Former first daughter Barbara Bush's new non-profit, Global Health Corps, was inspired by a 2003 trip that she took with her parents to five African countries. The Bush family was in Africa at the time promoting the Bush administration's anti-AIDS initiative.
A visit to a health clinic for people battling HIV opened Barbara Bush's eyes to how she might make a difference in the health field.
"I think that was the first time that – I was not pre-med; I hadn't studied health – that was the first time that I thought well maybe, what am I doing? Maybe I should focus on this," the Bush daughter said in an interview Tuesday on CNN's American Morning. "And I can. You really can work in the health field even if you're not a doctor or a nurse."
Bush decided to take that premise and use it as the foundation of Global Health Corps, a non-profit that recruits young professionals who are age 30 or younger to work for a year in health organizations.
"They're not doctors or nurses. They're filling any needs that the organizations have. And what we've found is all of our partners want people with technology skills. They want program management skills. They want monitoring and evaluation support. They just want general program support – which are skills that tons of people have. They just don't know they can use them in the health field."
For example, Bush said one participant in the non-profit's first crop of fellows is a former Google employee with a background in product management who is now working on health management information systems in Tanzania.
"In Tea Party Patriots, we have no place for that," Jenny Beth Martin said on CNN's American Morning. "If we see somebody who's doing something racist, we tell them to leave our events. We're there for our core values. We want to reclaim our founding principles in this country."
Martin, who's the national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said the conservative grassroots movement is dedicated to furthering three core values: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. Asked whether the Tea Party movement is political movement or a protest movement, Martin responded that it is "a little bit of both."
And Martin said the movement is open to everyone, including racial and ethnic minorities, notwithstanding the fact that some national polls have indicated Tea Party activists and supporters of the movement are predominantly Caucasian.
Martin said there's "absolutely" a place for minorities in the conservative movement. "This is about ordinary citizens in America and we're reclaiming our founding principles. And those principles are liberty – it affects everyone in this country regardless of race or age."
(CNN) - The battle against a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being waged on three fronts, United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday.
"One is to cap the well" that is leaking the oil, she said. "Efforts to do that have not succeeded to date."
Authorities are also trying to keep the slick from reaching land, and preparing to clean it up immediately if it does make landfall, she said on CNN's American Morning.
Perkins pointed out that Republicans had submitted a number of amendments to health care reform legislation that would prohibit federal funding of abortion.
"Tony, I will support your effort to make sure that abortion is taken off the table in this debate," Wallis told his conservative counterpart, "I'm for that. I'll work hard for that. Let's work together on that. And then you support our moral principle that all Americans should be covered by health care – secure, affordable, accessible health care. Let's work together and make sure that both of those things, in fact, are a part of comprehensive health care reform because the system is broken and we have to fix it. And, don't let abortion derail that effort, please."
"Well, ask the president, then, to take it off the table and accept these amendments," responded Perkins, "and then we can have a discussion on how we fix health care in this country, and I'll be glad to work with you on that because we agree - we need to fix health care in this country."
"We do, then let's do it together," Wallis said.
(CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul told CNN what he thinks about "Ron Paul Singles" - the recently-launched dating site where fans of the Texas congressman can connect over life, love and the merits of the gold standard.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A day after former Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his support for the idea of same-sex marriage, Republican party chairman Michael Steele re-stated his opposition to the idea.
"My personal view is that marriage is between a man and a woman," Steele said Tuesday on CNN's American Morning, "very much in line with what the president [Barack Obama] has said."
"...The vice president brings a very personal perspective to this issue," he also said. "I think his comments are an appropriate reflection of his family and his situation with his daughter."
At an appearance at the National Press Club Monday, Cheney reiterated his long-standing position that individuals should be able to choose the type of relationship they wish to enter into. Citing his own family's experience with the issue, he said the question of same-sex marriage was best left to the states, not the federal government.
"I think freedom means freedom for everyone," Cheney said Monday, when asked whether some form of legalized same-sex marriage is inevitable in the United States. "As many of you know," told the audience, "one of my daughters is gay – something that we've lived for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."
(CNN) – A driving force behind the new effort to renew the GOP's image denied Monday that the group is looking to avoid addressing social issues that excite the conservative base but can be off-putting for moderate and independent voters.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia was joined at the group's town hall style kick off event Saturday by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"During your meeting over the weekend, you didn't talk at all about abortion, gay marriage or immigration," American Morning's John Roberts said to Cantor Monday. "Those are three big Republican social issues. . . . Why were those issues left off the table?"
"The National Council for a New America is meant to be a wide-open policy debate," the Virginia Republican responded. "There is no exclusion about what we'll talk about, who can be involved.
"...The traditional family values are a part of everything we do. The value system that we hold raising our children, educating our children, delivering health care –these issues permeate everything, so there is absolutely no intention to veer away from discussion of any of that."
(CNN) – A former homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush is slamming the decision by an Obama White House official to use lower Manhattan as the location for a low-flying presidential plane photo-op.
Francis Townsend, a CNN security contributor, called the fly-over "crass insensitivity" Tuesday on CNN's American Morning. "And, frankly, as I would say as a former prosecutor, I would call this felony stupidity," the lawyer and former Bush homeland security adviser added.
Townsend also suggested that Louis Caldera, the Director of the White House Military Office, may not be fit to continue serving in the Obama administration.
"What makes this almost more disturbing is the fact that that's the office responsible for the movement of the president and his staff in a time of emergency," Townsend told Kiran Chetry. "So, of course, the most important thing is that the person leading it has good judgment. . . . at its best this is bad judgment. This is probably not the right job for Mr. Caldera to be in if he didn't understand the likely reaction of New Yorkers."
"This was not necessary," Townsend added. "If you needed pictures of Air Force One over a national icon, fly it over the Grand Canyon. But flying it over lower Manhattan, which to many of us is a sacred ground now where we lost thousands of Americans, I just think it wrong."
Caldera issued a statement Monday evening regarding the fly-over. "[I]t's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption," he said. "I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused."
President Obama was reportedly furious after learning that a plane in his fleet was flown over the same vicinity as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also criticized the flight and said had he known of the White House's plan, he would have asked that the flight not take place.
UPDATED 11:33 a.m.: President Obama said Tuesday the fly-over incident "was a mistake." "It will not happen again," the president also said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Count former GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson among the growing chorus of prominent Republicans who want President Obama's policies to fail.
Tuesday evening Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called pressure to support Obama's policies "political correctness run amok."
Thompson told CNN's John Roberts Wednesday that he agreed with some of his fellow Republicans who have said publicly they do not want the president's policies to be successful.
Watch: Thompson on American Morning
"I want his policies that I believe take us in the wrong direction to fail," Thompson told Roberts on CNN's American Morning.
"If he takes us down the road of tripling our national debt in ten years and making us vulnerable to higher interest rates and higher inflation, and things of that nature, I want all those policies not to succeed," he said.
Thompson, who made the rising cost of entitlement spending a focus of his 2008 presidential run, said he'd be happy to help Obama overhaul those programs.
"If he wants to do that, I will join with him. I'll do everything I can to make him succeed with regard to that because that's the whole ball game in terms of our fiscal future in this country," said the former Tennessee senator.
Thompson criticized Obama's ambitious health care agenda, telling Roberts the president's plans would cost the government more than they would save.
WASHINGTON (CNN)– One of the three moderate Republican senators who voted in favor of the stimulus package says he's aware of the political danger he's putting himself in.
"I understand the peril, but I didn't run for the United States Senate to further my own political interests," Sen. Arlen Specter said on CNN's American Morning. "I think when you have a decision like the one that we're facing now, there's only one way to respond, and that's to respond with action."
Specter and Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine were the only Republicans to back the $838 billion bill that passed the Senate yesterday. All three senators were involved in cutting spending proposals from the original plan crafted by Democrats, and all three have said they may not vote for the final version of the bill if more spending projects are added to the legislation by House Democrats.
"If somebody else in the Republican Party had stepped up to do the negotiations, to handle it, I would have been glad to step aside," Specter told American Morning anchor John Roberts.
The five-term senator from Pennsylvania said that with the economy facing a possible catastrophe, "the only responsible thing to do is to support the package. And bear in mind, the Republican moderates' program got $110 billion cut. We got the backing of the United States Chamber of Commerce, which is a very conservative Republican organization. They know the economy better than perhaps anybody, because they're in touch with so many thousands of businesses and they say the economy requires it."
Neither Collins or Snowe face re-election in 2010, but Specter does. He faced a bruising primary battle in 2004 against then-Republican Rep. Pat Toomey, a fiscal conservative.
The National Republican Trust PAC, an influential conservative political action committee, is pledging to support primary challengers to any Republican senator who supports stimulus package backed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats - the latest public show of dissatisfaction from the right over the massive measure before Congress.