion
-Snapchat’s value has been estimated at $4 billion

MARKET WATCH: Stocks rally on earnings, China and Yellen comments. Dow gains 160 points. NASDAQ climbs 1.3%. S&P 500 gains 1%.

(Answer below)
Which U.S. president also served as president of the National Rifle Association?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading Big bucks an indicator of outside groups' influence
They've become some of the most important players in campaign politics over the past four years, and brand new fundraising figures indicate that the influence of outside groups is not diminishing. In fact, the numbers suggest that these organizations, which are free of many of the fundraising rules that keep checks on candidates and party committees, will have a major impact on the 2014 Senate, House and gubernatorial elections, which are shaping up to be the most expensive midterms ever. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading Bergen County Record: Law firm hired by Christie for internal probe donated $10K in 2014 to RGA
Nine days before a team of its top lawyers made public a report clearing Governor Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal, the law firm donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a group he heads. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher made its donation March 18. – Melissa Hayes

Gut Check Full Service: Shortly after the Record published their report, the DNC emailed supporters with the subject line, “Chris Christie thinks we are all idiots.”

Statement to CNN from Gibson Dunn: “Gibson Dunn’s annual contributions to the Republican Governors Association long predate our retention by the Office of the Governor and even predate when the current Governor was first elected to office. The firm has donated to the RGA since 2009 at the behest of Bill Kilberg, a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC office who has served on the RGA’s Executive Roundtable since 2009.”

Leading Boston Globe: Warren, Geithner, Obama: The Three Stooges
After she (Warren) agreed to help set up the (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), she recounts being with (former Treasury Secretary Tim) Geithner and Obama, about to go to the Rose Garden for a press conference. Obama said they would all go out together. “Well, not all at once,” he said. “This isn’t a Three Stooges routine.” The three of them laughed, and then launched into a round of Three Stooges gags. – Matt Viser

Leading Drudge: WWIII
Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape. Whipped up by the Kremlin propaganda machine and led by Russian military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag. They are demolishing not just their own country — bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered — but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe…safe and free for decades. – Edward Lucas

Leading HuffPo: Supreme Court To Consider Ohio Ban On Campaign Lies
Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. The case has attracted national attention, with groups across the political spectrum criticizing the law as a restriction on the First Amendment right to free speech.

Leading Politico: Ted Cruz faces 2016 skeptics in South Carolina
It didn’t take much for Ted Cruz to bring a crowd of conservatives to its feet here. By the time the Texas Republican senator finished speaking Tuesday night, an adoring audience hailed Cruz and his no-compromise, combative style of conservatism that has made him the scourge of the GOP establishment but a hero of the tea party. – Manu Raju

Leading New York Times: Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat
In her darkest hour last fall, Kathleen Sebelius suffered one of the deepest cuts from an old family friend who accused her of “gross incompetence” over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and demanded that she resign as secretary of health and human services. Now she is weighing revenge. Ms. Sebelius is considering entreaties from Democrats who want her to run against that old friend, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas. – Jeremy W. Peters

Shira T. Center ‏(@shiracenter)
I can think of a few Senate Dems who probably wouldn't welcome Sebelius to #KSSEN: Pryor, Landrieu, Begich, Hagan...

The political bites of the day

- Christie: Sky should be the limit for campaign donations -
NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE AT A TOWN HALL EVENT: “You are never going to keep money out of politics … I think we need to be realistic in this country about the fact that our political system costs money. None of these laws change that. So let's add transparency… I think it should be unlimited contributions and (a) 48-hour notification of every contribution you accept, so that so if someone wants to write a $100,000 check for my campaign, great, take it. But 48 hours later, everybody who has access to the internet is going to see that Mr. Smith gave me $100,000.”

- 39 pressures 44 to oppose Keystone XL pipeline –
FORMER PRESIDENT CARTER AND OTHER NOBEL LAUREATES IN A LETTER TO OBAMA AND KERRY: “Dear President Obama & Secretary Kerry, You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change. As you deliberate the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to
make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the
status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to
do the right thing for our shared climate.”

- Dueling new ads for Tar Heel Tillis -
NARRATOR IN NEW AMERICAN CROSSROADS AD BOOSTING TILLIS: “Tired of Obama and Kay Hagan’s big lies? Thom Tillis, a fiscal conservative with the guts to repeal and replace Obamacare … Stand up to Obama’s big government agenda. Thom Tillis, North Carolina values for a change.”

