.
How would you compare Rick Perry to George W. Bush?
August 18th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

How would you compare Rick Perry to George W. Bush?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's hard not to compare Rick Perry to the last Republican governor from Texas who made it all the way to the White House: George W. Bush.

Both men are conservative and religious... and neither is what you would call a scholar.

But as Texan author James Moore writes on CNN.com, "If Perry and bush had been born in the same family, W would have become known as "the smart one."

That's saying a lot.

Bush went to Yale - Perry to Texas A&M. He got Cs and Ds at a place Paul Begala calls "this cute remedial school we have in Texas."

Oh yeah, and both were cheerleaders at school. How weird is that? Very.

Both were in the service... Bush in the Air National Guard and Perry in the Air Force.

When Bush got out of the guard under a cloud of suspicion that he failed to fulfill his entire obligation, he went on to fail in the Texas oil business before becoming a multi-millionaire off the Texas Rangers.

Perry headed straight from the military to the family cotton farm and stayed there for seven years before entering Congress. Since being elected to that job, he hasn't made a dime in the private sector. His checks have all come from the government.

By the way, neither one of these men are cowboys, but they like to pretend... like little boys who put on cowboy hats and boots and stomp around like they're on the set of the TV show "Bonanza."

Differences? As Governor, Bush was known for reaching across the aisle, whereas Perry was the opposite.

Also, Bush pushed ideas and policies he didn't necessarily believe in but were politically expedient... Perry on the other hand believes what he's selling and has been described as looking on compromise "as a kind of terminal cancer."

Lastly - seems like there's not much love lost between the Bush and Perry camps - The Daily Beast reports that Karl Rove and his operatives appear to have launched a campaign to derail Perry's bid for the White House.

Here’s my question to you: How would you compare Rick Perry to George W. Bush?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Should another Democrat challenge President Obama for the nomination – and if so, who?
August 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should another Democrat challenge President Obama for the nomination – and if so, who?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the 2012 campaign well under way, the Republican candidates are out there daily tripping all over themselves and each other to win their party's nomination. As the incumbent, President Obama is expected to be the Democratic nominee. But what if he's not?

Consider this - a new CNN-ORC poll shows 70% of Democrats want the president to be the party's nominee. That number may sound high, but it's actually down 11 points since June. Working in the president's favor, only 57% of Democrats wanted the party to renominate Bill Clinton in 1994... and we all know how that turned out.

However - there are other bleak signs on the horizon for President Obama. His job approval rating continues to decline, hitting a new low of 39% for one 3-day period last week according to Gallup.

And Americans are increasingly unhappy with Mr. Obama's handling of the economy - the number one issue in the country.

According to Gallup, he gets a lousy 26% approval rating on the economy, 24% for his handling of the federal budget deficit and 29% for job creation. These are terrible numbers.

As if to confirm them, Morgan Stanley was out with a report this morning that says the United States is "dangerously close" to a recession in the next 6 to 12 months.

President Obama says he has a plan for job growth... but he's waiting until after Labor Day to tell us.

Why is he waiting? The unemployment rate is 9.1%. Do you suppose there are millions of Americans who would like to know how the government will create jobs now? Not after the President's vacation to Martha's Vineyard.

We do know the president hopes to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits; spending additional hundreds of billions of dollars we don't have.

Here’s my question to you: Should another Democrat challenge President Obama for the nomination – and if so, who?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to Dominionism?
(LEFT) Rep. Michele Bachmann addresses a group in Iowa. (RIGHT) Gov. Rick Perry speaks to a crowd of 30,000 at "The Response," an event organized by Perry in Houston to pray for God to help save "a nation in crisis."
August 17th, 2011
05:02 PM ET

How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to Dominionism?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Forget about the separation of church and state... there's reason to believe that religion might have a whole new meaning for the next occupant of the White House.

The Daily Beast reports that two of the Republican candidates for president - Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry - are "deeply associated" with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism that's called Dominionism.

