CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 6, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
WH REPORT: Climate change is happening now, and it is alarming … Flooded rail lines. Bigger, more frequent droughts. A rash of wildfires. Those are some of the alarming predictions in a White House climate change report released Tuesday, part of President Barack Obama's broader second-term effort to help the nation prepare for the effects of higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more erratic weather. Kevin Liptak and Jethro Mullen
BUT SOME REPUBLICANS AREN’T BUYING IT: House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is calling the report “a political document” that is intended to “frighten Americans.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the report shouldn’t be intended to “appease the far left.” Sen. David Vitter, a top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, says while the document is intended to be scientific, “it’s more of a political one used to justify more government overreach.”
MEANWHILE, WHITE HOUSE TAKING ACTION TO #BRINGBACKOURGRILS … The United States is offering its help, but making clear that the Nigerian government must take the lead in finding more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Obama administration is sharing intelligence with Nigerian authorities and could provide other assistance, but there is no planning to send U.S. troops. – Barbara Starr and Tom Cohen
BUT SOME LAWMAKERS ARE URGING THE WHITE HOUSE TO DO MORE ... In an interview with CNN, Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, called on the U.S. military help to rescue kidnapped girls in Nigeria. “More can be done by this administration. I would like to see special forces deployed to help rescue these young girls. Some of these girls are as young as nine years old,” said Collins … Collins joined Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski in penning a bipartisan letter Tuesday to the President signed by all 20 female senators asking the administration to do more to help kidnapped Nigerian girls. – Dana Bash
Primary day: key test of GOP establishment-tea party battle … Voters in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio on Tuesday kick off five straight weeks of primary contests that could give us a clearer indication of whether establishment Republicans have the upper hand against the tea party movement for control of the party. The results could back up recent tough talk from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who predicted big wins for incumbents facing primary challenges from the right, saying, "I think we are going to crush them everywhere." – Paul Steinhauser
IN NORTH CAROLINA: Republicans are watching closely to see if Thom Tillis, the state House speaker and maybe the party's best bet to unseat endangered Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan this November, can capture 40% of the vote in Tuesday's GOP Senate primary. Polls close at 7:30pm ET.
And in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, two-term GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers is facing a primary challenge from a conservative talk radio host because of her willingness to consider some limited immigration reform, while former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken is in a heated primary for the Democratic nomination.
In Ohio: There’s not much of a primary challenge for John Boehner. The 12-term Republican lawmaker, who represents Ohio's 8th Congressional district, is expected to easily defeat challenges from two tea party candidates. Boehner started primary day in his district by voting, before heading back to the nation's capital as the House of Representatives came back into session. Polls close at 7:30pm ET. – Paul Steinhauser
In Indiana: Democrats see their best hope in the 2nd District. Republican Jackie Walorski won the seat in 2012 by less than a percentage point despite its strong GOP leaning. Republican U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks faces a strong tea party challenger in David Stockdale in the 5th District. Polls close at 7:00pm ET. – News Observer
Hillary Clinton: U.S. needs to 'rein in' proliferation of guns … Hillary Clinton told an audience of mental health professionals on Tuesday that the United States needs to rein in its gun culture or risk a world where insignificant disagreements could lead to shootings. Asked about the mental health aspects of guns, Clinton said "I think we had got to rein in what has become a almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun, anywhere, anytime. I don't believe that is in our best interest.". – Dan Merica
MEANWHILE, CLINTON’S RATINGS slightly SLIDING, JEB’S CLIMBING … She's still the overwhelming frontrunner in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but according to a new national poll Hillary Clinton's support has slightly deteriorated since the beginning of the year. And a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday morning also indicates that while the hunt for the Republican nomination remains wide open at this very early point, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is inching up, and is now tied with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at the top of a crowded list of potential contenders. – Paul Steinhauser
AND A BLAST FROM her PAST …LEWINSKY SPEAKS OUT: Saying "It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress," Monica Lewinsky is writing for the first time about her affair in the 1990s with President Bill Clinton. In an excerpt of an interview that will appear in next month’s print edition of Vanity Fair, Lewinski talks about what it has been like to be branded and humiliated, almost to the point of suicide, by the media and the world. “Thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet,” she writes.
The full article will appear in the June issue of Vanity Fair, which will hit national newsstands on May 13.
MARKET WATCH: S&P 500 ends lower for only the third Tuesday this year. Twitter shares skid 18% as executives are allowed to sell.
Who was first woman to defeat an incumbent woman in a Senate election?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Ex-Christie official testifies in N.J. bridge scandal
A former official who worked for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said her office never deliberately put off mayors who disagreed with the administration, and denied claims it kept a secret list of officials to be ignored. Christina Renna also told a state legislative committee investigating a political scandal roiling Christie’s administration that a central figure in the controversy, Bridget Kelly, could be a difficult manager who was overwhelmed not always good at making decisions.- Ashley Killough and Steve Kastenbaum
Gut Check Full Service: Govs. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, and Andrew Cuomo, D-New York, Tuesday announced the creation of a “bi-state Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority.”
