.
Democrats fear another Bush. Should they? Do you?
April 30th, 2012
03:47 PM ET

Democrats fear another Bush. Should they? Do you?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Less than four years after George W. Bush left Washington, Democrats are afraid of another Bush.

If Jeb Bush were to become Mitt Romney's running mate, the former Florida governor would likely deliver his home state. Plus, he would likely attract more Hispanics, Catholics, conservatives and independents.

That's exactly what Democrats fear, and why they're likely relieved to hear Jeb Bush isn't interested.

People close to Bush tell Politico he means it, too. They say Jeb truly doesn't want to be on the ticket, that it's just not his time.

It could mean 2012 is just too close to the eight years of his brother's presidency and that the country couldn't stomach another President Bush. Just think: Having a Bush in the race would immediately put the focus back on the Iraq war, torture, spying on Americans, etc.

However, Bush loyalists insist his family's privacy is a major reason why Jeb didn't want to run for president this year and won't want to be the No. 2 either.

They say he's happy giving speeches, doing consulting and policy work through education and literacy foundations.

Plus as the son and brother of former presidents, Jeb Bush on a presidential ticket raises the political dynasty question. As George Will points out, if Bush ran as vice president that would mean a Bush on the GOP ticket in seven of the past nine presidential elections.

Still, not everyone is giving up hope on Jeb Bush running with Romney.

His eldest son, George P. Bush, tells Politico "it would be a phenomenal ticket."

Here’s my question to you: Democrats fear another Bush. Should they? Do you?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

December 18th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Reminding voters about Bush era best strategy for Democrats?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When Democrats swept into power in Congress and the White House last year - a big part of their message was running against the record of the Bush administration.

And some are hoping that strategy works for them again in the 2010 midterm elections.

The web site Talking Points Memo reports Democrats plan to tell voters that Republicans only want to turn back the clock to the Bush era. They say the Republican Party in Washington today is no different than the one that ran Congress before.

Also Democrats insist the party won't take the same kind of beating at the hands of Republicans that it did back in 1994. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they "fully intend to be in the majority" after November - and other party leaders say they're more prepared this time.

They better hope they are, considering poll numbers that show support for the Democratic Party slumping. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll shows only 35-percent of voters have positive feelings for the Democratic party - that's down 14-points since February.

Also - Democrats are losing support from independents. And voters planning to back Republicans are much more interested in the 2010 races than those planning to vote Democrat.

Here’s my question to you: Is reminding voters about the Bush era the best strategy for Democrats in the midterm elections?

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: Bush Administration • Democrats
December 15th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Will the truth come out about the Bush administration?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Nearly a year after Pres. George W. Bush left office - computer technicians have found 22 million e-mails that his administration said were missing.

(L to R) Condoleeza Rice, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld.
(L to R) Condoleeza Rice, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld.

Two watchdog groups - who had sued over these documents - say the e-mails had been "mislabeled and effectively lost."

But - it could still be years before the public gets to see any of this stuff. First they have to go through the National Archives - they decide which e-mails get released. Records from the Bush White House won't be available until 2014 - at the earliest.

A former spokesman for Bush says too much is being made of the discovery of these e-mails, and that misleading statements about the former administration show "a continued anti-Bush agenda." What he fails to mention is that there is a law that says records of the president must be preserved. But then the Bush White House often ignored laws when it was convenient for them to do so.

You suppose it's just coincidence that the 22 million e-mails from 2003 to 2005 cover some pretty significant periods of history - including the months leading up to the Iraq war, the firings of U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration and the announcement of a criminal investigation into the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson's name? Sure.

Here’s my question to you: Will the public ever get the truth of what happened during the Bush administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bush Administration
October 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

When should Pres. Obama stop blaming the Bush administration?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to Afghanistan, the Obama White House keeps pointing fingers at President Bush. Although the war is in its ninth year - they make it sound like things are back to square one.

Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel says President Obama is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side - a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to Obama's predecessor.

As President Obama continues to delay his decision whether to send as many as 40,000 more troops into battle - the latest excuse is the runoff election in Afghanistan - the tide is turning against the war here at home.

