April 7th, 2008
03:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton calls on Bush to boycott Olympics

 Clinton is calling on President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Clinton is calling on President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton is calling on President Bush to boycott the opening of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

In a statement released by her campaign Monday, the New York senator pointed to the recent protests in Tibet and the Chinese government’s failure to pressure the government of Sudan to end the violence in Darfur.

“These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China,” said Clinton. “At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.”

Last month, Clinton – who has long advocated a tougher approach toward the Chinese government – declined to call for a U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games, but called for greater pressure leading up to the summer event in Beijing.

"I think that what's happening in Tibet is deeply troubling, and this is a pattern of the Chinese government with respect to their treatment of Tibet,” she said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. “I don't think we should wait until the Olympics to make sure that our views are known."

Barack Obama has said he is torn in his views on the issue.

"I'm of two minds about this,” said the Illinois senator in a CBS interview last week. “On the one hand, I think that what's happened in Tibet, China's support of the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem.”

But, he added: “I'm hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest because I think it's partly about bringing the world together."

Last summer, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – then a Democratic presidential candidate - said the United States should boycott the Olympics entirely if China did not take a more active role in ending the conflict in Darfur.

“We need China,” Richardson said at the June 3 CNN presidential primary debate, “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.”

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd disagreed with that approach. “I don’t think (boycotting) gets you there. It will delay the kind of influence and support China should support,” Dodd responded.

(Full campaign statement below):

Statement by Hillary Clinton on Olympics

The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.

I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.

Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (484 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    CNN IS THE WORST NEWS NETWORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW U WILL NOT POST THIS BECAUSE U KNOW IT IS TRUE

    April 7, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. FS

    The Tibet separatists are hijacking the game to promote their own cause of independence. They treat the game as an "once in a lifetime" opportunity and deliberately orchestrated the riots, false propaganda, and sabotage of the torch relay etc.

    April 7, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. bluedogtired

    A little hypocritical one would think considering her husband pushed for the "most favored" nation status of China. Kind of a joke really...

    April 7, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Amazed at Work

    Call me when the nominee is announced. I'm tired of seeing "interest pieces" on the candidates.

    If you do not know where they stand on issues by now, just don't vote.

    Obama/? in 08
    Clinton/whoever is willing to commit political suicide in 08

    Either is better than the Darth Bush and Java the Cheney Regime.

    April 7, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. James

    I agree..way to stand up to them Hillary.

    You people really need to read before responding. She only is talking about the opening ceremonies NOT a complete boycott. And the athletes will still play.

    We should boycott China all together before they own this country (or at least the rest of it).

    April 7, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Mike

    Why don't we boycott the media? Let's boycott CNN for continuing to make race an issue in this campaign!!! Why does CNN thinking all Blacks who support OBAMA is doing so because he is half Black.

    I did not support Bill Clinton, Al Gore, or John Kerry because they are white!!

    April 7, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. HILLARY!

    The ONLY headlines BO gets are positive..........WHERE ARE THE REAL STORIES THAT OTHER MEDIA COVER??????

    April 7, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Doug, Florida

    Clinton be quiet. Such a hypocrite

    April 7, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. T.Marx

    Why are people turning this into a Hillary versus Obama debate? This is about boycotting the Olympics. The Olympics belong to the athletes of the world, and the Int'l Olympic Committee that runs them. They don't belong to China. Boycotting the games will ruin the lifelong work of international athletes and won't achieve a thing. What did Jimmy Carter achieve? He got the Soviets to boycott the L.A. Games 4 years later. That's it. It's childish to think you'll gain something. But you will destroy the lives of athletes from America, Europe, Israel, Japan, Australia and on and on. If you want to hurt the Chinese, use your own "blood" by not buying Chinese goods – don't use the "blood" of innocent athletes while you sit and write messages on the internet.

    April 7, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Joseph

    "Hillary 08 April 7th, 2008 2:10 pm ET

    Hillary will win the great state of Pennsylvania by a HUGE margin. She is beloved here!! Then she'll sweep up in North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico. At that point, she'll be ahead in the popular vote, especially because the good people of Florida and Michigan REMEMBER that they chose Hillary and their votes should count!! I predict John Edwards will endorse Hillary before the N.C. Primary and possibly be her V.P. What a ticket!! What hope for America!!
    To all of Hillary's. Supporters
    .Please don't let the old sexist Republicans make you feel bad with their rampant sexism that follows Hillary. It's a typical CNN, and MSNBC blogger to scourn a woman who can throw a punch. Down with the Obamanation of this 2008 election year! Hillary Clinton . . . our next black President!
    Obama supporters say some of the meanest, nastiest things. If they want people to rally behind their candidate should he get the nomination, they better show more respect. Right now, I don't like them very much."

    It's hard to resist mocking you Hillary supporters when you struggle mightily with logic, spelling, and grammar. Not all, but most.

    Seriously, it's not that we Obama supporters dislike you; rather, it's that we think you are just a little slow. Your posts only confirm our views.

    April 7, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Harry Moyer

    Does anybody else see how the confluence of public sentiment works with Hillary? Like her vote for the Iraq war, now that public sentiment is coming to a head about Tibet, she's ready to call for Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies. Why not last month when she was asked about it right after the first government crackdowns?

    I am seriously sympathetic towards the athletes who have trained and sacrificed, but this is murder in the name of communism and we are suppose to at least stand by those that cannot. I love my country with all my heart; but that doesn't stop the shame I've felt over the last 5 years.

    I don't "know" if Obama is the answer, but I feel he is our best chance at salvation.

    April 7, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Steve

    China and Tibet is an internal Chinese matter. Leave politics out of athletic events! If we want to judge other countries, we should come clean first. We stole California, Texas, and the whole southwest from Mexico. What rights do we have to judge China?

    April 7, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. HILLARY!

    Can someone explain why CNN uses Cafferty as part of the Best Political Team? He loves BO and absolutely hates Hillary...how does CNN allow him to be part of POLITICAL DIALOGUE???????

    April 7, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. skylark

    Personally I do not want GWB representing us anywhere.Any time!
    He makes US look bad. As for punishing American Athletes by boycotting the entire Olympics absolutely not. You are only punishing our own athletes. They don't deserve it. How exactly is this punishment to China?????
    We didn't punish them from shipping lead loaded toys to our own kids!
    Geez!

    April 7, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Indy for Obama

    I do not like, nor support, Clinton, but I do recognize that her policies and my candidate's policies are a hair's breadth apart.

    This, however, is one I hope Obama does *NOT* share. I wholeheartedly disagree with punishing the world's athlete's for China's government's crimes.

    Leave the Olympics alone and stop giving BUSINESS to China instead.

    April 7, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Better yet Bush and everyone else in the nation should boycott the rest of Clinton's candidacy. Now that would be very humanitarian.

    April 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. HILLARY!

    I see, someone calls Hillary shrill, their comment stays........CNN you are so biased...not even funny.....
    GO HILARY!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. James

    Boycotting the opening ceremony is a good protest without damaging the intent of the games. All our boycott of the Moscow cames did was ruin the hopes of a generation to compete. Also attending the Berlin Olympics gave Jesse Owens the chance to humiliate the Nazis. The Tibet issue will be there as long as we are.

    April 7, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Jones in Ohio

    HIllary and Bill double faces-cheap attempts to redirect attentions on Tax Returns, Library donors, Sniper Misspoke and NAFTA. You deceived Ohioans for votes, now you're using dark political tricks to deceive Pennsylvanians. Pennsyvanians say no to Supporters of NAFTA.

    April 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Phil

    All these politicians calling for an Olympic Boycott need to do there job and stop trying to hurt the U.S. athletes that have been training for years to get to this moment. How about putting forth legislation to revoke MFN status, or putting on trade sanctions Mrs Clinton? I guess it's easier to kill other peoples dreams than to write a meaningful bill.

    April 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. grant

    Did Senator Clinton just now learn about China? Can we say diversion. Please don't fall for this again CNN.

    April 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Disgusted with the dems

    I am a lifelong democrat, and probably will die one. I never thought that I would belong to a party that is filled with so much hate. I really thought that hate was an emotion that defined what the republican party was all about, now I see that the democrats are no different.

    All of you here who consider yourselves democrats who's hearts are filled with hate, shame on you.

    If you wnat to see true evil, look in the mirror, because that is where true evil resides.

    I am not a religious person, those of you here who claim to be christians, and have been spouting hate, guess what, you have no idea what christianity is all about.

    April 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Obama Nation

    Hey Larry of LA, if you are going to make accusations at least get your facts straight. China had MFN status under Bush Sr. as well. All this dirty noise from the Obama crowd is just ugly.

    April 7, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. JA Cook

    The Olympics should always transcend politics.

    Allow China to hold the Summer Olympics and participate fully.

    The spotlight will be on China regardless and their record will be fully viewed by the entire world.

    Boycotts will simply server to push them into a defensive mode, possibly even a return to past isolationism. They will possibly have less motivation to improve.

    April 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. wangchuk

    Dear Hillary,
    Nomatter what people said. we love you and you are doing a great job for cause of Tibet and Human Right.

    April 7, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20