May 24th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

What message is sent to the people of the Joplin, Missouri, by the president’s trip to Europe?


President Barack Obama enjoys a glass of Guinness in his ancestral home of Moneygall alongside First Lady Michelle Obama. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just a thought. And I know these trips are planned way in advance. But what message is conveyed by pictures of President Obama downing a pint of Guinness and laughing it up with the Irish people while the people of Joplin, Missouri, search through the wreckage of their lives for dead family members?

It's estimated 80 million people could be affected by the continuing threat of severe weather. It could impact cities like Omaha, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Wichita, Kansas… and yes, Joplin could get hit again. We have already experienced the worst tornado outbreak in the last 50 years.

Meanwhile we have airlifted the first family and the gang that travels with them to Europe for six days of hobnobbing with various heads of state, eating the finest foods and drinking the best wines while Mother Nature wreaks havoc on innocent people in America's heartland.

Remember Katrina and the pathetic response of the Bush administration to the utter destruction of the city of New Orleans? In the back of my mind, I can't help but think that voters remembered Katrina well when they stepped into the booth in 2008 and elected America's first African-American president.

Here’s my question to you: What message is sent to the people of the Joplin, Missouri, by the president’s trip to Europe?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Vinny in Connecticut:
It took Obama almost 2 months to go to the Gulf coast and view the damage from the BP oil spill. Now he's having a great time in Europe visiting his "cousins" and the Queen but promises he'll be visiting the sites of the tornadoes on Sunday. He's just so 'busy'; he'll probably need another vacation really soon!

Donna in Wisconsin:
Get a life, Jack! I am tired of you continually feeding the fires of negative thoughts on the President!! His trip was already scheduled when the tornado hit! Changing a Presidents itinerary is extremely difficult–not like you deciding to take a day off 'cause the weather is nice! So be real and stop the bashing!

Ed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
I voted for Obama and like him a great deal. As proud of him as I was when he announced the Bin Laden justice, I am embarrassed with him being in Europe right now, especially with Prime Minister Netanyahu uttering the first words to AIPAC delegates when referring to Joplin, "America, we are with you!!!" Think about that!!!

Larry in Denver, Colorado:
The sad part of all this? No Republican can beat him and no one in his own administration would say "Mr. President, you really need to come home". Whether it was Bush reading a book during 9/11, or Katrina or Joplin, nothing changes.

Geoff in Missouri:
I author a blog for the Joplin Globe, called Caldwell's Corner and pen occasional editorials and columns. When I heard this morning Dear Leader was going to bless us with his presence Sunday I couldn't believe it. I had just watched last night the disconnect between Israeli Prime Minister talking off-script, giving support to America and Joplin in particular and the news of Obama searching for his "Irish roots" and the "perfect pint." My column today is quite negative of Obama and his decision to descend upon us as we dig out from the rubble and I will most surely catch flak for it. Just wanted to thank you for lending your national profile to a thought that many of us here in Joplin have been feeling all day.

Joe in New York, New York:
Wow, Jack. What a loaded question! Not getting enough negative Obama responses these days? He was already on his way over there when the Tornado hit. It's not like he headed off to Europe AFTER the tornado struck. I know he's a pretty good president, but it's not like he can wave a magic wand and make everything better just by being here. Weather permitting he'll be there Sunday. Keep your grumpy shirt on, Jack.

Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (443 Responses)
  1. BULL

    Jack I'm sorry to get off your topic but I have to get something.off my chest I find it very disturbing to have our president in Ireland drinking beer and having a good time while the poor people in Joplin MO would give anything to have a cool drink of water and a place to live.

    May 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  2. Brad, Portland, OR

    The President was ALREADY in Europe when the storm hit, and I don't think it's reasonable or constructive to expect him to fly back across the Atlantic for a photo-op in Joplin to show that he cares.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Jayne

    Oh, good heavens. What a foolish question. The President called the Governor immediately and offered all the assistance they need from the federal government. He called the Governor this morning as well to offer assistance and prayers. If Mr. Obama flew into the area it would do one thing: get in the way of rescue operations.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  4. Sylvia from California

    The message is, "My advisors told me that your state does not matter for my re-election so, you are on your own"....

    May 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  5. Megan

    The President's continued presence in Europe is alarming, simply because while he dines with the Queen there are people who are sifting through Joplin's rubble, trying to find their loved ones. I doubt the President foresaw this massive destruction, but the message of his trip to Europe, I believe, is one of neglect. -Peoria, AZ

    May 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  6. Tina Tx

    Life goes on even as tragic as it has been for you. You have to pull yourself up from your bootstraps and keep moving and things will be better. Probably not as good as what you did have but you have to thank your Maker for allowing you to breath fresh air.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  7. calaurore9

    The message is what he told the Governor- that money and resources were available so that they can concentrate on finding people and cleaning up, not live shots of the President. He'll be there on Sunday. In the meantime, the G8 is important. Presidents have to multi-task and prioritize. In this case, that's what he's doing.

    C in MA

    May 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  8. Curt, Avon, Indiana

    Jack, you are beginning to sound like any number of vacant eyed, slack jawed republican politicians who will, I am sure, find something wrong with anything and everything the president does. Perhaps it is time to bring our troops home to begin cleaning up the messes in America that have been caused by mother nature,

    May 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  9. bonnie from NJ

    It is unfortunate because I expected better from Obama (on this and many other things), but it sends the same message we get from every politician, we don't care about the average American. Too bad Mother Nature doesn't direct her destruction at Wall Street instead of Main Street.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  10. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I'm sure he's being kept up to date on the situation and aid is being sent to the region. It not like someone had to tell the president that New Orleans was part of THIS county and he remained in a coma.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  11. Ed from California

    That they should vote Democrat!! I thought all the "red states" wanted government out of their lives!! So, why the complaint? Missouri is a huge "welfare" state that we in the "blue state's" pay for. The red states get more in federal dollars return to them, than we in blue states get!! So, don't these people have tornado insurance? I used to pay flood insurance. The loss of any life in tragic. But, they choose to live in a tornado zone!! Sorry Jack, I believe in tough love!!

    May 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  12. Mr. D

    What ever message is sent, the traumatized people of Joplin are too busy to care about a pint of Guiness being consumed in Ireland.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  13. Ed from Harrisburg

    Ed from Harrisburg... I voted for Obama and like him a great deal. As proud of him as I was when he announced the Bin Laden justice, I am embarrassed with him being in Europe right now, especially with Prime Minister Netanyahu uttering the first words to AIPAC delegates when referring to Joplin, "America, we are with you!!!" Think about that!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  14. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Hi Jack,
    Absolutely none, as we see the people in Joplin doing everyone gets on with life as best as possible. All the hoopla in the world cannot what happened, what matters now is that all possible assistance is provided to help the people of Joplin get back on their feet.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  15. Bryan

    As far as the Republicans see it they want less goverment involevment in our lives. So why do they cry when president does it.
    Narcasistic critisizm is not the answer. The tornado victims in Missourri need financial help to rebuild, and red cross to shelter them in the and feed them in the process. I'm sure they realize shaking the presidents hand isn't very critical at this point.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  16. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The G-8 is not a vacation, Jack. Sometimes the work of the country must go on. If Obama had not left when he did, he may not have gone at all, given the volcano. There is likely serious question as to whether he can fly tomorrow. This President, unlike the last one, has a capably staffed government. Joplin will get what it needs without Obama hovering.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  17. nate in mn

    The europe trip was planned long ago, the tornadoes that hit this weekend were not. You can't plan weather and it screwed up my weekend here in MN too. I'm confident that he will visit the damage like any president would and don't think that people should be making political attacks over a natural disaster as long as the president has acknowledged it and sent the proper federal resouces. Besides, a presidential visit is more of a distraction than anything from cleanup efforts going on there.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  18. Joe

    Wow Jack, what a loaded question. Not getting enough negative Obama responses these days?

    He was already on his way over there when the Tornado hit. It's not like he headed off to Europe AFTER the tornado struck. I know he's a pretty good president, but it's not like he can wave a magic wand and make everything better just by being here.

    Weather permitting he'll be there Sunday. Keep your grumpy shirt on Jack.

    – Joe

    New York, New York

    May 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  19. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    The folks of Joplin are in good hands with state and federal emergency programs already assessing damages and establishing
    provisional services. The President will be along shortly as soon as his prior diplomatic obligations are complete.

    Victims of the tornado are far too busy to notice whether Obama is there this week or next.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  20. Paul P

    This question comes up all the time. Its not sending any message. The President has cancelled trips before to stay at home, this one he didn't. Which domestic crises require trip cancellations and which ones don't? Someone needs to issue a presidential playbook with listed rules and criteria so we'll stop asking this.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  21. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Mr. President is narcissistic. He could have rescheduled his "trip." These Joplin people have nothing and lives were lost. Homes and farms are being deliberately flooded along the Mississippi too. The Obamas are after the pomp and ceremony just in case he doesn't get re-elected. If he keeps behaving like this he just might not.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  22. Jane (Minnesota)

    It doesn't say anything to them and frankly I would imagine that's the last thing on earth these people are thinking about. It just goes with the territory of living in Tornado Alley. If the President were to drop everything and rush to visit storm damage every time they occur, he'd never leave the country. I'm sure if you ask his opponents, it's absolutely terrible he went.

    I think the very last thing in the world people need after a disaster like this is to have to deal with security scrunity for a high profile official to visit. Give them a few days to get their bearings for pete's sake – They need aid more than a vist.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  23. andyz Lynn, MA

    Jack, what do you expect the president tp do? If he goes to Joplin the dead will remain dead. The town will remain destroyed The government will provide aid.One man, even the president, can't do everything. FEMA needs to start their work.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  24. David Hamilton in Dayton, OH

    The message is simple – the president is on the job and doing his job. Obama spoke to the Missouri governor on the night of the tragedy and made sure FEMA was on the ground, in force, in the wake of the storm. Obama is planning to visit the Joplin area in the next few days, but a visit now, while things are in total shambles, would only add to the burden on first responders.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  25. Loren, Chicago

    Huh? Sorry, but tragedy in one place doesn't mean the world doesn't go on. If the President ignored Joplin, it might be different, but as President, he also has commitments that he has to keep. I may not like the President, but it seems like fishing for reasons to criticize him.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  26. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    It sends the message that it is the job of state governors to handle emergencies and disasters in their states. And, that having the president there would just get in the way of relief efforts.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  27. Sandstone.

    "I suppose we have to leave it up to them! But he seems to continue ignoring his own; the one's he promised the most help, 2yrs ago! I keep hearing about who save who, in your weather problems; but nobody is talking about down-grading on the amount of power you use. I sent another of my many comments on this to a Planet-Watch, and all I was told is Advertising is big business! Advertising what?? More bad weather???" .

    May 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  28. Karen, Idaho

    It tells the people of Joplin that his trip to Europe takes priority. He did, however, send a message that his thoughts are with the tornado ravaged people and that America will not abandon them until every home is rebuilt. Makes you wonder how many homes in Florida and Louisiana are still unrepaired. Are we still thinking about them? If I lived in Joplin, I sure wouldn't hold my breath waiting for federal aid. His message is just a lot of words with nothing substantial behind them.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  29. Rich McKinney, Texas

    .Well most of the people in Joplin don't know where president Obama is because their television station antennas and power lines were all blown away by a tornado. To be honest Jack i don't think the people of Joplin are very concerned about what Obama is doing right now. They are more concerned about today and tomorrow.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  30. Joe CE

    The trip was planned long before the Jopplin tradegy. If Obama dased to Jopplin, he would have been criticed fpr political motivation. We have a frequent disasters, we have to work through them.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  31. Bill in New Mexico

    I haven't been much on ceremony. I don't care to hear phony words.

    Either if Obama had flown to Joplin and said, "What can I do to help?"

    or if Obama flies to the Queen's Palace and asks, "Was that a 21-gun salute?"

    But, most people appreciate a little support when their world has ended. Most people receive some healing when anyone offers support–especially someone important like Obama.

    Is he conscious.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  32. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It is time to stop the pr for disasters. It does not matter if obama goes to Mo, or MS and walk around for a few photo ops. The federal government need to get out of the insurance business. Let private insurance companies sell insurance and deal with the disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes. Why can't the states give out water and supply tents to their residents. The federal government is broke.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  33. Sherri

    I don't think the President being in Europe has anything to do with Joplin since he was already in Europe when the tornado struck. He has made several statements from Europe giving his sympathies to Joplin, which I believe the people there appreciate.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  34. Pete from Georgia

    Any Socialist would always feel more comfortable rubbing elbows with their European counterparts than facing Americans..........................especially mid-western Americans..............................you know, the one's who actually know something about America.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

    It's the Katrina syndrome.
    Definition is as follows;
    American people are deep in need of rescue, medical care, food and shelter after a diaster.
    American people look to it's own gov't for help.
    Gov't response is too little to late.
    What else is new?

    May 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  36. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    The sad part of all this? No republican can beat him and noone in his own administration would say " Mr. President, you really need to come home". Whether it was Bush reading a book during 911, or Katrina or Joplin, nothing changes.
    At least we can look forward to 2016, who knows what things will be like by then, on second thought I did just say nothing changes.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  37. Jay

    I grew up in Tulsa and attend college in Oklahoma City. I've been through Joplin multiple times and have seen tornadoes do horrific damage.
    It doesn't phase me that President Obama is in Europe. When he travels to cities like Joplin after a disaster, it pulls away from the resources that can be used for recovery. The police have to coordinate with the Secret Service and assist them in advancing routes.
    Even though he's in Europe, I'm sure he's being kept aware of the situation by staff in Europe, Washington, and in Joplin.
    As long as FEMA has its act together and is working properly, we don't need the President himself to take away resources that can be used in recovery by being on the ground in such devastation.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  38. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Come on, everyone knows that Missouri is a republican state. Obama does not care about Missouri. They didn't vote for him. There is no way Obama would put his plans aside to visit his Grandfathers home country just because Joplin was leveled by a tornado. It's all about priorities Jack.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  39. Cousin Vinny in Connecticut

    It took Obama almost 2 months to go to the Gulf coast and view the damage from the BP oil spill. Now he's having a great time in Europe visiting his "cousins" and the Queen but promises he'll be visiting the sites of the tornadoes on Sunday. He's just so 'busy'; he'll probably need another vacation really soon!
    Bush was 'savaged' by the 'mainstream media' for his handling of Katrina, but remain largely silent (with the exception of you, Jack!) about Obama and his reaction to what's going on with the tornadoes.
    Let's see; Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri are basically "Red" states. Hmmmmm ........just wonderin'! Jan. 20, 2013 can't come soon enough!!

    May 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  40. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    Obama is fulfilling the duties of the presidency. He didn't know a tornado would hit like it did while he was gone, yet he still was able to make a statement about it, declare it a disaster area, send FEMA to the stricken area, and commit to visiting the site on Sunday. I;m glad that we have such a competent president.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  41. Karl in Flint

    I doubt his visit is paramount on their minds right now. I was here in Flint, age 8, for the 1953 tornado that killed 116 and spent that night out with my grandparents looking for 4 family members in a very rural area 20 miles away from the major damage in the Beecher District. Four rooms of their 13 room farm house were gone and what was left had mostly slid off the basement. Also, the barn was gone and their car and garage were nowhere to be found when the National Guard took my grandfather to the farm. We finally found them at a neighbor’s. My cousin, who was 3 at the time, still has vivid memories of it all and recently wrote it up for her grandchildren. We weren’t looking for Ike Eisenhower to show up. Just help.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  42. Ann

    His trip should have been cancelled, except for the meeting later this week. It is obvious that he is more interested in his own vacation trip than he is about the American people. If he wants to take a vacation, he should go to the Grand Canyon, so he has easy access to the country in the case of a natural or other type of disaster. Narcissism and arrogance are not attractive traits for a President. Thank goodness the American people are good people, we can take care of ourselves, we do not need him here to make sure these shattered lives begin heal.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  43. Robby Bowling

    The only thing Obama plays to is the crowd. His vanity & ego loves to hear the crowds adulation. He cant get it here without a handpicked crowd to play to. He's simply not up to the task & his leadership skills only work at pep rally's not in the real world. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. HE IS SO NOT INTO US.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  44. Laura

    It will be interesting to see if the media respond similarly. If this were a summit which involved many heads of state (such as G8) or something which couldn't be postponed it would be a different matter. I In reality there's nothing other than displaying his concern that the president can do, but that is important. All other logistics can be handled no matter where he is. Like the old adage says a picture is worth a thousand words.
    Hawthorne, CA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  45. AzRose

    I think it says to the people of Joplin, our president doesn't care. He is busy playing ping pong with Cameron today while the people of Joplin continue with search and rescue missions. Obama needs to be back here is the U.S. and head straight for Joplin to show his support, a speech from England is not very comforting. Where are his priorities??

    May 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  46. Ralph Spyer

    Missouri is a red state,they put their faith in jesus let them pray.We got 3 wars, 10% unemployment , the G.O.P wants to cut medical care, cut social security, cut teachers unions, cut federal workers pay. I feel their pain?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  47. Bit

    According to Limbaugh, the democrats think of Obama as the Messiah. If he was the Messiah, he could be in two places at the same time. Since he's not the Messiah, he will cut his visit in Europe and head back to the states on to Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  48. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    What message is sent by your question?

    Why do we continually ask those to rise to some occasion or tragedy when we our selves do not?

    The people of Joplin are our people, the are humans beings in the face of great tragedy, yet I would safely wager you have lost not a minute of sleep as also I have not.

    So how can we try and shift guilt and shame to anyone, when we have not risen up ourselves?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  49. thom richer

    Whether it be Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan or whomever, at a time of war, economic collapse, poverty, natural disasters and human suffering on the scale that we are experiencing now, neither the president or any member of Congress should be anywhere but in Washington. Until we are prospering again, safe again, employed again and cared for again by those we have elected, none should be elsewhere. No political trips, vacations, or campaigns should take precedence. Our problems are real, desperate, and immediate. We cannot be and will not function as a world leader until our house is in order. This cannot be done on a part time schedule or treated as a political game any longer.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  50. Cee, La

    The president was already gone.... he called the Governor immediately and offered all the assistance from the Feds....he will go there on his return......What do you want him to do Jack...Roll up his crisp white sleeves, jump on the backhoe....and pick up debris....hand out water, slap the Fema fella on the back.... and tell him .....Hellofva job?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  51. EJ in Metro Houston

    Jack this sounds like a question you would hear on FoxNews and not CNN. The storm happened while the POTUS was on his trip. Of course it's the media that wants to stir up mess by showing him drinking a pint of stout while the storm happened. What is the Vice President for? What about other caring members of Congress? I grew up in Missouri and it is not the most loving state for a Democrat, had the POTUS turned around and flew back then the far right would not only have accused him of looking for a "photo op" but also saying it was purely political...self serving. Ask him this question please when he gets to Joplin on Sunday!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  52. Ed from MD

    Unless they need a swine flu vaccine, a gun confiscation or a down home TSA groping the Feds hands are tied, or full of beer rather.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  53. Carla Springer

    The message is simple:

    If President and Mrs. Obama had not gone to Europe, none of this would have happened to the people in Joplin. Give me a brea!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  54. Saba Faye

    I second the many comments that contend that Obama being in Europe in NO WAY

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  55. John

    Obama is doing a better job than Bush did w/ Katrina. President Obama's response to rebuild every house and business is a lot more dedication then what was offered during Katrina. Obama recognizes problems in Joplin.I don't see any republican presidential hopefuls or House republicans going to search and rescue events for individuals in Joplin, is that what you would like to see Obama do?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  56. Paul Donelson

    What's the guy supposed to do, never leave the country? The president has to leave the country occasionally. He can't help it if the weather doesn't cooperate. But, those who don't like the president will find any excuse they can to criticize him.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  57. danny

    This happens every year out there. It happened last year and it will happen again next year. Those people affected by this should move away from the area before it happens to them again.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  58. Jordan in Birmingham

    When Obama visited Alabama a few weeks ago, people complained that it was a self-serving photo-op and that he was just getting in the way. Now that he's not visiting immediately, many of the same call him insensitive. Which is it? I think that as long as the town is getting the help it needs from the government, Obama is doing his job properly.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  59. Sue Parke Florida

    The audacity of Obama...hoping no one will notice.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  60. robin

    well, The president's trip was proceeded before the tornado at Joplin.
    I belive this is not he's or the adminstration fault. You can't predict the future. Bush's katrina situation was diffrent.

    Robin, from Illinois.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  61. Rodney Campbell

    I dont think the president can clear his schedule because the threat of storms is in the forecast. No one can accurately predict tornadoes not even NOAA. The President reached out to the Governor and will visit Sunday, that sounds about right to me.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  62. Karen Hagen


    Karen Hagen
    Houston, TX

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  63. Robert Zuniga

    It shows that the President has faith in those he has in place to do the right thing. Civilians should not make policy decisions. Leave that up to those who our democracy chose.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  64. Annette

    I am appalled that Obama would visit Europe and Ireland - I am appalled period!!!!!!!! You can bet if his daughters lived there and were victims he would not have traveled!!!!! Take care of the USA Obama!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  65. Steele

    He is not overseas for fun and games. its part of diplomacy and he must take on all responsibilities and will take on the serious damages caused by the weather. I am sure even overseas he is getting updates and is keeping on top of what is going on in the USA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Paul

    Are you suggesting that the President and his super secret apparatus knew the weather in Joplin in advance of their trip? And now you are suggesting that he abandon his G8 summit which just may do something to alleviate our current economic disaster? Jack, I don't think you understand the scope of the presidency. Let the man do his job.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  67. Mike A.

    President Obama left for his state visit trip before the tornadoes hit in Joplin...It does not make sense for him to come back just for that...So much money is spent in planning trips like these and it would b a waste for him to come back just for that...He is going to visit MO on Sunday and help the people however he can!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  68. Mary

    Maybe that the President has a lot of obligations, including international duties? Maybe that life goes on? Maybe that you can't put everything on hold because of tragedy in one area of the country?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Nick Hunter

    Nice job in this question Jack. I understand pre set Presidential trips, palm pressing and diplomacy but there is nothing pressing in Ireland and Britain that this trip couldn't have been cut short given the "Katrina Like" weather catastrophes in our country right now.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Tommy B

    When that many people die the party is over. It's time to go home unless of course you don't give a crap.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  71. Harry Moscatiello

    It means in Jan 2013 there will be a new President. Sooner or later someone will get elected who cares. Why don't we get to vote on someone when they leave office. Give them a dishonerable dis-charge if they earned it. Bush and Obama deserve one.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  72. John Boydstun

    Maybe the message is "you want the federal government out of your life, you got it" or maybe the message is "you need to elect congressmen that believe funding FEMA is a higher priority than tax subsidies for big oil."

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  73. sylvia

    Give me a break!!! The trip was already planned before the tornado struck. The inference that the President doesn't care is ludicrous. News cannot be ALL NEGATIVE comments.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  74. R Reynolds

    I live in Kansas City. If I expected my President to sit on his thumbs waiting for the next natural tragedy while the world spins on out of control...I would have hired a babysitter. Our country is more than capable of running without a President sitting in D.C. to control some emergency responses.

    Get off your darn talking-head stir them up, Jack. The sky is falling ... and it is not just in the Midwest.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  75. Daniel, NYC

    The message sent is that the United States is a country committed to its allies, and that the disaster response is being handled effectively by those entrusted to to their job.

    it's also quite clear that these tornadoes are part of a weather pattern worsened global warming, which has been vociferously denied by the President's critics.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  76. Nate

    Jack, give me a break, seriously. Every time the President leaves the US, some sort of tragedy is bound to ensue. That's just the nature of the beast. There is always stuff going on. It's foolish to just think the President is going to sit around and wait for domestic issues. Give the guy a break. He's doing all he can.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  77. becky - Las Vegas

    What do you want him to do, Jack? Should he go to Joplin and shout at the wind and rain? There isn't anything Obama can do about the weather but his response to it will be/is important. Yeah, Katrina was poorly handled by Bush and Brownie. I think EVERYONE learned from that one and look to NOT repeat it. The message sent is that we are friends with the Irish and British... case closed. Though I would have preferred to see him chugging the beer with the Queen.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  78. Matt

    ATLANTA/GA – While the president and the rest of the country should sympathize with those in Joplin, MO, the president should be aware that Joplin is located in a highly conservative part of Missouri and many voters in Joplin have accused the president of being a socialist. Any help for them from the federal goverment would be hypocritical on their part.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  79. Pendleton

    It is his normal behaviour, right? You couldn't resist another dig at the Bush Administration. Remember, It was up to the elected officials of New Orleans to "invite" the Federal Government in...Had Bush jumped in...he would have been criticized for interfering or showboating. They had no plan and no leadership. Missouri officials correctly invited the Feds in immediately. O'Bama is probably fundraising too.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  80. jr from va

    Since all these tornados are caused by global warming, it is very important Obama cements all his relationships with leaders around the world. And he will pay his respects to all the affected area when he gets back as well. He told the head of FEMA to get to Joplin ASAP and he is managing the situation from abroad.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  81. David in West Virginia

    It says that the business of the Nation and the life of the world goes on. Emergency responders and FEMA are on-scene, and the president can add little more to the initial response.

    The difference between Obama and Bush is this: during Joplin, Obama was on-duty representing the nation in Europe; during Katrina, Bush was on vacation on his porch in Crawford, strumming his guitar.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  82. Joey from Joplin

    Obama can be in Mars and I wouldn't care. Who's to say that Joplin will be better if Obama cancels meetings with entire countries? FEMA is in Joplin, the Red Cross is in Joplin, the National Guard is in Joplin. It is sad that Presidents are being expected to fix their public appearances when the truth is, when Obama was laughing at Seth Meyer's jokes, he was also having Osama Bin Laden killed. Enough said.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  83. wetfuse13485

    What can the president do about the storms and damage when he is already over there on a planned trip. That is why Air Force One is capable of keeping him informed of situation that are taking place in our country. My question to Cafferty is what does a sitting president do during a nature disaster, walk about the area and then report to the people there and to others that are watching that he will make sure help arrives for our neighbors. His staff and agencies are doing there job. If anything, he will be in the way if he goes to the area because the secret service will make it difficult for people to do what they need to do to get there lives back together.


    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  84. Moussa from Columbus Ohio

    Isn't that why we have a Vice President? C'mon jack you know better!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  85. Justin

    The message is that he doesn't care. What good did Obama and his wife do to the country. Obama is leaving people in suffrage in the U.S.. People in this country have to see what Obama really is. Hes careless.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  86. John Penn

    Thanks for reminding everyone how the Republican president ignored the Katrina victims in New Orleans.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  87. Norm

    I am sure the good people of Joplin have not considered any message was sent. It is you who has sent a message – that you are fast becoming the grumpy old fool you have always seemed to be.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  88. Tom Pacileo

    If I was on a BUSINESS trip and there was a FAMILY emergency at home I think I'd be on the next plane available. Of course if I didn't care
    about my FAMILY I wouldn't go back home!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  89. Ms. Smith

    Is it obvious jack that you have hatred for our president whom you and the Republicans believe is God reincarnated into President Obama. My goodness give it a rest you clown....he is one person just wonder what have you done besides sit behind a camera and bash everything he has or hasnt done....uggghhh get over it.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  90. Debrra

    The President was ALREADY in Europe when the storm hit, and I don't think it's reasonable or constructive to expect him to fly back across the Atlantic for a photo-op in Joplin to show that he cares.
    The President called the Governor immediately and offered all the assistance they need from the federal government. He called the Governor this morning as well to offer assistance and prayers. If Mr. Obama flew into the area it would do one thing: get in the way of rescue operations.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  91. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Nope Jack, not going there, this question reflects too much negative and I'm sure Joplin has more pressing things going on. O'Bama will be in Joplin soon enough.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  92. Gerard Gonthier

    I don't believe any message is being conveyed. I can't imagine that the citizens of Joplin are aware of the president's trip to Europe, right now. They are probably too busy trying to find loved ones and maybe even the lot where their house used to be.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  93. Mike Nylen

    So somehow the people of Joplin, Missouri would be better served by a stern-faced President sitting in his office in Washington, D.C.? This is a Fox News question. By this logic the President should never leave the country just in case something happens.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  94. Jamie

    He should have shortened his trip and came home IMMEDIATELY!!!! This shows he has no concern for the people who worked so hard to elect him!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  95. Jim Dorman

    If you really want to "go off" on someone, go off on the Republicans who deny climate change. That is responsible for much of the change we see in this country's and the world's weather. The President will make it to Joplin, but the climate will still be screwed up, thanks to the deniers of the impact we have had on the weather.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  96. AnitaNYC

    The president is doing what he was scheduled to do. He immediately contacted the Gov. of Missouri, FEMA is on the ground. You want him to fly home to have a photo op? Or should he be helping search for the missing.

    Sorry Jack but this is a silly question and you make it like all previous presidents didn't travel with a full entourage and "hob knob" with other countries leaders.

    This poor man can't do anything right it seems.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  97. Corey Jones

    Cafferty you are not making any sense with this, this is no where near Katrina! Sounds like you are searching to inspire a witch hunt! LET IT GO, SIR!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  98. Laura

    Considering the fact that President Obama is on another continent it sends a message that he is visiting other countries that are our ancestors countries and allies. There is no comparison to Hurricane Katrina – President Bush was hiding in the White House.....seriously what message are you sending questioning our American President when there are Americans suffering from these tornados?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  99. Chinonso

    Obama's trip to Europe has nothing to do with the Tornado. Whether Obama is present or absent doesnt determine the amount of damage a Tornado will do to Jolphin. Besides if your arguing for leadership to be present during times like this, that is why there is a position called Vice-President who sits in for the President during his absence

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  100. Alexander from Virginia

    The President was already in Europe when the tornado plowed through Joplin, and it would not be wise to fly him back to the US to have him do a photo-op in the ruins. He's already given a message about the Joplin tragedy from Europe, and I believe I heard that he will be visiting Joplin after his trip is over. Even so, there's little the President can do by himself in Joplin, other than a photo-op. The real pressure rests on the city and state governments.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  101. Randall

    Compare the time it took FEMA to be on the scene in Mississippi and Louisiana compared to the response times in Alabama and Missouri. Just because we had a president that could not do ONE thing right, does not mean a president should not be able to multi-task.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  102. Rick from Seattle

    If he flies into the disaster zone in Missouri right away, he would be branded a political opportunist looking for a photo-op. If he waits a few days, he is branded apathetic to the disaster. Politics is politics, the president has no magic wand.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  103. Jack on Maui

    Believe it or not, Mr. Cafferty, our President has already proven that he can actually do more than one thing at a time. The current trip was previously planned, and President Obama is doing a terrific job. We don't see the communications behind the scenes, but I guarantee you our President is very much on top of what's happening in Joplin. And I think his trip is playing well in Peoria as well.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  104. Eileen

    Ya Jack.....YA.

    Isn't it clear to you yet....the Tea Party and the Republican Party don't want any help from the Government.

    That is until they face a disaster such as this....then the President must run to their side.

    I don't mean to sound so cynical....but Jack.....this is essentially what the Tea Party wants. NO HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT...they can take care of themselves.

    YA Jack...YAAAAAAA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  105. Eve Lemon

    What can the Pres. do in the US that he can't do in Europe? Come back and administer first aid to the residents of Joplin? Sorry, but this cannot be compared to Katrina–when the reporters could get into New Orleans, but help from the government couldn't, or wouldn't. Eve of Texas

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  106. Scott


    Please remind me and the rest of the country how long it took Pres. Bush to visit New Orleans, after Katrina.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  107. Paul

    Oh come on. This type of comment should be below the level of conversation on this program! Presidents cannot cancel important multi-country diplomatic trips every time something bad happens in the U.S. days or hours before the trip begins. And the analogy to Bush and Katrina is doubly absurd. The critique then was based on days and weeks of a failed federal level respons, not just bad optics.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  108. JT In Sherman Oaks

    Seriously? you're going to compare Bush 'vacationing' during Katrina to our president doing his job in Europe? I am not even going to dignify responding to that.

    However i do find it amusing that it's the conservatives and red states that are complaining about Obama being in Europe and not comforting tornado victims ... isn't that the same group that wants the government out of their lives?

    JT in Sherman Oaks

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  109. LaVonne

    Instead of wondering what the people of Joplin, Missouri, thinks about the President, I am wondering what they think about us, as neighbors. Each of us has gone on with our daily lives while people, especially our military families and wounded warriors, have suffered in many different ways in many different states. The question, for all of us, is not whether we can be "seen" as doing something, but whether we actually are doing something to alleviate suffering of our friends and neighbors, near and far.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Terrence

    What do you expect him to do? Rush the sky's in a Superman uniform, reach Tornado alley, and with great might fly at supersonic speeds and cause the tornados to rotate in the opposite directions and cause the cyclones to die out? There is nothing the POTUS can do right now.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  111. Darlene Eliason

    Jack you dont seem to blame Bush for the rotten econoomy but you are trying to Blame OBama for a Tornado in Missouri???? How long will it take you to WAKE UP!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  112. Frank Albidone


    The Media chooses to show the President drinking beer, just like it chooses to show the destruction in Joplin. There is a difference though. Although CNN must show the destruction, do they really have to show your president drinking beer? He is doing his job and decides to prove he is only human. I think the media should not show Obama drinking a "pint" because it is NOT news.
    Thank you,
    Frank Albidone
    Niagara, ON

    May 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Marta

    I think you have stepped way over the line. the trip to Europe was already in place when Joplin happened. Hobnobbing? That gang that travels with him? wow..I'm beginning to wonder about you.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  114. Johnny Vail

    Really? Katrina? Do you think they are even close? I was 100 miles away when the tornado came through. Just terrible. There have been 1,200 tornadoes this year so far. He would need a team to chase every tornado.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  115. James

    Ok Jack, what do you think he should do? He says he will be there Sunday. Will his presence there today stem the flow of a TORNADO?! What exactly does he have to do to make EVERYONE happy!! Bevause that's excactly what it sounds like he has to do everyday just to get a little respect from his OWN country!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Marion Samler

    You must be kidding. This guy can't do anything without some kind of criticism from US citizens and news media. He took a trip as your president to Britain. He didn't know there was going to be a tornado, which is a great tragedy for everyone involved. But he's doing his job. He's going to visit the area immediately upon his return. This isn't like Katrina where the president sat in Washington while the destruction was happening around him. He had advance notice as well. Give the guy a break. If you're going to present your country as a world leader then guess what...your world leader has to go a vistin'.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Tammy in Texas

    It says the same thing his entire presidency has said. He could give a flip. I mean, after all, it isn't about HIM.. so why should he care. Right?!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  118. joan

    President Obama is going to be in Joplin on Sunday. He has already invoked a disaster declaration and offered all the help available from the federal government to the governor of MO. I believe FEMA is already on site. It is amazing how you can turn anything out there into a derogatory comment about this president. He is on a state visit, which calls for being cordial and friendly with the people of the places where he visits, a visit that was planned long before the tornado struck.

    He also offered condolences as early as Monday morning to the people of Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  119. MO, NC

    Jack you and I both know that this is required by our President and other Heads of State, If it was a vacation i might would agree, if we were being attacked and he sat there and did nothing when he was told i would agree.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  120. Brad

    Jack, aren't you trying to connect two male ends of the same plug? I've often wondered what good the presidents arrival does the people of a devasted area. What the people of Joplin need is aid, not speaches. They need our president to make the decisions to get them that aid and I believe he can do that from any wheren in the world.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  121. Ed Thomas

    I'm so happy that the President can hobnob with the fine Europeans, drink their beer and wine, and eat fine food. I agree, it looks as if he's totally forgotten what's happening in the U.S. The man should have excused himself, and immediately returned to the country he is supposedly leading. Yes Jack, I remember the Bush reaction to Katrina, now I will remember Obama's reaction to Jopiin. Don't any of these idiots realize that the Armeiran public is loosing all faith in their ability to lead us?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  122. Jerry

    What matter most is how quickly our government responds to the victoms in Joplin, MO not where where our President lays his head that night. We are Americans not Americants.


    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  123. Kay

    I think you are over reacting with your comments. Mother Nature does whatever she wants, no man, women, government, or society can change otherwise. Stop bashing Obama. The President declared those states a disaster to free up federal funding and made a speech sending his sympathy. What more do you want?! Even if he wanted to fly back, the Ice Land volcano ash would not allow that to happen. Find something else to harp about, geez.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  124. Jeff Wilkinson

    President Obama shouldn't be drinking beer in Ireland while the people of Missouri are trying to recover from one of the worst tornadoes in history. Of course, I remember President Bush's late response to Katrina. We all know what happened to him. Maybe Obama is due for the same fate.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  125. Steve

    Jack I think its obvious the President is responsible for a lot more than just putting in personal appearances at natural disasters especially when no one knows when the next one is going to be.

    That;s what we have FEMA for and I'm sure you haven't noticed but FEMA has been receiving praises for their responses to this and other disasters.

    And finally Jack aren't you the one always complaining about government meddling and costs?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  126. Ken Stuller, West Grove, PA

    The question is, Jack, what purpose is served by your inferences and need to ask the question iteself. As you said, these trips are planned well in advance. If Obama, or any President for t hat matter, sat in the White House waiting for catastrophes to happen, he or she would not be doing what people elected them to do. Wait to see the government's response before creating an issue that isn't there!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  127. Peter C

    The message is that the President of the United States doesn't control the wind, the waves or the weather.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  128. Paul from Canada

    Each day brings challenges, another awful disaster and catastrophe. Your President is representing those that are suffering in Joplin and those having a beer in Utah. The business of your country must move on including a fully planned, highly beneficial visit that can only strengthen your country, even during these great challenges.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  129. russell picerno

    Jack, Jack, Jack, I agree with you most of the time but i think its time that we all start saying positive things and not always negative when it come's to our president. the country needs an uplift not constant downers remember we get more with sugar!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  130. Robb Vaules

    Jack, the difference is the response of the Bush Administration versus the response of the Obama Administration – this is not about the individual men. During Katrina, the Bush Administration tripped over themselves for months, and never really helped the community, even after a President Bush visit. The President is one man, and can do just as much to help the people of the Midwest from afar as he could being on the scene. Right after a disaster is the worst time for a Presidential visit, with all the disruptions that is causes. Only in time, regardless of a Presidential visit, will we know if the Obama administration is successful in helping the people of Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  131. Jon popowski

    2 of 3Choose a Thumbnail
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    Jack, are you serious? The President was already in Europe when the tornado hit. Was he supposed to guess this would occur before he left? He's a good president but he's not prescient and omniscient.