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 59 percent of Americans are opposed to sending more troops into Afghanistan...only 39 percent support sending troops - and 28 percent say we should withdraw all U.S. forces.

And, perhaps even more troubling for the current administration: 52 percent of those surveyed say Afghanistan has turned into another Vietnam-President Obama's Vietnam.

There's no doubt President Bush deserves a lot of the blame for the problems in Afghanistan. His decision to invade Iraq derailed America's mission there. But President Obama has been in office for nine months now and some days his administration acts like they just discovered we have troops in Afghanistan.

Here’s my question to you: At what point should President Obama stop blaming the Bush administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

May 18th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Complete investigation of Bush admin and Iraq war inevitable?

ALT TEXT

Pictured here is one of multiple cover sheets for intelligence briefings prepared for Defense Sec. Rumsfeld in the early days of the Iraq war. The sheets featured biblical quotes and battle images. (COURTESY: GQ MAGAZINE)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been almost four months since former President Bush left office, and many would like to leave his administration in the past. But that may not be possible since there's a constant dripping of information about what really went on during those eight years.

The latest comes by way of GQ Magazine, which has released a series of cover sheets for intelligence reports written for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon brass during the early days of the Iraq war.

They featured "triumphant, color images" like soldiers praying or in action or a tank at sunset along with Biblical passages. For example: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Besides the obvious question of appropriateness, what if these covers had leaked out at the time? The Muslim world could have interpreted the war as a religiously-driven battle against Islam. You think they were upset about Abu Ghraib?

But the general who thought up the covers told anyone that complained about them that his seniors, including Rumsfeld and President Bush, appreciated them. In fact, GQ says Rumsfeld hand-delivered many of these reports to President Bush.

The magazine suggests the mixing of Crusades-like messages with war imagery might not have been Rumsfeld's style - but he likely saw it as a way to connect with the deeply religious President Bush.

This is just another in a growing list of questions, and just like torture and the reasons for invading Iraq, they don't seem to be going away.

Here’s my question to you: Is a complete investigation of the Bush administration and the Iraq war becoming inevitable?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bush Administration • War in Iraq
May 12th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should Democrats hold hearings into Bush torture memos?

ALT TEXT

Amnesty International activists protest near the U.S. Capitol. They are calling for an independent investigation into alleged human rights abuses by the Bush administration. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Democrats are plowing ahead with hearings into the so-called Bush torture memos - even if the White House isn't on board.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will hold a public hearing tomorrow to be followed by House hearings. The committee chair says it will focus on legal issues such as the conduct of Justice Department lawyers who wrote or approved memos justifying harsh techniques like waterboarding. This is separate from the investigation being done by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The White House isn't commenting on tomorrow's hearing, but has previously indicated that the president prefers the investigation already underway in the Senate Intelligence Committee. That inquiry is going on behind closed doors and with classified information; so it's unclear how much of it will ever be made public.

Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to change her story about what she knew and when she knew it. Politico reports a Pelosi aide was briefed along with Congresswoman Jane Harman in February 2003 on the specific techniques that had been used on al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah - including waterboarding.

At that time, Harman wrote to the CIA expressing her "profound" concerns with the tactic. Pelosi apparently told her aide to tell Harman she agreed with the letter, but she didn't sign it.

Last week, Pelosi said she was briefed only once in 2002; and was only told the Bush administration was considering using certain techniques in the future.

Here’s my question to you: Should Democrats hold hearings into the Bush interrogation memos even if the White House disagrees?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bush Administration • Democrats
April 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Will Bush officials ever be prosecuted for 'enhanced interrogation' program?

ALT TEXT

Bush Administration officials such as Nat'l. Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft, CIA Dir. George Tenet, and VP Dick Cheney approved the use of harsh interrogation methods.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The torture debate continues to heat up in Washington; with President Obama and top Senate Democrats pushing back against the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Bush administration's approval of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

Some Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for an independent panel - like the 9/11 commission - to look into waterboarding and other harsh techniques.

But the president says a special inquiry would take away time and energy from his policy agenda, and could end up being a distraction looking back on the Bush years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backed the president, saying everyone should wait for the results of an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee due out late this year.

