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March 21st, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Right time for Pres. Obama to go to Latin America?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is in Chile today, the second stop on a three-nation, five-day trip to South and Central America. It's his first time in the region since he took office.

But it comes at a time when our country is suddenly involved in another hostile military action, airstrikes in Libya, the possible meltdown of nuclear reactors in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and may cripple that country's economy for some time.

And on the home front, a budget crisis and game of Russian roulette over raising the national debt limit that could lead to the shutdown of the federal government. Perfect time to pack up the wife, kids, mother-in law, and whoever else and go to Carnivale in Rio.

The White House says the goal of the President's trip to Latin America is to expand trade and create more jobs here in the United States.

But Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are challenging that, saying that President Obama has dragged his feet on free trade deals with two Latin American allies - Colombia and Panama.

McConnell says that these trade deals were negotiated and finalized about three years ago and have broad bipartisan support. He says it's the administration that is holding things up.

Here’s my question to you: Is this the right time for President Obama to go to Latin America?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

March 21st, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Your understanding of U.S. role in Libya offensive?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. military has led the initial allied air attacks against Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya, which began this weekend. Something about it reminds me of the way the war in Iraq started eight years ago.

The U.S.S. Barry launches a Tomahawk missile.

The U.S.S. Barry launches a Tomahawk missile.

But President Barack Obama insisted at a news conference this afternoon that the U.S. will soon step aside and that the mission will then be controlled by NATO forces and other allies.

It was the first time the president has answered questions on the topic of Libya since allied airstrikes began Saturday.

Republicans have sharply criticized Obama and his administration for the way they've communicated about the U.S. military mission in Libya.

House Speaker John Boehner says he supports helping the people of Libya, but he also says:

"Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved."

Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, echoed Boehner's concerns, telling CNN's John King he doesn't understand the mission either and believes there are no guidelines set for success.

It's not a partisan issue… so far. A group of liberal House Democrats held a conference call Saturday because they're pretty upset that Congress wasn't formally consulted before the U.S. and allies attacked Gadhafi's forces. They are concerned that involvement in the airstrikes could lead to a third war in the Middle East in which the U.S. is involved. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, even raised the prospect of impeachment over the president's actions.

Here’s my question to you: What is your understanding of America's role in the Libya offensive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Libya