    As soon as this happened he announced he'd be traveling to Joplin. Geez, find something that's remotely debatable.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  132. John

    Let our president do his job. Our hearts go out to the people of the mid west, they also go out to the poor people of the south, those who have been imprisoned in this country by mistake, to the parent's of soldiers killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the flood victims of the swollen Mississippi, to the Wall Street bankers who have lost millions, to the prisoners in California who will soon be freed because of overcrowding... Do you really believe that the president can be everywhere there is a catastrophe, an injustice or an act of God? Give me a break!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  133. Saba Faye

    I second the many comments that assert that Obama being in Europe in NO WAY undermines his credibility or concern for the tragic weather and consequences on some American families back in the US. Give the guy a break! Is he supposed to stop every matter of state for such acts of mother nature beyond his control? There is absolutely no analogy - NONE –with Katrina and Bush. Those levees and the way he handled them were his and his administration's own doing. And anyway, Obama will go straight to Joplin and elsewhere upon his return. Let him do his statesman duties with our allies in Europe. Meantime our much more competent Executive Branch officials will deal with the rescue and repair operations the Midwest.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  134. John Fisher

    As soon as the President was informed of the disaster in Joplin, he should have cancelled his trip immediately and landed in MO. He shows a total lack of conern for our people. He is more concerned about traveling all over the world with his entourage spending millions of dollars of our taxpayer money on jet fuel and having a good time, accomplishing nothing. He also seems more concerned about european people than the American people. I can just imagine the noise this would have caused if George Bush had done any of these things.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  135. Tim Crowninshield

    The message that is sent is that we finally have a president who can do more than one thing at a time! What do you expect him to do to to prevent weather damage to cities like Omaha, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Witchita ...and yes, Joplin? Do you expect him to don a cape and wrestle tornados barehanded?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  136. Fred In LA

    Jack I'm shocked at the response of many Democrats. Saying things like "Don't they have tornado insurance"? Or how about "They knew that they lived in a tornado zone". Well to those idiots I ask, didn't Katrina victims have hurricane and flood insurance? Didn't they know they lived in a city that was below sea level? Didn't they haave day's of warning yet chose to stay behind? Wouldn't a Bush visit been a distraction? No I don't blame President Obama. Indeed he was already on his way to Europe when this disaster struck. I just can't stand the hypocrisy from what appears to be the Demorcrat side of the politcal spectrum.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  137. Ann

    Jack, it's no different than the message sent when so many people are without jobs or are upside down on their mortgages, yet Republicans can't have the wealthiest among us pony up just 2% more in taxes over their first $250,000 to help put our budget in better balance.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  138. kt

    i am so tired of this he was there for the last tragedy he caught osama our economy for you people who dont know are dont want to know is partly our fault our greed, we gave it all away 40 plus years ago. no one complained the last 40 years while jobs and manufacturing went overseas, no one complained when every american electronic company sold out to overseas companies. now you have a black president and he's supposed to be a super you know what. fix the economy how can we even think things will be the same when we dont mind if our ceo's earn more than ceo's over seas who make superior products yet our rich people feel no shame. shame on all of us for our hypocrisy

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  139. Alison in Montreal

    Oh, come on, Jack! The President's trip was planned long ago, and can't be simply overturned in a heartbeat; he *did* express his sympathies and intention of helping Missouri to rebuild, and he *is* going to Joplin as soon as he gets back from Europe. What more do you want? Oh, I know what you and other news media folk want; you crave split-second responses, preferably dramatic, from world leaders whenever anything happens. Remember how well such reactive responses served the previous President, not to mention the country and the world? Yes, I thought you did.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  140. Connie

    Jack, what would you have him do, turn around and come back. He spoke to the governor, offering assistance,and said he would be there on Sunday. If he were sitting in DC and putting off a visit until Sunday, I could understand your irritation. If he hadn't had a drink in the Irish pub, after all of the preparations made for him by that little town, most Irish-Americans would have been most upset, like you.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  141. dave in nashville

    The first couple were deprived being brought up as under priveledged children and are embarking on their own world vacation tour before the first term is up.
    I voted for the guy and my only regret is there was no one else to vote for at the time, just another sympathy candidate with a bimbo second in command.
    Bottom line is this president is having too much play time, he needs to stay on the job he was elected to do. Cheers Jack.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  142. Zach from Los Angeles

    I think you are way off on your assessment of this situation. Obama can't just fly Air Force one into the middle of Joplin, Missouri. Have you been to Joplin? Where would he land? What can he possibly do? Not to mention the threat of more storms. You want the President of the United States to make a photo op in front of a torn down school and then flee into a bomb shelter or drive/fly hundreds of miles away to a safe area?

    This isn't Katrina. You are right about that. Katrina was a storm that we saw coming for weeks!!! This just happened, out of the blue, and two days later Obama is failing his people? I don't buy it. The people of Joplin are a close knit family and this disaster is not a time to debate Obama's travel plans and pander to the lowest common denominator of politics. We should be focusing on ways to not only help these people but also those in the south who were devastated only weeks before.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  143. Pat Stressman

    BO is known for this. Remember the vacation in Spain?

    Anyway, this will be his Katrina moment and he will be remembered for this terrible oversight in the upcoming election.

    Remember history and the quote "Let Them Eat Cake"?

    Barnwell, SC.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  144. Tim Phoenix, AZ

    So what if the President is having a cold beer? Good for him. I'm sure his trip (Overseas) was planned before this tornado hit Joplin. What is he supposed to do? Be a mind reader? He's only human and can't possibly be around to cover every disater that happens in the U.S.

    Cheers Mr President!!! I wish I could join you for a cold one.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  145. whitney

    With all the natural disasters plaguing our nation I think it is impossible for our president hold our hand through them all. I am certain he will do what he can when he can.. why must the president be held accountable for our emotions?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  146. Sharon Burgos

    The message that is sent is that President Obama has much bigger and more important things to focus on than making a purely symbolic visit to Joplin. A visit to Joplin by the president and his entourage, as you pointed out, would only hinder the very critical and timely response needed in the early days of a crisis. The last thing the airport and the police need is a visit by President Obama. His action sends the message, loud and clear, that we know what our priorities are and how best to achieve them. In Joplin, the priority is to rescue people and tying up the airport, roads and police force with a presidential visit would only hinder those efforts.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  147. Michael

    Really Jack? What can he really do here that cannot be done from where he is? A visit from the president today is exactly what is needed right now to snarl rescue efforts, what a great idea. At what point does the POTUS do the traveling all dignitaries do, without being ridiculed by the media for doing his job?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  148. Sean

    The message is this: "I can't control the weather, so don't blame me if I like living it up on your tab. You can afford it. We just have to raise the debt ceiling."

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Ken D.

    Life goes on, Jack. I am a Missouri Southern graduate with friends who lost everything. President Obama is one man, who has many responsibilities outside of Joplin. A Presidential trip too quickly disrupts airspace, traffic and security in a crucial time, not too mention wasting the millions spent on an important diplomatic trip with key allies at a time when NATO is involved in two wars. The full force of the Federal effort has already been invoked – unlike Katrina when they sat around and waited. As a federal employee I can say this: We can hold down the fort until Sunday when he visits.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  150. Ben

    Nothing. Why does it matter? It's not like Obama is going to grab a shovel and start looking for survivors. FEMA responded, first locally, then regionally, and now federally. As long as the work is being done, Obama doesn't need to stand on a pile of rubble and explain to people how good of a job he is doing. People meed to look at the overall actions of the government, and not simply judge leaders based on press releases and photo ops – in fact, I am glad Obama is in Europe mending the bridges destroyed by our last photo-op grabbing President.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  151. Paul M.

    Since we did not elect Samatha the Witch and he could twitch his nose and magically appear. The President did acknowledge and let his feelings known . Let the first responders do their job and not let the President distract them from theirs. One person found is worth more then protecting the President..

    Paul M. Lancaster,Pa

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  152. John Penn

    I'm not sure, but doesn't Vice -President Joe Biden have to stay near Washington, D.C. with the President out of the country. The question should be why isn't Joe Biden there in Joplin?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  153. Sam in DC

    President Obama cannot directly impact the aid in Joplin right now. The Europe trip has been planned for a long time. The president is right in issuing a statement, letting the situation get somewhat under control, then going to visit this weekend. People who criticize the president for this are the people who look for anything to bring him down.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  154. kevin

    Jack, it shows how tolerant we are of the Annointed One. If that was George W he would be crucified by the left again. Our President should have come back and stood on those rubbish piles and help lift the spirit of those poor folks, that is all they have left.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  155. kathleen haycraft

    Thank you for an honest commentary that truly is fair and balanced. I agree that a leader needs to cancel trips when a major disaster of historic proportions hit. President Bush was attacked for the look on his face while he was flying over Hurricain Katrina's path. I commend Governor Nixon and Senator McCaskill but look at Obama with disdain. True leaders understand the power of presence. I did not vote for Bush but look back at his presence at 9-11 and was amazed at his ability at that moment. I will look back at Obama with Guiness in hand and will remember it in the voting booth.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  156. Gail, Gloucester, VA

    As you stated, these trips are planned way in advance and I do believe the President has canceled trips in the past. He is planning to go to Joplin, MO., on Sunday. Therefore, I do believe that he has these people on his mind as he continue his job as President. There is still threats of tornados in that area and is not safe for anyone until this weather process can past. My question is " Why does the media always make a mountain out of a mole hill?"

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  157. Ralph Nelson

    The President didn't create global warming. Scientists told us 12 years ago to expect weather extremes. Want to help the people of Joplin. Pass a national energy program to get off fossil fuels and get the Republicans (Oil) and the Democrats (Coal) to stop blocking it. Expect more of the same from now on until they do.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  158. Mahree Moyle

    I think it would have been different if he left after this tragedy happened, but Jack he was already there and not a whole hell of a lot he can do. He is not a God and be in all places at one time. I am sure he is devastated by what happened and in no way meaning to be disrespectful or uncaring. One thing Obama is, is caring. He wants the best for this country and for the world. I'm sure his heart is with Joplin and the people of Joplin.


    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  159. Merritt Jones

    The President is not God, he can not prevent Tornadoes from hitting the USA. Why do people expect him to solve every problem that arise? They didn't expect it from other Presidents. America should be proud of the way he's representing us overseas.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  160. J.Meche

    Jack, what's the use in having state governments if they can't government themselves or handle natural disasters within their own borders. Obama is the Commander in Chief, not the Commander in Berevement. The state command of Fema has been on the ground since the beginning and federal command shortly after. What is the use in having department heads or secretaries if we don't allow them to do their jobs and put everything on the presidents back !

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  161. John

    This question is unfair to the president, as you mention in your intro, this plans are made in advance and they are very important. I'm with the people of Joplin especially in times like this when it is up to us the American people to help each other in the absence of our leader. Shame on you!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  162. Wilcox

    you are right jack, the president shouldn't do two things at once, he should cancel his PRE-PLANNED trip and help build homes with his bare hands... Now, for REALITY, He Can and does do more things at once than what you might think ....example.. the white house correspondents dinner, the space shuttle launch, meeting with grieving survivors of the tornado in Alabama and killing Osama Bin laden all in the same week. Just because he is not in Missouri doesn't mean he isn't allocating resources to it. If we didn't allow our president to smile because there were ills in the world, he never would. There is enough pain and suffering around the world for him never to have any fun, but do we want that out of our president?????

    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  163. Jerry

    You know as well as anyone, the President of the United States can be the President wherever he may be, Obama is getting up to the minute reports about Joplin and other hard hit locations, and he has the capabliltiy to respond from anywhere in the world. Without trivializing the tragedy at home, if the President sat at home or rescheduled every state engagement each time there was a new crisis in the States he wouldn't go anywhere or do anything.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  164. Kyle P

    We all look to the President of the United States to do something. We looked to President Bush after Hurricane Katrina. Now, we look to President Obama for help with the Joplin Tornadoes. One man can't do everything. We are called the "United States" for a reason. Everyone needs to contribute to the recovery of disasters. Disaster response by the President should never be a political issue in elections, and nor should we criticize our President for trying to better build foreign relations.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  165. valerie

    It is unreasonable to expect the President to make a speedy return trip from a planned state trip for a mere photo opp. What real help can the President be? He is not a First Responder. It is also irrational to compare former President Bush's actions after Katrina to this tragedy. Had former President Bush been out of the country on official business, his response would have been better warranted. He was in the US and chose not visit the Gulf Coast immediately afterwards. President Obama has plans to visit the affected areas upon his return. Can we look at the human element of those affected by these tragedies and not inflict politics into every situation?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  166. Bill M. Laurel, MD

    It is completely appropriate for President Obama to continue his worldwide duties. It in no way diminishes his level of care or committment to the people in Missouri. We need to grow up and reqalize that just like the rest of us he has committments and responsibilities that do not allow him to be everywhere all the time. He has staff members that were hired to handle these types of emergencies. It is their performance that really matters to the people that need the help.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  167. Matt Pickett

    The President is doing the nations business on a level which no one else in our nation is capable of doing. Meeting with other heads of state. The leadership thing we hired him for. Come on Cafferty – Finest food? Finest wine? How would you feed a head of state visiting your home? The fact that the Joplin tornado disaster occured while he was gone is beyond his control. His return to the US would do little good and would most likely be read as a political move to gain voters come 2012. Be assured he is informed, aware and directing the response with acutely aware that his administrations response will be compared to Bush's bungle to the Katrina debacle. Try to find a real story to complain about.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  168. Michael, Springfield, VA

    He should have turned Air Force One around 180 degrees and headed back to deal with problems in his own country. Call Ireland and call England and say "Let's do this another time I have an emergency at home". He is not the president of Israel, Ireland, England or Libya. He is president of the USA and that should be he one and only priority. Bush hacking at brush with a hatchet while New Orleans and the Gulf Coast drowned. The parallels are astounding. We voted for change and got more of the same. Gitmo, gas prices, war and a blind eye to disasters.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  169. Talana from California

    The trip to Europe and the tragedy in Joplin are two completely different issues. There is much the president can do for Joplin from thousands of miles away. Dropping everything to head to Joplin is unwise. It not only makes our relationships with our foreign partners seem unimportant, but the security, preparation, and expense that goes with a presidential visit is unnecessary in the crucial hours after a disaster when first responders are still looking for survivors. Believe it or not, the President can direct much needed resources to the disaster zones while in Europe. It's called multi-tasking, and I know of no other job that calls on it more that being president.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  170. Michael Ross

    Jack – The difference between Katrina and Joplin, Missouri is that Bush knew at least a week in advance that Katrina was coming. The tornado in Joplin, Missouri? I believe that your own network has reported that there was a 20 minute warning. Come on, Jack, stop comparing apples to oranges. No matter how hard you try you're not going to minimize the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  171. mary musil

    Please, why must every move the President makes be judged by the media in terms of the latest tragedy to occur in our country. If this is the standard, he wouldn't be anywhere or do anything, tragedies occur every day, people die every day and catastrophes are not "manageable". It is isn't a character flaw to be in another country, doing anything remotely removed from the sorrow and sadness so many are feeling.

    Recently, he was praised for his ability to focus on the "task at hand", (the trip to Alabama, the White House Press Dinner, and so on) while our Seal Team Six was taking out Osama Bin Laden; now, it seems, that same ability to carry on, is being criticized. Give it a Rest Jack!!! He'll be there on Sunday...sorry, that doesn't meet with your schedule.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  172. Kelly


    The differences between Joplin and Katrina are twofold, Bush was on vacation at his private home just a couple hundred of miles from New Orleans while President Obama is thousands of miles away on a diplomatic visit with important allies who have been planning his arrival for many months. But more importantly Jack, unlike Katrina, FEMA was on the ground within hours and has from the words of everyone involved, be very responsive and provided them everything they need right now from our Federal Government. I am sure that is a lot more important to the people of Joplin than the President visiting and shaking hands, which in any case he will be doing this Sunday instead of just doing a Bush flyover!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  173. Stephen

    The President has spoken about the tornado's and that help is on its way. What do you expect him to do? Bring his entourage to Jolpin, shake some hands, and generally get in the way of the rescue efforts? Maybe, just maybe, he's not in Europe simply to drink Guinness and play ping pong, but he is there to do business on behalf of America which will benefit the country as a whole.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  174. Pete Davis

    Jack as usual you are at a level few can achieve in punditry! Of course the President should be home, helping dig people out of the rubble. He should also stay at home during wartime and that means no days off, no rest, nothing. It would be helpful if he could predict the weather, but of course he is Obama, who cant do anything right. Your a contributing reason why CNN, save Zakaria's GPS, stays off my screen.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  175. a.walker

    Mr Obama has proven to me his true feelings and self. The trip may have been planned but he should have considered the people of his country and returned. Now he doesnt plan on returning until Sunday. Tis send the message loud and clear to our people-this job is only significant to suit his personal agenda and purpose. He doesnot care about the people of the USA. How much longer is it going to take hte Democratic liberals to figureout this President is a joke.?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  176. Hendo

    Come on Mr. Cafferty. The President is scheduled to visit Joplin on Sunday. Has anyone even stopped to think that the threat of major storms is ongoing as you read this,. Even if the President was in the U.S. he still would not be able to travel to Missouri until there was no longer a threat. He has commented on the situation and vowed support. Why must people continue to pick at scabs attempting to draw blood. I wish people would focus more on coming together than ensuring we remain seperate. No wonder we are falling so far behind the rest of the world in areas such as science and math.

    Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  177. Ashley, GA

    What gives Jack, Obama was already in Ireland when the tornadoes hit? Would you prefer the President to waste tax dollars to go back to the US only to go right back to visiting Ireland? What do you expect Obama to do about the tornadoes? He can't really do anything at the moment and when he visits Joplin on Sunday that will show his sympathy and I'm sure the residents will appreciate this.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  178. Barry G Wick

    So the President of the United States has to sit on the edge of his seat waiting for nature to destroy something so he can swoop in and save the day? We're not talking about just Obama...this trip was planned a long time. A visit of a few hours to Ireland isn't going to make a difference one way or the other. Katrina was coming days in advance.
    And nothing was prepared or staged. The tornadoes happen suddenly.
    You can bet alot of those thousands of Bush era FEMA mobile homes are going to be put to use now that thouands have lost their homes in Joplin and elsewhere. And then there are the storms today. The President has important meetings in Europe. The last thing Joplin needs now is the entourage of the President, any President, mucking around.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Brenda from Orange County

    The President, as always, is able to do handle many situations at the same time, that is probably why he is the president of the United States. He is doing an outstanding job, one not seen in recent history.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Barbara Drake

    The President has shown great attention to all weather and other disasters in this country. Everything has a time. He will be there when he is back. We are a part of the world, not just ratings for talking heads.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Ray in Reno

    Just like any other Irishman, downing a Guinness to relieve his sorrows.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  182. a l hicks

    Leave our President alone, he was already in Europe when the tornado hit. He has people in place to take care of these disaters. He should not have to fly home to make a photo op just because you want him to.
    And do not compare him to Bush and Katrina, he(Bush) was here in the United States not over seas and he flew over and there were people starving and not water or food. So get off of his back. You have nothing else to do but come up with something to make our President look bad. It is terrible what happened in Joplin, Tuscaloola, Arkansas and Louisiana but there is nothing we can do to stop them. The President will be there Sunday to say how bad things are and we are here for you.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Drew Hanson

    I live in Joplin Mo. I see the connection between katrina and the tornado of Joplin. President Obama can send all the condolences he wants through the television, but until he steps foot in the wreckage, the people of Joplin won't think he cares. I understand he's coming here sunday, but I don't appreciate him playing rockstar in Ireland and playing PING PONG in Great Britain. I just wonder sometimes if this tragedy was somewhere else would he care more? If this was in a more high profile state, would he care? on the coast? If in this day and age we are supposed to rely on the government to help us and be the first to help, why he isn't an advocate of this? He pushing this agenda the most!
    Joplin is hurting! But I love this town and I'm proud to call this place my home!
    Pray for JOMO

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  184. Susan from Idaho

    If he was expected to fly in and help pick through the rubble, then it says he is an uncaring oaf.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  185. Dexter in NC

    This president is all about symbalism so while his presense may not be nessesary his not being here symbalises how he really feels about middle America.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  186. jim woolsey indianapolis in

    so let me get this straight i too understand this trip was planned in advance but how earth does it serve our coutry's interest seeing Mr. Obama downing a pint of guiness sitting down to an extravegent dinner with her highness and making fun of his limo getting stuck when there are so many casulties and displaced people in Joplin.
    please let us not be fooled the only reason he is going on sunday is for a photo op. Nov 2012 cannot get here soon enough i shall not be fooled again Mr. President change what change

