Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?
February 28th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says President Obama's apology over the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan was "the right thing to do." But not everyone agrees.

The president has come under fire for apologizing to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for something Obama calls "inadvertent" and an "error."

The Qurans that were burned were among religious materials seized from an Afghan detainee facility.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the president's apology "shows weakness." He says that the burning of Qurans was a mistake and that the president of the United States shouldn't apologize for something that was unintentional.

Mitt Romney says that for many people,Obama's apology "sticks in their throat," seeing as we've lost thousands of troops there.

And Newt Gingrich has compared Obama's apology to "surrender." Gingrich said Karzai is the one who should be apologizing for the deaths of U.S. troops.

At least four American troops have been killed in apparent revenge attacks in the past week. Dozens of Afghans have also been killed and hundreds more wounded.

The ongoing violence is why Clinton believes the president is right to try to calm the situation. She said "it is out of hand, and it needs to stop."

Clinton adds that the ongoing criticism of Obama is inflaming the situation in Afghanistan.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: Afghanistan • Muslims • President Bill Clinton
September 22nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

More important for U.S. president to be liked or feared outside the country?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama may not be leaving the country this week - but it's likely his global support will be put to the test during the meetings of the U.N. here in New York and the G-20 in Pittsburgh.

As Mr. Obama meets with world leaders and addresses issues like climate change, the global economy and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East - there's no question that this president is better liked overseas than his predecessor, George W. Bush.

A recent Pew survey finds significant support for President Obama still throughout Africa, Europe and Latin America. Attitudes toward the U.S. are also more favorable in some mostly Muslim countries.

The survey shows America's image has improved markedly in most parts of the world, reflecting global confidence in Barack Obama. In a lot of places - opinions of the U.S. are as high as they were before Bush took office.

But the question may be: Does it really matter? What's changed on the international stage as a result of President Obama's increase in popularity? The answer is - Not a whole lot...

North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Afghanistan and Iraq all still present the same challenges to this country as they did before Mr. Obama won the election.

And - just because other countries may like our president - it doesn't always mean they're going to support his foreign policy decisions.

And the arrest of suspects in a terror plot this past week inside the U.S. indicates the terrorists haven't suddenly decided to lay down their arms and become our friends.

It's nice to be liked, but being president of the United States isn't necessarily about winning a popularity contest overseas.

Here’s my question to you: Is it more important for an American president to be liked or feared outside the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


August 28th, 2008
01:55 PM ET

Did Clintons deliver for Obama?

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was pretty easy to see last night why Bill Clinton was elected president. When he's on, there's nobody better.

The former president came out swinging, declaring that Obama is "ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world." He rather cleverly pointed out that when he was running in 1992, critics said the same things about him as they say about Obama. "Too young, too inexperienced." Clinton said those criticisms didn't work against him then, and they won't work against Obama now because "he is on the right side of history".

Like his wife, Clinton called on Hillary's 18 million supporters to vote for Obama. But he went even further than Hillary had, praising Obama's ability to inspire people, his intelligence and curiosity, his "clear grasp" of foreign policy, the strength he gained from the long primary season and his good judgment in choosing Joe Biden as his number two. And he did it all with a straight face.

Watch: Cafferty: Clintons deliver?

Bill Clinton ripped into John McCain, saying that after two terms of President Bush, "in this case, the third time is not the charm." Clinton cited a laundry list of Republican failures of the last 8 years, particularly the sinking image of America abroad: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of power".

With thousands of delegates waving American flags, it seems like party unity may have finally arrived. Hillary Clinton also made the symbolic move yesterday of stepping forward during the roll call to propose that Obama be declared the nominee by acclamation. So after months and months of bitterness and division…

Here’s my question to you: Did the Clintons deliver for Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


July 14th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

Bill Clinton: America becoming more divided

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/14/art.clinton.polarized.ap.jpg caption=" Former President Bill Clinton addresses the National Governors Association."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President Bill Clinton has a warning for all of us: he says this country is becoming more and more divided.

Speaking to the National Governors Association, Clinton said that even though the Democratic primary produced historic results with the final candidates being a woman, his wife, and an African-American man, he still sees a larger problem.

Clinton believes Americans are becoming more polarized as a nation. He says we're growing farther apart from each other and are "hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference." Clinton says Americans are separating themselves by choosing to live with people they agree with.

He used ideas from a book called "The Big Sort" by Bill Bishop for this speech. Bishop found that in the 1976 election, only 20% of U.S. counties voted for Jimmy Carter or President Ford by more than a 20% margin. But by 2004 nearly half of the nation's counties voted for John Kerry or President Bush by that same margin.

President Clinton also reminded the governors that the issues they're dealing with today are similar to those faced by Teddy Roosevelt a century ago, including inequality among the rich and poor, immigration and energy. But Clinton says he thinks we will deal with these issues and enter a period of light, not darkness.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with President Clinton that America is becoming more divided?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Bill Clinton