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Should failing grades on deficit, jobs and economy cost Obama a second term?
August 16th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Should failing grades on deficit, jobs and economy cost Obama a second term?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has some serious "issues" when it comes to the economy... and that might translate to "issues" come Election Day.

A new Gallup poll shows Americans continue to give the president failing grades on the economy, jobs and the deficit.

The president gets high marks for his handling of "terrorism"– 58 percent... and fair marks on "education" - 49 percent... and "foreign affairs" - 48%. But that's where the good news ends for him.

On immigration, Mr. Obama gets just a 38 percent approval rating... and it's downhill from there.

His worst marks come on "creating jobs" at 37%, the "economy" - 36%, and the "federal budget deficit" - 30%.

It's not hard to see why many Americans feel this way... with unemployment above 8 percent for 42 months in a row now and annual deficits topping $1 trillion dollars.

This poll also shows that the president's ratings on the economy are much worse than those of prior two-term presidents.

President Obama's 36% approval on the economy compares to 46% for George W. Bush, 54% for Bill Clinton and 50% for Ronald Reagan.

The bottom line here is millions of Americans continue to suffer under a weak economy, and if they don't get the sense that President Obama is improving their economic lives, it might be a tough sell come November 6th.

Here's my question to you: Should failing grades on the deficit, jobs and the economy cost President Obama a second term?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 5 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Deficit • Economy • The Cafferty File
Should President Obama consider replacing Joe Biden on the ticket?
August 16th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Should President Obama consider replacing Joe Biden on the ticket?

There's a growing chorus of voices suggesting that President Barack Obama should dump Joe Biden as his running mate in light of the vice president's latest mistake.

Biden told a mostly black audience in Virginia this week that Mitt Romney's vision of regulating Wall Street would put "y'all back in chains."

And even though the White House is standing by Biden, a lot of people think those comments were unacceptable.

Former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain told Fox News "it might be wise" for Obama to swap out Biden for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Just today – the White House said it's not going to happen, adding that the one place they wouldn't go "for advice on vice presidential running mates is to Senator McCain."

Obama told People magazine Biden is an "outstanding vice president." The president said people get "obsessed with how something was phrased," even if that's not what was meant.

But Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder said he thinks Clinton would be a better choice. Wilder actually called for the switch back in 2010, and he said if the president had replaced Biden on the ticket several months ago, he'd have a bigger lead over Romney now.

As for Clinton, she has made it clear many times that she's not interested, but it's probably wise to never count a Clinton out.

Legal experts tell The Weekly Standard that it's still possible for Obama to change his running mate. The Democrats have until September 6 to nominate their presidential ticket.

Here's my question to you: Should President Obama consider replacing Joe Biden on the ticket?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

Should White House apologize for Biden’s ‘chains’ comment?
August 15th, 2012
12:58 PM ET

Should White House apologize for Biden’s ‘chains’ comment?

By CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

President Obama isn't backing away from Joe Biden's comments about putting people "back in chains," which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.

Speaking to a predominantly black crowd yesterday, the vice president said Mitt Romney's vision of regulating the big banks would quote "unchain Wall Street" and put "y'all back in chains."

Biden said this in Danville, Virginia – a city with a long history of racial tension.

He later tried to clean up after himself by saying he was referring to the Republicans' use of the word "unshackled" when talking about banks. It was too late as he had already caused a firestorm.

Biden has a long history of saying dumb stuff. What's alarming here is the nation's first African-American president is OK with this kind of language.

The president's deputy campaign manager told MSNBC she doesn't think Biden went too far when taken in context. She said, "We have no problem with those comments."

This is the same kind of insensitivity the president showed when he said "If you've got a business, you didn't build that."

Romney is blasting Obama, saying his campaign is all about "division and attack and hatred." The Romney campaign calls Biden's comments "a new low." Hard to argue with that.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani questions whether Biden has the "mental capacity" to handle the presidency.

Often times what Joe Biden says is entertaining and can be written off to be putting his mouth in motion without engaging his brain. But the comment about putting people back in chains is loaded with racial overtones and is a long way from being cute.

It should have been embarrassing for the nation's first black president.

But apparently it wasn't.

Here's my question to you: Should the White House apologize for the vice president's remarks about putting people "back in chains"?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

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Filed under: Joe Biden • The Cafferty File
How much will Paul Ryan help Mitt Romney's chances of winning?
August 13th, 2012
01:55 PM ET

How much will Paul Ryan help Mitt Romney's chances of winning?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney went "bold"... doing what many conservatives wanted him to do in naming Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Many view the Ryan pick as a game-changing one, with both Republicans and Democrats cheering Romney's choice.

But it's yet to be seen if Ryan will make voters more - or less - likely to vote for Romney.

Ryan's weaknesses are pretty evident. His budget plan of drastic spending cuts includes significant changes to Social Security and Medicare. Try selling that to elderly voters in Florida.

It also gives Democrats ammunition to play on those same voters' fears, that the social programs they rely on could be threatened.

Plus, Ryan has virtually no experience in the private sector - just like President Obama. He has spent almost 14 years in Congress - a career politician at a time when America is sick of Washington.

But - Romney's selection of Ryan also carries plenty of benefits.

For starters, while voters are sick of Washington insiders, they tend to reward politicians who push for real change... see Barack Obama in 2008 or New Jersey's Chris Christie.

For Americans who grasp the critical nature of our skyrocketing national debt... now nearing $16 trillion... Ryan has a lot of appeal.

And if Mitt Romney is willing to embrace even some of Ryan's ideas... Pres. Obama won't be able to touch the GOP on government spending and deficits.

Ryan is also a clear plus for the party's base, many of whom have never really liked Romney. He appeals to crucial independent voters, Catholics and women too.

Most importantly, the choice of Ryan signals a clear choice for voters in November. More government versus less government. Runaway national debt versus painful fiscal responsibility. Ryan is a big gamble for Mitt Romney - but it's a bet he almost had to make.

Here's my question to you: How much will Paul Ryan help Mitt Romney's chances of winning?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

November 24th, 2010
03:23 PM ET

Time to reconsider profiling for airport security?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the national debate over full-body scans and pat downs at airports rages on, there's another idea that maybe deserves a second look: profiling.

It works pretty darn well for Israel, but questions of political correctness always seem to put an end to the discussion in the U.S. Instead we are reduced to having our crotches grabbed.

However, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 70 percent of Americans support using available information about passengers to determine who gets picked for extra security screening.

When asked what criteria should be used to select passengers: 86 percent say personal behavior, 78 percent say travel history, 55 percent say nationality, and 50 percent say personal appearance.

This goes to the point that not all profiling is equal. There's a big difference between smart profiling and the less effective kind – based on race, religion, gender or country.

What's important is for the U.S. to improve profiling based on things like behavior, no-fly lists, personal data and travel history.

It turns out many pilots support this kind of profiling. The Daily Beast reports that online discussion groups show pilots complaining that the government is wasting resources by applying the same broad security measures to everyone.

Meanwhile, with all the hype over airline security, consider this: Politico reports that in 99 million domestic flights (that have carried 7 billion U.S. travelers) in the last decade, there have been zero bombs snuck onto airplanes and detonated. Zero.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to airport security, is it time to reconsider profiling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Airlines • The Cafferty File • Travel • Vacation
September 14th, 2008
11:44 AM ET

Remembering Carol Cafferty

Jack Cafferty isn't here today for the Cafferty File because of some tragic news.

His wife of 35 years, Carol, passed away unexpectedly this morning. Carol was everything to Jack. The dedication of his book reads, "for Carol, my wife, my life."

Jack wrote about how she was the inspiration for him to get sober and straighten up his life: "In all the years that we've been married, she has always brought to the table her unshakable grounding in something a lot more real than being on television or being recognized in the corner drugstore. She has been my rock, having done a magnificent job of keeping me from getting full of helium and drifting off the surface of the earth... She was all the incentive I needed to make painful but transforming changes – to get sober and stop smoking. I knew that I'd lose her if I didn't. She's an amazing woman who simply wasn't worth losing."

One story Jack loves to tell is how he and Carol met – when he was a local news anchor in Kansas City. They started to meet regularly for a quick meal between his shows and became good friends. Whenever Jack had to leave, his exit line was "We'd better wrap this up. Got to get back to the station." One night Carol finally asked, "What kind of a gas station do you work at? You're always wearing a tie."

Jack explained it was a television station. He loved the fact that she had no clue and couldn't care less that he had been on air there every night for four years. He later described that as one of his life's "twenty-four-carat moments" that made his heart soar. He said to himself then that he might marry her because "it can't get any more honest and pure than that."

Our deepest sympathies go out to Jack and to their two daughters, Leslie and Leigh. Our thoughts are also with Jack's other two daughters, Julie and Jill, and his grandchildren.

Carol was an animal lover. If you'd like to make a donation in her memory, the family asks you give to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. You can contribute at aspca.org.


Filed under: The Cafferty File
September 5th, 2008
11:10 AM ET

Remembering Carol Cafferty

Some wonderful comments our viewers wrote in earlier today.


Filed under: The Cafferty File