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Alice

    I am a nurse and work 12 hour days. There is no point at any time that during my day someone doesn't need SOMETHING. However, if I do not get breaks to take care of personal needs and also to unwind for short periods I lose my effectiveness to meet my patient's needs. I believe it is the same for the president. He is not just having a beer, he is establishing diplomatic ties but taking a few moments to unwind as well. There is ALWAYS room to criticize if someone appears to have a pleasurable moment when others are suffering. But the truth is this will be the case every moment of every day. He has made a statement America is committed to helping Joplin rebuild and he will be there as soon as he returns. I think this is sensationalist journalism and I an surprised Jack would do this.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  188. Stan (Detroit)

    I dont think you're being fair to the President. Im sure when he gets back, he will address all the problems that are always waiting for him. Give the man a fair shake.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Terry / KS

    Oh Jack..........Joplin will do just fine without Mr. Obama acknowedging their current situation. Wish he wasn't going there on Sunday either. They have enough to try to deal with and frankly could probably care less of his presence. They have asked that anyone not needed in this area (other than emergency/medical personnel to stay out!!!) The best thing Mr. Obama can do is park Air Force One. Everytime he fires it up it costs us a fortune...money much needed for many areas of our country besides Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  190. April

    Message: That Obama's physical presence cannot stop tornadoes from wreaking death and damage nor magically aid those affected. That Obama is conducting State Visits, not on vacation on the ranch. That he will be in Missouri soon, when his visit won't interfere as much with rescue operations and STILL won't magically make it all better. Some of us out here are not idiots, you know.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  191. Joseph Kraatz, Oceanside, CA

    Jack you've got to be kidding. The government has sent massive amounts of aid both locally and federally. Is President Obama supposed to fly home and stand and watch while the search and rebuilding begins? I suspect his pontificating would have no effect.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Wes

    Tornados are happening every day this time of year. Is the President never to meet with our allies when solidgers die every day for all our benefit. Lighten up–you should be doing as good a job as he is.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  193. Chris from Albuquerque, NM

    It sends a message that the world need not stop for every single unfortunate event that transpires. I have no doubt that we have many brave and skilled disaster response workers ready and doing their jobs. Part of the President's job, of any President, is to mingle with world leaders and advance American interests at events such as the G-8 summit. And that's what Obama is doing.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  194. Keenan Hamden, CT

    Jack, I have to disagree with your comparison of Bush and Obama with handling this outbreak of natural disasters. As you said, Obama's trip to Europe was planned weeks in advance and couldn't have predicted the worst tornado on record. Bush on the other hand went to the Crawford ranch for vacation when Katrina hit. That trip was not planned in advance and Bush thought that it was more important to clear brush on his ranch than to address Katrina. Obama also isn't just sipping fancy wine, he's improving the diplomatic mess Bush left our country.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  195. Julie

    Jack, why are you so down on Obama because he is on a state visit? For heaven's sake, stop being such a grumpy old man and cut the president a break. For years, the Republicans have denied the existence of global warming, but here it is with tornadoes in February and mega destruction in their winds. I don't see anybody from that party even mentioning the horror of Joplin, but I have heard the president say he is with the people, and will be there in Missouri this Sunday, when he returns from Britain. Stop the wet-blanket naysaying of our president–he's doing a better job than Bush.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  196. Al from Orlando

    Unlike most folks who gouge on whatever comes up in the news, he
    ismade aware and has staff ready to help in his absense. Al in
    hurricane Florida

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  197. Tatiana, Florida

    Jack, as you mentioned, this trip was scheduled way ahead before the storm hit Joplin. And even if the president had cancelled the trip I don't think mother nature will cancel the beating that Oklahoma is getting at this moment. Obama will visit Joplin on sunday, which gives the brave people there time to continue searching for survivors and not be distracted by his presence there.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  198. tom king

    What in the world does Obama on an official trip to Europe have to do with anyone in US experiencing tragedy. Someone is having misfortune or being killed by somekind of accident every day.
    Does this mean we all have to walk around in sackcloth and ashes?
    As far as Katrina & Bush goes, Louisiana still voted for McCain!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  199. Seanna

    I do wish that President Obama would've returned upon the news that Joplin, MO was so hard-hit by a tornado (in fact, the most devastating tornado since they've been recorded). However, I understand that there's things a President has to do internationally and sometimes domestic issues can't be immediately addressed. BUT – the photos of him drinking Guinness, speaking at a celebratory parade in Ireland, and shooting the breeze with the Queen of England, are just in bad taste and should be avoided.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  200. Bob in Florida

    LIGHTEN UP Jack. In the first place Katrina was 500 times worse than Joplin Missouri. In the second place, President Obama WAS ALREADY on his trip. In the third place, the President of the United States CANNOT be waiting in "starter blocks" ready to "dash" to each and every tragedity that occurs. At what size disaster do you want him to attend???? In the fourth place, the President DOES NOT have a magic wand he can wave to "make things all better." That ONLY happens in fairy tails. In the fifth place, the President of the United States is NOT """JUST""" the "consoller in chief." The office of the Presidency has MANY, MANY more duties than visiting disaster areas.

    LIGHTEN UP!!!! BE SENSIBLE!!!!! The wolrd will continue to turn even if there is another mile wide tornado.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  201. Dennis Rivelli

    I don't know what your problem is but you continue to mover farther and farther to the right every day. There is nothing more the President could do himself being present personally in the Tornado ravaged area that the Federal Emergency crew is not doing right now. The problem Bush had with Katrina was no comparison to this disaster. Bush politically placed an incompetent in charge of the Federal relief of Katrina process and the relief effort totally failed. Jack you are searching for anything to embarrass the President.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  202. Susan

    The President responded to the tornoado right away to the govenor and all agencies involved. He was already on his trip, see no need to cancel. What do you guys want? Just having his support is all that is needed at this time. I don't think people are thinking about a trip to Ireland or England right now. He will tour the area on Sunday. Bush did not get things going immediately with Katrina that was the problem there.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  203. David

    Give us some credit, Jack. Most of us understand that the beer drinking and hobnobbing are part of international diplomacy. The UK would be criticized if it did not offer the President and First Lady the finest of fare. With modern communications, there is no need for the President to be in the Oval Office to insure that the beurocracies respond appropriately to the tragedy in Joplin. That's why we have Cabinet Secretaries. Would it have been reasonable to expect the President to cancel his UK trip because of a bad weather forecast in Missouri?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  204. Nan Yates

    I am a resident of the metro KC area (and a news writer/anchor); i was overjoyed when I heard you this afternoon bring up the fact that the President is guzzling Guiness while my neighbors in Joplin are described as the "walking wounded".
    I voted for Barack Obama, and no matter what terrorist he has or will kill, I will not vote for him again because he was more concerned with campaigning than helping Americans.
    Trips overseas can be cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled...that is, if some felt so inclined.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  205. Joan

    Jack– Why are YOU sitting there when you could be helping out in Joplin? Because you are doing your job, right? So is President Obama. The federal government is doing their job in Joplin. That's why the "message" here is not the same as it was during the New Orleans Katrina disaster.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  206. Mary

    Good grief! What is your problem, Jack? The President is conducting the business of government, in this case, foreign affairs, even when he's in an Irish pub downing a Guinness. He is going to a G8 meeting. He's meeting also with the Chinese. Hasn't he already pledged all the help needed to Joplin and any other place hit by tornadoes?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  207. Kyle P from Fox Lake, Illinois

    We all look to the President of the United States to do something. We looked to President Bush after Hurricane Katrina. Now, we look to President Obama for help with the Joplin Tornadoes. One man can't do everything. We are called the "United States" for a reason. Everyone needs to contribute to the recovery of disasters. Disaster response by the President should never be a political issue in elections, and nor should we criticize our President for trying to build our foreign relations.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  208. Matt from Munster, IN

    The president should not be condemned for continuing a trip that was planned months ago. There is little that he can do other than orchestrating a swift response by FEMA and sending his thoughts and prayers to the people of Joplin, and he has already done both of these. If anything, a visit immediately after the storm could be detrimental to rescue efforts.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  209. Brian

    The message that life goes on and the President cannot single handedly fix everything for everyone. The right will now suggest what? Too Little Government? Not because the Federal Government hasn't reacted immediately, unlike in the case of Katrina, but because the Commander in Chief himself isn't there to pick through ruble? Give me a break.

    Your implication Jack is insulting to the American people by insinuating that they are not able to rise above any tragedy!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  210. Steve Dickson

    I think that Missouri has a Governor and the President already sent FEMA, after that, he is the President of the United States and has more on his plate than go personally hold hands of people. What is he going to do? Go to Missouri and say "Yeah it's a mess." We know this; now let's make sure the Governor is properly using the National Guard and FEMA (while hiding from Ron Paul) resources correctly. Get out of state business, why aren't you in state business. Make up my mind! morons confuse me.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  211. Cary


    I think it is unfair to expect the president to abandon his state visit and head to Joplin since the London airport is already closed down due to volcanic activity in Iceland. If you are really concerned about the people of Joplin, you should be going after Eric Cantor rather than our president since Cantor is using disaster relief for those suffering people as a political bargaining chip. Help for disaster victims should not be held up by petty bureaucrats who think the worst will never happen to them.

    Cary from Wisconsin

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  212. Suzanne Dean

    OH come on!!!!! If the president and the first lady were in Joplin today helping to remove rubble, you still would not vote for him.

    I am from Tuscaloosa and I love the people there but they are not Obama fans. Know what happened the day he visited? People started trying to circulate the rumor that he didn't even tour the town; he took a helicopter tour. Oooops. Then the undeniable photos came out. Obama with the mayor, the govenor, Senator Shelby, in the ruins off 15th Street. And guess what??? It won't give him the vote.

    How about we take our time to do something constructive in the wake of these tragedies, rather than stir up unnecessary garbage?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  213. Steve

    Give Obama a break. He can't drop everything every time the weather changes, figuratively and literally. He's a great manager and FEMA, Red Cross and other agencies are doing their jobs properly. Would you have him travel to Joplin to search through the rubble himself? If it's a phone call to make or a decision to be made, does it matter if it originates from Washington or Dublin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  214. Leo in NC

    There's absolutely nothing the president could in Missouri that he couldn't do from somewhere else. If local elected officials need the president to hold their hands through crisis management, then perhaps they aren't qualified for their respective jobs. The president expressed his support for the people of Joplin, and will visit on Sunday and with less interference to local rescue efforts. As for the question itself.......really?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  215. Patty

    Let's see. What's more appealing to Mr. Obama – a European tour complete with villages of adoring fans or a devastated town in Midwest America? I think we already know the answer to that.

    Patty in Lakeland, FL

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  216. Noah from Colorado

    None at all. President Obama has shown throughout his presidency that he is not Bush on disasters. He has visited almost every major disaster site during his presidency including the bp spill site(s) several times and Alabama just three weeks ago also hit by tornados. The trip was planned well in advance, and the fact that he is "living it up" is a product of European culture and not his choosing. He is going to Joplin Sunday and was leaving when the storm hit. Jack I know you say it's just a though but you're portraying it as more than one.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  217. Brett

    What is he supposed too do other than get in the way? Isn't that why we have FEMA, the National Guard, and the Red Cross? At least he is out of the country on business, not like Bush who was in the country on vacation flying over New Orleans.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  218. Kevin Ruhiu

    Excuse me Mr. Cafferty but what do you really expect/want the President to do?
    Would you be pleased if he touched down in Joplin himself and wrangled the tornadoes?
    Or what about him personally helping search for victims?
    It seems your critique is just impractical, what good would come of President Obama jetting back to Joplin and just being there. Not only have all emergency resources been dispatched to the area, but he has already not only giving all the reasonable assistance possible, but he is also visiting on Sunday.

    This is just more fodder for carping critics like yourself, his response is not only reasonable but also practical. I heard this polemic and simply thought "what more do you ask of the most in-demand person in the world?"

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  219. Barry Grier

    As you know, President Obama delivered a message to the people of Joplin, Mo., insuring his support and the support of the government to make things right . Plus, he plans to visit there as soon as he returns from his official visit to Europe. He did not deserve your sarcastic remarks.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  220. Laura Stack

    This trip to Europe was underway before the tornados hit Joplin. There is also a volcano erupting in Europe. Should he fly thru the ash just for a photo op in Joplin? The president has to travel and it is unfortunate that this horrible tragedy happened while he was away. It's a political low blow. I would like to see some of the people who make billions on their hedge funds, etc. down there donating money to help the traumatized people of the midwest. i wish I had space in my small condo to put at least one person up. And the president will be there as soon as he gets back. FEMA is there. What else can the president do while on a diplomatic trip to Europe. Cafferty's comment was uncallled for. Bush was in the country when Katrina hit. Bush also allowed Wall Street to bankrupt this country (and Obama is being blamed for this too! Unfair!!). Bush's FEMA director was an idiot.

    Count your blessing people!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  221. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed more in tuned to what had happened than our President. Obama's statement that was much later seemed to be inconvienent for him and his hobnobbing. His claim to be Irish was plain dreck and stunk of a vote grabbing lout. But of course in a similar vein when he was in Texas he snubbed the state in "not" declaring a disaster to free up low interest federal loans for those who lost their homes in wild fires that scorched 2 million acres of land and property. As far as his promise to help in Missouri, I hope those poor folks don't get the shaft like we did in Texas. Mr. President may have a grudge against Governer Perry, but what he did was screw the people of Texas, and potential voters. But that seems to be his trait, say one thing and turn and stab you.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  222. Mike from Colorado

    Leadership means making sacrifices. President Obama should demonstrate this and return to the U.S. He is showing his true leadership abilities and priorities.

    To the people of Joplin, my heart goes out to you all in this time of need. Please be assured the rest of America is here to help.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  223. Steve from California

    Do you think he could bring back the people that have lost their lives? Let the man do his job. Last thing Joplin needs is all the chaos and extra people standing around doing nothing.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Debbie

    You know, I stopped watching foxnews some years back for making comments such as this one and now I will stop watching cnn. So much more is expected of our President than any other president I've known...why? Isn't this why he has a cabinet and staff? Goodbye

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  225. Patricia McCommas

    Personally, I think people are too hard on our President. Too many people are looking for someone to blame for our country and the rest of the world's problems and it seems that President Obama is the unlucky receiver of finger pointing criticizers. While the disasters are heartbreaking, President Obama still has a job to do. If he stops for every disaster, which is overwhelmingly high, he would not get anything done. How many Americans in areas NOT hit by disaster have stopped drinking, stopped shopping, stopped going to clubs to run to the aid of a devestated city or town? I would venture to guess the number would be less than one percent. I think it would be far more productive to enourage our President rather than criticize him.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  226. Jennifer M

    If President Obama were to sit in wait for a natural disaster to occur in the USA, especially this past year, so that he could pay a personal call to each and every city that had been flooded or destroyed by hurricane or tornado, he would have had no time to do anything else. Get a grip, Jack. Mr. Obama can't hold every citizen's hand all at the same time. He has a job to do and that job sometimes means 'making nice' to other countries.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  227. Tanner- Indiana

    It seems like another excuse to bash the president. How easy is it to say that he needs to be here and not in Europe? I'm pretty sure he didn't plan on a tornado happening. He has offered his assistance and his condolences, what more should he do?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  228. WayneP

    Mr Cafferty: What's the purpose of this question that you are asking? Is it going to help anyone? If President Obama was in Joplin, you would probably be asking "What's the purpose of Pres Obama's trip to Joplin?". Come on, get a grip. The President has already done his job, speaking to the governor, offering aid etc. Do you honestly think the President would land in Joplin and pick up a shovel? If so then you would complain about him using the situation as a photo op. Get real. The President has a job to do and it's not getting pictures taken in Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  229. debra johnson

    Hello cafferty i am so sick of people thinking that president obama should sit in that ugly ass white house and wait for you all to call, and he come running what good is it for him to be in joplin he cant stop the tornado he didnt predict it and soon as he wants to do something you all just complain i wish he get some balls and tell you all to go to hell, im not even president and you all make me sick! are you there?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  230. Tony

    Jack, this president really does not care what happens to this country. We all can see that. Look at what he and the Dems. have done so far. This trip is no suprise to us. Obama has been on TV more that any leader we have ever had, so called leader I should say. He could care less about the people of the USA. Best thing that could ever happen is to VOTE HIM OUT ASAP...

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  231. Carolyn

    Jack, we cannot believe you would attempt to equate the Obama's long planned trip to meet with world leaders, and having been there when the Joplin disaster took place, to the Bush drive-by of Katrina and even sitting in the White house KNOWING Katrina was coming and not doing a thing...not even responding for days and days. What is wrong with you? Have you moved to FOX, where they make up things to complain about this administration when they can't find anything else? We are sorely disappointed in your opinions today, and know we are not alone. President Obama will be there without a doubt, and the Katrina/White House disaster of ignoring thousands, can't be erased. It's part of history.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  232. Curtis Sokness

    The President is doing his job. He is in demand throughout the world as other Presidents have been. The President has spoken with compassion to the people of Joplin as he has to other parts of the country who have faced hardship. He is going to Joplin Sunday. What more can we expect? President Bush, Clinton, and others have handled these things in a similar fashion.

    You are good at asking loaded questions with a nasty tone to your voice. It's like you are searching for the worst from us.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  233. Nik

    I am absolutely disgusted by the President and Mrs. Obama and their insensitivity to the people of Missouri. The worst tornado just hit the country since the 1950s and the President was acting like a rock star in Dublin and now a wanna be king in England. These people, the salt of the Earth, just lost everything while their president is sitting and smiling and dancing in ridiculous opulence. If he thinks that just making a speech regarding this is enough then he is sadly mistaken. If I were the president I would RUSH back to MY people, my CITIZENS!! This was his same reluctance to visit with the oil spill. But in the end Obama will realize that it is the people of the United States who vote for him not the Irish, the British, etc. He just lost my vote on just being completely cold hearted and stupid. I mean he shouldn't have to be told this being a Harvard grad and all. Oh and I voted for him the first time but won't make the same mistake twice. And in the end if he does cut his visit short he still made sure to stay through the royal dinner!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  234. Barry Dixon

    He's doing what the POTUS does; trying to influence hundreds if not thousands of matters. Where are you, Jack? In Joplin, or in some comfortable studio making a million or so and raising issues that do not deserve CNN coverage.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  235. Arthur Couture Jr.

