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How much do the two major political parties really care about you?
August 7th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

How much do the two major political parties really care about you?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's election time and politicians will do - or say - anything to get your vote.

Starting with President Obama and Mitt Romney all the way down the line, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want you to believe that they feel your pain.

But it's an open question if any of them really do.

Ron Paul was the rare candidate who actually connected with voters these past two election cycles. He attracted a ground swell of support from people who were looking for some real answers. But it was never enough to propel him to the next level.

As for most of us, the two major political parties - Democrat and Republican - often seem interchangeable.

And a new poll suggests that the vast majority of voters are staying loyal to the party they supported four years ago, with just a little switching sides.

The Gallup Poll shows 9 percent of 2008 Obama voters have switched to supporting Romney this year, while 5 percent of McCain voters have switched to Pres. Obama.

The groups most likely to either switch presidential preferences - or be undecided - include: Hispanics, Asians, independents, political moderates, Eastern residents, those with a high school education or less and unmarried men.

Pollsters say that because loyalty to the president is slightly less than loyalty to the Republican candidate is the reason the race appears to be tighter now than in 2008.

The deepening mystery is why after continually being disappointed by both parties so many people continue to support them. What is wrong with us?

The list of problems the country is mired in suggests the two major parties are the problem, not the solution.

Here's my question to you: How much do the two major political parties really care about you?

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: Cafferty File • Politics • Uncategorized
What would Chris Christie bring to the GOP presidential ticket?
June 18th, 2012
12:34 PM ET

What would Chris Christie bring to the GOP presidential ticket?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Chris Christie says Mitt Romney should call him when it comes to the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket.

The popular New Jersey governor tells Newsweek magazine that he's not sure how he'll react if Romney asks him to be his vice president, that it all depends on what Romney says.

Christie adds it's possible he'll say "no", even though he's not even sure he'll get the call.

But Mitt Romney ought to seriously consider Christie. The ever-outspoken, down-to-Earth Christie could help the often-aloof, seemingly removed Romney in many ways.

Voters like Christie's honesty and bluntness – and he connects with them in a way that Romney just can't. Plus Christie could fire up the base, especially those who think Romney hasn't been a strong enough conservative voice.

As Newsweek points out, Christie has succeeded in both identifying and mastering the defining public policy challenge of this era: reining in the cost of government.

His willingness to take on the teachers' unions and public sector workers and cut government spending in New Jersey is what the rest of the country needs to do.

It's just one reason why Christie would be a bold choice. But it might also be one that Mitt Romney is not prepared to make.

That's because Christie comes with risks too. Being outspoken isn't always what you want in a vice president. Just ask Barack Obama.

But if it happens, those vice presidential debates between Christie and Joe Biden would definitely be must-see TV.

Meanwhile, if Christie doesn't get tapped as Romney's No. 2, there's growing buzz he could be the keynote speaker at the Republican convention this summer. Once again, must-see TV.

Here's my question to you: What would Chris Christie bring to the GOP presidential 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.


Filed under: Uncategorized
How do you see the super committee concluding its business?
November 14th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

How do you see the super committee concluding its business?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The so-called super committee is turning out to be anything but.

With little more than a week to go before its deadline, things are looking pretty grim for the bipartisan panel tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion from the national debt over the next decade.

For starters, Politico reports the committee has "all but abandoned" its full-panel meetings. Instead, a series of small bipartisan groups now dominate the negotiations.

And the six Democrats on the panel can't even come to a consensus. That makes chances they'll be able to agree with Republicans slim to none.

Plus, key lawmakers are talking about dragging out the process.

They're now talking about a "two-step process" to reform the tax code and entitlements.

The super committee would set a figure for increased tax revenue; but then individual House and Senate committees would have to craft the legislation. In an election year? Yeah, that'll happen.

This is outrageous. If it happens, it would make the super committee just one more group of politicians to kick the can down the road when it comes to our nearly $15 trillion national debt. And we can't afford that.

Oh yeah - and remember that automatic trigger that's supposed to go into effect if the super committee can't agree to cuts? Well, our lawmakers are trying to weasel out of that one too.

One super committee member says it is "very likely" Congress will try to dismantle those across-the-board cuts to defense and entitlement spending.

All the while, both sides are busy trading accusations about who would be to blame if the super committee fails.

Our government is broken, and we are losing the country because of it.

Here’s my question to you: How do you see the super committee concluding its business?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Uncategorized
June 16th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Why is the Republican presidential field such a yawn?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Scintillating is not a word I would use to describe the current field of Republican candidates hoping to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. Stultifying is more like it.

(L to R) Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

(L to R) Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

So far, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as the front-runner. But that may not last, and he's already lost this race once. The universal health care plan that passed in Massachusetts on his watch, which has been compared to "Obamacare," isn't helping him. Neither is the criticism that he has trouble talking to "real" Americans. Some say that being a practicing Mormon could hurt him, too.

But the other candidates aren't exactly dazzling GOP voters either.

There was buzz about U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's performance the other night at the CNN debate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems to be campaigning his heart out, but so far neither is likely keeping Obama up at night. Rick Santorum is barely registering on voters' minds. Lack of experience is hurting former pizza CEO Herman Cain. And U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who has a small and devoted following, likely will find out the third time is not a charm.

People don't know too much about Jon Huntsman, who is going to announce he's running next week. He was a very popular governor in Utah, but he was also the ambassador to China under Obama until he resigned earlier this year and he, too, is Mormon. Texas Gov. Rick Perry may throw his cowboy hat in the ring soon, too, and some say he could shake up the field. But so far, it's been a snooze.

Even voters from the candidates' own states aren't excited. According to a report on Politico.com, polling data show most of the current candidates have higher unfavorable ratings than favorable ratings in their own states. And some would not even be able to win their states in a general election. 'Nuf said.

Feet to the fire, come November 2012, most Republican voters will pull the lever for whichever candidate represents their party, no matter how dull or charismatic, but if independents and frustrated Democrats don't get excited about the candidate, Obama's a shoe-in for a second term.

Here’s my question to you: Why is the Republican presidential field such a yawn?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
June 15th, 2011
04:05 PM ET

What does the future hold for organized labor?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Wisconsin's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law that limits the collective bargaining rights of most state employees does not violate the state constitution. It's a major victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The decision limits the ability of most of the state's public employees to bargain over their wages. Raises now will be limited to inflation unless voters approve other pay increases. Also, public employees will be required to contribute close to 6% of their salaries to their pensions and pay more than 12% of their health care premiums.

Thousands of union backers camped out in the Wisconsin Legislature earlier this year in an attempt to stop a vote on the measure. Fourteen Democratic state senators fled the state, and their duties as elected officials, in support. But the measure passed anyway.

The collective bargaining ruling in Wisconsin is yet another sign that organized labor is losing its power in this country. In a very different case in Seattle, the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the machinists union is alleging aircraft maker Boeing moved jobs from union factories in Washington state to a new nonunion plant in South Carolina in order to save money. The NLRB says Boeing moved to South Carolina to get back at unionized workers in Washington who have previously gone on strike. The NLRB wants to limit Boeing's growth to Washington state. Boeing and the South Carolina politicians disagree and call the case an attack on job creation.

It's a hard sell to defend these unions in such a tight economy. We've got a 9.1% unemployment rate in this country.. Many Americans haven't gotten a raise in years. Others have seen their hours cut back and are making less today than they were a few years ago. In this economy, you have to wonder if these unions can ever regain the power they once held.

Here’s my question to you: What does the future hold for organized labor?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
June 9th, 2011
02:53 PM ET

Should Pres. Obama become personally involved in negotiations over the debt crisis?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our growing national debt and the political games being played around raising the debt ceiling have created what's probably the most serious crisis facing the United States right now. And yet President Obama remains pretty much above the fray on the matter. Today he was hosting the president of the West Central African nation of Gabon at the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden was holding a meeting with lawmakers from both parties on the debt ceiling.

The U.S. technically hit the debt ceiling back in April. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the government can get by paying its bills for a few weeks until the beginning of August. In the meantime, Republican lawmakers say they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless steep and meaningful spending cuts are agreed to.

The Biden-led meeting is part of the debt-ceiling working group the president requested the vice president head up earlier this spring. So far, both sides have agreed to about $200 billion in spending cuts, but that's just a drop in the bucket compared to what some conservatives want. Today, the group was to discuss taxes and entitlements. Good luck on that. Expect talks to continue, and expect them to get ugly.

This all comes on the same day that Fitch Rating Service said it would assign a "junk" rating to all U.S. Treasury securities if the federal government misses debt payments by August 15.

But President Obama was busy hosting the president of Gabon.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama become personally involved in negotiations over the nation's debt crisis?

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: Uncategorized
June 9th, 2011
02:52 PM ET

Why won't Rep. Weiner do the honorable thing and resign?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some people just don't know when it's time to leave. For disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner it's past time. But he insists he's not going anywhere, that he has no intention of resigning. My guess is he's going to change his mind about that, and soon.

A couple of late developments: Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart says he's got another X-rated picture of Congressman Weiner. But he says he's not going to release it just yet. The morning papers in New York are full of explicit text messages. Disgusting stuff more appropriate for a drunken college frat boy that a member of the United States Congress. Yesterday we learned his wife is pregnant with their first child. On the scale of creeps from one to ten Congressman Anthony Weiner is an eleven.

Weiner arrogantly told a reporter from the New York Post today that while he is aware he betrayed many people, he's not giving up his job. Instead he said he is now trying to get back to work to, quote "make amends to my constituents, and of course to my family."

A Democratic source who spoke with Weiner told CNN that Weiner's digging in his heels because he says his wife wants him to stay in Congress. She would probably prefer he be anywhere at this point except at home.

But the sharks are in the water in Washington. Many of Weiner's colleagues want him gone, including a growing number of members of his own party. Senate majority leader Harry Reid says he won't take his calls. Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont and the second most senior member of the Senate, today called for Weiner to quit.

Leahy joins fellow democrats Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania and a list of House Democrats who say Weiner must go.

I wonder if Las Vegas has the over and under on Weiner making it through the weekend. My guess is he's gone by Monday, but we'll see.

Here’s my question to you: Why won't Rep. Weiner do the honorable thing and resign?

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: Uncategorized
May 11th, 2011
02:05 PM ET

Should Obama use bin Laden's death as part of reelection campaign?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite insisting we shouldn't quote "spike the football" when it comes to the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama has apparently decided to include the death of the terrorist leader in the narrative for his reelection campaign. Last night at a fundraising event in Austin, Texas, President Obama talked about his usual campaign topics - the economy, health care, new energy sources - but spent some of his speech talking about killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan 10 days ago.

This was the president's first political speech since bin Laden's death... An audience member at one point shouted out, "Thank you for getting bin Laden."

Political analysts believe bin Laden's death will give the president a fundraising boost. Just as his approval ratings have gotten a nice bounce. But will the magic wear off? And is campaigning about it the right thing to do?

The Obama reelection campaign could point to the bin Laden raid over and over again to promote the president's foreign policy and national security credentials, the very ones that many people had questioned less than two weeks ago. But the president has got to tread lightly here.

In yesterday's speech, he carefully credited the troops and intelligence officers for catching bin Laden. Still, critics of the president say he's taken too much credit for the killing.

Here’s our question: Should President Obama use the death of Osama bin Laden as part of his reelection campaign message?

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama use the death of Osama bin Laden as part of his reelection campaign message?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
April 28th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

How excited are you about the royal wedding?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In case you haven't heard, there's a pretty big to-do planned for tomorrow on the other side of the pond. Prince William will marry Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey tomorrow afternoon in London... It's the first high profile royal wedding in Britain in decades. You can't turn on a television, open a newspaper or log on to a website without hearing all about it. All the big U.S. broadcast and cable networks-including CNN– will carry the event live with coverage beginning at 4 am eastern time. The wedding itself starts about two hours later.

So it's a really big deal, right? Not so much.

A poll in Britain commissioned by an anti-monarchy group found four out of five Britons are quote "largely indifferent" or quote "couldn't care less" about the royal wedding. Really? They're not even excited about watching it and it's going to be on in the middle of the day…and it's their royal family.

What about Americans?

Do we really care enough to get up at 4 in the morning and watch a wedding on a work day? A New York Times-CBS News poll found that only 6 percent of Americans say they have been following news about the royal wedding "very closely" and 22 percent say "somewhat closely." So again, not so much. It could be a real letdown for the U.S. media which is spending a boatload of money to cover this thing. But Prince William isn't our future king, and people on both sides of the Atlantic apparently have other things to worry about.

Here’s my question to you: How excited are you about the royal wedding?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
April 27th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

PBS host Smiley: 2012 pres. race will be 'ugliest,' 'most racist' in history. Is he right?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The 2012 presidential race is coming, probably a lot sooner than most of us would like. And when it gets here and gets going full bore, it has the potential to be one ugly contest. As a nation we have seldom been more divided, and the division comes at a time when we can ill afford it. Our problems are huge, threatening our very way of life. We can't afford to remain so divided. But there are no indications things are going to change anytime soon.

Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley

In an interview on MSNBC, PBS Host Tavis Smiley said the 2012 presidential race is "going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this Republic."

Smiley says it's because some members of the Tea Party in particular are willing to do anything and say anything to make sure President Obama is not re-elected. He points to the renewed interest in the birther movement and all the attention Donald Trump has received for questioning the president's birthplace, his ability to get into college and law school and calling him the worst president ever. Smiley also points to the fanaticism at some Tea Party rallies where members have showed up carrying guns.

There is a general nastiness in the tone of our dialogue in this country that didn't used to be there. Tavis Smiley says Americans have to rediscover civility. Of course he's right, but we seem to be going in the opposite direction. And when the stakes are as high as they are in a presidential election, a "win at all costs" mentality seems to take over.

Here’s my question to you: PBS host Tavis Smiley predicts the 2012 presidential race will be the ugliest and most racist in our history. Is he right?

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: Uncategorized
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