NARRATOR IN SENATE MAJORITY PAC AD BLASTING TILLIS: “Thom Tillis shared an apartment with his chief of staff when North Carolina news reported that the chief of staff was having an extramarital affair with a lobbyist and was caught on camera and resigned. Then, one week later, another Tillis staffer resigns for another sexual relationship with a lobbyist. Thom Tillis' reaction? He claimed he was surprised by his roommate's affair, but then rewarded both aides with taxpayer-paid bonuses. Thom Tillis - spending our money to clean up his mess."

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Steve Krakauer (‏@SteveKrak)
Bloomberg: "When I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I'm heading straight in. I have earned my place" …

Josh Greenman (‏@joshgreenman)
Hey @FiveThirtyEight, what are the chances Mike Bloomberg is going to heaven?

Simon Conway ‏(@SimonRadio1776)
Heels on, gloves off! @SarahPalinUSA back to Iowa. Will share stage with @joniernst and others … via @WHORadio #tcot

Jason Koebler (‏@jason_koebler)
Montana congressional candidate (from MD, with the thickest Maryland accent ever), shoots down a drone in his ad. …

Halimah Abdullah (‏@HAbdullahdcnews)
Landrieu faces toughest political storm. Beset by well-funded forces on the right; unpopular president on left

Mike Allen (‏@mikeallen)
named to Commission on Presidential Debates board: Mitch Daniels, Charlie Gibson, Jane Harman, Leon Panetta, Olympia Snowe, Shirley Tilghman

Michael Martinez (‏@MMartinezCNN)
"We are North Koreans, and that is our leader on your poster," 2 men say of barbers' sign about Kim Jong Un's 'bad haircut…

Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
What’s worse than a guy with a bad haircut? A guy with a bad haircut who can’t take a joke: …

Deadline Hollywood ‏(@Deadline)
Warner Bros Taps Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers As Communications Chief; Sue Fleishman Exiting

Elizabeth Holmes (‏@EHolmesWSJ)
VP Biden's first Instagram could double as an ad for Ray Ban.

John Dingell (@john_dingell)
I'm not joining Snapchat, Benny. MT @bennyjohnson: It's funny when an older politician joins a new social platform...

April Andrews (@aprilCNNpr)
ICYMI: Paul Walker's brothers help finish 'Fast & Furious 7' action scenes #Fast7

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Former President Ulysses S. Grant became the National Rifle Association’s eighth president on April 3, 1883. Grant is one of eight U.S. presidents to have been a lifelong member of the NRA. JFK is the only Democrat in the group. Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush disavowed their lifelong memberships

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    --just ban all the guns. Pass total Gun-Ban laws. This second amendment is a big BS in the nation. Period.

    April 16, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Donna

    The ONLY thing "broken" about our immigration system is the people we have in charge of enforcing our immigration laws. They refuse to secure our borders, they refuse to deport every illegal we catch in the country (75% are set free), Obama openly violates the law by illegally granting some exemptions from our laws.

    Democrats want to pull another Obamacare style con job on the country. Instead of fixing the problems they claim the whole system needs to be destroyed so tens of millions of illegals can eventually become citizens after breaking our laws. They pulled this same con job in the 80's and here we are again, this time with 6 times as many illegals after we gave them amnesty in the 80's.

    Don't be suckered again by the Democrats American CITIZENS. Don't let them sell your country out from underneath you. Remember their Obamacare lies, if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance, keep your doctor, keep your hospital, all LIES. Well they are hawking the same BS here.

    Secure the borders and cut the illegal entry rate, arrest and deport EVERY illegal caught int he USA and the problem is solved in 10 years. They lie when they tell you it cannot be done.

    April 16, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Sean Hannity has taken on the role of a domestic terrorist, with his non sensical support for a dead beat rancher who owes the government over one million dollars.

    April 16, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Citizens Against Moron Billionaire Mayors

    This clown should find something worthwhile to do with all this money. Using it to attack the 2nd Amendment rights of American citizens is not only a waste, it is offensive.

    April 16, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |

    Cruz and Col. west 2016 !

