June 21st, 2009
06:10 PM ET
14 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
June 21st, 2009
06:05 PM ET
14 years ago

State of the Union: The Sounds of Sunday

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Watch as CNN Chief National Correspondent John King recaps the Sunday shows and helps you get a head start on the political headlines for the week ahead.

Filed under: State of the Union
June 21st, 2009
05:38 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain: Obama has done well, but hasn't been bipartisan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.bomac0621.gi.jpg caption="Sunday, Sen. McCain had praise - and some criticism - for his former rival."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - You can't call John McCain a sore loser.

Seven months after Barack Obama defeated him in the U.S. presidential election, the Republican senator from Arizona said Sunday he thinks his former Senate colleague is making things happen in the White House.

"I think he's done well," McCain said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

"He has achieved literally every one of his legislative accomplishments," McCain noted in reference to the economic stimulus package and other measures passed by Congress in recent months.

However, McCain said, the same partisan divisions remain in Congress despite Obama's campaign pledges of seeking bipartisan solutions.

"Unfortunately, it's by picking off a couple of Republicans" to support his measures instead of gaining real consensus, McCain said. "It's not been bipartisan."

On foreign policy, McCain offered Obama a grade of "incomplete," noting the North Korean and Iranian nuclear threats.

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • President Obama
June 21st, 2009
04:13 PM ET
June 21st, 2009
04:00 PM ET
June 21st, 2009
03:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Senators raise doubts about health care reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) – For the second time in as many weeks, leading senators on both sides of the aisle are raising doubts about the viability of President Obama’s ambitious plans to reform the nation’s health care system.

Indiana Republican Richard Lugar said Sunday that changing the nation’s health care might have to wait a while.

“What I would suggest is that we hang on now for a period of study so that we find, literally, what the alternatives are,” Lugar told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Sunday on State of the Union.

Lugar said health care reform might not happen in 2009.

“Not this year, because the president is trying to solve the economic crisis in our country and the world. We already have a $1.8 trillion deficit projected quite apart from all of this,” Lugar said.

“To be candid with you,” California Democrat Dianne Feinstein told King, “I don’t know that [Obama] has the votes right now. I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.”

Last week on State of the Union, a bipartisan group of moderate senators also expressed reservations about the health care reform proposals favored by the White House and more liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Updated: 3:13 p.m.

Filed under: Health care • State of the Union
June 21st, 2009
01:51 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama gives exclusive interview to Pakistani media outlet

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama told a Pakistani television interview that isolating extremists is crucial for improving ties between Muslim nations and the United States.

The interview taped Friday at the White House was scheduled for broadcast on Sunday by DawnNews, which is Pakistan's first 24-hour English-language news channel. According to DawnNews, it was the first time a U.S. president granted a one-on-one interview to a Pakistani media outlet.

A report on the interview posted on the DawnNews Web site said Obama called the huge street demonstrations in Iran an indication that the announced election results there "obviously raised a lot of doubts."

"We respect Iran's sovereignty, but we also are witnessing peaceful demonstrations, people expressing themselves, and I stand for that universal principle that people should have a voice in their own lives and their own destiny," Obama said, according to Web site report. "And I hope that the international community recognizes that we need to stand behind peaceful protests and be opposed to violence or repression."

Filed under: Iran • Middle East • Pakistan • Popular Posts • President Obama
June 21st, 2009
01:50 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain: Board N. Korean ship if we know it has banned cargo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. forces should board a North Korean ship if there is "hard evidence" it is transporting nuclear weapons technology in violation of the recent U.N. Security Council resolution, Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation," the Arizona Republican said the North Korean ship being tracked by the USS John McCain - a destroyer named after his father and grandfather - may be contributing to the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue states.

"If we have hard evidence that that ship is carrying technology equipment missiles that are in gross violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions, I think we should board it," said McCain, who lost his presidential bid to Barack Obama in last November's election.

Filed under: John McCain • North Korea
June 21st, 2009
01:29 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama and daughters visit frozen custard shop

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.bocustard0620.gi.jpg caption="The president took his daughters out for a frozen treat on Saturday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama and his two daughters enjoyed a pre-Father's Day visit to a dessert shop Saturday.

The president took 10-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha to The Dairy Godmother frozen custard store in Alexandria, Virginia, a short drive across the Potomac River from Washington.

Obama wore slacks and a short-sleeve shirt, and both daughters wore t-shirts and pants for the casual outing, which drew cheers from surprised onlookers.

The president's security detail screened customers seeking to enter the shop while the Obamas were inside.

Filed under: Obama family • Popular Posts • President Obama
June 21st, 2009
01:28 PM ET
14 years ago

NYT's Keller: Keeping abduction a secret 'an agonizing decision'

(CNN)- When news broke Saturday that New York Times Foreign Correspondent David Rohde had escaped from his Taliban abductors and was returning home safely to the United States, few even knew he had been kidnapped.

Although several media outlets were aware that Rohde was taken last November in Afghanistan while working on a book, most had agreed not to publish that information at the request of Rohde’s family and The New York Times.

Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, who recently returned from Iran, spoke about the difficulty of the decision.

“It was an agonizing decision that we revisited over and over again, but I also have a responsibility for the people who work for me,” Keller said on the Reliable Sources hour of CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Keller told Kurtz that as time went on, they reconsidered keeping the abduction a secret, but ultimately decided that “the wisest course for David’s safety was to keep it quiet.”

Remarkably enough, this wasn’t the first time that Rohde had been abducted. In 1995, he was kidnapped by Serb forces while reporting for the Christian Science Monitor from Bosnia. He was released after heavy interrogation ten days later.

Filed under: Afghanistan • State of the Union
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