    President Obama unlike his predecessor, appointed someone to head FEMA that knows what they are doing and they have responded immediately on the orders of Obama who declatred a state of emergency from Ireland and put into place immediately the full support of the U.S. government. jack, you are always so cynical does your blog depend on everything negative???.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  236. Amanda Ricketts

    I'm from a nearby town, Springfield, MO. I'm glad the president is coming to Joplin, however it's not like he needs to cancel current plans to rush out here. As far as I know, we're supposed to be getting more bad weather between now and Sunday anyway. That said, having gone through a few 'George Bush comes to town' incidents, I know for sure the presidents of the US back up traffic bc of their motorcades, and they create a distraction in general. So, I'm relieved Obama is waiting until the critical search and recovery period has passed. City and state officials need to be working, not leading the president around for some photo ops.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  237. netta

    It sends no message. World events are planned long in advance of local disasters. Every reporter that asked what was needed yesterday was told that they needed nothing. The federal government was doing a good job. The president called the Missouri Governor, sent the head of Fema, declared it a disaster and is planning a trip there on Sunday. What more could he do? Nothing he has done is job and is now meeting with world leaders, (another part of his job). If he went there now he would be in the way.
    Really Jack, get serious, no comparison to how Bush handled Katrina.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  238. william fitzwater

    The President put his pants on one leg at a time. He is a person . I would believe the President is all over the situation in Missouri. The disaster happened on Sunday the President will be there next Sunday if it was worse the VP or some other person in Administration would be there and they no doubt are using all assets of communication like the phone FAX email to keep in touch.
    I think it is nice to see the lighter side of a politician & I understand it ALSO can be perceived as insensitivity to those who are hurting.
    The President no doubt feels the pain hears the cry and will do what he should be doing which is to lead; advise and co-ordinate asset to helps those people in their need . Sometimes photo ops on the ground encounters can actually make a situation more complex .
    Sometimes immediate appreraces can seem to be lack of care but sometimes other factors as well as logistics safety needs of the very people who need help would make the presidents appearance more determent than helpful.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  239. Richard

    I guess the presidents only hope for pleasing you is to never go anywhere and to sit by his phone waiting for a tornado. As much as I feel for the good people of Joplin and what they are going through, the president was already in Europe when it occurred and is going to Joplin at the first opportunity on his return, A President also has responsibility for America's World positioning, a task that Barack Obama excels in. Come on, Jack you can do better than this dumb question

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  240. Mark

    President Obama has already declared Joplin a disaster area and is using the existing infrastructure put in place after the deadly outbreak in the Deep South.I was there for two years after Katrina, I don't remember seeing you. I am a certified storm chaser and chased the EF-5 wedge tornado that nearly wiped Greensburg Kansas of the map in 2007. I don't remember you being there either. My point is, it is easier to sit on your backside in New York and complain about others lack of action than get off your butt and help.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  241. Judy Knight

    Jack how many places do you exspect a person to be able to be at one time? You seem a little bitter.
    What would you exspect our president to be served while visiting the Queen? I just dont know where your coming from lattly
    Its like you are looking for a fight. Im not fighting with you I just want you to know I dont agree with putting our president in danger if he were in the states. Do you think he could STOP a tornado?
    Boise, Idaho

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  242. W. Kevin Trower

    the message is that the president is doing his job. as a resident of an area which has suffered flooding, mining disasters and tornados in the past I can tell you that while a presidential visit has some morale building value, i take more comfort in knowing while the cleanup and rebuilding go forth, that president obama is also at work solidifing relationships with allies and others and opening channels for communication and initiatives for the future.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  243. Patricia Bamford-Crilley

    Really now, Jack. How much control do you suppose the President has over the weather? Were you having dinner while the tornado was blowing through Missouri? A beer maybe afterward? Give me a break. The man can't do ANYTHING right. There is no comparison to how Bush handled the Katrina debacle to this. Step down off of your soapbox for a minute and take a look around.......

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  244. Beverly

    Wasn't their an understanding that the president will be visiting on Joplin on this Sunday? And what did the fact that the people voting on a black president in that county, have to do with anything?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  245. Rostok Billy

    Govt. still sends out tax notices to tell people they owe more tax money though! This all needs to end!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  246. Jim


    Sometimes your questions really do make me shake my head in amazement. But then I remember that your real job is to provoke people into thinking and expressing well-considered opinions. The message to all Americans is simple and clear. The President takes ALL facets of the office seriously, including his role as our chief diplomat. While he is in Europe ensuring that good relations between America and our cousins across the pond continue, his staff is busy coordinating help efforts for the folks in Joplin. It's my understanding that he will make a personal visit to that unfortunate town as soon as he returns. I'm sure he will be speaking to them movingly and with sincere compassion. Nobody with an ounce of honesty and common sense would ever attempt to spin this into yet another contrived reason to hate Mr. Obama.

    Reno, Nevada

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  247. Bill Erhardt

    The Presidents Trip has been planned for a long time and he was on the trip when Tornado in Joplin happened ! Mr. Obama called soon as he could to ensure Joplin that they have FEMA full support. FEMA is doing their job. Don't relate this to Katrina as there is no comparison in size or scope...

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  248. John Penn

    Is America in mourning? Are all the bars and amusement parks in the country closed? Should evryone drop everything to pray for the victims in Joplin? Tell us what to do Almighty CNN Gurus.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  249. Travis

    If he goes now he will be in the way and likely be there while another tornado strikes. There will always be some disaster in this country that falls at a time when the President is doing his job elsewhere. Anyone who assumes that the President should drop all his other responsibilities and planned visits is to other countries, is either naive or willfully ignorant.

    The question itself implies that perhaps the President is somehow neglecting his duties, which is a ridiculous assumption. When is there not some natural or man made disaster in our country? If the President dropped everything to rush from one disaster to another, other aspects of our national welfare will suffer.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  250. AB

    Jack, you should be ashamed of yourself!! You knew that President Obama initiated federal assistance to Joplin Missouri and will visit there this coming Sunday. You also knew that the European trip was planned four months in advance of the disaster and yet you foolishly complain about the Obama going to Europe. President Obama is going there for the purpose of stimulating economic trade among our countries–resulting in multiple jobs for Americans in case you forgot!! THIS IS NOT A VACATION, THIS IS WORK!! We need foriegn investment. We don't need media hype and banality. The Obama trip to Europe is a non-issue. Find a legitimate issue to write and carp about and leave Obama alone.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  251. bob

    well jack it dosent mean anything,how many of those people stood with the tea party proclaiming they want government out of there lives. besides obama hasent waited a week to respond.you sure dont here cnn reporting that.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  252. Heather Howland

    I would not want my President in danger no matter how many votes it costs him. The tornado marathon is ongoing and unpredictable, not like Katrina, which was a done deal when P. Bush declined to visit. Anyway, we know this President has compassion; he doesn't have to wear his heart on his sleeve or show up where it may not as yet be safe, just to make a point.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  253. Shirley

    The president is doing what is necessary to ensure we have the support we need in two wars and the fight against terrorism. He isn't in the country and as soon as he returns he will be there. Unlike another president who was sitting miles away doing nothing. People are hurting bur they are not sleeping on the ground, begging for water, dying on highways, and dead bodies aren't piled up in airports. This is so so different.


    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  254. Jeremy D from MI

    It says that there is a double standard when it comes to Presidential politics. During Katrina, even though former President Bush signed over aid for the victims of hurricane Katrina, he was given complete blame for the reaction to the disaster. The mayor of New Orleans, and the Governor of Louisiana (both Democrats) were somehow less responsible for the response to the disaster in their own areas. I personally don't think Obama has done anything wrong, and think he should do what presidents do. I just think if Kanye West was white and said on national TV that "president Obama doesn't care about white people," that it wouldn't have been received in the same way.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  255. Sean

    The President has a modified 747 aircraft at his immediate disposal. I think he ought to pack up and fly back to the U.S. immediately. Instead, he sends his staffers to Missouri. This tells the people of Joplin that he doesn't really give a hoot about their suffering. This is only the deadliest tornado in history! You'd think Mr. Obama would have learned from President Bush's lack of action during Katrina.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  256. Tom Powell

    Jack, how do you manage to look so serious when asking such an idiotic question. You must know he left before the tornado hit. He already has FIMA on sight and has made several statements from across the pond. Besides all good Republicans know that it's not a Federal Gov't responsibility.
    Get a clue!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  257. Sue

    What an idiotic question. There's a world of difference between this president's response to Joplin and the former president's response to Katrina. This president is doing the work of the country forging relationships with our allies in Europe. Bush couldn't give up a chance to ride bikes with Lance Armstrong. Every report from Missouri I've seen on CNN has complimented FEMA and other agencies for being on the spot almost instantly and praised the government for sending help. Bush couldn't get off his bike long enough to even direct any efforts at all to New Orleans. What do you want Obama to do — go hand out water bottles? Anything like a presidential entourage will interrupt relief efforts. He's either chosen the right people to do the job or he's managing to stay on top of things where he is.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  258. Carla Massey

    I normally like your commentaries but today you are way out of line. Obama immediately issued relief funds to Joblin. IMMEDIATELY! He is over in Europe working on improving our domestic relationships so that they don't keep viewing us as waring, arrogant, know it alls and you want to taint that with this petty attempt to compare this to how Bush responded to the disaster Katrina caused New Orleans. You are out of line and attempting to make a devastating situation petty for no good reason. Those people need all Americans pulling together right now. The president released the funds so lets help them. He's one man. He can't be every where all the time so please stop this Obama needing to be Superman bull! This is beneath you Cafferty.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  259. Cal

    Well Jack, you seem to imply that the President should never travel abroad and meet with our allies because it might be tornado season, hurricane season, winter blizzard season, flood season or earthquake season. Ridiculous question as this sends no message to anyone. FEMA is responding and that's what needs to happen. Are you going to ask all Americans to give up having a beer with a friend because it sends a bad message to Joplin?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  260. Paul Bechtel

    Jack: You are not being fair. Obama is securing his relection with his tour. He has sent all government help to Joplin. Would you rather he lose the election and lose our demorcreacy to the Republicans and the rich and powerful?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  261. Jim

    I don't see anyone rushing to Joplin Mo to help out. The 535 members of Congress aren't there and the News Media is only there to show the carnage, not to help. I'm sure when things quite down you won't make a trip there to help rebuild the homes that were lost either.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  262. Sam

    Exactly in the same way a parent is not required in the operating theatre for his/her child to get the appropriate care, President Obama is not needed in Joplin Missouri for the citizens to be adequately provided for. I am sure President Obama is in constant contact, he has access to the best technology.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  263. Sharon from Houston

    It means that if anything goes wrong in America, it is Obama's fault...period.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  264. Dick Greenberg

    Your comments are scraping the bottom of the barrel. To take the President to task for stayng in Europe instead of flying imediately back to Joplin is a joke. If he did come back here would he have to stay to wait out today's severe weather prediction–or if he flew back to take up his trip again, would or should he fly back here again? Maybe he should just circle the country and quickly land if something happened.
    You should possibly interview for Fox news.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  265. Mike A.

    President Obama left for his state visit trip before the tornadoes hit in Joplin...It does not make sense for him to come back just for that...So much money is spent in planning trips like these and it would b a waste for him to come back just for that...He is going to visit MO on Sunday and help the people however he can!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  266. Eileen Shively

    Jack, your question tells me you are opting for a job on the FOX network.

    Could you tell me please, what does President Obama drinking, beer, wine whatever, in any place in the world have to do with the tradgedy of Joplin.=????? Nothing will erase what happened to Joplin. I'm sorry, but you are asking A ridiculous question. I gave you credit for being better than that.

    Having said all of the above.......the answer to your DUMB QUESTION is " NOTHING" JACK.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  267. Teddy

    I live 16 miles from Joplin. I've seen the devastation and the looks on the peoples faces that lived through this tornado and I agree with Jayne. It would just interupt the rescue mission and keep the hope of finding more survivors alive!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  268. Richard Bennett

    Jack, give our President a break.. maybe you should retire.....

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  269. Josh

    My heart goes out to the people of Joplin, MO but President Obama is not God and cannot control the weather. Contrast to Hurricane Katrina, I have full confidence that our current Commander in Chief will use his resources (FEMA) quickly and efficiently so that America's Heartland will not be left in the dark.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  270. Nell, South Carolina

    Do you expect that the President and his Secret Service bring their shovels and start loading trucks with debris? What earthly good would it do for him to fly into this mess and get in the way?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  271. Sheila

    Please give me a break, it the President supposed to drop everything and return to the US for every disaster that happens or is this about trying to make President Obama look bad. Yes it was a planned trip, yes he was visiting "relatives" yesterday while people were digging out of a piece of history. Jack look for another bone to pick besides the President of the United States. He is doing a good job

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  272. Steve Kemp from Sacramento, Ca.

    The people of Joplin have a lot more important things to think about than where the President is dining. But you obviously don't.

    Obama is obviously slapping YOU square in the face!
    After all, Obama is Superman!

    He can reverse time (and weather damage as well).
    But he won't! Just so as to to tie your little pink panties in a bunch.

    It's rather starnge to me that you haven't offered this question, yet:

    Do you find it disgraceful that Obama uses the White House rest rooms?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  273. My V. Nguyen

    Dear Mr. Cafferty:
    You need to think objectively as a CNN journalist. The worst tornado in Missouri history wasn't the fault of President Obama and his White House "gang". It was a matter of co-incidence, period. The trip in Europe, along with the etiquette, security measures, and protocols, had been planned many months before last week tornado.

    Maybe, everyone should question how global warming was responsible for more deadly weather driven catastrophes in the last 4 decades. The best the government can do for such catastrophes is through FEMA. Hopefully, the Republicans in Congress are not pushing for slashing the federal government budget in order to give huge tax breaks to the rich and the oil companies.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  274. Valerie Rankin

    He was already in Europe when tragedy struck. It serves no purpose to fly back for a photo op. Those poor folks have more pressing problems than to stop for a photo with President Obama. The difference between Katrina and the most recent tragedies – FEMA actually showed up. You did very well with your own dramatic 'photo op'.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  275. Rob

    Jack, it shows that Obama can handle his domestic responsibilities while meeting with our allies, 10x better than Bush handled Katrina from his ranch. It shows that Obama can multi-task better than the last guy could single-task. The people of Joplin are impressed with the response from FEMA. If they're happy, and they are served in an efficient manner by their gov., who am I to complain?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  276. Mike in DC

    There is too much going on in the US and the world in the way of natural and man-made disasters. Headlines at any point in time only scratch the surface. A President that tried to address all of them would have time for nothing else. My heart goes out to those who lost so much.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  277. Donald in CA

    Jack, there you go with those right wing lead in questions. FEMA and other groups are on top of this and the people of the Joplin area agree. Remember, most of these southern states hate the government. Even the texas governor was crying for help, but last year he was trying to get out of the union. Obama said he will be there this weekend so relax.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  278. Jimmy - Indiana - Midwest

    Jack, are you serious? Comparing Obama being in Europe and Bush & his administrators/FEMA not responding to Katrina efforts is ludicrous! My youngest son and I went to New Orleans and helped with efforts after Katrina. People are already volunteering in Joplin. Obama has already expressed committment to helping Joplin survivors. Does life stop because of this devastation? The US takes care of its own and we help the entire world to boot. A President is only as good as the people he sets in motion – I find this insulting!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  279. Ann

    Jack, it's no different than the message sent by Republicans who balk at an extra 2% in taxes when so many others are without jobs or are upside down on their mortgages.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  280. Maura

    Jack, this is just a silly comment. There are thousands of people who die every day. They die from illness or car accidents. Some are murdered and some die from hunger or lack of medical care. Should the president stop all of the country's business to mourn those deaths? Should we all stop living because tragic things happen to others every day? There is nothing that the president could do any differently to help those affected by the tornadoes. Conversely there is something he can do to help the millions of people who suffer from joblessness, ignorance, lack of medical care and to protect the country from our enemies. That is his job and that is what he is doing. We do not need a "consoler- in-chief."

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  281. Rick from New London

    Jack, Jack, Jack – I think that you are just jealous of his trip!! The answer is simple: the President is going about the business of international relations – which is his job. There are emergency personnel in the State of Missouri doing their job in handling this kind of localized disaster. By the way, there is always a "gang" that travels with the President.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  282. Kevin

    You cannot be serious! The president left before the tornado hit. Surely you are not suggesting that he suspend all activity to deal with every storm. There was Tuscaloosa two weeks ago. There is the overflowing MS daily for the past few weeks. Come on–he sent FEMA immediately. No one in Joplin seems to think that they even need outside volunteers yet, let alone the entourage that accompanies a president. You seem desperate for a topic. Joplin is suffering. If you must make them the subject of your show, surely you can develop a question that is more worthy of attention. Joplin deserves better.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  283. Mike C.

    President Obama left for his state visit trip before the tornadoes hit in Joplin...It does not make sense for him to come back just for that...So much money is spent in planning trips like these and it would b a waste for him to come back just for that...He is going to visit MO on Sunday and help the people however he can! The gov't will always stay with the American people !!!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  284. Melissa


    Did you even pay attention to the timeline of the President's visit and the Joplin disaster? Or do you spend all your time looking for any reason to bash Obama? He was already in Europe BEFORE the Joplin disaster. He has expressed his concern and condolences to the people of Joplin.
    LIGHTEN UP! Obama is not the "enemy". You are contributing to the
    hate and fear-mongering atmosphere prevalent in our country today.
    Obama could drag you out of a burning building and you would still find something to condemn him for. Shame on you.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  285. Ryan, FL

    Please Jack, I like you almost as much as Mr. Blitzer but am quite disappointed with you at the moment.
    I feel bad for my fellow americans going through hardships because of mother nature, but there is always some kind of disaster/hardship going on in our country which, according to you, can give anybody who doesn't like our President a reason to be critical of him for mingling with our European friends or any other trip he makes. At least he works more than he is on vacation which his something that last guy in his position couldn't say... what was his name again?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  286. Northeast Missourian

    You hit the nail on the head with your last comment. When are we going to stop this president from running all over the world with all the security traveling at OUR expense, when we need what he is spending to be put to good use right here in the US or is it still US????
    --drinkin` beer, crackin` jokes, `having A good time at our expense when our nation is in turmoil.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  287. Bob

    What a ridiculous question Jack. The President is conducting the affiars of State as the American people expect him to. He has addressed the people of Joplin with care and he will be there on Sunday, its is completely unreasonable to expect him to drop everything he's doing on offical business. He knows there is FEMA and the State support taking care of those who need it. And of course who is broadcasting the pictures of the President drinking a pint?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  288. Eric

    Jack, unless he is going to roll up his sleeves and dig through rubble for people or stop the next natural disaster its pointless to belittle the president for doing presidential things. When he came to Tuscaloosa, the only comfort he could give to those who lost everything was temporary financial support. The people of this country thrive because we help each other. Its power is derived from the people, not its government. Joplin and Tuscaloosa just want to know someone cares.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  289. Maureen Reilly-Nathanson

    Come On Jack,
    Disaster Experts have said having the President in Joplin during this time would create an unwelcome diversion.......This is the age of instant communication. Mr. Obama is in touch....When an NPR reporter was speaking to the Mayor of Joplin this morning She asked "When you spoke with the President on Sunday", the Mayor interjected and said, "I've already spoken with him this morning.!"
    The Obama 'trip is not a 2nd Honeymoon or a Vacation.....Jack I'm disappointed in the content and tnegative tone of this segment..

    Hypoluxo, FL

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  290. Tom from Miami

    Jack, the message is "The President is doing his job." This trip to the UK is the first time in 8 years the President of the US has made a state visit. The entire point of the trip is to try and rebuild the relationship with our closest ally. These trips are planned for months, thousands of hours of work dedicated to crafting meetings, itineraries, speeches, etc. Apart from the negative impact on international relations, if the President did rush to an active disaster area, it would be an extremely disruptive force as critical assets would have to be diverted to support his trip for nothing more than a glorified photo op. He absolutely made the right decision to finish his job in the UK, and let his people plan for an orderly arrival in MO, with less impact on the ongoing operations.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  291. Dave, Orlando, FL

    The message it sends it that he is more interested in his image abroad than his own people. With every passing day he looks more and more like George W. Bush. He should have cancelled or postponed his trip this time.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  292. Thomas

    I think your editorial today was fairly petty.
    President Bush had no idea of the destruction that took place for several days after the event. Obama does.
    President Bush was in the country and couldn't be bothered to go visit until the press shamed him into it. President Obama is going as soon as he gets back from a visit to a foreign country.
    The world (Except apparently President Bush) knew a big hurricane was going to hit for several days. The tornadoes were an unknown event. Unless of course you think he should just sit at the White House or plan domestic only events during hurricane season.
    What message does it send? I think it send the message that life goes on.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  293. Renee

    I do believe that you're overreacting. I know people in Missouri and go to school there. Even though I'm not there at present, my thoughts and prayers go out to my friends in the area. The President's trip was planned months ago and diplomacy is quite important. He's already expressed condolences and FEMA is already on the ground. Will you and other pundits please stop trying to make everything he does into a scandal reminiscent of Watergate?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  294. Tom

    I would much rather the president remain in Washington, DC or in Europe until the recovery aspects of the storm are completed. If anyone has ever had a hand in preparing for a presidential visit - even during an emergency - they know that it is a tremendous drain on local resources and logistics. Joplin is already having issues keeping gawkers away; imagine what it would be like having the president come in at this time when the living have not yet been accounted for, much less the deceased. The president is planning to come on Sunday and by that time it is likely that the rescue operations will have moved to that of recovery; the rush will not be as critical and perhaps some resources can then be spared to handle the onslaught that comes with a presidential visit.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  295. Winnie

    Come off it Jack! The Prisident can't be expected to personally involved in everything! That's why he has a staff.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  296. Carl Stephen Perry

    You can't be serious. You must really be hard up for questions these days. If the President put everything on hold every time our country faced a disaster (count just the natural disasters our country has faced over the past several months), he would be totally ineffective in his job. Yes, he should spend time in Joplin and he should console and reassure the people there, but even these poor people don't expect or want the President to concentrate solely on them. He should do his job, and in my opinion he is....

