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. S. Moody Columbia, SC

    Yeah, Clinton punish the athletes in another one of your efforts to win political brownie points.

    April 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Eric

    I really do not care who boycotts what. I WILL not watch. I watch every year and I was dumbfounded when they said China will host the Games in 08. What?????Say Again???? So, I will do my part and NOT WATCH THE GAMES. Screw China, they make crappy products. Everything in my house says "made in China" so the only way to get back at them is NOT WATCH!!!!!!

    April 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Blake

    I think that Obama is very clear on his views of Human Rights. Not to speak on his behalf, but I think he would go to the Olympics to spread a message that you can't just ignore people and expect them to come to your side on things. Obama will make great decisions when it comes to foreign policy and how to actually make a difference in this world.

    April 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. KDogg

    The Clintons turned their blind eye to Tibetans during the 90's.

    April 7, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Go Hillary. Obaimcans are so obvious. They even jump on good news to turn it into negative. What a shame.

    April 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Glenn

    Obama supporter here....Good Job Hillary!

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

    Who cares?!
    She is just trying to change the subject.

    Let’s talk about Mark Penn
    Or
    He tax returns which shows she donated 10 Mil. to charities, that she and Bill own!
    Or
    The new goal post they have tried to set by going by electoral votes! (LOL!)
    Or
    The lie that she has been spreading around about the girl and her baby that died because she didn't have health insurance

    Too much drama and it's said that all of this has happened just over the course of the WEEKEND!

    April 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Belle

    The Olympic Games are not supposed to be Political. If the Olympics were held in another country, Chinese Athletes would still be allowed to compete.

    But say if ALL leaders boycotted the opening ceremony, that would send a very clear message to the Chinese Government, simply because the Opening Ceremony usually highlights the Nation the games are held.

    It is a non-violent response to a violent situation...much like MLK preached.

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

    CNN HATES HILLARY CLINTON....Plain and simple....WISH THEY WOULD AT LEAST COME OUT AND SAY WHY.........

    April 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Amayel's Notes

    Wow! You tell them Hillary. I still won't vote for you in a million years, but you're so right on this one!
    For those who make it about athletes preparing their whole lives for this, in the end it comes down to whats more important.. The millions of lives destroyed and the 100s of thousands killed, or some atheltes hope for a medal.
    My point exactly!

    April 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Gordon

    Oh RickytheGriff goHome!!! All you Obama supporters you get a Richardson endosrement but yet he agrees with Hillary and Obama like he always does, he does no whcih way to turn, and that the leader all you Obama freaks want as President..

    Go Hillary..if not Hillary..... McCain and Condi

    April 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Its True

    Talk about Human Rights...

    The Clinton Administration did absolutely NOTHING during the Genocide of almost 1 MILLION people in Rwanda when they were in office. I find it convenient that she now wants the attention of being a humanitarian.

    April 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Eric

    Can we please focus on what is important to our country and stop worrying about 3rd world countries. We had our genocide (Native Americans). Lets stop being the kettle that calls everyone black, and take cre of our schools, the value of our dollar, and SS/Health Care.

    April 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. RealityKing

    All talk and no action. It's a way of life for liberals...

    April 7, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. NancyL-64

    Yet another desperate attempt to change the subject. We've had so many diversions, no one is talking about the lies or all her charitable giving to . . . (drumroll) . . . the Clinton Foundation which in turn givers it to . . . what , oh, surely not the Clinton Library? She certainly is providing so many twists and turns! I guess we're not supposed to notice the shenanigans as we flail about in this sea of slime and sleaze!

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. PLJ

    Not only is the article a Joke, but some of the comments are just as hillarious, I tell you I get a good laugh evey time I read the Ticker and it's Comments.

    HAAAAA

    Obama/Richardson 08

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. kathleen

    Hillary may not even keep her Senate job for N.Y. She did
    it to herself.
    And those who will vote Republican rather than Obama, you
    can kiss your riches goodbye because only the filthy rich will survive.

    OBAMA 2008

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. yael

    A Good Decision by a Good Woman

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. MPG

    The stupidity and hypocrisy in this whole thing is that the U.S. thinks by boycotting we're making some major statement or will hope to have a palpable economic and political impact on China and their human rights policies (or lack of), while we continue to import millions of dollars in goods and services from them on a daily basis, some of those products, it seems are inferior and have the potential to harm our children. Our illustrious president devalued our dollar against their yen (sp?), and big corporations (such as the ones who contribute heavily to Senator Clintons warchest) are shipping jobs and manufacturing overseas because its cheaper.............so why get up in arms about this?

    Clearly, Senator Clinton is pandering for votes because she believes that her voting base really cares about this (not to say that its wrong to care or not to care). I'm not impressed by yet another politician using the Olympics to make a political statement.

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. SUE, Michigan

    She is right. And she DID spend time in China talking about and working on human rights while she was First Lady. What has changed is that we are in debt to our eyeballs to China, thanks to Bush's war, and now the rebates. I don't think he dare call a boycott because they might just start calling in debts, and then what would happen to the dollar? I do agree that he should not attend the opening ceremonies, and maybe get some athletes on board. We did it to Russia, and it wasn't the end of the world. The TV networks will hate it, but so many of the athletes are drug-enhanced, does anyone even care about the Olympics at this point?
    Somehow we need to begin to stand up to China's policies and inhumane treatment. Oh, wait, we torture too.

    April 7, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. matt

    yes, exaclty, boycot the olymics but keep all of our factories in china. a perfect solution. the boycot will do nothing as long as we keep doing busness with them.
    the united states is in absolutly no position to tell china to do anything about sudan, becasue hey wait a minute, what exaclty are we doing there to help? also pointing fingure at china for tibet and continuing to kill iraqi citizens (blackwater) makes no sense.

    April 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. m

    Hilary you are not in touch with reality. These athlets have invested their whole life, fortune, energy and time preparing for this olympic. Now you want to destroy them for political reasons. If you study law all your life and you are denied final exams or an award of the degree how will you feel. Hilary learn to connect with the ordinary people.

    April 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Bratt

    Hey you stupid HC supporters, don't you read newspapers or watch TV? It is Pelosi!!!!!! Not Clinton! She is a copycat as always...Why are you so happy?

    Bratt

    April 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Lin

    What is wrong with most of the Obama supporters? We're talking about basic human rights here. Remember your leader's recent speech? Seems to have been just some more words from him because when he was asked about this issue last week, he wasn't able to respond! He's just another "fence-sitter" waiting for his handlers to tell him what to do! The level of hateful rhetoric that you spew out into the world is truly sickening. I would never support someone who elicits that type of response.

    April 7, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Anu

    Why mess with te Olympic Game spirit -agreed its hosted by China,but the games cannot be affected.

    Why not boycott all Chinese products? Wouldn't that be easier.. ugh, I guess not !

    April 7, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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