As Chicago Bids for Games, Obama Ducks Olympics Criticism
April 09, 2008 3:25 PM
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama doesn't seem to want to talk about the Olympics or Senator Clinton's call for a boycott of the opening ceremonies on August 8, 2008.
At a town hall in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Obama, D-Ill., was asked about U.S. policy toward Tibet and Darfur, especially in light of the forthcoming Olympics in Beijing this summer.
Obama has not followed Clinton's lead in calling for an opening ceremony boycott to protest China's human rights abuses in Tibet and Darfur.
"It's very hard to tell your banker that he's wrong," Obama said, after talking about the need to restore America's stance in the world, "And if we are running huge deficits and big national debts and we're borrowing money constantly from China, that gives us less leverage. It give us less leverage to talk about human rights, it also is giving us less leverage to talk about the uneven trading relationship that we have with China."
Obama never once mentioned the Olympic Games in his response.
He did say the United States has not been "consistent enough and tough enough" toward "pushing (China) to deal with Tibet properly."
This is the man people want as leader of the Free World!
Can he not make one decent decision on something as no-brainer as demanding that Bush boycott the opening ceremony this summer?
The article continues with a possible explanation for hsi refusal to take a stand. It might not be good for his home town. It might be bad for his backers in Chicago.
In a paper statement released on Monday, Obama said there "should be consequences" if the Chinese government does not take immediate steps to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people.
In reference to Sudan, Obama sounded a similar note, asserting, "We have to take a stronger stance. We have to take a stronger stance and it's got to be more consistent over time."
The junior Senator from Illinois has a particularly tricky balancing act when it comes to the subject of the Olympics: Chicago is vying to host the 2016 games and one of Obama's top campaign advisors and close friends, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of Chicago's bid committee.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has forcefully demanded that Bush stay away from the games.
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, called for President George W. Bush to refrain from personally participating in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics to protest China's record on human rights.
UPDATE: The same reporter who reported on Onama's earlier no decision now has this.
Obama Says Bush Should Boycott Olympics If....
April 09, 2008 7:02 PM
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: In his strongest language to date about the Olympics, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of if the Chinese do not take steps to stop the genocide in Darfur and respect the human rights of Tibetan people.
Regarding the full Olympic games this summer, Obama says a decision to boycott the opening ceremonies would be on the table but should be made close to the start of the games.
"As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet," Obama said in a statement.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner had seemed to want to avoid talking about the Olympics and Sen. Hillary Clinton's call for a boycott of the Olympics opening ceremonies on August 8, 2008. The junior Senator from Illinois has a particularly tricky balancing act when it comes to the subject of the Olympics: Chicago is vying to host the 2016 games and one of Obama's top campaign advisors and close friends, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of Chicago's bid committee.
Here is Obama's full statement:
"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies. As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet. I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur. Regarding the Beijing Olympics this summer, a boycott of the opening ceremonies should be firmly on the table, but this decision should be made closer to the Games."
Methinks Obama get some poll numbers that said we weren't happy in blogland.
Once again I ask. This is the guy people want to be the leader of the free world?