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  297. Owen Littlefield

    So.... each time there is a disaster in the U.S. ...which is just about daily, the President is expected to cancel or change his agenda? An agenda that has frequently been planned months in advance? I think not. Give the guy some slack, eh? Cancelling a ping pong game would change the outcome of what's happening in Joplin??

    Owen Littlefield
    Nipigon, Ontario, Canada.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  298. Columbia City / Seattle

    CNN/Cafferty is more than welcome to use the tragedy in Joplin to impeach the character of the president, by implying he has abandoned them, so long as Cafferty is willing to acknowledge that he is using the very same tragedy to manipulate the emotions for the sake self importance. Referring to the the Presidents traveling party as a "gang" and stoking class tension by using phrases like 'drinking the finest wines," hardly belongs in the realm of relevant journalism, which yet to come close to how Katrina was handled.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  299. Daniel

    Jack perhaps you should start with making a fair comparison. Pres Bush was right here in the US when Katrina happened. Inspite of the statement of support that the Pres has already made and his planned visit on Sunday to the affected areas, I suppose you would prefer if he fasted for one week while in Europe and live on bread and water till he comes back to the US... that would mean he really empathizes with the suffering at home.. right Jack?

    New Britain, CT

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  300. Nell, South Carolina

    Cafferty, why aren't YOU in Joplin helping clean up, too? Why are you criticizing him when you aren't out there getting in the way of the first responders too?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  301. Rita

    As always it's impossible for any prresident to do anything that pleases everyone. Mr. Obama was in Europe before the tornadoes hit. I am sure he would have gone to MO immediately if he was here. Hi did mention his concern in his speech, which proves he is very aware of what is going on back home. Katrina is in no way the same as this. He will be visiting tMO his weekend, which is not the same response the government and Fema had during Katrina.Further, I don't think it was callous of the president to enjoy the hospitality of the Europen countries,.He is after all, the best representative for the United States to the world.
    Give the guy a break; hopefully he will be able to return without incident due to the volcano.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  302. Pam in Milwaukee

    Good grief, Jack!!! I can't believe I just heard this from you! What you seem to be saying is that, having arrived in Ireland after months of planning a multi-national state visit to our European partners,the President of the United States should have turned around, returned directly to the nearest functional airport to Joplin, MO, and rushed over there for one of those delicious politically useful photo-ops! This, while we're struggling with multiple other disasters on foreign shores that have eroded our relationships with European allies, I think he made a far better choice in authorizing the necessary emergency assistance and monitoring the situation from his current location. Nor would it have served the people of Joplin better than his attending the G8 summit. He's the President, not a paramedic!! If he had rushed back, neglecting the G8 summit, he would have been criticized roundly for delegating that to the Secretary of State! Being the President of the United States is simply a horrible, no-win job.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  303. don

    jack,first of all,i thought it was a great question.
    but i am just blown away with the negative comments to you from all the "obamanites" out there!
    they remind me of sheep being led to the slaughter!
    to alot of people,obama will NEVER do any wrong.
    one of the above posters stated that there was nothing obama could do,now that the storm is over. same thing said about bush and katrina.
    bush was beaten up by the press. obama is ignored. anyone besides me see the difference?
    as far as obama not being able to do anything for the good folks of joplin,just his presence as the leader of america would lift a lot of spirits,give people hope,and show them that someone in washington cares about them!
    guess the champaigne was too tasty to leave.
    my only consolation is,i did not vote for the man....

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  304. Jeff

    Certainly the people of Joplin have more pressing concerns today, but soon they will remember which of the nation’s leaders were at their side. I understand President Obama has international obligations he cannot back out of for an appearance in Missouri a few days earlier than planned. But the question is; where is Vice President Biden? Apparently and ironically he is meeting with members of Congress in Washington to discuss Healthcare…instead of visiting a town that no longer has a hospital.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  305. penny

    I live in Joplin and was in the eye of the storm and accompanying devastation. There is nothing Obama can do for us right now. There WAS something that could have been done for Katrina victims, you know, WATER for one. They could not help each other due to the high waters, but we can AND ARE helping each other out. We will welcome the President. He can inspire us and boost our hopes. But the citizens here are stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done for each other. The rebuilding funds will be important to us, so let's not hold us hostage legislatively, on those, please.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  306. Toli G.

    There is no message sent to the people of Joplin by the president's trip...or at least there shouldn't be. President Obama has already reassured the folks in Joplin that he is thinking of them. Presidential treks across Europe require a vast amount of time and resources...postponing it would have cost us millions of dollars. Besides, the area affected by tornadoes is still an active danger zone, and now's NOT the time to send in politicians...but rescue teams and true heroes.

    We can't expect the President to not put on his best face abroad. This is what diplomacy is about. Let him have a beer...at least it was a Guinness.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  307. Zackery Plunkett

    Findlay, Illinois

    Give the President a break, Jack. I'm from a tornado zone and I can tell you that any time my town's ever been hit, we didn't know it was going to happen until a few hours before it did. The President didn't plan his European visit on top of a mass tornado outbreak. It was scheduled months in advance and he will be coming to MO to make up for his immediate absence. FEMA is still functioning and the relief process is underway, and we've been represented abroad, so the President is doing his job. Until a horse breeder is running the show, this doesn't deserve a Katrina comparison.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  308. Al

    The same message that was sent to the people in the Gulf during the BP spill.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  309. Karl in Flint

    I have often wondered how dumb can people get and some of the above responses are classic examples. Yes, Virginia, if the president had been here, none of this would have happened.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  310. Judy Harper

    Seriously? There is bad weather somewhere in the U.S and the world everyday, every minute. Must the President rush to each disaster or calamity that happens? Are you expecting him to physically dig out survivors or some how try to stop mother natures wrath? He said he was going to send Federal aid like he did after last weeks flooding and tornadoes. He can't be in two places at once. Presidents visit other countries. Bush did it and we didn't complain about every single thing! Enough already.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  311. Beth

    As terrible as the tragedy is in Joplin, to expect President Obama to know that something of that magnitude would happen during his scheduled trip to Europe is ridiculous! Honestly, I think that he is the most criticized president to date, and I say enough already! As others have noted, as long as FEMA responds to the tragedy quickly and efficiently, THAT is what is going to be important to them – not whether or not the president was there to take photos with the victims! If he would've cancelled his diplomatic trip, there would be those who would blame him for a potential breakdown in our relations with those countries. It is indeed his duty to represent the United States both to the world as well as our own people. And as far as his activities during his trip, as a correspondent you know that those schedules are completely out of his hands – it's not as if he is mocking the Joplin suffering as you have implied. He is being kept well aware of the situation, and he plans to visit as soon as he returns – THAT is what ANY president would be expected to do. Quite frankly, I'm more offended that you are using this as a political fodder when you should be focusing on more positive ways that we could all respond to Joplin's needs.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  312. JD

    Hi Jack,

    Your question presupposes that President made this trip just to send a message to the people of Joplin. I think we both understand that is not the case. The President released a heartfelt message of unity with the people of Joplin. Now he can attend to his diplomatic duties that you call hob-nobbing. I respect your view, but I would rather see a US President putting more effort into diplomacy and less attention into spending our way out of legally murky wars. I believe the President serves the country best by continuing this diplomatic tour while letting the capable and appropriate government agencies do their work in Joplin.

    Very respectfully,
    San Diego, CA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  313. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mother nature sometimes can create terror and Osama bin Laden was a terrorist. My point being, President Obama killed OBL the Republicans were on vacation and no one has mentioned that fact.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  314. Carole Cravath

    Presidents have many duties and can't be everywhere at once. Don't compare the Katrina fiasco of Bush to a tornado in Missouri. The scale is not comparable nor the 2 men.
    All presidents eat the finest foods; so what? Obama has done an incredible job in enhancing foreign relations which is critical to our country. He has handled so many challenges in remarkable ways! What are you complaining about? Can you do 10 things at once? I hope that you appreciate how much one man, Obama, has done for this country, because of his intelligence, dedication, genuine caring and wisdom in juggling so many difficult issues at the same time. Not to mention the incredible mess he's had to face and clean up as best he can from his predecessor.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  315. Bob from South Dakota

    In the initial aftermath of a disaster like this, what the people of Joplin need are the immediate life sustaining resources such as food, shelter, water, sanitary facilities, security, and other basics. There are organizations that excel at providing these resources, and they are the ones that should be responding immediately to Joplin. An immediate visit by someone such as the President serves no useful purpose other than to detract from these initial responders. He should, and will, visit at a time more appropriate.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  316. Tasha

    I am really surprised at you Jack. Attacking Obama going on a trip to Europe, that was planned for I am sure months and not going to Joplin is ridiculous. Comparing Bush and Obama's situation is not fair. With Katrina we are talking about many thousands of people misplaced and thousands dead. In Joplin you don't see thousands of people with no where to go our holding signs saying help us. Let's not forget Obama will visit Joplin personally once he returns and not just do a fly over as in the case with President Bush.There is no comparison whatsoever! My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Joplin. I live in Alabama and we just had horrible devastion hit our state, so we can really sympathize with the people in Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  317. Don Cherry

    This trip was planned well in advance, you know that. It's not as if President Obama foresaw the tornado and decided that he would take off for Europe. In comparison to Katrina and Joplin, FEMA responded immediately and not 5 days later. I'm sure the people of Joplin, MO are not worried about what the president is doing right now, they are looking for emergency aid. The President has issued a statement of support and will be in Joplin when he get back from Europe.

    My prayers go out to all those In Joplin, MO

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  318. Chris Taylor

    You asked your question as if you think he's overseas drinking it up in celebration that people lost their lives. If so thats a sad way to earn a paycheck.
    I watch the situation room all the time, but Ive noticed that whenever you mention Obama, your face turns like like you stuck your face in a hot oven.
    I get enough of that watching "Obama-bash"...I mean FOX tv.
    Perhaps you should run and show us how it's done?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  319. Lou

    Your way out of line this time Jack! The President can't sit in the White House waiting for the next random storm. Tornados form and strike within hours while State Visits are months if not years in planning.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  320. Bob Mears

    Get with it Jack. Is it his job to go to every natural and man made disaster in the United States? We are the 911 call for the world seeking freedom. More results will happen with FEMA boots (and money) in Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  321. Nick F.

    Delayed response to Katrina, delayed response to the Gulf spill, delayed response to Joplin, continuing to spend more than we bring in, substantial cuts in education... should I continue? Do our Presidents and politicians care about the American people? Doesn't seem like it. The 'You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' mentality within our political system is pathetic. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  322. Bev Cormier Ritz

    Jack, I think it's time for you to get off your provincial high horse regarding President Obama's every move. This trip to Europe was planned in advance, as you know, and this in no way minimizes the pain and discomfort that I believe he feels towards the victims of the horrific tornado damage and loss of life that has affected his fellow Americans.

    Remember Jack actions speak louder than words, and he has already stated what plans will go into effect when he returns. President Obama is not a one-dimensional leader!

    Bev Cormier Ritz, Canton, MA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  323. Mike in TX

    Jack come on get real and be fair. You didn't tell the whole story about how he was in immediate contact with the officials in the state, issued and almost immediate emergency declaration, sent in FEMA and other teams within hours. You didn't mention how much the governor, the mayor the congress folks appreciate all he has done. You failed to mention all the meetings that have and will go on with leaders of other nations. Apparently you think that he should be at the WH having a glass of wine and a meal cooked by those chefs vs have a meal with the Queen and others. I'm pretty sure the people of Joplin realize that no matter what our Presidents name or party they have more than one thing to do each day and that even from across the world he has been there for them.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  324. estebangonzolaz

    The President has already sent a message to the victims of the storms that he will not rest until everything is rebuilt. He also freed up funding for the victims that's if Congress don't want to give the funding to the Israeli Prime Minister. The President will also be there on Sunday as you know. The trip the President is taking is not all fun and games as you also know Jack. The reasons for this trip is to build on very important relations that the US has overseas also as you know Jack.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  325. -Hardy-

    C'mon Jack.....this isn't that other news channel.

    The disaster happened after the president left. He has spoken with the governor, and granted him federal assistance. The pres making a trip to MO would only slow down emergency response teams that are already on the ground.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  326. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Yes, President Obama is the leader of the free world, but he is not God.
    Whatever God is–is not something president Obama or any other human being can control. Check out that Iceland volcano that made him cut his Ireland visit short. I mean, hello , Jack. This is God speaking. All weather is under my control. No human being can disrupt me–and that includes the leader of the Free World–so don't you blame the US president for the latest disruption in the natural occurrance of events.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  327. Tony Westcot, Franktown, CO

    If the Obama Admin does as poorly in Joplin as the previous one did during Katrina, by all means the attack is deserved. But to suggest that a head of state should abandon any or all plans for his European trip is over-the-top. Visiting Joplin himself or sequestering he and his family from all public contact as a result of the Joplin tornado makes no sense in the scheme of things. Should Congress have cancelled Netanyahu's address or any business slated for that day? The President didn't dance naked on the bar, he simply made it clear that our relationship with Ireland is important to Americans and that his family ties there are important to him, as well. You're way off base on this one.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  328. Rick Sherrill

    Dear Jack,
    Frankly I am both dismayed and disappointed by the insipid nature of the question. The same question was posed by the President's detractors during his South American visit. The President is in constant communication with what is happening back home and is quite able to declare states of emergencies wherever he is at. Even if he were to have cancelled his state dinner in England and rushed back home what more could he possibly do? I see the continual posing of such questions as ridiculous and undermining and I am surprised at you, Jack, for even trying to fan the flames. This should go on Anderson Cooper's "ridiculist."
    Rick, Fairview, NC

    May 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  329. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Obama's message to Joplin Missouri was, that his roots are better that an uprooted tree in Joplin, damage houses, and family members dead or missing.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  330. Steve Levenson

    Jack: You must be very hard up for material to take a cheap shot at the President re the tragedy ongoing in Joplin. Is he supposed sit in his office every day and wait for a bad weather event? He is carrying out his job of representing America. If it is glitzy and you don't like that, say so.. Your bad mouthing our President does not lessen the damage in Joplin or help others to respect the enormous job he has. He is going to Joplin on Sunday and would be useless on site there today or tomorrow, etc. Put a little more thought into these questions please.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  331. Rose

    Jack – Don't be so petty. President Obama is allowed to make a foreign state visit from time to time. No matter what he does he will always meet with some opposition from you or the Republicans.
    I really don't know where you are going with this one. He is not Moses.
    He can't part the Red Sea, and certainly cannot do anything about Tornadoes in the Midwest. He can offer assistance, keep the people of Missouri in his prayers, but even that is not good enough for you.
    So stop comparing apples to oranges. My heart goes out to the people
    in Missouri, but this storm has nothing to do with the President., and stop blaming him for all of America's woes. Even Jesus Christ has a conscience, you folks certainly don't.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  332. Drew

    And what good would it have done for him to leave immediately .....help clean up? You people that find fault with anything and everything need to get a life...and......as life does go on as horrible as it is for the people in joblin... it will go on. Jack your a pot stirrer...you just like to stir up issues. You have ever reported on anything from a positive point of view? uuuggg

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  333. Paul Bechtel

    Jack: You are not being fair. Obama is securing his relection with his tour. He has sent all government help to Joplin.Otherwise he could lose the election and lose our demorcreacy to the Republicans and the rich and powerful?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  334. Carol

    Pres Obama's trips away from Wash D.C. were obviously scheduled months ago, the tornado just hit Joblin BY SURPRISE. Pres Obama made a comment that the US will help them!!! Pres. Obama is going to Joblin as soon as he gets back from Europe on Sunday!!! Don't you think he might want to rest up after such BIG trip!!! NO, he's going out of his way to visit the tornado victims. There will probably be more after this next series of storms go through!!!

    Cafferty, you are over critizing the President and trying to create a FAKE negative image of him and all of his good works!!! Give Pres Obama A BREAK!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  335. Mike P. From Atlanta

    What would you have him do? Fly in and start clearing rubble with his own hands? The last thing Joplin needs right now is the President showing up and taking up local resources for security. He's already said he's going there on Sunday and he's been on top of the situation from the beginning. What good would come of cutting his trip short?

    One of the main functions of the Presidency is diplomacy and this is an important trip. Yes, he's drinking Guinness and playing ping pong, but he's not on vacation, he's working... And anyone who understands anything about diplomacy understands the difference.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  336. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    You know what Jack. I doubt very much that the people of Joplin are thinking much about what Obama is doing right now. He's planning on going there when he gets back from the trip that you yourself has said was planned long ago. Gee! Maybe he should come to North Minneapolis since there was a tornado there as well. But then only 2 people died because that one. How cynical can you get Jack?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  337. Paul Dilley

    Obama is the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, but even he cannot control the weather. The Irish American people have great interest in fostering the relationship between Ireland and the US.

    The President is scheduled to visit Joplin upon his return. Take off your biased republican hat and treat the situation like you would if you were president. (Heaven Forbid)

    Paul Dilley

    Magna, Utah

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  338. Janne from NC

    Let’s see. During the oil spill the family went to Maine. When the underpants bomber tried to blow up a plane it was more important to stay in Hawaii. Memorial Day, when he is the commander in chief of thousands of young men and women in the armed forces serving in 2 wars it was more important to be hanging with the family and peeps rather than paying respects at Arlington. Now we have another national disaster and once again he is not here. Am I the only one to see a pattern?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  339. Lori - PA


    Obama should have cut his trip short and immediately headed to Joplin. While he, most likely, would not be allowed to help in the cleanup, Obama could offer words of comfort. Something, I'm sure, the people of Joplin could use right now.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  340. K T Eilers

    Jack, you are correct. Years ago at the University of Minnesota Ted Koppell came with Nightline and pointed out to all it is much about the perception you make. Matters NOT what you believe you are doing (playing ping-pong) a few days from now or have a 747 equipped to run the nation, wars and dodge missiles – so what! Perceptions count! Every effort is made to point back to the perception of what the Bush Administration doing wrong, not doing anything and so on, etc... Gulf War I George HW Bush was out off Kennebunkport doing some showing off for the press corps as the US Military was doing their thing in Kuwait and Iraq. Former President "disgraced" Richard Nixon released a statement to George HW Bush. He pointed out now was certainly not the time for our President to be doing anything but being the President as our nation was at its greatest time of need – citizens were most certainly loosing their lives. My note is all too long, but it does stand again today for these bozo politician's that want to hold the last person accountable for "perceptions" of what they last operson failed miserably to do and now they themselves are failing to do – Obama is pulling the preverbal Go Job Brownie moment.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  341. Mark

    Jack, I can hardly believe that you are asking this question. Intelligent people know that trips like the one the President is on has been planned way in advance. The message this sends to the folks in Missouri is that life goes on, keep working through these challenges.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  342. Daniel

    Jack, What does it say when reporters with such a vast audience as you, choose to instill high levels of negativity, anger, fear and hostility into a world (currently with it's full) when faced with another option of adding (even if but a tad) kindness, compassion, love and gratitude.

    Our world will only know peace when each of us takes personal responcibility of your above choice...


    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  343. Charmaine

    It's called delegation. Do you ever see a CEO of a major corporation go to a funeral in the family of the janitor who dumped his trash at night?