For those of you who haven't heard of it before, and I was one who hadn't - stand by cause this is "out there."

The Daily Beast writes how Dominionists believe that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Dominionism finds its roots in a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism. People who advocate replacing U.S. law with the laws of the Old Testament, including the death penalty for homosexuality and abortion. swell.

The Daily Beast reports that both Bachmann and Perry appear to have ties to groups that support Dominionism.

Bachmann appeared in a documentary for one of these groups called "truth in action ministries." Also, she often praises or cites different religious leaders connected to such beliefs.

As for Perry, there's a group called "the new apostolic reformation" that sees him as their ticket to power. They talk about "taking dominion over American society" and hope that Perry can claim the so-called "mountain" of government. This group was also involved in Perry's prayer vigil in Houston a couple of weeks ago.

Critics suggest the Daily Beast's examples show so-called Dominionist groups attaching to the candidates.

And the website Newsbusters - which claims to expose liberal media bias - says that the Daily Beast "went a few more steps off the deep end" by publishing this piece.

We've reached out to both campaigns for a response but haven't heard anything back yet.

Here’s my question to you: How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to Dominionism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?
August 17th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

One out of every 8 cell phone users admits to faking it. We're talking about cell phones here.

A new pew poll shows 13% of cell phone users say they've pretended to use their phone so they'd look busy... and not have to talk to others.

People under 30 are more than twice as likely to fake using a cell phone.

The survey also shows about 83% of Americans have a cell phone. So that's a lot of faking.

People use their cell phones for everything from taking pictures and videos to texting, playing games, listening to music, e-mailing, emergency situations or entertaining themselves when bored.

Many say they need their phones to live... more than 1 in 4 people say that they've come across a situation in the last month that was more difficult because they didn't have their phone with them.

Yet despite all these advantages - almost a third of those polled said they needed to unplug once in a while. These users turn off their phones for a while just to get a break. They are the sane ones among us.

Maybe they need a break because a lot of them are also frustrated with their phones. They complain their phone takes too long to download something or that they've had difficulty reading something on their phone because the screen was too small.

But we digress. I want to know more about faking it… when it comes to cell phones.

Here’s my question to you: Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: On Jack's radar • Technology
Ron Paul only grown-up running for president in GOP?
August 16th, 2011
12:47 PM ET

Ron Paul only grown-up running for president in GOP?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the race for the Republican nomination heats up, there's one candidate who's been largely ignored by the mainstream media.

But Ron Paul is talking sense and more people ought to listen to him.

The Texas congressman has visionary ideas about where the country ought to be going and what sea changes are necessary in order to continue being a superpower.

When Paul ran for the Republican nomination in 2008 – he talked about the economy imploding, the untenable nature of the national debt, the eventual destruction of our currency and a limited role for government.

He showed tremendous fund-raising ability and had an absolutely rabid base of support. The problem was – it was too small.

In the four years since then, many of the things Paul warned us about have happened: We're deeper in debt. The dollar is worth less. The federal government is increasingly dysfunctional, and the country is more divided than at any time maybe since the Civil War.

Yes, Ron Paul is a conservative. But he's not one of those who hits you over the head with his bible. And looking at the current batch of republican wanna-bees, he stands out as maybe the only adult in the room.

In politics as in life, it's often the timing that makes the difference. In the case of Ron Paul, it seems events over the last four years have finally caught up with the candidate.

Paul's message hasn't changed – but the urgency of what he's saying has increased. And it seems like this time, more people may be listening.

He came within an eyelash of finishing first in the Iowa straw poll. Less than 200 votes behind Michele Bachmann out of nearly 17,000 cast.

Michele Bachmann has no chance of being the next president of the United States. Maybe Ron Paul should be.

Here’s my question to you: Is Ron Paul the only grown-up running for president on the Republican side?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: 2012 Election • Ron Paul
Does Michele Bachmann's Iowa victory make it tougher for Sarah Palin to get into the race?
August 15th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Does Michele Bachmann's Iowa victory make it tougher for Sarah Palin to get into the race?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The race for the Republican nomination for president is finally starting to get interesting.

