July 26th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is Pres. Obama more concerned with reelection than with the country's welfare?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After listening to his speech last night, you gotta wonder: Is President Obama more worried about the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations? Or is he more worried about being re-elected to a second term in 2012?
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The president says he wants a deal on the debt ceiling, but he's been unable to bring both parties together to agree on anything– even after days of closed door meetings. Republican House Speaker John Boehner walked out on talks with President Obama this weekend. He said he won't negotiate with the president anymore and instead he will work directly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. There's a match made in heaven.

The president is in trouble. For starters, a lot of the people who elected him in 2008 aren't so pleased with the job he's doing. An ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows the number of liberal Democrats who support Obama on his jobs record has dropped from 53 percent last year to below a third. And the percentage of African Americans who feel the president has helped the economy and the jobs situation has plummeted from 77 percent to barely one-half.

One recent poll showed that any generic Republican would beat President Obama by eight percentage points if the election was held today. I don't know if you've noticed, but the current Republican field of presidential candidates leaves a lot to be desired.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said he thinks it would be a good idea for President Obama to face some primary opposition as we get closer to the election. The last incumbent president to face primary opposition was ... ready? ... Jimmy Carter.

Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama more concerned with his reelection than with the welfare of the country?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: President Obama
August 24th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Does the president's religion really matter?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is Christian, yet somehow it's a fact that seems up for debate these days - with a growing number of Americans saying he's Muslim.
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It's a false rumor that the president has been battling since he was a candidate, yet for many the issue is murkier than ever:

A new Pew Poll shows nearly one in five Americans believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim. That's up from one in 10 who felt that way last year.

Most of those who believe the president is Muslim are Republicans; but the number of Independents who think this way has grown significantly from last year. The number of people who are unsure about the president's religion is also higher - even among his supporters. Fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans say that President Obama is Christian.

Part of the reason for this misinformation just may be comments like these: The Rev. Franklin Graham - son of the evangelist Billy Graham - told CNN, "I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim." Graham says "the seed of Islam" was passed through Mr. Obama's father; and although the president says he's accepted Jesus Christ, the Islamic world sees him as one of theirs.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also weighed in with this quote: "The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word."

Critics argue a remark like this suggests the debate over the president's religion is legitimate.

The White House says that the president is Christian and he prays daily. They point out Mr. Obama has spoken extensively about his faith in the past; but making sure Americans know he's a devout Christian isn't his top priority. And they have a point - it's not like there's a shortage of serious problems facing this country.

Here’s my question to you: Does the president's religion really matter?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama • Religion
August 10th, 2010
05:30 PM ET

Why don't some Democrats want to be seen with Pres. Obama?


 President Obama attended a fundraiser Monday in Austin, Texas. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/File)

FROM CNN's Jeff Cafferty:

The mid-term elections are shaping up to be an uphill battle for the Democrats.

And here's just one reason why: Presidents who keep their approval rating above 50 percent traditionally see their party lose fewer seats in Congress than presidents with lower approval ratings.

According to Gallup, the average midterm election seat loss for presidents below 50 percent approval is 36 seats in the House of Representatives. That's compared to an average loss of 14 seats for presidents getting higher marks.

The Republicans need to gain 40 seats this year to retake control of the House, which is pretty close to that average of 36 seats.

And none of this is good news for President Obama and the Democrats. Not only is Mr. Obama below the 50 percent mark – but he's approaching 40 percent in some of the polls.

Some Democrats up for election have already figured this out. When President Obama comes into town, they leave.

Just yesterday in Texas, the Democratic candidate for governor, Bill White, was nowhere in sight when Pres. Obama came to Austin and Dallas for fund-raising events.

The week before it was Georgia, where another Democratic candidate for governor, Roy Barnes, decided not to appear with the president.

The White House insists they're not taking it personally, saying it doesn't say anything broadly about the president's coattails... they say there's never been a president who's been wanted by every single candidate around the country to campaign for them. Which is sort of what you'd expect them to say.

Here’s my question to you: Why don't some Democratic candidates want to be seen with President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • President Obama
August 9th, 2010
06:05 PM ET

Why 56-point difference between blacks & whites on Pres. Obama approval?


 (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty

President Obama has been in office just over a year and a half, and he is getting drastically different marks from whites and blacks.

A CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll shows there is a 56-point difference between blacks and whites when it comes to the president's approval rating.

A whopping 93% of blacks approve of how Pres. Obama is handling his job, but only 37% of whites do.

