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Former US Presidents Make Televised Appeal for Haiti Aid

Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are going directly to the American people with a joint appeal to help the Haitian earthquake victims. One day after they were asked by President Barack Obama to help mobilize public support, they were seen in a series of joint appearances on American television.

Their politics may be different. But George W. Bush and Bill Clinton stress they are of one mind on Haiti.

President Clinton told NBC's "Meet the Press" that this is a time for Americans to put their political differences aside and unite to help the Haitian people.

"I think it reminds us of our common humanity. It reminds us of needs that go beyond fleeting disagreements. Whatever our policy disputes are, they do not seem to matter much when people are dying," he said.

On the "Fox News Sunday" program, President Bush talked about the gut-wrenching images from Haiti that he has seen on television and in newspapers.

"I feel sick to my stomach. I feel - it is really emotional. And that is the way it is for a lot of Americans. And therefore, a lot of Americans want to help. And our job is to make sure their help is not squandered, that it is spent properly," he said.

President Obama has tapped Rajiv Shah, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to oversee the government's aid efforts in Haiti.

Shah told ABC's "This Week" the challenge is enormous.

"We are getting more and more out each day and that is our metric of success. Every single day we need to do more than we did before," he said.

American military forces are relying largely on helicopters to ferry loads of supplies to those most in need as many roads are impassable. General Ken Keen - who is one of the officers in charge of the operation - says paratroopers have been able to do their job without major problems. But he admits there are growing security concerns as tempers flare among the quake survivors and patience wears thin.

"We need a safe and secure environment to be successful. But fortunately, we have a United Nations mission here, which has been doing this for several years," he said.

But Keen told "Meet the Press" the United Nations is transitioning to cope with a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. He said he did not know how many more American troops might be needed to help keep Haiti secure, but stressed any U.S. action would be in conjunction with the United Nations.