Tt looks like it's shaping up to be a three-way race among Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann - whose campaign was fueled by her victory in the Iowa straw poll. Texas Congressman Ron Paul also remains a player following his strong second place finish in Iowa.

And now - the big question mark remains whether Sarah Palin will decide to make a go for it.

The half-term, dropout governor of Alaska managed to steal the spotlight in Iowa on Friday when she made a surprise visit to the state fair. Palin says she thinks there's "plenty of time" to jump in the race... and there's "plenty of room for more people."

Maybe so - but she said all that before Bachmann went on to win the straw poll.

It's worth pointing out that there's a lot of overlap between Bachmann and Palin supporters. Both charismatic women are tea party favorites who appeal to anti-Washington and Christian conservative voters.

And it's no small feat that Bachmann won the straw poll in Iowa, a key early voting state. The Iowa caucuses have been known to catapult politicians to the White House. Does Barack Obama ring a bell?

This all means that the clock is ticking for Palin to make up her mind. Working in her favor: Palin remains near the top of the pack in the polls... and she would be the best-known Republican in the field if she decides to do it.

Also - by waiting until the fall to jump in - Palin could spare herself months of media scrutiny and sparring with the other GOP candidates.

Here’s my question to you: Does Michele Bachmann's Iowa victory make it tougher for Sarah Palin to get into the race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2012 Election • Michele Bachmann • Sarah Palin
Are you buying what Texas Governor Rick Perry is selling?
August 15th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Are you buying what Texas Governor Rick Perry is selling?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is officially a candidate for president, we thought it would be a good time to spin through some of his greatest hits here in the Cafferty File.

In a column for The Daily Beast, CNN political contributor and fellow Texan Paul Begala said Perry, who "threw his hair in the ring" this weekend, will say or do absolutely anything to win.

That includes calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, and saying both it and Medicare are unconstitutional.

Perry has also flirted with secession and presided over the execution of one of his constituents who was probably innocent.

In questioning Perry's intellectual capacity for the job, Begala points to his very mediocre grades at Texas A&M, or as Begala calls it, "this cute remedial school we have in Texas."

One of the things Perry likes to talk about is how Texas leads the nation in job creation. But Paul Krugman in The New York Times calls this so-called economic miracle a myth.

Turns out the Texas unemployment rate is higher than in states like Massachusetts and New York and one in four Texans doesn't have health insurance. That's the highest rate in the nation.

Krugman writes that the idea of a Texas miracle comes from the economic effects of population growth. Because the population has been growing faster in Texas than the rest of the United States, job growth is also higher there than in other states.

And, because the rapid growth in the Texas workforce keeps wages low, lots of companies want to move production there.

Almost 10% of Texan workers earn minimum wage or less. There's a joke down there about Texas job creation that goes, "Sure, Perry has created thousands of jobs. I'm working three of them."

Here’s my question to you: Are you buying what Texas Governor Rick Perry is selling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2012 Election • Gov. Rick Perry
August 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Would Hillary Clinton have been a better choice for Democrats?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Looks like some Democrats are having buyer's remorse when it comes to President Obama and wishing they had gone with Hillary Clinton instead.

The recent negotiations over the debt ceiling are being seen by many as the lowest point in Mr. Obama's presidency. And it's not just Republicans who are comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter or saying he'll be a one-term president.

One Democratic strategist tells the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph that Democrats are worried that the president "looks weak. He doesn't say anything that grabs you, and people are looking for some kind of magic."

Apparently some Democratic activists are asking if the party needs someone tougher to fight the tea party. Someone, say, like Hillary Clinton. They point out that Hillary, like her husband Bill Clinton, has tougher political instincts than President Obama.

During the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton claimed that although then-candidate Obama might be able to inspire the masses, she was the one who had the experience to get the job done.

Hindsight is 20-20, but it's easy to see why some Democrats are now nervous about the president's re-election chances. His approval ratings are at or near all-time lows for his presidency and only one-third of Americans approve of how he's handling the economy, which is the No. 1 issue.

What's more, one recent poll showed 44% of registered voters say they are more likely to vote for a generic Republican in 2012. That's compared to 39% who say they're more likely to vote for Mr. Obama.

When you lose in a hypothetical matchup against an unknown opponent, that's not a good starting point from which to seek to be re-elected.

Here’s my question to you: Would Hillary Clinton have been a better choice for the Democrats?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: 2010 Election • Democrats • Hillary Clinton
What does it mean when British & French govts work harder than America’s?
August 11th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

What does it mean when British & French govts work harder than America’s?

Cabinet members leave 10 Downing Street this morning following British PM David Cameron's meeting to discuss the unrest that has spread across the UK. Parliament was recalled following four days of rioting. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the global economy hangs on by a thread, maybe our leaders should take some notes from the British and the French.

In England - Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short and called Parliament back from theirs to hold a special session today. They're dealing with the worst rioting and violence that country has seen in decades; and there's no doubt economic instability and high unemployment are partly to blame.

Meanwhile French President Nicolas Sarkozy returned to Paris from the Riviera to deal with France's own financial crisis. Bank shares are plunging there; and he's pledged drastic austerity measures. He's even recalled the French parliament from their vacation to vote on a balanced budget amendment to their constitution.

Hop over the pond here to the U.S. ... where our Congress is on vacation for five weeks; and President Obama is headed off on his own vacation to Martha's Vineyard.

The only thing of any consequence that Congress has done in the last month or so was to fail to stave off the first credit downgrade in our history. And once they finished that - they couldn't get out of town fast enough. No wonder they have a measly approval rating of 14%.

Meanwhile President Obama's own approval ratings are at or very near all-time lows as he gets ready to try to convince the country he deserves a second term. The White House was out defending Mr. Obama of course, saying presidents are never really on vacation and that they take their work with them.

Nonetheless it's all about appearances. Our president and Congress choose to go on vacation while our country struggles under an economy perhaps lurching toward another recession and a debt crisis no one has been very serious about solving.

How dare the people think the government is disconnected from reality.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the British and especially the French governments work harder than America's?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: France • Government • United Kingdom • United States
August 10th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Faith in "super committee" to fix debt woes?

ALT TEXT

The National Debt Clock, a billboard-sized digital display showing increasing U.S. debt, as seen August 1, 2011 in New York City. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The saying goes "where there's a will there's a way"... but it's not clear if our leaders have the political will - or the backbone - to fix the country's serious debt troubles.

We'll find out soon enough when the so-called super committee gets to work. We're starting to learn who will make up this powerful group... including John Kerry on the Democratic side and John Kyl for the Republicans. Their job is to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

To do that, they must take on the issues of tax increases and entitlement cuts. So far, Congress has refused to touch either issue - even though the country is insolvent and now has had its credit rating downgraded for the first time in our history.

With an election coming up next year, what makes anyone think they will suddenly make the tough decisions now?

Consider Washington's track record on the issue of deficit reduction:

Last year, President Obama named a bipartisan debt commission - which had a lot of this stuff in it. The proposals came out after the midterms, and were ignored. Then there was the gang of six in the Senate which also recommended tax reform and changing entitlement programs. That went nowhere, too. The last time there was a significant drop in federal government spending was 1954. This is all cheap political theater.

A new CNN/ORC International poll shows 63% of Americans want the committee to recommend higher taxes for the wealthy and business. 57% say the proposal should also include major cuts in domestic spending.

But majorities of those polled don't want major changes to social security and medicare... or tax increases on the middle class and poor.

It's the "have your cake and eat it" syndrome.

Here’s my question to you: How much faith do you have in the "super committee" to fix our debt woes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • United States
« older posts
newer posts »