November 2nd, 2010
10:29 PM ET
3 years ago

Bennett: Vice President Rubio in 2013

Editor's note: The hotly contested campaign for the midterm elections is over. As the results come in, CNN's political contributors share their quick thoughts on what's making news.

Tuesday was a great night for Republicans because as Marco Rubio said, we now have a second chance. It's still important to remember this country is not quite yet a Republican country, but as of Tuesday night it is saying it is most definitely not a Democratic Party country either.
FULL POST

March 9th, 2010
07:06 PM ET
3 years ago

Duncan, Bennett: NCLB caused standards to lower

Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, discussed education reform Tuesday on CNN with former Reagan administration Education Secretary William Bennett, right.
Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, discussed education reform Tuesday on CNN with former Reagan administration Education Secretary William Bennett, right.

Washington (CNN) – Modern education policy makes for strange bedfellows.

Current Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former Education Secretary William Bennett, agreed Tuesday that No Child Left Behind, a trademark initiative of former President George W. Bush, has caused some states to lower educational standards.

"We have dummied-downed standards," Duncan said on CNN's Situation Room. "It's our fault as adults. We've lowered the bar. We've had low expectations – not because it's the right thing educationally, not because it's the right thing for our economy. We did it because of political pressure."

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer what he meant by "political pressure," Duncan blamed the previous administration's signature educational policy which created a regime of standardized testing as one of the major indicators of a school's success in educating kids.

"What we've seen under No Child Left Behind is – we saw many states actually reducing standards to respond to that political pressure. That's bad for children, bad for education. Wolf, we've been lying to children in our country."

Watch the interview after the jump:
FULL POST


Filed under: Arne Duncan • Bill Bennett • Education • The Situation Room
January 25th, 2010
05:38 AM ET
4 years ago

Losing Kennedy's seat a gift, Dem says


Washington (CNN) – Democrats’ stunning loss of the Senate seat held for more than 4 decades by a liberal icon is an early warning sign that the party should heed, a prominent Democratic strategist said Sunday.

National Democrats are reeling after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, lost to Scott Brown, a Republican state senator who was virtually unknown on the national stage until his upstart campaign began to gain momentum in recent weeks. Brown’s bid to finish out the remainder of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s final term gained traction in part because he campaigned on a pledge to be the 41st vote Senate Republicans need to block Democrats’ health care reform bill.

“John, we lost a very important seat, a very important vote,” Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s a disappointment,” Brazile also told King. “It hurts like hell. I can’t tell you how much it hurts. But, it’s also a gift. If we learn the lessons to get back to the basics, to deliver for the American people the change we promised them in 2008.”

“Well, maybe we can find more under the tree,” Bill Bennett, the host of conservative talk show “Morning in America,” said in response to Brazile. “If that’s the gift, then we want to keep on giving,” the conservative commentator added.

Pointing to polling of Massachusetts voters conducted just after Tuesday’s special election, Bennett said “dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, antipathy toward federal government activism, and opposition to the Democrats’ health care proposals drove the upset election” of Brown.

Related: Voter anger helped GOP pull Senate upset, poll says “Brown stressed a lot his unhappiness with the way the [Obama] administration was conducting the war on terror,” Bennett also pointed out Sunday. “The people spoke. The people of blue-on-blue Massachusetts spoke and it could not have been clearer.” Bennet declared.

Brazile disagreed with Bennett’s assertion that the Massachusetts upset was a repudiation of fundamental aspects of the agenda President Obama and congressional Democrats have pursued in the last year. “This is not a defeat that should cause Democrats to become demoralized or to begin to fail in their pledge to change the country. This is an opportunity,” Brazile said Sunday.


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Senate • State of the Union
January 24th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Losing Kennedy's seat a gift, Dem says


Washington (CNN) – Democrats’ stunning loss of the Senate seat held for more than 4 decades by a liberal icon is an early warning sign that the party should heed, a prominent Democratic strategist said Sunday.

National Democrats are reeling after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, lost to Scott Brown, a Republican state senator who was virtually unknown on the national stage until his upstart campaign began to gain momentum in recent weeks. Brown’s bid to finish out the remainder of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s final term gained traction in part because he campaigned on a pledge to be the 41st vote Senate Republicans need to block Democrats’ health care reform bill.

“John, we lost a very important seat, a very important vote,” Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“It’s a disappointment,” Brazile also told King. “It hurts like hell. I can’t tell you how much it hurts. But, it’s also a gift. If we learn the lessons to get back to the basics, to deliver for the American people the change we promised them in 2008.”

“Well, maybe we can find more under the tree,” Bill Bennett, the host of conservative talk show “Morning in America,” said in response to Brazile. “If that’s the gift, then we want to keep on giving,” the conservative commentator added.
FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Extra • Massachusetts • Popular Posts • Senate • State of the Union
June 22nd, 2009
05:02 AM ET
5 years ago

Bennett: Obama's reaction to Iran 'very disappointing'


WASHINGTON (CNN) – After more than a week of political protests on the streets of Tehran and repeated criticism of the White House by Republicans on Capitol Hill, a leading conservative voice is also criticizing President Barack Obama’s response to the political upheaval in Iran.

Related: 'The world is watching,' Obama tells Iran

Obama “needs to condemn what the government is doing,” conservative radio talk show host and CNN political contributor Bill Bennett said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“He needs to say it in no uncertain terms. This is very disappointing, as far as I’m concerned. This was the president to whom the whole world was looking. . . . This is a president about hope, he’s about the future. This is a guy who was a community organizer. He missed it. He missed the opportunity.”

“We are last best hope on Earth,” Bennett also said. “He is the President of the United States. If he will not side with these young people against a religious autocracy that is beating the hell out of people, what is the point of being the moral leader of the free world?”

Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, sees the situation differently.

“I think the president has struck the right balance,” Brazile said Sunday.

“If the United States is seen as showing its so-called fist at a moment when the people themselves are speaking out, it could have the adverse effect of rallying those individuals against the United States and not against their government,” the Democrat said.

Related: Obama gives exclusive interview to Pakistani media outlet


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Iran • President Obama • State of the Union
June 21st, 2009
06:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Bennett: Obama's reaction to Iran 'very disappointing'


WASHINGTON (CNN) – After more than a week of political protests on the streets of Tehran and repeated criticism of the White House by Republicans on Capitol Hill, a leading conservative voice is also criticizing President Barack Obama’s response to the political upheaval in Iran.

Related: 'The world is watching,' Obama tells Iran

Obama “needs to condemn what the government is doing,” conservative radio talk show host and CNN political contributor Bill Bennett said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“He needs to say it in no uncertain terms. This is very disappointing, as far as I’m concerned. This was the president to whom the whole world was looking. . . . This is a president about hope, he’s about the future. This is a guy who was a community organizer. He missed it. He missed the opportunity.”

“We are last best hope on Earth,” Bennett also said. “He is the President of the United States. If he will not side with these young people against a religious autocracy that is beating the hell out of people, what is the point of being the moral leader of the free world?”

Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, sees the situation differently.

“I think the president has struck the right balance,” Brazile said Sunday.

“If the United States is seen as showing its so-called fist at a moment when the people themselves are speaking out, it could have the adverse effect of rallying those individuals against the United States and not against their government,” the Democrat said.

Related: Obama gives exclusive interview to Pakistani media outlet


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Extra • Iran • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union
May 10th, 2009
01:34 PM ET
5 years ago

I don't think Palin is the future of the GOP, Republican says

Bill Bennett, a Republican, and Donna Brazile, a Democrat, expressed very different views Sunday about who might be good candidates to represent the Republican Party in the public's mind.
Bill Bennett, a Republican, and Donna Brazile, a Democrat, expressed very different views Sunday about who might be good candidates to represent the Republican Party in the public's mind.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Prominent Republican Bill Bennett took issue Sunday with what he called the “media’s focus” on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Asked about the Republican Party’s increasingly public struggle to define itself and identify new leaders after eight years of the George W. Bush administration, Bennett said the press should be less myopic in its coverage of the GOP.

“One of the things the media could do – some of the media – is to move the debate off Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh,” Bennett, a CNN Contributor, said on State of the Union. “This is probably not the future of the Republican Party,” added Bennett.

“You don’t think Gov. Palin’s the future of the Republican Party?” queried CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

“I do not,” said Bennett. “It could talk about a Paul Ryan or a Mike Pence. It could talk about a Bobby Jindal. It could talk even about a John Kyl or a David Petraeus. You know, there’s a lot of talent in this party.”

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile has her own ideas about who the GOP might look to, to help find its way out of the political wilderness.
FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Bennett • GOP • Meghan McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
May 3rd, 2009
02:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Bennett on Kemp: 'We lost part of our heart today'

Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 1996.
Jack Kemp, a former congressman from New York, was the GOP's vice presidential candidate in 1996.

(CNN) – Republican Analyst Bill Bennett told CNN Sunday that with the death of former GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, "we lost part of our heart today."

In 1993, the two men co-founded conservative think tank Empower America.

"Well, we lost part of our heart today, John, one of our great voices, one of our lions," he told CNN's John King on State of the Union. "You know, there's a lot of talk, these days, about who will be the next Ronald Reagan. A few of us were thinking, this morning, who will be the next Jack Kemp?"

Bennett praised Kemp's efforts to increase the diversity of the GOP and reach out to urban areas and minority voters.

FULL POST


Filed under: Bill Bennett • Jack Kemp • State of the Union