Pres. Obama is the nation's first black president, and was supposed to move the country past racial divisions… a tall order to be sure. But, yet the president did receive lots of support from whites as a candidate.

Part of the problem may be that critics are painting this Obama White House as out-of-touch with the American people. Nile Gardener of the London Telegraph points to examples like the First Lady's lavish European vacation, the president's move towards big government and dramatic increases in government borrowing and spending.

Gardener points to extravagance and arrogance among "the White house elites that rule America as though they had been handed some divine right to govern with impunity".

Last Friday, the president chose to fly six miles in Marine One to a sign factory in the Washington, D.C. area rather than drive. Six miles. The helicopter ride took about eight minutes…driving would have taken about 20.

Here’s my question to you: Why is there a 56-point difference between blacks and whites when it comes to Pres. Obama's approval rating?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama • Race
August 5th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is Pres. Obama keeping his word on transparency?


 (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama promised us the "most transparent" administration in history, but there are growing signs that it's just business as usual in Washington.

Politico.com reports that four times in the last week, the president has quietly attended private and exclusive Democratic Party fund-raisers – all closed to the press.

These events are for the fat cats – big donors, sometimes paying as much as $30,000 to attend. They're held at fancy hotels or at the homes of wealthy supporters.

The White House claims the president had nothing "formal" to say at these small fund-raisers so there was no need to have reporters on hand. They say the rule is if the president makes a speech or formal remarks, the event is open to the press.

But the president is clearly talking to donors at these events. One Democratic source tells Politico that at such a fund-raiser, the president will typically give a brief address to the group, then he might spend about an hour speaking one-on-one, or in small groups, with supporters.

Critics say this is an example of the president backtracking on his promise for openness. And journalists have also tried to get access to these events, with no luck.

You may recall it was at a private fund-raiser in San Francisco that then candidate-Obama was overheard telling donors that working-class people hurt by the economy "get bitter" and "cling to guns or religion." After that firestorm, Obama's campaign said it would allow more press into similar events.

But at least four times in the last week it doesn't seem to be happening.

Here’s my question to you: Pres. Obama promised us the most transparent presidency in history. Is he keeping his word?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama
June 14th, 2010
05:03 PM ET

What should Pres. Obama say about oil spill in Oval Office address?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While BP struggles to get control of the gulf oil spill, President Obama is going to try to get control of the story line.

Tomorrow night he will make his first address to the nation from the Oval Office since being inaugurated. The speech will follow a 2-day visit to the Gulf region nearly 60 days after the start of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

The stakes for the president are high. It is his fourth trip to the region since the April 20th rig explosion; he continues to come under fire for being slow to respond.

The trip, the Oval Office address and his first face-to-face meeting with BP executives since the spill are all meant to show that the president in charge. The question is whether it's too late and whether the remainder of his presidency will be damaged as badly as the Gulf Coast – much the way George Bush's presidency was damaged by Katrina.

In the Oval Office speech tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to call for BP to create an escrow account reportedly in the amount of $20 billion to pay for damage claims to businesses and individuals whose lives have been destroyed by the spill.

He's also expected to call for an independent third party to handle the claims process.

The cries for Mr. Obama to step up have been getting louder. Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently called on the president to "level with the American people", use the crisis as a way to create jobs and "stop the blame game."

The spill has tested President Obama's leadership perhaps more than any other single event in his presidency.

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from President Obama about the oil spill in tomorrow’s Oval Office address?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: Oil spill • President Obama
April 23rd, 2010
04:39 PM ET

SEC watching porn instead of Wall Street?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/23/art.wallstreet.0423.gi.jpg caption=" SEC watching porn instead of Wall Street?."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As Wall Street brought the nation to the brink of financial collapse a couple years ago some of our so-called top government regulators were spending hours a day of agency time watching pornography on government computers instead of watching the investment bankers on Wall street who were going south with the economy.

The inspector general for the Securities and Exchange Commission says at least 33 employees were involved watching internet filth. Almost all of these cases occurred in the last two and a half years which would coincide with the near-collapse of the financial system.

More than half of these employees were at a "senior level" making up to $220,000.

And if you're not disgusted yet, let me continue:

One senior attorney at the SEC in Washington spent as much as 8 hours a day looking at and downloading porn. After running out of hard drive space on his computer, he burned the files onto CDs or DVDs and stored them in boxes in his office.

An SEC accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in one month from trying to access porn sites.

Another SEC accountant tried to access pornography online almost 2,000 times in a two-week period. She had 600 pornographic images saved on her computer.

The SEC won't release the names of these people even though they work for you. They claim those involved have been disciplined, suspended or fired. They should all be fired end of discussion.

Meanwhile President Obama wants to create another new government bureaucracy to oversee Wall Street. What if the SEC just did its job instead?

Here’s my question to you: Should Pres. Obama be more concerned about the SEC watching pornography when they should have been watching Wall Street?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama • Wall Street
November 23rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What can Pres. Obama learn from Sarah Palin?

What can President Obama learn from Sarah Palin? (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With President Obama now below 50 percent approval for the first time, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd suggests the president could learn "a thing or three" from Sarah Palin.

Dowd writes that with the former V-P candidate back on the trail for her book tour, she clearly hasn't boned up on anything and "she still has that Yoda-like syntax."

But Dowd warns it would be foolish for the Democrats to write off Palin. She says that although President Obama is highly intelligent and likable - he's not connecting on a gut level with the public. She suggests he might be getting too bogged down in pragmatism and the details of legislative compromises.

Dowd writes that the president, who she calls the "Cerebral One," might want to take lessons from Palin, the "Visceral One."

She writes: "Palin can be stupefyingly simplistic, but she seems dynamic. Obama is impressively complex but he seems static. She nurtures her grass roots while he neglects his. He struggles to transcend identity politics while she wallows in them. As he builds an emotional moat around himself, she exuberantly pushes whatever she has, warts and all..."

Meanwhile – it's clear Sarah Palin is saying something people want to hear. She sold 300,000 copies of her memoir on the day of its release - one of the best openings ever for a nonfiction book, easily topping people like Hillary Clinton.

As for President Obama - the Gallup Daily Tracking poll puts his approval rating at 49 percent - the first time he's dropped below 50 percent since taking office.

Here’s my question to you: What can President Obama learn from Sarah Palin?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: President Obama • Sarah Palin
November 18th, 2009
04:05 PM ET

Would you vote to re-elect Pres. Obama 1 year later?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

A year after President Obama rode into office on the mantra of hope and change, a lot of people are wondering, "Where's the beef?"

There's no question that change takes time... but there's been a lack of meaningful progress on so many of the big issues that faced him when he first occupied the Oval Office.

–Unemployment is now topping 10% and many think it will go even higher before things get better. We were told the stimulus package would keep it from going above eight percent.

–Health care reform, perhaps the president's top domestic priority, still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality - if it ever does.

–Deficits continue to soar, with the national debt now topping an astounding $12 trillion. This comes less than eight months after the debt hit $11 trillion.

–The president has committed to withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but with renewed violence there it's an open question how soon they can all come out. Afghanistan has now become Obama's war... as he decides whether to add more troops.

–The president's January deadline of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp will likely go unmet.

As for other issues like immigration reform, legislation on climate change or regulating Wall Street - nothing yet.

The interesting thing is despite a lack of progress on a lot of these issues, the American people still like their new president.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 55% approve of how the president is handling his job... Furthermore, apart from his job approval... a whopping 76% have a favorable view of Mr. Obama as a person.

SO HERE'S MY QUESTION FOR YOU: Would you vote to re-elect President Obama one year later?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama
August 14th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama's transparency promise on bailout & stimulus $?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Pres. Obama has been promising the American people transparency ever since he was on the campaign trail.

And, when it comes to the $700 billion dollar bank and auto bailouts, known as TARP, and the $787 billion economic stimulus package, the president vowed an unprecedented level of openness.

A lot of information has been made public through websites like recovery.gov and financialstability.gov. The administration calls these sites "pioneering" compared to how government worked in the past.

But we're talking about almost $1.5 trillion dollars here – and there is key information that the public doesn't know about how and where this money is being spent.

For example, the Treasury Department doesn't require banks that have gotten TARP funds to show how they're using the money or who the bailed out banks are lending to.

Also, taxpayers won't have any idea if they've lost or made money on government investments in companies like General Motors, AIG, Citigroup and Bank of America until the government sells its stakes.

As for the spending of stimulus dollars, the government accounting only goes as far as the first tier recipients from the states. So it's not known which and how many companies down the line are getting work.

It's not enough. We deserve the transparency that was promised us. Otherwise it's just another example of government lying to us in order to get us to go along with something. Does the Iraq war ring a bell?

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:When it comes to stimulus and bailout money, has Pres. Obama kept his promise of transparency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: President Obama • Stimulus
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