Yet it's unclear how much of that panel's findings will ever be made public, since this is an investigation dealing mostly with classified information.

Meanwhile a new Senate report shows that top Bush administration officials approved the use of waterboarding as early as 2002 and 2003 - the harsh methods were approved by the likes of then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft, CIA Director George Tenet, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Maybe that's one reason we're hearing so much from Cheney these days.

And expect for more of this stuff to keep dripping out... The ACLU says that the Defense Department will soon release "a substantial number" of photos showing abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan; these could prove that prisoner abuse during the Bush administration was widespread and reached far beyond Abu Ghraib.

Here’s my question to you: Will Bush administration officials who authorized and oversaw the enhanced interrogation program ever be prosecuted?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bush Administration
April 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mistake to release Bush era interrogation memos?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is being criticized for his decision to release those Bush-era memos about CIA interrogation techniques. Conservatives say releasing them damages our national security by telling the terrorists what we do.

Michael Hayden (right) directed the CIA under President George W. Bush.

Michael Hayden - who led the CIA under President Bush - says CIA officers will now be more timid and our allies will be less likely to share sensitive intelligence. Human rights groups aren't happy that the president promised the CIA that officers who conducted interrogations won't be prosecuted if they used techniques that were authorized at the time.

The president insists there's nothing to gain by "spending our time and energy laying blame for the past." President Obama spent a month deciding whether or not to release the memos and consulted numerous officials. He reportedly weighed the "sanctity of covert operations" and what impact this could have on national security against the law and his belief in transparency. In the end transparency won.

The documents themselves are quite revealing... They show the CIA used waterboarding, sleep deprivation, slapping, keeping detainees naked and in some cases in a diaper, putting detainees on a liquid diet, and using a plastic neck collar to slam detainees into walls. The memos also authorized keeping suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, who was apparently afraid of bugs, in a dark, confined space - and then putting a harmless insect in the box with him, while telling him it's a stinging insect.

President Obama banned the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques - what some call torture - soon after he took office; and has pledged to make sure the actions described in these memos "never take place again."

Here’s my question to you: Is the release of the Bush era interrogation memos a mistake?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bush Administration
January 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Bush Farewell Speech: What Do You Want To Hear?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush gave his last scheduled news conference yesterday and now plans to give a farewell address to the nation on Thursday night at 8pm. He's asked the networks to give up some of their coveted prime-time schedules for it.

President Bush plans to give a farewell address on Thursday night.

He will deliver the 15- minute speech in the East Room of the White House in front of a live audience of "courageous Americans."

According to the White House press secretary, the President is expected to reflect on his 8 years in office and how the country has changed during that time. He will defend his record but will also share his thoughts on the greatest problems facing the nation and what it takes to meet them.

There's no law about if, how and when Presidents say good-bye as they leave the White House. Past Presidents have done so on Capitol Hill, in newspapers, from the White House, or not at all, as was the case with Bush 41 before Clinton took office.

Here’s my question to you: What would you like President Bush to say in his farewell address to the nation Thursday night?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 12th, 2009
03:02 PM ET

What Should Obama Do About Investigating Bush Administration Policies?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama was asked if he plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate certain Bush administration policies, most notably, wiretapping and torture.

In an interview on ABC, Obama seemed to waiver on an answer. You may remember that as a candidate he condemned these practices and called them unjustified. Now he said he hasn't decided what he'll do.

What should he do?

The President-elect said he's not likely to launch a broad investigation into treatment of terrorism suspects and eavesdropping under the Bush administration. But He did say that prosecutions will proceed if the Justice Department finds that laws were broken.

President-elect Obama said it's more important to look forward than back. Is it?

Mr. Obama is walking a fine line. He's trying to establish trust and make friends at the CIA and with conservatives in Congress. Both groups oppose an investigation into the Bush practices. But there is also pressure for the Bush administration to be held accountable, and there's already a measure in the house to create a commission to investigate detention and interrogation techniques under the outgoing administration.

Here’s my question to you: What should President-elect Barack Obama do when it comes to a broad investigation of Bush administration policies such as eavesdropping and torture?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Bush Administration
« older posts