June 3rd, 2007
09:01 PM ET
7 years ago

Boycott Beijing Olympics?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico, said the United States should boycott the 2008 Summer Olympics in China if the country does not agree to help end the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.

“We need China,” said Richardson, “which has enormous leverage over Darfur. If the Chinese don’t want to do this, we say to them, maybe we won’t go to the Olympics.”

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut replied to Gov. Richardson’s suggestion of a boycott saying, “I don’t think (boycotting) gets you there. It will delay the kind of influence and support China should support.”

- CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. NH

    Lord! I have never seen a stage full of losers! This indie with NOT be voting Democrat this time!

    June 3, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Tom Miller, San Diego, CA

    not sure about the candidates.. but I think CNN needs to hire some new sound guys & gals...

    Has to be one of the poorest TV productions I have even seen..

    June 3, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. damian osuna/ roswell,nm

    I fell Gov. Bill Richardson showed poise and class in his answers, that showed he has first hand experience with the issues at hand.

    June 3, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Scott, Denver CO

    Then if you like Bush policies you will get more

    June 3, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. Mike Reynolds Houston, TX

    The Olympics...this is what we are debating? No vote for the Dems this election.

    June 3, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. oregon

    Richardson is a good man. He's got the most experience at all level of government. But you don't feel he's a number one. He is not a national leader, but a fine statesman and senior civil servant.

    June 3, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Holding the U.S. out of the Beijing Olympics would accomplish very little. I think China has more advantage to pressure the U.S. with them loaning us so much money to fund our military industrial complex.

    June 3, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Larry Romo, San Antonio, Texas

    Governor Richardson and Senator Edwards are wrong to use our US Olympic athletes as political pawns. Our athletes have trained their whole lives to represent our great Country. Our Olympic athletes should be used as Ambassadors!

    June 3, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. Bethesda, MD

    Re: The Dem Presidential Debate in NH.
    Wolf Blitzer's bias toward Washington-based candidates was woefully obvious in his cavalier dismissal of the only candidate with executive, legislative and diplomatic experience, Gov. Bill Richardson. Wolf's question comparing genocide in Darfur to the possible aftermath of U.S. withdrawal from the civil war in Iraq revealed either an ignorance of the meaning of "genocide" or a deliberate attempt to undermine the only candidate with personal experience dealing with both situations. In either case, it was unworthy of a serious journalist. Shame on you.

    June 3, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  10. Ralph Sato Honolulu, HI

    Although I support Bill Richardson for president I was a little disappointed in his answer on Darfur. First, I agreed with his determination to avoid combat troops but increase diplomatic pressure on the Sudan government. But I disagreed with his threat to boycott the Beijing Olympics if China did not play ball. Chris Dodd won my support for refusing to use a boycott on the Beijing Olympics.

    June 3, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  11. G Lund

    How utterly Carteresque...If you remember, Jimmy boycotted the Moscow Olympics for political purposes......Geeez...

    June 3, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Robert E. Lee Oolitic Indiana

    Sorry, I didn't see this and posted a comment elsewhere. DO NOT USE OUR NATIONS ATHLETES for political leverage!!!
    What Carter did in 1980 was OUTRAGEOUS!
    DO NOTunder any circumstances boycott those olympic games!!!

    June 3, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. L. Smith, Atlanta, Georgia

    Richardson-and Edwards-are right about China & Darfur. It's about human rights, people! Why should this topic be left out of a presidential candidate debate? Sure, the Iraq War is the top issue...but also, a human life is a human life–whether it's an American soldier, or an innocent Iraqi civilian, or an innocent child in Darfur.

    Bill Richardson & Hillary Clinton did a pretty good job tonight, but John Edwards stood out, by far, as the better leader. So, John Edwards gets my vote!

    June 3, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. Lisa Smith, Atlanta, Georgia

    In Darfur, more than 400,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been displaced.

    Do these huge numbers resonate any empathy here? Since when have Americans become so apathetic?

    Sheesh, the ATHLETES themselves should refuse to participate in the Olympics, if China refuses to help end the conflict in Darfur.

    June 3, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. Neil Gold Seattle, WA

    I don't think China cares about your petty threats. It will only piss them off. Always remember its not what you say....... Its how you say it. Yourntone sounds like. "mexicans don't like chinese.

    Seattle, WA

    June 3, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. John B. Lake Worth, Fla.

    Stupid idea to drag our atheles into the Political arena.
    If you want to boycott China, the best starting place would be your local WAL-MART. The real truth is to Buy American goods.

    June 3, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. Jeff N. Fargo, North Dakota

    Since when has winning gold medals been more important than saving human lives?

    The Olympics is a PR showcase, and is an ideal forum to highlight China's continued endorsement of the genocide in Darfur through their continued trading with the corrupt Sudanese government.

    It is about calling attention to the issue, and if sacrificing a few gold medals does that, all the better.

    June 3, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    Nice to know that we will wait one more calender year before people see the problem on a global scale...here's an idea... why not now?

    June 3, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Janet Wise, Alpharetta, GA

    Bill Richardson was in the middle of an intelligent, articulate statement about what 'could be done' to leverage influence diplomatically in order to stop the genocide in Darfar, rather than give Wolf Blitzer a 'yes or no' on bombing them. Blitzer interrupted him, took that piece out of context and turned it into a Richardson statement of action he would take.

    Wolf Blitzer is a terrible moderator, and good candidates with top credentials are not getting equal time to state their views, let alone finish them without being interrupted.

    June 3, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  20. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Richardson confused Sports and Politics because his natural temper.
    That is a crude idea.

    June 3, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. Pro Libetarian, San Francisco, CA

    Why boycott the olympics? We could virtually shut China down if we stopped shopping at Walmart. Oh, no! Wait, that would hurt me, not just some athlete on TV. Yeah, let's stick with the Olympics. Geesh!

    June 4, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  22. Scott, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Seeing as how Richardson is the only candidate with truly substantive foreign policy and actual negotiating experience, I trust him more than the other eight. Edwards was right to join him.

    Dodd's claim that the a U.S. boycott would "cancel the Olympics" was awfully egocentric. Aside from that, there is a considerable difference between actually boycotting and using it as leverage and to generate pressure upon China. It's a creative and reasonable idea, if you're serious about ending the Genocide.

    In the end, is anybody really going to claim that sports and gold medals are more important than the lives of thousands of lives?

    June 4, 2007 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  23. Josh Hicks, Perth, Western Australia

    Has it occured to anyone that the Muslim world would have a greater influence over Sudan (majority Muslim)than distant China? Yet who continues to make war on what they dub the "Islamic Front". Nice going America, continuing to demonstrate why isloationism did the world more good than it did you.

    June 25, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  24. RI, Los Angeles, CA

    It's very interesting to me how un-educated most Americans are on the Darfur/China connection. I wish that Americans would spend more time understanding foreign policy issues so that they would not make comments like "This is what we're debating...the Olympics." Well, no, you tool...it's not about the Olympics. It's about thousands upon thousands of people being murdered, raped, tortured, and ultimately displaced because of selfish people wanting–not needing– more money and power.
    Americans, since we are after all the sole "super power," have a repsonsibility, as HUMANS, to understand all sides of political issues. We take our freedom for granted and it's rather embarassing. HINT: go to enoughproject.org if you feel like educating yourself on these internationally significant issues.

    August 2, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |