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June 11th, 2008
05:31 PM ET

What’s more important to Congress than re-election?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You can almost smell when it's election time in Washington D.C., that's when the politicians start making lots of noise about the issues that actually affect millions of Americans. The rest of the time it's all about them, their lobbyist buddies and the special interests. But for a few months before we vote, they pretend to care.

This time around, it's all about skyrocketing gas prices and the shaky economy. The Democrats joined together yesterday in going after Republicans about soaring energy costs. After Senate Republicans blocked debate on bills that would extend tax incentives for alternative power sources and put new taxes on oil companies. Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the floor to say: "This is framed with the picture of a presidential campaign going on."

But Republicans are standing their ground. They say the bills were shortsighted, that the Democrats aren't doing anything about lowering the cost of gasoline immediately and they refuse to open more domestic areas to oil production. House Republicans also reminded voters that the Democrats have been in charge of Congress for the past year and a half as gas prices have soared.

Meanwhile, members of both parties are in constant communication with their respective presidential nominees. This probably means there's a whole lot of coordination going on as lawmakers speak out about these issues that are hitting Americans' pocketbooks hard. You can be sure they're all focused on their candidate winning the White House and hopefully providing long enough coattails so those who are up for re-election in Congress don't get thrown out on their ear.

Here’s my question to you: Is anything more important to Congress than being re-elected?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: US Congress
June 11th, 2008
05:03 PM ET

Was Bush misunderstood on Iraq?

 President Bush says he regrets some of his rhetoric in lead-up to Iraq war.

President Bush says he regrets some of his rhetoric in lead-up to Iraq war.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush told the British newspaper The Times he regrets using phrases like "bring them on" and "wanted dead or alive" after 9/11. He says it made him seem anxious for war in the eyes of the world. The president says that in retrospect, he could have used a different tone from the cowboy rhetoric that sent the message that he wasn't a man of peace. Now he figures that out.

Mr. Bush talked about how painful it is for him to put youngsters in harm's way, but he said he doesn't regret invading Iraq. He insisted at a press conference today that removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision and made the world a safer place.

President Bush also said that Republican John McCain will have to distance himself from him. He called McCain an independent person who will make his own decisions. There does seem to be one avoidable similarity between the two, however. They both manage to put their feet in their mouths with some regularity.

This morning on NBC's "Today" show, McCain was asked, since the surge appears to be working, if he had a better estimate of when our troops might come home from Iraq. His answer: "No, but that's not too important." He went on to say casualties are more important, that there are Americans stationed all over the world but not in harm's way. My guess is it's very important to the families of the troops who are in Iraq.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think President Bush was misunderstood when it comes to the Iraq war?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: President George Bush • War in Iraq
June 11th, 2008
01:54 PM ET

Should candidates’ spouses be off-limits?

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Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Democrats and Republicans might be settled on their nominees now, but that doesn't mean Barack Obama and John McCain are the only ones in the spotlight.

Maureen Dowd writes in her New York Times column called "Mincing up Michelle" that now that HIllary Clinton is out of the race, the Republican machine can turn its full attention to demonizing Michelle Obama. "She is the new, unwilling contestant in Round Two of the sulfurous national game of "'Kill the witch.'"

There are web sites dedicated to portraying Michelle as a female version of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a recent cover of the National Review called her "Mrs. Grievance" and one popular conservative blogger described her as "Obama's bitter half."

Michelle Obama stirred controversy last February when she said, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." The campaign clarified that she meant she was proud of the participation of thousands of Americans, but it still led to accusations that she was unpatriotic.

Cindy McCain has also drawn criticism. When she first refused to release her tax returns, some said that wasn't consistent with her husband's message of openness. Mrs. McCain has also talked about her addiction to painkillers in the early 90s, and how she initially kept it secret from her husband and family.

So what is fair game when it comes to the nominees' spouses? After Tennessee Republicans recently went after Michelle, Barack Obama said they should "lay off" his wife. But it's not the first time critics have picked on potential first ladies: Judy Giuliani was the subject of several nasty profiles showing her as a social climber and husband-stealer. And of course, Hillary Clinton was slammed after her 1992 comment about staying home and baking cookies.

Here’s my question to you: Should Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain be off-limits during the campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Cindy McCain • Michelle Obama