May 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Why is global warming last on list of 20 issues that worry voters?


Greenpeace protesters hang with a banner from a construction crane in DC.(PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Stop calling it "global warming"... that's the message coming from some environmentalists.

And apparently it's because the term turns people off and brings to mind shaggy-haired liberals and issues like gay marriage, economic sacrifice and complicated scientific arguments.

The New York Times got a hold of a memo sent by a group called EcoAmerica that's been conducting research for years on how to best frame environmental issues.

So instead of global warming, the firm recommends talking about our deteriorating atmosphere - instead of haggling over carbon dioxide - they suggest talking about "moving away from the dirty fuels of the past." Instead of energy efficiency, try - saving money for a more prosperous future. And instead of the word 'environment' - talk about "the air we breathe, the water our children drink."

But it's unclear whether using different words will actually make people care more about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center Poll shows global warming finished dead last among 20 voter issues; behind things like moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists.

One expert points out that partisans on both side of the issue are essentially doing the same thing - they're using advertising techniques to try to manipulate public opinion. He calls the approach "cynical and ineffective." Maybe so, but the term 'global warming' apparently isn't getting it done.

Here’s my question to you: Why does global warming rank last on a list of 20 issues of concern to voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global Warming
May 4th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should Republicans listen to Jeb Bush now?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Jeb Bush says it's time for Republicans to leave the Reagan era behind them and look forward. The former Florida Governor insists the party's ideas need to be "forward-looking and relevant" instead of dwelling on the nostalgia of the good old days. He's also acknowledging how well President Obama's message of hope and change resonated with the voters during the election.

Cafferty: Jeb Bush could perhaps regroup the GOP… if only his brother weren’t considered by many to be responsible for the party’s downfall.

Jeb Bush - who's part of the Republicans' new effort to reconnect with voters - is right about all this stuff, but here's the problem: He's the brother of the man who could very well be more responsible than anyone else for the downfall of the Republican Party.

Jeb Bush's name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2012; but it seems hard to imagine that the American people would go for that... again.

Meanwhile Former Georgia Congressman - and former Republican turned Libertarian - Bob Barr says it's hard to "overestimate the damage" that's been inflicted on the GOP. He says the party lacks "any coherent philosophy, vision or leadership."

And Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain, continues to speak out about this stuff too; she says the party needs to become more inclusive if it wants to rebuild and attract younger voters. As things stand now, Meghan McCain says Republicans tend to look down on moderates such as her, saying: "Get rid of the dirty moderates."

So, as the Republican Party continues to search for its voice and a leader...

Here’s my question to you: Is Jeb Bush the right person for Republicans to listen to at this time?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Republicans
May 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you believe Rice when she says Pres. Bush wouldn't have authorized anything illegal?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Add Condoleezza Rice to the growing list of former Bush officials weighing in on the torture debate. The Former Secretary of State got into it with a fourth grader over the weekend who asked her what she thought about what the Obama administration is saying about the harsh techniques used under President Bush.

Rice defended Bush's policies on the interrogation of terrorism suspects, saying the president wouldn't have authorized anything illegal: "He was also very clear that we would do nothing - nothing - that was against the law or against our obligations internationally."

Rice added how difficult the time after the 9/11 attacks was; and even though they were terrified of another attack on the country, the president wasn't "prepared to do something illegal."

Rice's latest comments come days after telling students at Stanford University: "We did not torture anyone." She insisted that waterboarding was legal "by definition if it was authorized by the president."

Huh? sounds a heck of a lot like Former President Richard Nixon who claimed: "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal." And we all know how well that worked out for him.

Meanwhile a recent Senate report shows Rice was among the top Bush officials who approved the use of waterboarding, which has been considered a form of torture for centuries. This may be why she, much like Former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been making the rounds these days.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the torture debate, Condoleezza Rice says President Bush would not have authorized anything illegal. Do you believe her?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?