Leading Des Moines Register: Making advances on Iowa: Jeb Bush to host fundraiser for Terry Branstad
Jeb Bush is making an overture to Iowa. The former Florida governor will host a fundraiser in Coral Gables for Gov. Terry Branstad on May 22, the Iowan's campaign aides confirmed to The Des Moines Register. – Jennifer Jacobs
Leading (Louisville) Courier-Journal: Jack Conway announces bid for Kentucky governor
Attorney General Jack Conway officially announced Tuesday morning that he will run for governor of Kentucky in 2015. Conway announced his bid for the state's highest office with a video release on the Internet, and he scheduled interviews with the media throughout the day. State Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, will be his running mate. – Joseph Gerth
Leading Detroit Free Press: U.S. Rep. John Conyers' campaign scrambles to get him on August ballot
The battle for ballot access has begun for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the Detroit Democrat who has served in Washington for nearly 50 years. First elected in 1964, Conyers is facing perhaps his biggest electoral challenge yet, since he learned Friday that he may not have enough signatures on his nominating petitions to qualify for the Aug. 5 ballot for the Michigan primary election. – Kathleen Gray and Marlon Walker
Leading Drudge: Lewinsky: Hillary Blamed The Woman!
Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair for the first time about her affair with President Clinton: “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” She also says: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
Leading HuffPo: The Next Frontier: Dems Worry Over Injection Of Politics Into Science
The Obama administration and the scientific community at large are expressing serious alarm at a House Republican bill that they argue would dramatically undermine way research is conducted in America … For Democrats and advocates, however, the FIRST Act represents a dangerous injection of politics into science and a direct assault on the much-cherished peer-review process by which grants are awarded. – Sam Stein
Leading Politico: Sen. Serious (D-Minn.) lightens up
Five years into the job, Al Franken this weekend finally performed what most freshman senators regard as a rite of passage in Washington — going on a big Sunday news show. Friends say he’s been more improvisational and less reluctant to talk about his past life, even publicizing a recent Los Angeles fundraiser with fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. And he’s talking to reporters from national outlets lately after spending most of his term fleeing from them. – James Hohmann
Leading New York Times: Obama Aides Tell Executives to Skip Forum
The White House has pressured the chief executives of some of America’s largest energy, financial and industrial corporations into canceling plans to attend an international economic forum in Russia to be hosted by President Vladimir V. Putin this month, the latest effort to isolate Moscow in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine. – Peter Baker
The political bites of the day
- GOP Sens. call for V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign after report finds dozens of veterans died waiting for care in hospitals -
SEN. JERRY MORAN, R-KANSAS, AT A POST-LUNCHEON STAKEOUT: “There is a difference in wanting change and leading it to happen. Today I am demanding accountability and true transformation within the V.A. system and its culture from top to bottom and all across the country. Secretary Shinseki seemingly is unwilling or unwilling to do so and change must be made at the top. I ask the secretary to submit his resignation and I ask President Obama to accept that resignation.”
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS, AT THE STAKEOUT: “I wish the White House, instead of traveling around the country, talking about the urgency of climate change, would talk with equal urgency about this failure of leadership and incompetence at the V.A. … But I agree with the American Legion that General Shinseki’s time as Secretary of Veterans Affairs has come to an end, and he needs to step down.”
- Reid defends Shinseki: ‘He is a fine man’ -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, D-NEVADA, AT THE STAKEOUT: “He is a fine man. He's a disabled veteran from the Vietnam Conflict. Chairman Sanders talked today in our caucus about the great work that he's done. The issue that came up in Phoenix, these are allegations and there will be a complete investigation about what's gone on. Whether there's substance to it or not, I don't know, but it certainly doesn't call for the general to resign.”
- Pelosi calls for split Benghazi panel –
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI IN A STATEMENT: “If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan. The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee. It should require that witnesses are called and interviewed, subpoenas are issued, and information is shared on a bipartisan basis. Only then could it be fair.”
- Reid: Working with GOP like chasing ‘greased pigs’ -
SENATE Majority Leader Harry Reid on the senate floor: “For all those who don’t know what a greased pig contest is, here’s what it is: The organizers get a little pig, piglet, and they cover this little animal with tons of grease. It’s a greasy little pig … The reason I mention this: Oftentimes working with my Senate Republican colleagues reminds me of chasing one of these little pigs in a greased pig contest. Regardless of all of our efforts, any time we get close to making progress, it seems as though we watch it slip out of our hands.”
- Mike Rogers endorses candidate because ‘he won't embarrass’ his district -
REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-MICHIGAN, AT A MEDIA EVENT IN MICHIGAN FOR MIKE BISHOP: "I'm here supporting Mike Bishop because I think he will not embarrass this district … (He) will work on conservative solutions to very important problems that impact everybody, both Democrats and Republican in this district."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Ryan N. Maue (@RyanMaue)
White House gets one news cycle before Obama leaves Washington for fund raising in Silicon Valley. Climate = $ from Steyer for Senators
The House select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, established in 2007, had a 9-6 D/R split. #fnr
amy walter (@amyewalter)
In NC SEN, GOP "Establishment" has invested $850K for Tillis vs. $215K for Brannon by Tea Party via http://cfinst.org/Federal/election_2014/Primaries/primaryRaces_s.aspx?State=NC-0…
Alex Burns @aburnspolitico
Huntsman tells @kingsthings he's "open" to another presidential run but "I can’t tell you how I get through those early primary states"
Andrea Mitchell @mitchellreports
.@HillaryClinton on what role congress shd play in naming her grandchild:"Given what's going on the poor child would never have a name"
Marlena Baldacci (@MarlenaCNN)
NBA: Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser will be taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately #CNN
OKC THUNDER @okcthunder
News: Kevin Durant named 2013-14 @Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. pic.twitter.com/Oy2O8K1Iy9
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
When Sen. Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina, defeated Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole in the 2008 United States Senate election, she became the first woman to defeat an incumbent woman in a Senate election. Hagan will square off this November against the winner of today’s Republican primary in North Carolina.
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