August 20th, 2008
05:48 PM ET

Should U.S. taxpayers spend $1 billion to reconstruct Georgia?

A refugee shelter in Tbilisi, Georgia. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama wants to give one billion American dollars to the Republic of Georgia for reconstruction efforts. The United States is already providing humanitarian assistance… as it should. This would be extra. The proposal actually came from Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who is also rumored to be on Obama's shortlist for V-P.

Biden went to Georgia last week and came back saying the Russian invasion of its neighbor is quote "one of the most significant events to occur in Europe since the end of communism." end quote. Biden's vowing to work with the White House to get legislation passed so that the U.S. can start spending that money as soon as Congress reconvenes.

Hey it's not like we aren't already spending a few bucks overseas. $700 billion a year on imported oil… 200 billion a year on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

Now it's time to start boxing up hundred dollar bills and sending them to Mr. Saakashvili who started this whole dust up with the Russian bear? Give me a break.

We're almost ten trillion dollars in debt… with 63 trillion in unfunded liabilities for our own entitlement programs like medicare and social security… an estimated 500 billion dollar deficit for next year. Our own infrastructure is falling down around our ears… I mean come on… I'm sure the Georgians are very nice people… but we're busted over here.

Here’s my question to you: Should American taxpayers spend $1 billion for reconstruction in the republic of Georgia?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Conflict in Georgia
August 20th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

Do you care who V.P. candidates are?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/20/art.waving.flags.gi.jp.jpg caption="Does it matter who comes out on top in the veepstakes?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Michael Phelps got his eight gold medals. So what's left to talk about? Here we are in V-P speculation overdrive.

There are the candidates. Who will help the presidential candidate the most in garnering votes - by augmenting experience and not by outshining him? On the Democratic side we've got Senator Joe Biden, the Capitol Hill insider with foreign policy credentials; and then there are the picks who could help Senator Obama in key state races: Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

There are the longshots: another foreign policy and defense expert.. former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. Obama named him one of the top three people he would go to for advice. Of course, the PUMAS still hold out a chance that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. And how about Caroline Kennedy? She's helping to manage the campaign's VP selection. Now there is a groundswell calling for her to pull a Cheney and name herself Vice President.

On the Republican side, the latest veepstakes speculation is on Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security official who is pro-choice – to the outrage of Republican conservatives. Democrat-turned Independent Senator Joe Lieberman is another wildcard nominee being bandied about. The safer Republicans include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Then we have the announcement. When, where… timing and place are key. We need to get a life. The Obama campaign promises that its supporters will know first via text message. Could come any day now as a campaign event is planned for Illinois on Saturday.

All this to do for a job that consists of breaking tie votes in the U.S. Senate, attending ceremonial events, and trying to stay awake. Unless, of course, you're Dick Cheney in which case you run the country for eight years.

Here’s my question to you: How much do you really care who the V.P. candidates

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain
August 20th, 2008
02:10 PM ET

Is McCain another George W. Bush?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/26/art.cafferty.cnn.jpg caption="Check out Jack's commentary on cnn.com."]

NEW YORK (CNN) - Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Read the full story

Filed under: Commentary • Jack Cafferty
August 20th, 2008
02:09 PM ET

Polls tighten, should Obama go negative?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The polls indicate the presidential race is tightening.

CNN's latest poll of polls shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by just one point - 45 to 44 percent. That's down from a 3-point lead in yesterday's average of polls and down considerably from a few weeks ago.

While Obama was vacationing in Hawaii last week - McCain had the stage almost all to himself. Suddenly the Russians rolled into Georgia and McCain was in the catbird seat. Also some of McCain's negative ads - a la Paris Hilton and Britney Spears "celebrity" spot - seem to have resonated with voters. And it looks like McCain made inroads with some members of the Republican base with his interview at Rick Warren's church.

Watch: Cafferty: Obama go negative?

All of this creates a problem for Barack Obama who has gone out of his way to run a positive campaign based on the issues, and for the most part has chosen not to engage in the schoolyard stuff that characterizes U.S. politics. He may no longer have that luxury.

Obama is now out with some hard-hitting tv ads running in local markets in key battleground states. He spent 400-thousand dollars on Sunday alone to run two negative spots - more than 600 times - focusing on the economy and McCain… in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.

These new ads have been complemented with a tougher tone on the stump where Obama is going after McCain for saying Iraqis would greet Americans as liberators and for challenging Obama's patriotism.

Some Democratic strategists say Obama's aggressive tone reflects the reality of the race and say he should have gotten tougher sooner.

Here’s my question to you: In light of tightening polls, does Barack Obama have to go negative against John McCain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain