September 16th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Does it surprise you if fmr Pres. Bush talked trash about politicians?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President George W. Bush wasn't short of opinions when it came to other politicians' shortcomings, according to a new book by a former Bush speechwriter titled "Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor."

Matt Latimer writes that Bush always believed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic presidential nominee, and said of her: "Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk." Except he didn't use the word "keister."

After one of then-Senator Obama's speeches criticizing the Bush administration, the former president said of Obama, "This cat isn't remotely qualified," adding "this guy has no clue."

As for the now-Vice President Joe Biden, Bush said quote "If B.S. was currency, Biden would be a billionaire."

And the former president didn't spare his fellow Republicans either. Latimer writes Bush wasn't too impressed with Republican nominee John McCain.

When Bush was told McCain couldn't get enough people to show up at a planned joint appearance in Phoenix - McCain's home state - Bush said: "He couldn't get 500 people? I could get that many people to turn out in Crawford."

As for McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin, Bush said: "I'm trying to remember if I've met her before. I'm sure I must have. What is she, the governor of Guam?"

Bush also told Latimer at one time: "I redefined the Republican Party." That's probably true to some extent and may explain why McCain lost and the Democrats now control both houses of Congress.

Here’s my question to you: Does it surprise you if former President Bush talked trash about other politicians?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 29th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Feelings toward former President Bush softened at all?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While Former Vice President Dick Cheney hasn't been able to keep his mouth shut since leaving office, the former president has been largely silent. Until last night that is.[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/29/art.bushmarineone.gi.jpg caption="Former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush board Marine One following the inauguration of President Barack Obama."]

Speaking in Michigan, George W. Bush repeated Cheney's claim that the enhanced interrogation program - what some people call "torture" - was legal and helped get valuable information that prevented more terror attacks... and saved lives.

The former president told the crowd of 2,500 people that after 9-11, he vowed to take quote "whatever steps were necessary to protect you." Bush said after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he wanted to determine what means were legal to get information from the terror suspect.

Although Bush's message might be similar to Cheney's, the tone is very different. Bush repeatedly insisted that he doesn't want to criticize Pres. Obama and he didn't specifically refer to the debate over the new president's decision to stop using harsh interrogation techniques.

In a departure from how these kind of events were handled before, Bush answered questions directly from the audience for almost an hour – instead of responding to questions that had been submitted ahead of time.

When asked what he wants his legacy to be, Bush said, "The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity.”

Here’s my question to you: Have your feelings toward former President Bush softened any now that's he's been out of office for four months?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would disbarring Bush lawyers end torture debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No criminal charges for the authors of the Bush administration's so-called torture memos; that's according to a preliminary report by the Justice Department. The draft report instead suggests the government might call on state bar associations to take sanctions against two of the three lawyers who wrote the memos. The most severe punishment they could get would be disbarment.

This report now goes to Attorney General Eric Holder for approval or revisions, and is expected to be finalized soon. The torture memos were written after the 9/11 attacks, and authorized harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, throwing detainees against walls, and forced nudity.

And needless to say, these lawyers didn't decide to write this stuff on their own - someone told them to do it.

The issue has become a political hot potato for the Obama administration, although the president opened the door to criminal prosecution for those who authorized these acts, he also talks a lot about looking forward instead of dwelling on the past.

Meanwhile a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush officials... 57 percent of those surveyed say Congress should not conduct an investigation; and 55 percent don't want to see an independent panel created to look into this stuff. The poll also found 50 percent support President Bush's decision to authorize these harsh techniques; even though 60% believe it was torture.

Here’s my question to you: Would disbarring the Bush lawyers who wrote the interrogation memos be enough to put an end to the torture debate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

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

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


April 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why has former Pres. Bush been silent on torture debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Since the release of those Bush-era interrogation memos, former Vice President Dick Cheney hasn't been able to stop tallking. This was a guy who we barely saw or heard from for eight years. Cheney insists the harsh techniques kept the country safe and President Obama should release more documents to prove that.

As president, George W. Bush denied that his administration authorized torture of prisoners.

Bush's former top political adviser, Karl Rove is accusing Mr. Obama of seeking "show trials" of former administration officials. Even Senator John McCain, who fought for limits on interrogation during the Bush administration, says any talk of prosecution is about "settling old political scores." I guess the fact that laws may have been broken doesn't matter to McCain.

But with all the talk - one person we haven't heard from is former President Bush himself. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy insists an independent commission is needed to find out who exactly authorized this stuff, saying: "I want to know who was it who made the decisions that we will violate our own laws; we'll violate our own treaties; we will even violate our own Constitution."

While president, Bush repeatedly denied that his administration authorized torture of prisoners. But just last week a Senate report showed top Bush officials as early as 2002 gave the CIA approval to use techniques like waterboarding - which has been considered torture since the Spanish Inquisition.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the torture debate, why has former President Bush been silent?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


April 14th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

U.S. less safe under Pres. Obama?


A U.S. Coast Guard machinery technician patrols New York Harbor. (PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Sperduto/U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Most Americans disagree with Dick Cheney when he says President Obama's actions have increased the risk of another U.S. terror attack.

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 72 percent of those surveyed disagree that the new president has made the country less safe; only 26 percent agree with Cheney. The poll shows a pretty significant partisan divide; 53 percent of Republicans agree with Cheney while more than 90 percent of Democrats are behind President Obama.

Cheney recently suggested that the Bush administration's anti-terror policies were "absolutely essential" to preventing any further attacks after 9/11. He called it a "great success story" and added that as President Obama rolls back some of those policies, he is increasing the risk of another attack.

The current Vice President, Joe Biden, fired back at Cheney... calling him "dead wrong." Biden insists the country is safer now. He says the Bush administration left the U.S. in a weaker position than we've been at any time since World War II, less respected and stretched more thinly. And, it seems like most Americans are on the same page as Biden when it comes to national security.

Here's my question to you: Is the U.S. less safe under President Obama than it was under President Bush?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Bush Farewell Speech: What Do You Want To Hear?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush gave his last scheduled news conference yesterday and now plans to give a farewell address to the nation on Thursday night at 8pm. He's asked the networks to give up some of their coveted prime-time schedules for it.

President Bush plans to give a farewell address on Thursday night.

He will deliver the 15- minute speech in the East Room of the White House in front of a live audience of "courageous Americans."

According to the White House press secretary, the President is expected to reflect on his 8 years in office and how the country has changed during that time. He will defend his record but will also share his thoughts on the greatest problems facing the nation and what it takes to meet them.

There's no law about if, how and when Presidents say good-bye as they leave the White House. Past Presidents have done so on Capitol Hill, in newspapers, from the White House, or not at all, as was the case with Bush 41 before Clinton took office.

Here’s my question to you: What would you like President Bush to say in his farewell address to the nation Thursday night?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 5th, 2009
01:22 PM ET

Did Sen. Reid Take an Unnecessary Cheap Shot at Pres. Bush?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Obamas have arrived in Washington, and the Bushes are on their way out. The inauguration is just a couple weeks away.

The Bush Administration is, of course, trying to go out on a high note.

But leave it to "Mr. Sensitivity," to throw cold water on that idea. Yesterday on "Meet the Press" Senate Majority leader Harry Reid called President Bush, "the worst president we've ever had." Sort of the pot calling the kettle black, I mean Reid is not exactly a day at the beach himself.

It's not the first time Reid has said stuff like this publicly. In the past he called President Bush "dangerously incompetent." Reid isn't holding back even as President Bush packs his bags to leave town. You wonder why there's so much partisanship and ill will in Washington?

Reid doesn't seem to regret any of his words either. In the interview he said he just calls things the way he sees them. What a charming fellow.

Here’s my question to you: Is Harry Reid calling President Bush, "The worst President we ever had," an unnecessary cheap shot?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


December 17th, 2008
12:36 PM ET

Will History Be Kinder to Pres. Bush or V.P. Cheney?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Vice President Dick Cheney gave an interview to ABC's Jonathan Karl in which he defended the administration's decision to invade Iraq, the war on terror, water boarding, Guantanamo and more. Yesterday President Bush gave a similar interview to our Candy Crowley.

With only 34 days left in office both men are reflecting on the past eight years and perhaps thinking about their legacy and how they'll be remembered.  It's a time to talk up their accomplishments in the hopes that critics attention will be diverted from the other stuff.

Bush and Cheney are leaving Washington in the middle of two wars and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

There is certainly no shortage of memories of our 43rd president. Everything from speaking at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks to the time he choked on a pretzel and fainted while watching Sunday night football.

Then there's the Vice President. He has redefined the role of the Nation's second in command. He will long be remembered for that but also for shooting his hunting companion in the face in 2006.

Here’s my question to you: Who will history be kindest to: President Bush or Vice President Cheney?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


December 15th, 2008
01:34 PM ET

Shoes thrown at Pres. Bush: What does it say about U.S. image?

Like father like son. Just as President Bush's father will forever be remembered for throwing up on the Prime Minister of Japan at a state dinner in Tokyo, so will this weekend's video of our beloved President follow him for the rest of his days.

An Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at President Bush yesterday while he was holding a press conference in Iraqi with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. It was a deliberate insult directed at President Bush. For Muslims, sitting with the soles of your shoes facing someone or hurling them at someone is a sign of contempt.

The reporter, who works for an Egyptian based television network, yelled "This is a farewell... you dog!" in Arabic. He was put in jail where he remains while Iraqi officials decide whether or not he'll face charges for assaulting an official.

As for President Bush, he made light of it and announced to reporters that the shoes were a size 10.

Questions have been raised about the seemingly delayed Secret Service response and why the man was able to throw his second shoe after throwing the first, but President Bush apparently waved off Secret Service officers at first.

Thousands of Iraqis rallied in support of the reporter's actions. Some said he shouldn't have thrown his shoes at President Bush in the presence of the Iraqi prime minister.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about our image when a foreign reporter throws his shoes at President Bush?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Iraq • Nouri al-Maliki • President George W. Bush
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