    Missourians, for the most part, are practical and understand how the system works. No one expects our President to fly immediately back because of what happened in Joplin. This kind of thing happens all the time–I still remember Greensburg, KS–but the people needed immediately for Joplin or any town, are there now, digging through the debris. The President has acknowledged awareness of the issues even while keeping our relationships going with other countries.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  344. Al in Garland, TX

    Come on Jack the president has issued many statements of support to
    the people of Joplin and other places of recent tragedy. But the weather continues to strike at mother nature's will. The economy continues to sag as congress deadlocks along party lines. World affairs continues to move on.
    It gets rather tiring that the president gets hammered for everything that one group expects him to address at any one particular minute. How did the president find the time to go to the correspondents dinner and still okay the Bin Laden raid. The president can multi-task.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  345. Mark

    Jack, you could not find anything else to criticize today? Did you expect Obama to eat only bread and drink plain water because of the disaster in Joplin?The President expressed his feelings and committment to help. What would his presence here accomplish?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  346. Robert

    Jack, You should know that President Obama will be in Joplin very soon, has made sure aid is headed that way as soon as was possible, and in fact DOES know that Joplin is part of our country. Comparing this long-planned important European trip (they are not vacationing) to the handling of the Katrina disaster is outrageous. Be assured that when President Obama goes to Joplin, he will not do a 'fly-by-tsk-tsk',and will be sure that continued efforts are made to help those affected. Your comments are a pitiful attempt at trying to find something to criticize.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  347. CJ of Cape Girardeau,MO

    First, I'm sure you want post this but I was so compelled to responded to this question. Mr Cafferty you are such a instigator. People like you are always looking for the bad and ugly. The people of my state have enough to deal with without you trying to plant an ugly idea of our President and 1st Lady. You said ONE thing that was correct this trip that they are on was planned far in advance of this storm. Find some JOY in your life and spread that around to people.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  348. Giovanna Gabelli

    I am offended by your question, Jack!

    How dare you compare Bush on one of his many vacations in the US and giving "you're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" AND his fly-by of New Orleans, with President Obama's long-planned, official state visit to important strategic allies and giving an IMPORTANT planned speech at the G8 Summit during tornados in MO.

    You are so off base with this false comparison!

    Disgusted in NJ
    G Gabelli

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  349. Sandi

    My heart breaks for the good people of Joplin and who should care about what Obama is doing? He clearly likes all the "perks" of the presidency, so let him party for a while longer. Americans take care of our own and leadership who understands this cannot arrive soon enough. God bless the people of Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  350. Max

    He was already there! What is he suppose to do in Joplin, help the rescuers!! He is the president of the United States not a fireman or God!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  351. maureen chew

    Mr. Cafferty.......You are so wrong......I do not want my President to be sitting in the White House waiting for storms to occur.......Better that he spends his time building international relationships.......When these trips are planned months in advance why would you question his interest in storms at home. when you knew he was in touch with Joplin the day of the storm and is planning a trip there on Sunday.......This in no way this mirrors the way 'Katrina' was handled.....Because George Bush stayed in the White House our relationships abroad suffered.......
    I am living just north of Oklahoma city under a severe tornado watch...I do not expect President Obama to rush home.......

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  352. Eric

    I feel this question is a bit unfair to president Obama by making him seem like he is disregarding the disaster by preforming his diplomatic duties. Im sure President Obama is fully aware of the situation and is in close contact will government and local officials to best allocate resources to disaster sites. At least the president made a statement Tuesday morning to let us know he is fully aware of the situation. You cant honestly blame the president for having a state meal with foreign officials...what you expect them to eat at a diplomatic dinner? TV Dinners? and even if you wanted that, you think foreign head of states playing host to the president will allow that? Come on...

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  353. Bill

    Give me a break Jack!! The President was already in Europe prior to the storm on a good will visit. I thought for a minute that you were doing a spot on the FOX network. Can't President Obama do anything positive without some criticism from parts of the media? Your thought is way off base on this matter!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  354. phil sylvester

    Hey he's on vacation..The message is that he does't care. I realize that this trip was planned along time ago and it is a big deal. With people and towns in the midwest wiped off the face of the earth and it could be happening again right now , it's time to come home. He simply does not care. Bet come 2012 the people in the midwest will remember and care.I know i will.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  355. Courtney

    Dear Jack,

    I think your question is absurd and out of bounds. President Obama is keeping tabs on Missouri and other states that might be effected by the severe storms. He has members of his team on the ground and helping with the devastation. We as Americans, can not expect the president to be in the White House at all times, when disasters hit our land. In case you forgot, President Obama will be in Missouri this weekend to tour the damage. Also, if he went there now, he would only be in the way of the recovery efforts. I don't think most Missourians right now have President Obama on their minds, especially when their still in a state of shock.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  356. James Merendino

    Well Jack... The man is not the Wizard of OZ and he cannot stop bad weather. Maybe he should be in the midwest wearing a sad and concerned face rather then having fun in Europe. However, I am more concerned when a foreign MP gets multiple standing ovations by openly defying our president in OUR congress! He may not be perfect, he may even be a useless. But he is OUR president. Only we have the right to criticize his policies. Watching thunderous applause by our congressman as the foreign PM slammed the podium as he slammed our president just made me sick.!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  357. Robyn Henriksen

    Firstly, my sincere sympathies go out to the people of Joplin,
    and all the states under severe weather occurances. However, what good would it do for President Obama to rush home. Unfortunately he can't change anything in Joplin but he is obviously concerned as he is planning to go there on Sunday.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  358. Julie

    How many damaging tornados in the US this year? 150? So what is the critrea for a special Presidential response. One that set a record for damange & deaths? We are just learning that Jopplin may have set a record. Maybe a bunch of tornados hitting one area? Once we establish the basis for sepecial reaction then we need to deceide the appropriate response. Maybe dash right out there for a photo op and hamper search & rescue. OR pose for gloomy pictures in the rose garden and offer a prayer. OR go into seclusion at Camp David and declare aday of mourning.. Why not ask yopur viewers to vote so that the President will know what to do next time.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  359. Nell, South Carolina

    The question you should be asking is when is this Congress going to do something about wild weather. It's called Global Warming or Climate Catastrophe. Scientists predict more storms and more violet weather as a result. Unfortunately, scientists are not listened to and the weather will continue to get more violent as politicians claim it isn't happening.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  360. Linda in Arizona

    Watching the oligarchs enjoying the best that money can buy makes me sick at any time. Seeing the POTUS hobnobbing with brit "royalty" is disgusting, but it's part of his job. What could he have done this week in Joplin but pose for pictures, and then you'd have popped him for using the disaster as a photo -op. Why didn't you ask why Netanyahu got 29 standing ovations from OUR congress today? Couldn't be they're owned by Israel, could it?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  361. sandy griffin

    I seriously believe that Obama is only interested in free travel for him and his family and doesn't really care what is going on at home. He is out to make us a 3rd world country with his spending habits.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  362. Karen in Colorado

    Comparing this situation to Bush, Brownie and Katrina is something Palin would do. You've obsessed with her so much you now think like her.

    If the President returned from Europe to Joplin, you'd criticise him for a politically motivated photo-op. He accomplished more picking up the phone and ordering FEMA to do its job than anything he could do on site. Joplin wants results from government agencies and would prefer no disruption of search and rescue efforts that would result from a presidential visit.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  363. Mary Hutchens

    Oh come on. I usually agree with most of what you say, but this particular criticism of the President is ridiculous. Are you aware of how disruptive a Presidential visit is? The rescue workers in Joplin are trying to search the rubble, find any survivors, and the many dead we know must be buried there. This is difficult work, made more difficult by continuously terrible weather, and if a Presidential motorcade were to come ripping through town, their work would be made that much more challenging. No one plans historically devastating tornadoes, and I am confident that if the President could actually do something to help he would be there in a moment. However, staying away until Sunday is one of the most responsible things he can do at this point. Your accusation that he callously disregards the suffering of the American people is way out of line.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  364. Tom L.

    To have associated the Joplin tragedy with NOLA is hardly cricket. The number of lives lost, people displaced and aerial extent of the NOLA situation dwarfs the Joplin tornado tragedy. This is no slight to the poor souls in Joplin...but the comparison is not appropriate. The president, any president, cannot run to every local tragedy the moment these situations occur. That is the job of Stale and Local officials. Obama is involved in a trip long planned that will hopefully yield long term benifits to the country. It's not he that broadcast pics of himself toasing his Irish hosts...it was CNN and all the other news outlets. Perhaps discretion is a shared responsibility between leadership and the media.

    Tom L. in Marietta, GA

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  365. Eric B

    well one thing it shows Jack that is those who DON'T like the POTUS for whatever reason will always find something to to critcal of him about. We have storms that cause damages and losses of life in our country often. This was massive of course but it also happened when Obama was already away..if he were to cut his trip short and come back to Joplin, THEN WHAT?? If anything the right wingers would say it's only for a photo op or political gain. Trust me you KNOW they would say this. Besides don't we have a VICE PRESIDENT? Biden is in charge while Obama is away so why can't he go down to Joplin? If Obama was on vacation I could see, it just so happens this is a business trip and the media decides to post pictures of him having a good time at the moment.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  366. Randy

    After hearing Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri talking about the disaster in Joplin, perhaps the more relevant question to ask is: "what message is being sent to the people of Israel by a US Senator attending to a natural disaster is his home state instead of being at a joint session of Congress kowtowing to Bibi Netanyahu along with his Congressional colleagues?"

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  367. Duane Terry

    Are you trying to say that if the president had stayed in USA this tragedy would not have happened? I think you should stick with other topics and try not to blame Obama for an act of God! You are giving him a power we all know no one has!!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  368. Al from Orlando

    Our college graduates should be funded to determine tornado potential
    by using the wind motion generated by a tornado as it forms to increase
    warning time. Al in hurricane Florida. Can't we harness the energy that
    these two monsters generate to produce useful energy.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  369. Nicky

    That life goes on. What message are you and I sending by blogging and getting up to go to work today? Life goes on and we have agencies and volunteer organizations to help in situations like these. It doesn't help at all if the President flies home today just to make the people of Joplin feel better. What about the next town today or tomorrow hit by a natural disaster?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  370. Rich Lauver

    Mr. Obama is on the situation, regardless of his preplanned visit to the UK. Given the amount of security POTUS requires when traveling, and the level of involvement of local law enforcement personnel in that effort, it's probably better for him to wait a few days and let the local authorities try to address the immediate needs of that community, before they have to deal with the logistics of a Presidential visit. It is unrealistic and counterproductive to expect the President to immediately drop his schedule and fly to disaster zones for some personal hand-holding and photo ops whenever these things happen. He has the capacity to react and direct from anywhere on the globe without adding to the difficulty of the situation.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  371. Stevo in Pa

    Geeze Jack, ya sound like a republican pundit. I can't speak for the people of that disaster, but I would rather see immediate action from Fema and other disaster relief agencies. A photo-op with the President followed by a pep talk won't do much to help. Besides he was all ready in Europe.
    Bush's "your doing a helluva job Brownie" line during Katrina shined the light on his administrations inept crony appointments.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  372. Armando Alvarado

    Jack... I don't think it matters that Obama is in Europe repairing the damage and alienation Bush caused. Also, it is not like the president did a fly over of the disaster and then went off to Europe... big difference. If the President was touring the devastation in Joplin... the Right would be criticizing him anyway saying he was taking advantage of the situation so close to the election. The President is doing his job and will be there Sunday... that is good enough and I am sure the last thing people in Joplin need is all the attention and security the President bring along... Let them recover!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  373. Will from Merrillville, Indiana

    In my opinion I think that Obama's trip to Europe does not send out a negative message to the people of Jopplin, Missouri. The president gave a speech giving his sympathies and thoughts to the people of Missouri that was devastated by this horrific act of mother nature. He was already in Europe when the storm hit and will be visiting the town of Jopplin on Sunday, what more can you ask for from him? He's given his full support, but cannot stop this type of disaster. If any type of bad message was sent, IN MY OPINION, would be the vice president as well as congress smiling and clapping listening to the bull that came out the mouth of the Israeli Prime Minister earlier today, instead of trying to provide assistance to those in need. Just saying.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  374. Jake Crawford

    I don't believe the folks in Missouri will feel neglected by the President's travel abroad. The President took steps to activate FEMA in a timely manner; he will go there personally this weekend.
    He spoke to; received a positive reception from ,the Jewish lobby on Sunday, clarifying (w/o backtracking) his message from last Thursday. It's not like he's on a vacation (or clearing brush on the ranch). As President, in the role of the most powerful man; leader of the free world , he accepts the responsibility as the supreme ambassador; representative of the greatest democracy in the world. Sometimes that responsibility may call for him to hoist a pint of Guinness in the spirit of freedom; goodwill.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  375. Sharon from Houston

    Jack-some of you are hypocrits. On one hand, you want no government but on the other hand you need the government! Just admit you don't like the President of the United "Hateful" States no matter what he does. The man WON a Nobel Peace Prize and you people complained so who cares what you people think!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  376. Mary North Carolina

    Since when did Presidential visits abroad become a crime?

    Seems every time President Obama leaves the country, people start complaining about the fuel necessary to get there, the enormous groups of people who escort them, the cost of security and of course, some natural disaster he might be missing back at home.

    Hello people, we seem to have natural disasters on a weekly basis these days, from brush fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes to floods and earthquakes!

    Maybe 8 years of the previous administration has allowed people to forget that part of the job of a US president is to maintain good relations with the rest of the world! Sometimes that means actually going over there for some face-time. Obama is in Europe carrying out his Presidential duties while the Red Cross, FEMA and the National Guard are here doing their job – helping Joplin recover.

    Jack, get a life.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  377. Conor in Chicago

    This is another fine example of the media stirring up false controversy to fill time gaps in the news cycle.

    The reason Bush didn't land in NOLA is because his landing and touring the area would have diverted an unacceptable amount of resources away from resue efforts as his security would have been paramount. Anything he could do to affect the siutation on the ground would be done as a decision maker from afar whether it was in DC, Crawford, or the moon.

    Same with Obama. It's the exact same thing. What's he going to do? Pop the hatch of Air Force One and get busy picking up wreackage? No. He's going to continue to be head of state in Europe pursuing American interests while empowering the local assets in play to do their jobs.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  378. Dawn Dixon, Joplin Mo

    I live just north of the tornado damage, and I can tell you that President Obama acted immediately to get FEMA here. They already have shelters set up where all the needs are being met at this time. They are constantly putting out information where you can sign up for help. That's what Joplin needs right now, not the President to detract attention from the search and rescue going on right now. While a quick visit on Sunday may satisfy you people that he cares, we really don't have time for that right now. We're trying to save lives. When he comes they will have to shut down the north part of the city where the airport is for his safety; the south side is destroyed and movement around the city is already almost impossible. Do us a favor and send us your prayers, not the President.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  379. Jake McClory

    Mr. Cafferty – As much as my heart aches for those living in Joplin, Missouri, Hurricane Katrina's scale both in size, loss of life, and damage was massive compared to this tornado. President Bush could have visited New Orleans, even for a few hours, to show some kind of hands-on leadership. He didn't – and not because he was overseas on an important European tour. President Obama is, and we cannot expect him to visit every region affected by this season's severe weather while still expecting him to execute his job as our leader both here and abroad.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  380. Scott, Toronto

    Yeah, Jack, great question, replete with the usual brilliant insights.

    So Mr. Obama's in Europe, eating the finest foods and drinking the best wines (because his hosts chose to provide them). I guess from your tone that you think he should just abandon the whole idea of positive international relations and come back to help search for the dead in Joplin and use his magical powers to break up all the other possible tornadoes before they touch down.

    Anyone who thinks of you and Blitzer as talking heads obviously never studied anatomy.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  381. Ricky & Sharla - Kentucky

    We agree in the fact that the trip was planned; however, it might have been better perceived if he had shortened the trip and came back from Ireland. The United States has already seen more tornadoes this year than it has in the last 50 years. What would have been his reaction if the devastation had hit a little closer to his home?
    It's not necessarily that he may or may not be concerned, it's how he conducts himself in light of what has happened in Joplin.
    Maybe Obama had one too many if he still thinks we are in 2008 as recorded in the log at Westminster Abbey.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  382. Melinda Pennington-Voitus

    Can everyobne get a grip? Of course President Obama is concerned about what has happened in Joplin, MO with the tornado devastation. Check your facts everyone Obama was in the air flying on AirForce One on his was overseas when the tornado happened. It's not like he decided to go to Europe after the Joplin, MO Tornado happened. If you don't believe me, check the President's Schedule on WhiteHouse.gov and look at the schedule. Obama will be visiting Joplin, MO on Sunday to visit with the local and state officials and survey the damage. Obama is overseas to meet with our allies to probably gain support for removing Khadafy from Libya. Let's cut our President some slack and support his major important initiatives instead of complaining that he's overseas after a tornado hits the Midwest. We're all worried and concern about the devastation that occurred in Joplin, MO.

    Melinda, Chicago, IL

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  383. MM

    Because the President is not standing in the middle of the rubble does not make him uncaring or insenstive. You can't be at every tragedy. Clearly 2011 is fast becoming the year of the tornado. Should we ask the President to become a storm chaser to ensure the public that he is sensitive to natural diseasters and the tragedy of lost lives? Certainly not!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  384. Tom Sullivan

    Give Obama a break Jack. Your are tilting so far to the right lately you might just topple over into Fox News. Straighten up fly right (down the middle that is). He will be in Joplin on Sunday!!!! I rest my case in defense of a President who is really trying to do a good job & not pander to partisab idealogies like his predecessor.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  385. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Gimme a break!

    What "message"? The message I get is that the President does not just go out and jump in the car (or into Air Force One) and take off at a moment's notice. The message I get is that this trip was plammed WAY before the tornado hit Joplin. And to cancel it would not only be a slap in the face to those who OUR PRESIDENT, REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES was scheduled to visit, but would involve huge costs that would be unjustified. PLANNING this trip had costs, both for the U.S. and for all those other countries.

    Get off the President's back, for Pete's sake!

    Maybe you should ask what 'message' is sent by that senator or whoever he is who thinks we need to CUT other aid programs so those in Joplin can be helped!!! To me that sends a message all right! That our representatives are crackpots. I wonder, did he want to cut some WAR expenses so we can help Joplin?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  386. Jerry from Lakeland Florida

    Obama is just glad he dodged the tornado in DC. Sitting next to Mr.
    Netanyahu really demonstrated what a lightweight he is.
    Missouri is better off without him.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  387. David


    How about FEMA was all over it? Had President Obaman needed to intervien he should fire the director of FEMA.

    Retired Navy Chief

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  388. Caroline on Beech Mtn

    You've REEEEEALLY done it this time, Jack! Is this the best question you could come up with today??
    Just WHAT could the President do IF he did fly home immediately ??
    This trip has been planned for a long time – Why NOT try to spread a little Good Will enroute to the G8 summit – and should he miss this?? Do you FORGET all the trips "Noo-Klear" BUSH made on the tax payer's dime!.........WHY don't you go after the BIG Money Maker Republicans who are brian-washing the ignorant majority of this country with their ongoing DUMBING down of America rhetoric ?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  389. Ashton

    Ok everyone, my husband and I are stationed in Cali but he is from Joplin. But since none of our family was directly affected he can't get emergency leave to go home. But that doesn't mean that we arent doing everything we can to help our loved ones who are there. Just because the president doesn't jump on his plane and come home to see all the destruction doesn't mean that he doesn't care. He was already there in Europe. What is he going to do in Joplin? The only thing he will do is get in the way of the clean up and rescue of survivors.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  390. Louise

    Let's be clear: If President Obama had cancelled his European trip with world leaders, and come right back to Joplin to walk around for the cameras, he would have gotten criticized by you and all the FOX staff, as well.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  391. Steve, New York

    He 's used to enjoying himself. Remember when he was US Senator he campaigned for the Presidency during his first 2 years. Now he's campaigning again for his first 2 years as President. He might as well enjoy himself, because it's his last 2 years. Good things always come to the end.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  392. David

    What the heck is wrong with you? This was a dumb question!
    Immediate Cancellations of international negotiations and meetings could have detrimental effects overall. Joplin doesn't need the President immediately, they need FEMA and the other state agencies. Katrina was about a failure to appoint an effective FEMA Director, not about the President failing to immediately visit the disaster area.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  393. Alfred (Memphis, Tn)

    Hopefully, it sends the message that the President of the United States has more trust in the intelligence and common sense of the people of Joplin than that of the pessimistic nonthinking crowd who would love to turn a tragic unforeseeable natural disaster into somehow a negative reflection against the President. Once again, 'reason' is thrown out the window!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  394. Eva Allen

    I am dismayed at the thought of anyone who would think that a cancellation of Pres. Obama's trip would appease mother nature's forces and prevent further destruction upon the midwest. This is beyond his control and personally see nothing he can do, particularly with the possibility of more storms on the way. It would be stupid for Obama to set foot on grounds that may possibly jeopardize his life and the gang that followed him to Europe.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  395. Mike

    I think things would have been a little different had the President had not ALREADY been over seas. I think the fact He did call the gov, as soon as he was told about the disaster shows he cares He put everything inplace to be utitlized which is the man thing needed at this point,

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  396. Paul L.

    Hom many days does a U.S. President have to accomplish is duties? Little. But so many problems to solve including to cement ties with partners in critical moments like this one. With tornadoes, in USA. Tumbles in middle east,. economy and job...Butthis is a question for you Jack, just a thinking: What would american voters think of Israel lobbylike congress and the israelian PM address to the congress with no reference to the ordeal of Mo. people?

    Tornto, Canada

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  397. shawn

    Are we expecting the president to put on some boots and gloves and help find missing people or help rebuild houses by hand. Having Obama in Joplin, Missouri will cause a unnecessary distraction. It would pull cops, firemen and other people off helping and have them standing just to look at Obama say some words. A waist of time. Rather see hem on a beach drinking giving orders and funding to really help people.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  398. Lori, Palm, Pa

    This is a President that got elected by making people think that he was different, that he cared about the people. He has a plane available to him at a moments notice, he should have chosen to come home, he may not of been able to do anything but put an arm around someone that lost everything but it is his job, he asked to be responsibile to the citizens of the United States especially at times of unimaginable disaster, he should be here.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  399. Rose

    Paleeze. It's not as if Obama would have to get on a boat for 3 months. If he really cared about the people of Joplin and the other cities hit by tornadoes he could be here in a few hours, Instead he'd rather drink beer and play ping pong.
    What would you hypocrites be saying if this was Bush?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  400. Marilyn from Jackson, Tennessee

    At the end of the day it is to be hoped the people of Joplin know the President is doing everything from abroad that he could do at home to ensure all necessary resources are being provided for this critical time of search and rescue. What Obama is doing remains far more appropriate than when Bush remained on vacation at his ranch, just one state removed from Louisiana and the Katrina debacle, electing only to do a fly-by on his way back to the White House days later.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  401. Toya B.

    First of all it was not a pint it was a sip. "The first family and the gang" ? Really Cafferty? Why is it that " Americas first African-American President" gets critisized for every thing he does? Seems to me that he's damned if he do and damned if he don't no matter what it is.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  402. Spade

    Hi Jack. I've been watching you on the news since when you were on in the NYC area. You daily questions are usually pretty good, even the ones where I don't agree with the underlying premise. And even with this one there is a basically valid point, but the severe weather in the MID-WEST (not Central America – I could swear you've reported on the area before) is a regular thing. Severe weather and its destruction happens all the time. Its not reasonable to expect POTUS or even a governor (I'm from NJ) to make drastic changes in their schedules for relative minor events where their on scene presence won't help. The Bush fly over was different because the image presented was that of a person driving by people in need and not helping. Well that's the way it looked. Also their was all the other baggage with the W. Bush presidency.
    I am well aware this is not minor to the people, families, and communities in the areas affected nor to their friends and family else where.
    Also the premise of your question seems to suppose that the Joplin Tornado happened and POTUS left for Ireland and the U.K. then the Pub and Pin Pong events happened.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  403. Ray

    I voted for Obama and I am so sorry that I did. He is so selfcentered it is unreal. Over the last 1 1/2 years he has shown no leadership skills nor understanding of the problems in America. Listen to himwhen he talks and count how many times he says "I, ME, I AM, MY and other words that selfcentered people use. Put your fork down and get to Air Force and fly back to the U.S. This is the country you need to be concerned about Obama.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  404. ted cantrell

    I don't like what the president is doing, but the remarks by cantor and supported by Roy blunt,about having to find places in the budget to cut before helping Joplin.THIS IS MY BACK YARD and you may find your own self some support when you come up for election next.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  405. Mikki

    The way the government responsed to Hurricane Katrina was atrocious. Those people wents days and days without the proper assistence. I'm sure the people of Joplin are being assisted at this very moment (2 days later). So there is no comparison there. The President is on official business, he has expressed his condolences and he plans to visit Joplin. Other than making sure the right agencies are in place to help the people, there is nothing he can do.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  406. Peggy Heubel

    This country has lacked diplomacy (at home and overseas) for YEARS. It's already been proven Obama is concerned about the floods and tornados. Is he supposed to put on a hair shirt and cover his face with ashes? This country needs to repair its reputation throughout the world–a reputation destroyed by the government after Clinton and, of course, before Obama.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  407. lynnej in nc

    So this is President Obama's fault too? I suppose aid being withheld to those good people of Joplin Canter and the rest of the Republicans in exchange for more budget cuts are his fault too?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  408. Carole McCormack

    The people in Joplin may know that Pres. Obama promised the people of Tuscaloosa that their needs will be met, and the Missourians will find out that Mr. O is coming to Joplin on Sunday with the same msg. For now , they know that the Pres is doing his job abroad.
    Jack, I'll always remember Mr. Bush's long silence after Katrina, and his mother's unbelievable comments about the people in the stadium–that they had better accommodations than in their previous hovels.
    We the people know what the ongoing tone, and level of empathy out leaders have. Pres. O has already proven himself.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  409. Witty Banter

    Yes. President Obama is the worst president ever. Instead of doing the job to which he was elected, he is setting up numerous numerous photo ops for the press (fancy dinners, pubs, and ping pong, how terrible!) between undoubtedly private conferences away from the press's hungry eyes where he discusses politics and economics with some of our most important allies. Not only that, but he's taking FAMILY and STAFFERS?! Who does thatThis is certainly his Waterloo, or, more appropriately, his Watergate.
    Everybody knows (or at least should know) the single, most important job of the president is to go to (insert area destroyed by a natural disaster in the most recent week; in this case, Joplin, MO), and offer a helping hand. Because the president as a physical entity is much more powerful than the president as a political, economic or cultural entity.
    Really, Mr. Cafferty.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  410. sue

    president is more worried about his next term ,you see he is taking Hillary everywhere with him until the dead line to file for the 2012 presidential race . His philosophy and his followers is like Julius Ceaser,"let Rome in Tiber melt, let all the walls of Missouri blown away in the tornado, here is my aim" .the aim to see that he is reelected .by using the good offices of Europe continent to lure the voters of that continent by the powerful people (screaming at them to cast their vote to Obama.) he is obsessed with power. That's all matters to those who lost their reason.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  411. Kyra

    I think it sends a message that should already be understood, Jack. That is, that the president is the head of a governing body where delegations can be ordered efficiently and expediently. Delegating and multitasking effectively are the marks of a good leader. There are FEMA, other government agencies, and other Americans who are, as of this moment, actively volunteering to help those in need. This shouldn't even be a question, as his efforts in Alabama weeks ago attests to his dedication to assuring that all that needs to be done is being done to alleviate the devastation in Joplin. It is irresponsible for those with voices that are heard by the masses to compare the president's duty to ensure successful international relations to the incompetence of Bush, who waited days to even acknowledge that there was a catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. The two are incomparable. It's my understanding that all of the disaster relief protocols were in place almost immediately after these catastrophic tornadoes occurred.

    Moreover, I'm sure that like me and my family during the Katrina aftermath, back and forth political banter means nothing, especially when help is already there.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  412. Ray

    Considering what they're having to deal with, and that such a small percentage of the people of Joplin voted for him, it's likely a much bigger deal for you than them Jack.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  413. H. Colq

    If you know these trips are planned well in advance, then why ask such a question? I can't believe you are talking about the polls at a time like this. I believe he has a team in place that can provide the help needed. His plan is to visit on Sunday and I believe American voters will remember the compassion of our President and First Family for ALL of the diasters and devastation inside and outside our nation.

    With as many tornados that have taken place and are still predicted, he would never leave the WH.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  414. Kris10

    What a bitter and hate inspiring question.Tho he was not my choice for President, this trip in no way makes him not able to do his job. Unlike Katrina, help has been asked for and on the ground almost immediately. He is working for "Our" country in more than one place at a time. And will be there himself this weekend. Has sent his sorrow for the situation and done everything he can to get the proper help to the people of Joplin. What we need to focus on is how we all can do the same.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  415. Alina

    I do not think this is a fair question. I wouldn't have thought it would be a fair question for former President Bush after Katrina, either. It's wording is biased. What can President Obama do better if he were in Washington, D.C.? Do American's expect their president to join the search and rescue efforts?

    I think a fair question would be, "Should President Obama come home from a diplomatic trip because of a devastating tornado?"

    Portland, OR

    May 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  416. Tim in Monument Colorado

    Jimmy Carter locked himself away when Iran took American hostages. He forgot to be President and America lacked a leader. I did not vote for Obama nor will I in 2012 but going to Ireland and a tornado hitting MO are too random! Bush made a mistake when he followed the law and didn't slap the inept Democratic leadership aside.

    Jack, don't forget Nagin and Blanco! They were in charge during Katrina. Haley Barbour led in Mississippi and it took a beating!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  417. Pablo M.

    Seriously? His presence at this early stage would be as much a nuisance locally as his cancellation of this State visit would be offensive internationally. He's great, Jack, but he's not superman. I'm sure he's been in touch with the state and local government, and he already acknowledged his enduring support to those affected. I'd recommend you take a couple sips of Guinness, my friend.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  418. lizgwiz

    The most important thing the president can do in any natural disaster is make sure the disaster declarations are made and the channels for aid are clear. He can do that from wherever he is.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  419. Pat

    President Obama is on a state visit which was organized over many months. The people of Missouri would not gain anything if President Obama refused to meet the people who had been invited to meet him. Hopefully, jobs/work will be gained from his visit to Europe and every job gained in this country affects many more than the individual who gets the job including the people of Joplin.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  420. Daniel Holt

    Jack, I love ya! but that's kind of 2 faced. I'm sure everyone on here have plans after work, that calls for a Beer and a Meal. Have a Great Meal Tonight, Everyone, Drinks are on Jack. The President done more for Joplin after, we give credit to the first Responders. Look in the Mirror and Say to yourself "what have You done for Joplin" Prayers are with the Families of JOPLIN/...... How about we try that, instead of Criticizing.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  421. Gloria Kunz

    Aw! Come on, Jack! Really? Since the tornado happened after the president's departure for Europe, one can hardly expect him to abort the trip and return for a photo op! His statements of support for the people of Missouri and his plans to visit after his return are reasonable responses.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  422. Cindy V McKenna

    My sentiments exactly, Jack. Sometimes trips need to be cut short, or cancelled, especially since this PM of Isreal is here sounding off. The whole American dream seems to be going down the drain. You can make promises to fix everything as the President has, but everyone wants to feel better now. Our troops want to know why we more soldiers are being sent to Afghanistan this year, when times are so pressing at home. They could be the rebuilders of our infrastructure and homes. They could guard our borders and keep us more secure. The trillions need to be spent here not on the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan. We should burn all the poppy and trace all the money sources of their weapons and play defense, for a change. American farms and the Midwest need all our attention. Intelligence should be tripled. Just my thoughts, Cindy from Highlands Ranch, CO

    May 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  423. alex

    he was already in ireland when the tornado hit, so what is he supposed to do fly back over and wave a magic wand and make everything better? everything that can be done is being done him going there and talking won't change anything give the guy a break!

    May 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  424. Kim, KC MO

    Really? How ludacrous of you to suggest that because he didn't drop everything on his agenda to run home, that he wasn't aware of the situation and in control of the government response. It reminds me of the time McCain did just the same thing and Obama's response was that the President needed to be able to handle multiple situations at the same time. You're an idiot for even suggesting that he should.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  425. Judy

    Jack –
    Most Americans are proud of the reception our President gets from the people around the world. The President was already on his way when the tornado hit. He has been in close touch with the Federal officials who will really make a difference on the ground. He has talked to the Governor at least twice. He has sent his message of concern, he will visit the area on Sunday. If people in MO or anyplace else that has suffered from the recent violent weather want to blame anyone, they should look to the Republican climate change deniers who try to block the EPA et al at evey turn. Think Joe Barton and James Inhof.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  426. Andy B.

    I think the President's trip to Europe is justified and his continuation of the trip is necessary. As you stated yourself, these trips are planned well in advance.

    It has been made clear that President Obama is updated and made aware of everything happening Joplin, MO. There's nothing that President Obama can change regarding what has happened there but coming back from Europe immediately. He has responsibilities in Europe as well.

    The "slam" on the Bush Administration and Katrina was the failure of NEMA to react and the obvious state of unpreparedness within NEMA to be able to respond in a meaningful manner. NEMA is handling the Joplin situation and there is no lack of assistance for the people who have suffered from this natural disaster. Obama will do everything he can do when he arrives in Joplin.

    You're looking for "issues" where there are none.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  427. David T. from Alabama

    Central America?!?! Yes, someone caught it.

    If you believe that President Obama is neglecting those individuals in Joplin, MO, let it be known that he did NOT neglect the families of Alabama. Why exactly do we have a Vice President, Mr. Cafferty?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  428. Paul

    Jack: You are not being fair. Obama is securing his election with his tour. He has sent all government help to Joplin.Otherwise he could lose the election and lose our government to the Republicans and the rich and powerful?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  429. Charlie Pedersen

    Yes we live in a global viiliage and under the lens of the world's satelites. There is a big difference between Katrina and these terrible events. Katrina's response was horrible. This time, first responders,FEMA, the Army core of engineers, et al have been terrific.
    Clearly, Obama is informed on a real time basis. Given the state of the world and Europe's role in Libya, the Israel/Palestinean issue, Afganistan, anti-terrorism, the ecomomy, and more,the timing of the trip is appropriate. President Obama was already on his way to Ireland , or there, when Joplin's disaster occured. If events seem out of hand, Ill bet he'll come back. It's too bad we live a global village,
    but our economy and safety dictates it. Does everything have to be politic? Nothing Obama has done so far in his presidency has been
    in bad taste, so give him a break. He will communicate accordingly.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  430. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    His message was clear long before Joplin. Republicans must stop subsidizing Big Oil and the dirty energy that fuels these climatic disasters.

    Having professionals head up FEMA instead of horse trainers is great, but preventing these deaths is what Obama is about.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  431. Cathy

    The last thing the people of Joplin and police, and govt officials need while in the search and rescue mode and battling with continuing foul weather elements is to prepare, provide security and be interrupted by a presidential visit. If he hastily cancelled his visit, returned home, and came straight to Joplin, then I suppose you and Fox News would be complaining about the irresponsibility and publicity grab of such a thing in addition to the disruption of an international visit/relations. I raise my glass of Guinness to you, Mr. President, for elegantly handling an international visit while also providing excellent direction to the federal team on the ground in Joplin. Thank God, that you are smart enough to stay out of the way and let them do their job at this critical time.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  432. Arthur of Dallas, TX

    The president has given full assistance of the federal government to the disaster in Joplin. FEMA, national guard, and search and rescue teams arrive immediately, unlike the Bush administration with Katrina. President Obama actions, not absence, send a message that he cares and will do what ever is needed in the recovery effort, which made evident by his call of condolence and aid to Gov. Nixon. Obama going to Joplin would take focus off the task at hand. And Jack, voters off '08 election do remember Katrina and our government's response, and that is just one of plethora of reasons why Barack Obama was elected president..he just happens to be the first African American one.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  433. Bull

    JACK You know the last I checked Obummer was president of the UNITED STATES. Not king of the world. Like some of your readers would like to think.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  434. J.R. Missouri

    Whether he comes or doesn't come is of no consequence. It would be nice to not take something as tragic as this and turn it into some more bs election pr. Joplin will heal whether or not he rushed out tomorrow or never came. It wouldn't do any good to have to deal with roads being blocked and taking law enforcement away from their current duties. In Missouri we're more worried about tonight and tomorrows weather than being visited by the President. Send aid and manpower to them which is more important than handshakes. We're still picking up the pieces from our Good Friday Tornado which was no comparison to Joplins and the people of Missouri no matter what political party they back are tired and overtasked by this seasons weather. Let him eat, drink, and be merry. There's bigger things to worry about.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  435. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Come on Jack!! What is the President of the United States supposed to do, scheduled all of his travel around unforeseeable weather events. Why are you guys so critical of anything that this President does?

    May 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  436. Bob Dobalina

    Jack, its my understanding that the POTUS will be touring the area hit on Sunday so I am not sure where you are going with this one. Are you implying that the POTUS should have canceled his European trip and returned home to view the site earlier? I thought one of the traits of good leadership was the ability to delegate responsibility, which I believe the POTUS has done regarding this travesty. I am willing to bet that the POTUS will put wheels down and walk the town, unlike W who "peered from above, safe in sound in AF1.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  437. Paul

    Jack: You are not being fair. Obama is securing his election with his tour. He has sent all government help to Joplin.Otherwise he could lose the election and lose our government.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  438. hasson

    want goverment, you dont want goverment now you want goverment witch is it people? how much do you think i would cost to have air force 1 fly form Europe back to the middle of the U.S. complain about how much he fly now you want hem to fly to say some words.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  439. freda

    It is not easy, in his position, to get out of such pre-determined events. There is a certain protocol involved and respect for another country, especially a top ally such as Britain. With the advantage of today's communications technology, he must be fully in touch with the tragic situation and involved with the developments and plans underway in Joplin. Remember how minutely he monitored the Bin laden operation from thousands of miles away.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  440. rosella

    I wrote my comment without reading the other listeners comments.

    I do feel good with their comments, and to know I'm not in the minority.

    Some people do live in the real world.


    May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  441. Orlando

    The people of Joplin needs our empathy and support..and not political news.

    President Obama does not need to be on ground for the debris to be moved and for the city to be rebuilt. He needs to release federal resources and support.

    I will blame his pint of beer if he has not done that ..but if he has, he should drink in secret from now till Joplin is away from the news.

    Jack just gave some wood to the Tea party fire...thumbs up Jack

    Bryan TX

    May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  442. Wendy Arsenault

    There is no similarity between the responses to Katrina and the Joplin tornado. Bush didn't do anything, including dispatch FEMA, for almost a week while people had no access to food and water because they were stuck on roofs in a drowned city, and were dying daily as a direct result. Joplin survivors have access to both, as well as transportation out of the area, and FEMA was dispatched immediately.

    May 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  443. Joan McKenna

    They're receiving federal emergency aid! And if you remember Andrew, then you also must remember the pathetic response of the Senior Bush administration to the utter destruction (and most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, up to that point-1992) of the South Miami and Homestead AFB area

    The Bush Senior administration did not immediately deploy federal emergency services to our area because he was too busy playing politics with our (South Floridians') lives waiting for a Formal request from our Democratic Governor Childs for help. Jeb and Columba Bush were customers of the pharmacy where I was employed, so it wasn't as if he didn't know how bad it was!
    I, like 250,000 others after losing everything, had to relocate. I'm in NJ now.

    May 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm |