May 14th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #845 'States rights'

Reporter's Note: Likely Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is trying to explain why the health care reform he supported in Massachusetts is different from the reform championed by President Obama.

Dear Mr. President,

Having jut completed my latest tour of the country on yet another Building Up America trip, I can safely say I still have a lot of faith in the people of this country. I think they are ready to do what it takes to make the country recover. I think they have an instinctive wisdom about many problems, and ways to the solve them. I think they understand that democracy only works if they stay engaged. To put it simply, they take their responsibility seriously and expect their leaders to do the same.

And I think they respect people who respect them.

I mention that last item because a potential challenger of yours for the Oval Office, Mitt Romney, essentially said this week that he thinks you don’t trust or have faith in the states. The implication is clear and he’s not the first to raise it, especially among the Repubs: They think that you fundamentally favor a DC-down approach to government; “We’ll come up with the rules in Washington, and you folks follow them. When we want your ideas, we’ll let you know.” And as for state governments? Well, plenty of DC types have long implied that they tolerate the states only because they need someone to take care of basic housekeeping, budgets, spending, road projects; but they have no business making important decisions.

Related: Romney's Health Care 101

May 14th, 2011
12:40 AM ET

Video: Hank Williams, Jr. on relief concert

Editor's note: Musician Hank Williams, Jr. speaks with Anderson Cooper about a tornado disaster relief concert.

Related: Country stars perform for disaster relief

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Weather
May 14th, 2011
12:32 AM ET

Raw Politics: Gingrich's personal life a liability?

Editor's note: CNN's Joe Johns takes a look at whether Newt Gingrich's personal life could be a political liability during his 2012 bid.

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Filed under: Raw Politics
May 14th, 2011
12:28 AM ET

Video: Tony Blair speaks out on bin Laden

Editor's note: In this special, web-only extended version of the interview, CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to Tony Blair about the West's relationship with the Muslim world after bin Laden's death.

Related: Ideology bin Laden represented still a problem for the West, says Blair

Filed under: Afghanistan • Big Interview • Islam • Middle East • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 14th, 2011
12:20 AM ET