April 20th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Why are some in GOP calling for support of gay marriage?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As gay marriage legislation continues to pick up steam in several states, some Republicans are now calling on their party to get behind the movement. A top adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign warns that the GOP will keep losing young voters and the Northeast as long as they oppose same-sex marriages.

Meghan McCain (left) and Steve Schmidt (right) agree that it is harmful to the GOP for candidates to be perceived as anti-gay.

Steve Schmidt told a meeting of a gay rights group called the Log Cabin Republicans that it's harmful for GOP candidates to be seen as anti-gay in places like California, Washington and New York. Schmidt - who has a lesbian sister - called heterosexual marriage "a tradition, not a creed," and dismissed arguments from conservatives that allowing gay marriage would weaken the institution or that it could turn the GOP into a "sectarian party." Nonetheless, he acknowledged that he's unlikely to find support from many in his party in the near future.

One Republican who does agree is John McCain's daughter, Meghan. She addressed the same group over the weekend, saying there's "a war brewing in the Republican party" between the past and the future. Meghan McCain says that embracing new technology - like Twitter or Facebook - won't solve the party's problems; instead, the party needs to break free from "obsolete positions." Her dad must be loving this.

Earlier last week, John McCain's daughter had written an opinion piece called 'Memo to the GOP: Go Gay' urging Republicans to "get past our anti-gay rhetoric" if they want to gain significant support from younger voters. At a time when only one in four voters identifies themselves as a Republican, some are suggesting the perceived intolerance of the party on issues like gay marriage is costing them dearly.

Here’s my question to you: Why are some Republicans calling on their party to support same-sex marriage?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Gay Marriage • GOP
April 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama's appearance with Chavez 'irresponsible'?


Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez gives Pres. Obama a book entitled 'The Open Veins of Latin America' during a multilateral meeting to begin during the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was "irresponsible" for President Barack Obama to be seen "laughing and joking" with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - so says Republican Senator John Ensign.

The Nevada lawmaker describes Chavez as a brutal dictator who violates human rights; and is one of the most anti-American leaders in the world. Chavez once called President George Bush the "devil" and last month dismissed President Obama as an "ignoramus."

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar defended the president, saying all he did was shake hands like President Bush did; and that Mr. Obama is reaching out effectively to a wide range of countries.

At the Summit of Americas, President Obama and Chavez were photographed smiling and shaking hands. The Venezuelan president also gave Mr. Obama a copy of a book that talks about imperialism in the region.

President Obama says it's unlikely that by shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Chavez that "we are endangering the strategic interests" of the U.S. Our president says we have nothing to fear from Venezuela, whose defense budget is probably 1/600 that of the U.S.

And he went even further, suggesting that the presidential campaign proved that Americans want the president to engage with other world leaders - whether they're friends or enemies. He says Americans don't view a willingness to talk to other countries as a weakness.

Meanwhile Chavez now seems open to re-evaluating his nation's ties with the U.S. He's considering appointing an ambassador to Washington. Both the U.S. and Venezuela had kicked out each other's ambassadors last year.

Here's my question to you: One GOP senator calls Pres. Obama's appearance with Hugo Chavez "irresponsible". Do you agree?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
April 20th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama moving too fast on foreign policy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has "gone abroad and gored an ox," according to an AP analysis that examines how the president is challenging the deeply held belief that the U.S. doesn't make mistakes in dealing with other nations. In just 3 short months in office, Mr. Obama has been very vocal to our friends and foes about where the U.S. has gone wrong.

Pres. Obama is pictured during a press conference yesterday following the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

That includes:

Admitting to Europe that America deserves at least part of the blame for the world's financial crisis.

– Telling Russia he wants to reset relations that deteriorated to Cold War levels under President Bush.

Asking NATO for more troops in Afghanistan; and then not throwing a tantrum when he didn't get much help.

Lifting restrictions on Cuban Americans traveling home and sending money to relatives.

Saying America's hunger for illegal drugs, poor control over guns, and money flowing into Mexico were partly to blame for the drug cartel violence south of the border.

Shaking hands with and accepting a book from anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The AP compares President Obama's rather hard core efforts to change America's image abroad to former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev, who pretty much scrambled non-stop to break the communist empire's image before it ran itself into the ground.

President Obama says he's committed to telling the world that the U.S. is a powerful and wealthy nation - but just one among many that needs to respect other cultures and perspectives. Critics worry that the new president might be making the U.S. too vulnerable by readily admitting mistakes and being willing to talk to opponents.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to dealing with foreign countries, is President Obama moving too fast?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?