    April 16, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. tom l

    An old, white former democrat, republican and now "independent" who made his money on Wall Street and received a golden parachute for a huge amount of money and then created a company that essentially has a monopoly and is one of the world's 15 richest people in the world who wants to use a sum of money that is over what used to be the legal contribution limit for a political cause and invokes religion by saying he's going to heaven due to this "contribution". What's that? Oooohhhhh, he is on OUR side on this issue?? Did you say 50 million dollars? Ok, cool. He's in.

    April 16, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. tom l

    For the record, he has every right to spend his money however he wants to.

    April 16, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque


    Always nice to get my daily dose of hatred. Well at least you are an equal opportunity hater. From lots of your recent posts you don't like anybody, especially Americans who don't subscribe your your tiny little view of the big ole universe.

    April 16, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, the GOTP (right middle finger of the NRA) will not be happy until "natural causes" replaces "gun shot" on all death certificates as cause of delmise. Or maybe it should be Cause of Death-Second Amendment.


    April 16, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Chris-E – Love your post in re Cruz and West.

    April 16, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. The REAL Truth...

    @Donna – The ONLY thing "broken" about our immigration system is the people we have in charge of enforcing our immigration laws. They refuse to secure our borders, they refuse to deport every illegal we catch in the country (75% are set free), Obama openly violates the law by illegally granting some exemptions from our laws.
    That's about as accurate as saying money isn't involved in politics. Total fiction Donna... it amazes me that people take these rants as being truthful, factual and accurate.. Hahahah.. serioslly ??
    La Raza calls Obama the Deportation President because his administration deported more illegals in it's first 3 yrs than his predecessor did (see, I didn't mention Dubya) in HIS EIGHT!! And that's a FACT honey...

    April 16, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. rs


    The ONLY thing "broken" about our immigration system is the people we have in charge of enforcing our immigration laws. They refuse to secure our borders, they refuse to deport every illegal we catch in the country (75% are set free), Obama openly violates the law by illegally granting some exemptions from our laws.
    I love you guys on the Right. So predictable. This President deports the most illegal aliens ever- and you claim he isn't "enforcing the law". Then, this week you fall all over yourselves congratulating a rich Nevada rancher for failing to pay his grazing permits for 15 years and have a massive freak-out that the Bureau of Land Management would actually "enforce the laws".

    April 16, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "over what used to be the legal contribution limit for a political cause

    How wonderfully ridiculous. You used the phrase "political cause" in order to get around the fact that this isn't a campaign donation and campaign finance laws don't apply to the $50M he's donating. You're deliberately glossing over that fact, just like the MSM is, in order to build a very stupid and dishonest argument comparing apples and oranges.

    April 16, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. rs

    Secure the borders and cut the illegal entry rate, arrest and deport EVERY illegal caught int he USA and the problem is solved in 10 years. They lie when they tell you it cannot be done.
    And it won't as long as the Right insists on making sure no millionaire gets left out of the tax refund trough! Honestly, $ 1 million buck a mile- and that only takes care of a basic fence between us and Mexico (I'll guess you'll want Canada kept at bay too). Never mind the staff, never mind the prisons, never mind the buses and air fare. Who in your little government world is going to pay for that?
    THAT'S why it'll never happen.

    April 16, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    @ Donna

    Blah blah blah, yeah, we know, you don't like how brown the country is getting...we get it. Lengthy diatribes replete with blatant lying about Obama's enforcement of immigration laws and border security efforts isn't necessary for us to understand that you and a lot of the GOP/Teatrolls are really just angry about brown people coming into political power.

    April 16, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. tom l

    I think that liberals use the term "hate" but the real words are "anger" and "frustration". While I acknowledge there is probably "hate" for a certain small percentage – much in the same way and amount as there was "hate" on the left for Bush – the majority really fall into the anger and frustration category in both cases.

    It's interesting because it's also apparent that for the most part liberals think conservatives are bad people so they probably associate that evilness with hate while conservatives, for the most part, think that liberals aren't bad people but that they're just wrong.

    April 16, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. ja

    Simply said the NRA is paranoid terrorist group, with sophisticated tactics

    April 16, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    For the record, he has every right to spend his money however he wants to.
    Yup, he does. If money is free speech, then it should be subject to free speech limitations. You cannot yell, "Fire," in a crowded movie theater. You should not be able to legally bribe politicians, which is where this has headed. Q.E.D.

    April 17, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |