June 3rd, 2009
05:38 PM ET

Romney: Obama too apologetic about U.S. overseas. Is he right?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As President Obama gets ready to address the Muslim world in Cairo tomorrow, one Republican is accusing him of being too apologetic about America's past mistakes. Mitt Romney refers to it as a "tour of apology," and says that of course the U.S. makes mistakes, but that it's inappropriate to "go around the world apologizing."

The former - and perhaps future - Republican presidential candidate says there's nothing wrong with showing our respect for the Muslim world. But he thinks President Obama should spend more time talking about the sacrifices the U.S. has made for other countries - like during World War II.

Romney points to an interview that the president gave on Arabic TV where he said the U.S. had dictated to the world; and he says a British newspaper declared Obama the president who's the most critical of his own country while on foreign soil.

The former Massachusetts Governor says this would be a "most unfortunate distinction at any time," but especially now - when this should be a time for "strength and confidence."

It's worth pointing out that Romney's own foreign policy experience is negligible. But he has no shortage of opinions when it comes to the Middle East, North Korea and missile defense.

He insists he's not running for 2012 now - but rather working to get Republicans elected. Might be easier to run for president.

Here’s my question to you: Is Mitt Romney right when he says Pres. Obama is too apologetic about the U.S. overseas?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


June 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Too late for American public schools to become competitive?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our education system is in serious trouble; and it's unclear how American students can continue to compete globally. Consider this: out of 30 industrialized countries in a 2006 study, American 15-year-olds ranked 25th in math. Many of our big city high schools have a graduation rate below 50 percent.

This may be why most states now seem to agree that national education standards are needed, instead of the patchwork system we currently have. 46 states, along with the District of Columbia, have agreed to develop a set of standards for what students should learn every year from kindergarten through high school.

The group is expected to come up with the standards by July - and then each state will have to decide whether to sign on. The coalition says the benchmarks would be internationally competitive. And they better be...

Critics of the current system - where each state sets its own standards - point to places where students score well on state tests, but not on national exams. For example - in Mississippi, 90 percent of fourth graders passed the state reading exam in 2007, but only 51 percent had basic or partial mastery on a national exam.

Many Republicans oppose national standards, saying that Washington shouldn't control schools; but there seems to be more support this time around since the schools and states are leading the charge. Plus the results of the old way of doing it are nothing short of dismal.

Here’s my question to you: Is it too late for American schools to become competitive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Education
June 3rd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Have your feelings about Muslim countries changed?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While President Obama tries to boost the image of the U.S. in the Muslim world - it turns out most Americans don't look too highly on Muslim countries.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows only 21 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Muslim countries. 46 percent have an unfavorable view. Compare that to 2002, before the start of the Iraq war, when 24 percent had a favorable view; and 41 percent had a negative opinion. About a third of those polled had a neutral option then... and now.

This poll also shows that most Americans - 78 percent - say people in the Muslim world have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S. But people are split on whether such a negative view by Muslims even matters.

At a town hall meeting in Turkey this year, President Obama declared that "the United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam." This poll found a majority of Americans agree that the U.S. is not at war with the Muslim world; but six out of 10 Americans think the Muslim world considers itself at war with us.

These poll numbers seem to suggest the feeling of distrust is mutual... and it looks like President Obama certainly has his work cut out for him when it comes to smoothing over tensions with the Muslim world.

Here’s my question to you: Have your feelings about Muslim countries changed in the last several years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global Image • Middle East