April 7th, 2008
03:40 PM ET
6 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. John

    As usual, Senator Clinton is out in front. How long will it take Obama to parrot this too?

    April 7, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. David Aldana

    I love how Clinton speaks so strongly advocating human rights when those same human rights are suppressed here in the States. The right to life should be taken into account as well. The abortion genocide is a silenced, on-going occurrence year after year.

    April 7, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Gina

    Once again Hillary does something positive and the Obama supporters berate her for it.
    As I continue to say.....it's good that Obama won't need any of Hillary's supporters in the general because he will never get them.

    April 7, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Robert NYC & Miami

    i AGREE.

    April 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. JDC

    Hmmmm .... and this - calling for Bush not to attend the Olympics - is a reason for Obama supporters to go after Hillary again? Didn't hear much from you all when Rev. Wright was in the news. Would have been nice to hear you express some outrage over THAT ... .

    April 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. David in Chicago

    This is the first time I actually agree with her 100%.

    Obama, why aren't you in on this?

    Obama Supporter

    April 7, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Richard, New York

    Yes like the nice speech of Obama, a good attempt to change the subject of rev. Wright. After his speech there is no more racism and prejudice. ummhmhmmmhhmmhmhm!!!!!1

    April 7, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Jody

    Don't any of you people read?

    She is calling on Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies, not a full boycott of the Olympics. She wants our hard-working athletes to compete!

    This only goes to show that most of the people who post here are rather thoughtless and reactionary – reading the headline and posting only based on that.

    Read the actual article, folk!

    April 7, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. TT

    We love and support you Hillary.

    Hillary 08

    April 7, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Trev

    Nicknas does an excellent job of demonstrating why we should not support Obama for president. Just take out the word Hillary, replace it with Obama, and you have the correct argument.

    April 7, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. m

    Hilary you haven't finish tackling social injustices, discrimination, econonomic and educational disparities in United States of America you are jumping to China just to score political points. There is no right thinking person who takes Hilary Clinton seriously today.Why do you want to punish the athlects for political reasons. Some of these athlets earn their living by participating in this sporting events. This is their law firms, Wall Mart Boards and white house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Dem

    She wants to change the subject from Penn.

    April 7, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. ellianna

    Talk about changing the subject????? Well CNN, I don't see any coverage here about Mark Penn??!!! Are you going to just let that one go to the recycling bin too??

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Jack

    Way to stand on your principles Hillary!!

    "What are principles?? I have no backbone" – Obama (Mr. "present")

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. vic nashville,Tn

    I agree with her 100% Any part of world if human rights violated USA is the first country race the voice . We know Bush had very bad foreign policy .Under Bush administration we are loosing our credibility.

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Chris

    She did speak on Chinese human rights after all, so she's the expert. hahaha

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Is this a lie? Now Mrs. Cliton, I don't know wether you tellin the truth or not!

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. JMP

    I definitely think not only should the US boycott the olympics entirely, but any nation that stands for human rights should. Someone needs to make China realize that these continued human rights violations will no longer be tolerated.

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. $$ from foreign countries

    she is acting like a world police. you should issue a warrant for Bush and your Bill first

    April 7, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Susan S.

    Good luck trying to change the topic Hillary.

    You're a total liar and morally bankrupt, and thanks to Mark Penn it's now obvious to everyone.

    Obama 08 & 12

    April 7, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Cowboy

    This has convinced me to vote for Hillary in PA..... b/c despite what the media says, she does have conviction and standards

    April 7, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. eric oriol

    Wonderful political move.......It shows that she is not afraid to tell that nut Bush how she feels about American foreing policy.Too bad Obama did not do it first.Let him continue on being careful and we will see Hillary snatch victory right out of his hands....

    April 7, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Tony

    He must first find out where China is. Then again he can ask his Russian friend, you know, the former head of the KGB in whose eyes he looked into and told America he could trust him. If he places so much trust in that fellow, he is bound to get good directions from him.

    April 7, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. just some guy

    john ... pelosi came out and said this last week
    plus ... it's amazing that she can talk about what someone else should do with their leadership role
    but when asked about hers in her campaign last night she chose to cup her ear

    April 7, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. HILLARY!

    What, CNN...are you waiting for BO supporters to fill in your blogs, while you remove ANY Hillary supporters?????????
    GO HILLARY......IF NOT...McCAIN/RICE!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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