Are Republican debate crowds bloodthirsty?
September 27th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Are Republican debate crowds bloodthirsty?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Republican presidential debates are turning into lively affairs. Maybe too lively.

For the third time in as many debates, crowd members have either booed or cheered at what some say are inappropriate moments.

Most recently, former Sen. Rick Santorum was asked about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

When an openly gay service member asked what the candidates' intentions were for gays in the military, members of the crowd booed loudly.

After the fact, Santorum said he condemned those who booed the gay soldier. He said he didn't hear the boos in the debate hall.

In another debate, Rick Perry was asked about the death penalty and the more than 200 executions that have happened under his watch as Texas governor. The crowd cheered that question.

Another GOP debate crowd got worked up when Ron Paul was asked a hypothetical question about a 30-year-old uninsured man. The crowd cheered when Paul was asked if that man should be allowed to die.

President Barack Obama has criticized the reaction of some of these audience members at the GOP debates; and Vice President Joe Biden calls the booing of the gay soldier “reprehensible.”

Politico asks in an online conversation if the GOP debate crowds are bloodthirsty.

Critics say these debates promote extremism within the Republican Party, and show “the mean season is upon us.”

They fault the candidates themselves for not stamping out the behavior when it happens. They should. Also, some suggest the booing or cheering could turn off moderate and swing voters in the general election. It should.

Here’s my question to you: Are Republican debate crowds bloodthirsty?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: 2012 Election
September 27th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Has President Obama made racism worse?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has made racism worse in America.

So says the African-American actor Morgan Freeman. He told CNN's Piers Morgan that the tea party's opposition to Mr. Obama, the nation's first black president, is rooted in racism.

Freeman claims tea partiers will do whatever it takes to "get this black man out of here."

He adds that the tea party shows the "weak, dark underside of America," and that "we're supposed to be better than that."

The only black Republican candidate for president pushed right back. Businessman and tea party member Herman Cain says most of the people who criticize the movement have never been to a tea party rally.

Cain says "name calling" will continue because opponents don't know how to stop the tea party movement.

Meanwhile - with black leaders grumbling that Mr. Obama hasn't done enough about staggering black unemployment - the president has evoked language that sounds a whole lot like the civil rights era.

He told the Congressional Black Caucus to march with him: "Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes."

Americans are split on how Mr. Obama's presidency has changed race relations in the U.S.

A recent USA Today/Gallup poll shows 35% of those surveyed said race relations have improved, while 23% say they've gotten worse under President Obama.

41% percent see no change.

Back in 2008, when the nation voted for "hope and change," Americans had a much rosier view of what this president would do for race relations.

Gallup found that the day after Mr. Obama was elected, a whopping 70% predicted race relations would improve.

Here’s my question to you: Has President Obama made racism worse?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: President Barack Obama • Race • Race Relations