August 1st, 2014
05:20 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for August 1, 2014

Updated 7:36 p.m. ET, 8/1/2014

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

OBAMA: ISRAELI SOLDIER MUST BE RELEASED … President Barack Obama said an Israeli soldier captured in the Gaza conflict must be released unconditionally. Hamas has denied abducting the soldier. He also said reviving the collapsed cease-fire is "going to be challenging" without confidence Hamas will comply. And, Obama said "it's hard to reconcile Israel's legitimate need to defend itself with the legitimate concerns" for civilian casualties in Gaza. But he noted the "incredibly irresponsible action by Hamas" in storing rockets in crowded neighborhoods.

[twitter-follow screen_name='GutCheckCNN'] [twitter-follow screen_name='sarafischer']
MORE MONEY FOR IRON DOME … Divided on other issues, Senate lawmakers united in support of Israel on Friday by approving another $225 million for the Iron Dome missile defense system. The House could take it up quickly. – Dana Bash and Tom Cohen

POTUS TO ACT ALONE ON BORDER CRISIS … President Barack Obama said he must take steps on his own to address the immigrant surge at the southern border because Congress has failed to help, saying "we've run out of money and we're going to have to reallocate resources." He said House Republicans "are not able to act even on what they say their priorities are." House leaders sought Friday to bring around conservatives to pass a scaled-back border bill. But the whole thing was moot anyway as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate wouldn’t take it up, even it was approved. Also, the Senate’s left town for August.– Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh

Adds $35 million to help Texas pay for National Guard troops sent to border
Expands on 2008 trafficking law language
Makes it easier to expedite deportations
Reverts DACA language back to original language

ORDERED RIGHT OFF OF DCCC’S IMMIGRATION MENU: “The changes brought into this are ones I’ve developed and advocated for over the past two years,” Rep. Steve King of Iowa told Roll Call. “Like I ordered it off the menu.”

Gut Check DVR: Watch Inside Politics with John King Sunday at 8:30am with guests Jonathan Martin, Mike Allen, Nia-Malika Henderson and Robert Costa for a look at how the House GOP leadership was defeated in their efforts to court their own party.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: OBAMA: ‘WE TORTURED SOME FOLKS’ … Answering questions on the CIA’s recent admission that the agency spied on Senate Intelligence Committee computers, President Obama acknowledged that the CIA has acted before in regrettable ways. Citing interrogation techniques in the aftermath of 9/11, the President said, “We tortured some folks … We did some things that were contrary to our values."

CNN POLL: PERCENT WHO SAY ECONOMY'S 'GOOD' IS UP: Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape. But the percentage who describe economic conditions as good continue to slowly but steadily increase, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.– Paul Steinhauser

2016 WATCH: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE HAWKEYE: Marco Rubio's in Iowa this weekend to campaign for state Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa's GOP Senate nominee. Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will also make stops in Iowa in coming weeks.

BEN CARSON’S BIG MOVE ... Ben Carson is taking a significant step toward a 2016 presidential run by forming a political action committee, CNN confirmed. The renowned neurosurgeon and a popular figure among conservatives told the Washington Times he chose Houston businessman Terry Giles to be his campaign chairman, if he decides to launch a White House bid. – Dana Davidsen

THE BUZZ: CANTOR’S LAST DAY AUGUST 18 … Eric Cantor will leave Congress earlier than expected. The former House majority leader, whose primary defeat less than two months ago rocked the Republican Party, says he'll resign effective August 18.

MARKET WATCH: Wall Street began August with a decline, completing a week of losses. The Dow dropped 70 points on Friday following a slide of more than 300 points on Thursday. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3% this week, and the NASDAQ lost more than 2%.

(Answer Below)
Which U.S. senator worked with a mnemonic specialist to learn how to memorize the Constitution through the Bill of Rights?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Cuomo gets new lawyer as controversy swirls
New York State politics have never been the cleanest but it seems things are getting a bit murkier in Albany. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has retained new counsel to the Executive Chamber, CNN confirmed Friday. – Sean Kennedy

Leading CNNMoney: Jobs recovery marches on, but at slower pace
After gangbusters jobs growth in June, hiring slowed to a less impressive pace in July. The economy added 209,000 jobs last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. – Annalyn Kurtz

Leading Tampa Bay Times:
Florida judge orders special session for new
congressional district map Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled Friday that the Florida Legislature must immediately revise its flawed congressional map and gave it until August 15 to submit a revised map. He also ordered the state to propose a special election schedule for the affected congressional districts. – Mary Ellen Klas

Leading HuffPo: Called Out: Republicans Admit GOP Move Is Hypocritical
A pair of House Republicans admitted on Friday that it made little sense to sue President Barack Obama over executive overreach and, at the same time, urge him to act without Congress to solve the border crisis. – Igor Bobic

Leading Drudge: Ceasefire Erupts
Less than three hours after a three-day humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect Friday, the truce broke down when clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters erupted and militants fired rockets into Israel. – Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan, William Booth and Ruth Eglash

Leading Politico: Friends With Benefits: Rand Paul and Cory Booker’s convenient bromance
Is it too soon to induct the bizarre bromance between Cory Booker and Rand Paul into the Hall of Fame of timeless odd couples? The two young senators’ budding relationship is probably one of the creepier examples of strange modern American politics. One man is a Tea Party-loving opthamologist from Kentucky who once employed a former radio shock jock nick-named “the Southern Avenger”; the other a fast-talking, fast-tweeting liberal black ex-mayor of Newark.- Charles D. Ellison

Leading New York Times: House Republicans Agree on Border Measures
House Republicans emerged from a closed-door emergency meeting Friday morning largely unified over how to handle the flood of tens of thousands of young migrant children from Central America pouring over the nation’s southern border. – Ashley Parker

The political bites of the day

–Book says Hillary Clinton blamed husband's infidelity on abuse as a child HILLARY CLINTON TO AUTHOR LUCINDA FRANKS IN HER NEW BOOK ‘TIMELESS: LOVE, MORGENTHAU AND ME’: "He was abused. When a mother does what she does, it affects you forever. … I am not going into it, but I'll say that when this happens in children, it scars you. You keep looking in all the wrong places for the parent who abused you."

- Perry: Stand with Israel -
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY IN A POLITICO OP-ED: “Israel needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support. The overwhelming success of the Iron Dome defense system has been the only thing to prevent the deaths of thousands of Israelis, and changes nothing in Hamas’ deadly intent. And under the circumstances, Israel’s response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.”

- Earnest: Hostage situation would be a ‘barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement’ if true -
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOSH EARNEST TO CNN: “We finally thought we had reached an agreement just yesterday for a humanitarian cease-fire. The Israelis are reporting this morning that that cease-fire was broken, and that apparently Hamas individuals used the cover of a humanitarian cease-fire to attack Israeli soldiers and even to take one hostage. That would be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement.”

- McConnell, Graham: Kerry means well, but is a failure -
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “I think his first attempts by bringing in parties that are clearly not unbiased was a predictable total failure. We wish him well. We want him to succeed but the results speak for themselves.”
JOHN MCCAIN ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “Senator Kerry is full of commitment and passion, that's a noble quality. He's trying to make the world a better place. But quite frankly he's tone deaf at times.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Peter Baker ‏(@peterbakernyt)
Obama backs Brennan in CIA flap: "I have full confidence in John Brennan.” But agency showed “some very poor judgment."

Annie Lowrey ‏(@AnnieLowrey)
We tortured some folks. We brutalized some dudes. We beat on some chaps. We tormented some peeps. We waterboarded some cats.

The White House (@WhiteHouse)
Our businesses have added: 9.9 million jobs over 53 months ✓ 2.5 million over the past year ✓ 198,000 in July ✓

Ben Pershing ‏(@benpershing)
The WH would rather talk about the economy than almost any other subject right now. When was the last time that was true?

E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan)
the scene in the House today, from a GOP staffer source via IM just now: "the congressman fell asleep watching re-runs of an 80s show."

john r stanton (‏@dcbigjohn)
I'm wearing my sweet DHS t shirt today, in honor of the headaches I plan on giving their various flaks around the country

Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC)
"I'm actually a little nervous about the whole thing," is what @RepTimRyan said of his #LiveTheWage challenge

Jen Buesinger Sperry (@jenbuesinger)
.@GovernorPerry says US reax to Gaza-Israel being watched closely by Iran, Russia, Beijing. Perry is exclusive on #CNNSOTU Sunday 9am ET

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

While studying at an extracurricular school, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was selected to join a group of students who were taught by a mnemonic specialist on how to memorize the text of the Constitution.

(Why aren’t you in it?)

Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) and sfpelosi (@sfpelosi) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.”"

    Yes...nothing says "trying to protect innocent civilians" like bombing a school. Who needs AR-15s when you can just use a bunker-buster?

    August 1, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "McConnell, Graham: Kerry means well, but is a failure"

    LOL. Translation: "Hear that Israel? Hamas? Don't take anything seriously in terms of cease fires or negotiations because what we really want is more trouble to point at and blame on the Obama administration. You can get away with anything you want because we're not going to back up our guys who are trying to get you to toe the line. In fact, we wouldn't mind too terribly much if you sent back that hostage as a headless corpse, because ooooh-weeeeee could we get some political mileage out of that."

    August 1, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. it must be said

    House leaders sought Friday to bring around conservatives to pass a scaled-back border bill. But the whole thing was moot anyway as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate wouldn’t take it up, even it was approved

    As usual, Democrat Senate Dictator Harry Reid has declared NO ACTION in the Senate AGAIN. This is why all Democrat Senators MUST GO in November otherwise this useless senile old goat will continue his blockade in the Senate for another two years.

    August 1, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. tom l


    Not to mention the fact that Israel drops leaflets letting the citizens know of impending strikes, they call them and text them, as well. How can you be so oblivious to so many facts that demonstrate that Hamas is the one that has put those people in harm's way. You talk about false equivalency all the time while you practice that day in and day out. You are just, quite simply, an anti-Semite due to your "criticisms". They are so flawed and leave out the most important information that there is no other conclusion to draw. Disgusting.

    Chew on this for a second: if Hamas disarmed, what do you think Israel would do? considering they most likely have nuclear weapons, couldn't they just annihilate Gaza and wipe them out? Of course they could. But if Hamas disarmed, they would have no reason to attack. But if Israel disarmed, what do you think would happen? Hamas would attack and attack until they were wiped out. Just read the Hamas charter...oh, I guess you won't do that and remain ignorant because we all know now where your criticism stems from. And this is obvious and apparent.

    August 1, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. jeff b

    don lemon is totally biased against the palestinians. he did an interview with a hamas spokesperson, and wouldn't let the guy talk , and is obviously on the side of israel. what a terrible reporter!

    August 1, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. jenn,philadelphia

    Hamas is holding an Israeli soldier for less than a full day and the President has time to mention it. Mexico is holding an American soldier since March and not a peep out of him. Ridiculous!

    August 1, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. rs

    Well, here it is Friday. What did the GOP accomplish in the House? Nope, no change in immigration law, nothing to fix all that nonsense they were howling about with the refugee children. Perhaps that wasn't really important.

    The VA? Nope, no bill. "Costs too much". Funny, I guess the wars didn't.

    How about Federal Highway funding? Nada.

    What did they pass? More money for Israel....

    Unfreaking believable!

    August 1, 2014 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. ED1

    Obama you strike fear when ever you speak I know this will happen soon what a jke our Country is to the rest of the World.

    August 1, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Sen. Marco Rubio's in Iowa , along with Randy Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

    What a wonderful Piñata party it will be .
    However , it won't be the same without Gov. Chris Christie.

    August 1, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. i'malib


    "In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.”"

    Yes...nothing says "trying to protect innocent civilians" like bombing a school. Who needs AR-15s when you can just use a bunker-buster?
    Thats right! To be fair, Israel should NOT shoot down those rockets that are aimed at civilians in Israel AND place children with the military so Hamas will shoot at them. Also, Israel should place military targets in schools, hospitals and childrens playgrounds.

    August 1, 2014 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  11. anthony

    Israel. Hamas always said dead will bring them to see their God, so just please them by sending them there. To the stupid people see Hamas more important than their families so pack them up with Hamas and send them together. To the Palestinians war o peace is your choices

    August 2, 2014 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  12. rick

    I see no difference in Israiel going after the terrorists in gaza. Than we did in giong after al queda. Another bunch of terrorists with weapons and only one thing on their mind. Kill others not thinking like they do.. They seen what was happening in Syria. So its their me-too ill do same. And everyone will start bombing Israiel to help them.. But. Didnt work at all. And almost exact same as final days of NAZI germany. Telling everyone they were winning the war while allied tanks was destroying berlin. Or is the memory of history too short for that truth..???

    August 2, 2014 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  13. rick

    Hamas expected every arab country to join in on their war with Israiel. But the muslim brotherhood was expelled from most of the countries they wanted in the war. And the dreams of another war big enough to destroy Israiel never happened. And their political war came to a screaching halt with the loss of the radio and tv broadcasting. They wanted everyone back in the dark ages.. But never expected they would be only ones in the dark! And are getting farther closer to cave man catagory every day. Nothing is being replaced of weapons they use. Another factor they failed to figure in. No food to feed the people because the terrorists steal it from anyplace humanitarian aid gets it to. And where is the representatives with their big words?? Run off to other countries. Promisses forgotten or ignored. Like a instigator yelling from the lifeboat as the ship is sinking to save the ship.. As they row away as fast as can in a empty boat except themselves.. Analogy yes.. But accurate..

    August 2, 2014 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    Radical republicans-what do you expect out of them?

    August 2, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  15. HenryMiller

    "President Barack Obama said an Israeli soldier captured in the Gaza conflict must be released unconditionally.."

    Maybe when Israel stops murdering Palestinian kids, that will happen.

    August 2, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. g

    Isreal has the technology .for every 1940s rocket Hamas fires ,hit them with two very big bombs.this is more about keeping American Arms dealers happy.payed for by the tax payers of America .while Isreal pays for world class health care and education for all its people

    August 2, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |