January 15th, 2010
02:53 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama to team up with Clinton, Bush on Haitian relief

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/15/art.vppres.gi.jpg
caption="Obama to team up with Clinton, Bush on Haitian relief ."]

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama confirmed Friday that he will team up with former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to discuss how best to encourage a broad-based national volunteer relief effort for Haiti.

The three leaders will meet Saturday at the White House.

Obama also said he has spoken on the phone Haitian President Rene Preval and "expressed ... deepest condolences for the people of Haiti and our strong support for the relief efforts that are under way."

Many communication lines in the stricken country remain down, Obama noted. Many people are still unaccounted for. "The scale of the devastation is extraordinary ... and the losses are heartbreaking," he said at the White House.

Obama noted that the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson had arrived off the coast of Haiti, and was preparing to help move water, food and other supplies to Port-au-Prince.

"I want the people of Haiti to know that we will do what it takes to save lives and to help them get back on their feet," he said.

The president warned, however, that it "will take time to establish distribution points so that we can ensure that resources are delivered safely and effectively and in an orderly fashion."

Filed under: Bill Clinton • George W. Bush • Haiti • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Why include "W?" The republicans got their marching order from Rush Limbaugh, and they are not supposed to help Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. inde

    Enough talk. Drop food and water to the people–security will never be perfect–if a fight breaks out that is life. The more people wait the more violence their will be– If the red cross wants to wait on the outskirts until everything is perfectly safe then we need to create an organization where people will go in under any situation- Haven't we learned anything from Katrina–Drop the food and water and the medical teams already–and the beaucrats should step out the way.

    January 15, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Centrist

    God bless President Obama and others for putting aside our differences to help the good people of Haiti at this critical time.

    Please give what you can to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and other charitable organizations.

    January 15, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Isaac

    Obama is handling this unfortunate situation in Haiti very well and it shows true leadership. I think it is ok to let Bush get involve.

    January 15, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    My hat is off to our President (and former Presidents) in his swift response in this humanitarian crisis. He has approached this in a fashion that every American knows. This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. This is what we as a nation have always done, when the defenseless, improvised, and downtrodden are in great pearl it will always be America to respond. We can not by our faith or by our morals ignore Haiti in this time. This nation can and will always rise to help those who are suffering so much. Thank –you President Obama for your unquestionable sense of urgency in helping this country.

    January 15, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. A.D. Faried

    Excellent. America's capabilities do not end with our military. Glad the POTUS is using our awesome resources to help the people of Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Matt from UT

    Good to see government heads working together.

    Liberal posters: I was disgusted to see all the Bush-hating posts on the story about Clinton and Bush helping Haiti. Initial problems with Katrina were the fault of a democratic mayor and governor and then FEMA as an organization. Learn before you spout off.

    January 15, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Charlie

    Great. Bush knows how to deal with natural disasters promptly and effectively. Maybe he'll bring "Brownie" along.

    January 15, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. joe smith

    great, three heads are better than one..maybe someone will suggest to these three very capable movers and shakers; ship two or three water well drilling machines to Haiti ASAP, along with portable generators and some submersible pumps; and within days the people will have plenty of water; much is going to be needed for sanitary purposes,etc..hope this message gets to the decision makers..

    January 15, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Heather from Beautiful Seattle

    This is great news! Helping others that are in desperate need is not a partisan cause and if Clinton and Bush can help the current Presidnet do what is best to help, that is wonderful news!

    January 15, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I'm delighted and proud of our country's response to the Haitian crisis. But isn't it time we re-think our policy toward Haitian immigrants? We have a double standard and the contrast is very striking between our treatment of Cuban refugees and Haitian refugees. It's time to stop this discriminatory practice.

    January 15, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Dodd Democrat...

    I wish the President would focus on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS....Housing, Foreclosure and the Economy in general.

    He should just leave the fundraising to President Clinton and President Bush. They will do an outstanding job.

    Please President Obama FOCUS ON JOBS!!!!

    January 15, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. John

    Obama to team up with Clinton, Bush on Haitian relief

    Bush will cheerlead while others do the actual work.

    As usual.

    January 15, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Paul in Arizona

    Clinton and Bush can handle it. Obama is not needed. I suspect he's afraid he'll miss out on some prime photo ops. Obama should just keep himself in the Oval Office and deal with the many crises that are facing our nation instead of flittering around here and there to make it appear he's "on top of things".

    January 15, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Ted C

    What do the Bush haters now think of Obama for getting W involved? Or is this the first act of bipartisanship Obama has shown?

    January 15, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Gary, Los Angeles

    And when is he going to place the call to China to borrow the $100 million he has promised to Haiti?

    January 15, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. NC

    Thank you President Obama, and Former President Clinton and Former President Bush.

    January 15, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. wbn

    It's wonderful that the elder Bush worked so well with Clinton (and vice versa), and that Clinton can do the same with the younger Bush (and vice versa). Maybe these examples can help their followers to quit hating one another (and the leaders themselves). We MUST return to civil discourse and disagreement in America, and it will only start by each of us individually choosing to speak intelligently instead arrogantly. I look forward to these CNN.com comments being devoid of words like traitor, coward, stupid, jerk, etc. We can do it people, from both sides of the aisle, and for the country.

    January 15, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Ms S Callahan

    Thank God people of faith programs are already working there or no one would have any water.

    I do think the former Presidents collaberating is good....if, and only if, they can get their big fat cat friends to loosen their wallets and help the people of Haiti!

    January 15, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Dennis in Hawaii

    it is great that the presidents are working together to aid a foreign nation in a time like this. my question was where was this american aid and outcry for support when american soil was in turmoil with the tsunami that hit American Samoa and its neighbor islands. It took local efforts in the samoan communities across the nation to get them what ever aid that can be spared with very little goverment support. The president called for prayers but didn't offer the aid and support as he is doing now for a foreign nation. We are quick to aid other nations but americans suffer to fend for themselves in a crisis.

    January 15, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Sandra

    President Obama, do whatever it takes to help those in need and do it with any former President who wants to get involved. Please don't pay attention to the Limbaughs out trying to speak against what is the right thing to do.

    January 15, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. JonDie

    Laughable. From 2001 to 2009, George W. Bush did NOTHING to help anyone (except to help his friends fill their pockets with cash).

    January 15, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Donna, NJ

    Of course he's going to team up with them because he's a great president.

    January 15, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    After hearing what Rush is saying about the aid, I am curious. Does the Republican party have no level they will not sink to. Those folks claim Rush as their own and let him carry the farthest right wing viewpoints forward when it is convenient. Then, when he goes completely off the deep end as he has on the aid for Haiti, they wait and check public opinion before saying they don't agree.

    Rush is the image of the Republican party to many Americans. He cheats on wives, has a closet drug habit, lies, is a racist and believes that taking jobs from Americans and giving them to third world countries to make money for the rich is a good idea.

    Dang, He is the Republican dream.

    January 15, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Ready for 2012

    Hhey Oama, how about discussing how best to encourage a broad-based national relief effort for the many homeless and out of work people in this country, you know, the one your are president of?????

    You need to be more concerned about the many suffering people in this country before you race off to help another country. The US is not the only country in the World that can help Haiti. Step back out of the way and let other countries step up for once.

    January 15, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |