May 1st, 2014
07:11 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 1, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 1, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

TAPPER BIKES & TALKS WITH FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH … The former President emphasized the need to drop the “D” in “PTSD” when discussing wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, in rare interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday in Crawford, Texas.

"PTS is an injury, which means it's fixable over time," Bush said before joining a group of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans for the fourth annual W100K mountain bike ride that he hosts at his ranch. "A lot of the experts don't view PTS as a disorder. It's an injury, and that's really important ... to eliminate stigma."

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The former president also joked that he is only a phone call away if his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is looking for advice about whether he should run for president.

"Hey Jeb, if you need some advice, give me a call," the former President said, noting that he doesn’t believe any decision from his brother would be made for about a year.

And while it's hard for people to believe, Bush said he hasn’t really talked to his brother about the job but added he hopes Jeb decides to seek the Republican presidential nomination.

"I hope Jeb runs,” the former President said. “I think he would be a great president. I have no clue what’s on his mind and we will talk when he’s ready. I noticed he’s moving around the country quite a bit.”

BENGHAZI CONTROVERSY REIGNITES … The controversy over newly released Benghazi documents continued on Capitol Hill Thursday, when House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, said it was ‘disturbing and perhaps criminal’ that newly released documents were ‘hidden by the administration from Congress.’

“The American people have learned that you cannot believe what the White House says,” Issa said at a House Oversight hearing. “You cannot believe what the spokespeople say, and you cannot believe what the president says.”

The documents were not included in the initial set of e-mails the White House released last May which show the interagency debate over talking points to go to lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the emails reflected what the administration knew at the time.

In a statement Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner called on Secretary of State John Kerry to testify before Congress on the documents left out of the response to the Benghazi subpoena issued last year. On the Senate floor, Sen. John McCain called for a bipartisan, bicameral select committee to investigate the entire situation. – Sara Fischer

2016 POLL: CLINTON TOPS BUSH IN KEY STATE … According a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday, in a possible general election matchup in, Hillary Clinton tops Jeb Bush 49%-41% amongst Florida voters. Clinton holds larger double-digit leads in matchups against Rubio, Paul, Christie, Ryan, Huckabee, and Cruz. – Paul Steinhauser

HOUSE PASSES FUNDING FOR EXPANDED SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING …The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday that will provide funds for expanded sexual harassment training for all members and their staff. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California introduced the measure as an amendment to the legislative branch spending bill. The legislation, which passed 402-14, allocates $500,000 from that bill to pay for the effort. – Deirdre Walsh and Ashley Killough

THE BUZZ: MASS. GOVERNOR APOLOGIZES FOR CONTROVERSIAL TWEET …Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick apologized after a tweet from the Twitter handle angered supporters of sexual abuse victims. The tweet read “Sexual assault is always avoidable,” and contained a link, the hashtag #SAAM and a logo for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Patrick apologized Thursday saying, “It was a stupid comment that certainly does not reflect the views of this administration or my own, or frankly the director of the organization that photo'd [sic] them.”

MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P 500 finish day mostly flat but Netflix and other momentum tech stocks help lift NASDAQ.

(Answer below)
Who was the first president to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Clintons' relationship with media still testy after all these years
Hillary Clinton is thinking about running for president, a candidacy - and possible administration - that would no doubt intensify the already close and sometimes sensational scrutiny of her and her husband. For Bill and Hillary Clinton, their view on the state of journalism in the United States comes from a place of deep knowledge and exposure. And like many who have been in the spotlight for a prolonged period, it's a love-hate thing. – Dan Merica

Leading Drudge: May Day
Pro-Russian protesters stormed the prosecutor's office in the separatist-held city of Donetsk on Thursday, lobbing stones and smashing windows after accusing the office of working for the Western-backed government in Kiev. – Thomas Grove

Leading HuffPo: 'Just One More Way The Playing Field Is Tilted': Warren Slams 'disturbing' Development
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) blasted the Federal Communication Commission's recent proposal to let internet service providers charge for access to their customers, saying it would "gut" the principle of net neutrality. – Matt Sledge

Leading Politico: Conservatives revolt on immigration
John Boehner teased them last week for whining about the fact that they couldn’t tackle a tough topic like immigration reform. But conservative immigration foes have yet to let go of the speaker’s remarks about them. – Seung Min Kim

Leading New York Times: Florida Set to Offer In-State Tuition to Children Brought to U.S. Illegally
The legislation’s expected passage is a sign that Florida’s conservative Legislature and Republican governor are intensifying efforts to woo Hispanic voters. – Lizette Alvarez


The political bites of the day

- General: We’ll never know if military force would have worked in Benghazi -
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH, AT A HOUSE HEARING: “What was the mood in the room? What was the feeling? Was it to save our people?”
Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell: “It was desperation there to be able gain situational...”
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: “… It was what?”
LOVELL: “Desperation to gain situational awareness and to be able to do something to save people's lives.”

LOVELL: “Four individuals died. Sir, we obviously did not respond in time to get there.”
CHAFFETZ: “Could we have?”
LOVELL: (Shakes head no): “We may have been able to, but we'll never know.”

- Vitter: Congress Doesn't Deserve an Obamacare Exemption -
Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, in an op-ed for Roll Call: "Americans didn’t elect their senators to be intimidated by Harry Reid. They elected us to lead and to make important decisions, even if they are tough. Americans elected us to represent them, not rule over them, and certainly not to give ourselves special privileges like an exemption from Obamacare.”

- Candidate’s kids tout tupperware collection, hand-me-downs –
GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE JACK KINGSTON’S FOUR CHILDREN IN A NEW AD: “Our dad is Jack Kingston. He really is cheap and it’s not just the car he drives ... He’ll drive five miles on empty, just to save two cents a gallon … Have you seen our tupperware collection? … (Holds up used Cool Whip containers) We’ve thought hand-me-down was the name of a department store … He’d call a family meeting when someone opened a Diet Coke without permission. You now for dad it’s about personal responsibility and respecting the value of a dollar … He’ll be the same way in the Senate.” KINGSTON: “I’mJack Kingston and I approve this message, once I saw it was under budget.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader)
Next week, the House will vote on a resolution to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress

Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh)
Fascinating how personal Carney gets over Ed Henry's questioning re: Benghazi - ad hominem attacks on Fox News.

Lisa Desjardins (‏@LisaDCNN)
BENGHAZI: Asked Pelosi abt admin. releasng Rhodes e-mail via FOIA, but not to @DarrellIssa subpoena. She sd subpoena didn't cover the e-mail

Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger)
Rand Paul wades into campaign for a guy found to have defrauded investors; Jeb goes the other way.. A 2016 preview?…

Thom Tillis‏ (@thomtillis)
Today I'm honored to announce that @JebBush has endorsed our #NCSEN campaign. Proud to have Gov. Bush on #TeamTillis

Kathleen Sebelius (@Sebelius)
Today, health coverage is more accessible to millions of Americans: #8Million

Erick Erickson @EWErickson)
Losing your healthcare was an intentional part of the Democrats’ plan.

Tami Luhby ‏(@Luhby)
8 million signed up for #obamacare insurance. 63% were white, but only 10.7% were Latino & 16.7% black. Read more:

Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui)
35 House GOPers say they want to reform ACA on their websites (as opposed to repeal), 31 embrace parts of the law

Jennifer Scoggins (@JenScogginsCNN)
CNN to Provide Live Coverage of 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner w/ @donlemon @SuzanneMalveaux etc...…

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

The first president to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The dinner was hosted at The Old Arlington Hotel that spring and had roughly 50 people in attendance. Most of President William Harding’s top aides were in attendance, according to the White House Correspondents’ Association.

The guest of honor was George B. Christian, who was President Harding’s personal secretary. Republican Sens. Harry S. New, R- Indiana, and Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey, were in attendance as well as the first Cabinet officer ever to attend a WHCA dinner – Secretary of Labor James J. Davis.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and David Daniel (@CNNLADavid) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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soundoff (10 Responses)

    There are two things americans hate most and that is a lie and those that support a liar . By by dems your not our captain of this ship and we are not going down . Jump ship while you can and you still got a chance hurry .

    May 1, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. king

    wait a pine picking minute, am i in laa laa land. is these the same repubs who was pushing armed neo nazis to shoot federal buracrats in nevada, now acting like they are concerned about federal buracrats in benghazi. what is going on, i thought fox news and the repubs fanatics hates government buracrats. so why are they yapping about benghazi and buracrats that worked for their favorite politician who is soon to be madam president clinton. these repubs hates federal buracrats with a passion, they were just egging on their militia constituence to shoot them in nevada a few weeks ago for crying out loud. if these repubs cares about federal buracrats so much, why didnt they say something when 15 benghazies happened during the bush years, repub need to stop their malarky, acting like they concerned about something they despised isnt registering with clear thinking folks..

    May 2, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  3. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, the president who is responsible for thousands of deaths and thousands of maimed lives biking in their honor. Can he be more hypocrital. Where's cheney whosenew heart could have helped somebody rally worthy and rumsfeld. They should be out there also.
    As far as the car thief/arsonist's remarks. The American people in CA are crazy because they keep voting for a guy who is an "alleged" criminal. At least other Californians knew better than to make him a state senator.

    May 2, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Enough of Bush–don't show him, please.

    May 2, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  5. king

    wasn't repubs egging on separatist to shoot federal bureaucracy in Nevada couple of weeks ago, now they want to pretend like they are concerned about federal bureaucracy in Benghazi, especially when those folks were working for Hilary Clinton the future madam president of america. if anyone in america believe this is a not a witch hunt with purely speculations and not a hint of fact, is drinking too much tea bags. .

    May 2, 2014 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  6. Silence DoGood
    There are two things americans hate most and that is a lie and those that support a liar . By by dems your not our captain of this ship and we are not going down . Jump ship while you can and you still got a chance hurry .
    Interesting juxtaposition between a former lying leader with blood on his hands and your comments. Who were you talking about?

    May 2, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Lizzie

    King, so who got shoot, the bureaucrats or bureaucracy, or is it just your invention.

    May 2, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Stuffitu

    Remember the unemployment rate was never supposed to go above 8% if the Obozo cartel gave a trillion dollars to the welfare frauds, dope addict and corrupt unions, it went to 10.8%, thank God the Republicans won the 2010 elections and were able to stop the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president in our history.

    May 2, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. don in albuquerque


    So it was okey dokey with you for a Republican President to lie fill thousands and thousands of graves, for absolutely no reason.

    May 2, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Lizzie

    Marie MD, "As far as the car thief/arsonist's remarks" didn't know he burned down anything, and those car thief charges ALL where dismissed. But it's good to keep reminding people of those little facts, like the President in his younger days smoked pot rather then go to his prep school paid for by his grandmother, got into college claiming to be a foreign exchange student, or when the President claimed his mother did NOT have insurance but forgot to tell everyone that is was LONG-TERM-CARE Ins.

    May 2, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |