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. HILLARY!

    I guess the only way to get a comment to stick on CNN is if I call Hillary a liar.....isn't that correct????
    GO McCAIN/RICE!

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

    Yes I agree that Bush should boycott the Olympics. In fact I dont think the Olympics should be going on in any part of China. BOYCOTT CHINA!

    April 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. MovingOn

    Bessie:

    The problem with your comparison of Obama and Bush is that you left out many traits Bush lacks. Let's try on intelligent, great communication skills, and motivating. Saying they are the same because they are both young and charismatic is like me saying I am the same as MLK because we are both men and from the south.

    April 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Elijah

    American Citizens calls on Hillary to stop lying.. boycott Hillary Clinton...

    April 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Dan

    This will do nothing except erode our relationship with China. Simply boycotting the OPENING CEREMONY is nothing but pure window dressing.

    If you really wanted to get China to change its ways, you hit them economically, which of course would hurt us too. Thus, that will never happen and you will have Hillary parading around about what a courageous stand she is taking. Just like that courage run she made from the tarmac under sniper fire.

    We need China as much as they need us. That is the economic reality.

    April 7, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Grace

    Crazy woman playing ridiculouse political games
    Leave her in her own world and waiting to die with fear of uncertainty

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

    The rest of CNN needs to LISTEN to Lou Dobbs...they ONLY commentator that makes any sense.....

    April 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Pon Mao

    Now who's kidding who? H Clinton calls for Bush boycott, only because she is not invited by the Chinese, duh !

    April 7, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. brett

    Punishing the American athletes is retarded. Shouldn't the Chinese government be where Hillary focus her punishment desires? Hillary seems fairly upset her last four years of presidential preparation are being whisked away by Obama, yet takes the position that American athletes that prepare for four years be denied over her politics. How does that makes sense?

    Don't drag the athletes into the politics. If the athletes are that strong in their human rights convictions, they can choose to not participate in the opening ceremonies on their own.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. molly

    GO HILLARY !!!
    Hillary can and does speak up for what is right!
    Obama keeps quiet – he waits until he is sure it is considered "politically correct" – he votes "Present" – not willing to take a stance on anything! Wright/Church – he would not of said anything about the radical comments if the media had not found the tapes. This is not presidential material.
    YOUR SILENCE IMPLIES APPROVAL!

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. RYAN

    This is an attempt to divert negative news of Hillary clinton and Bill to something not too serious with Americans-whether it is the tax returns to sniper misspoke or NAFTA–all 're efforts to deceive Americans...

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. DD, New York

    China owns us....Bush borrowed tons of money from China (thought we were not supposed to do business with communist contries). If he were not to go to Chinia for Olympics would make him look bad, no??? People are already climbing the Golden Gate Bridge in protest of China's treatment of Tibet.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. KiloWhiskey - Denver

    Folks she's out of money.....she needs every free spot of publicity she can get. Watch and see – more to come from her.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Chriss

    The US should boycott the olympics altogether! We should LEAD on this. But, this administration is devoid of leadership.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Brian - Trinidad

    This is not really her business,it's up to the President.Curious though,how Obama Camp hasn't said a word about Africa, and the degrading life humanity has to endure over there,but he loves to tell the world how bad Clinton is for causing the war in Iraq because of her vote.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. BCC

    Although I have been a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton for President, it is obvious that she is running the most inept campaign possible. Senator Clinton, what are you thinking? If you were against the Olympics being held in China, you could have, should have, said so not months ago, but years ago.

    Senator Clinton, you are your own worst enemy.

    April 7, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Warren Alexander

    Why should athletes who have trained and sacrificed in preparation for the Olympics suffer as a result of the political expediency of others? I would imagine this is especially disconcerting for those athletes who participate in the lesser known and appreciated events. I think the athletes should band together and boycott the primaries and general elections.

    April 7, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Cindy

    China is very close to becoming a leading capitalist nation! They have us over a barrel!!! Obama is using good judgement! Before we make rask decisions about how we should protest the inhumanities in China we better know what we're getting into! I believe that the Chianese government should be sent a message that the world is watching but in doing so we cannot cut our nose to spite our face!

    The U.S. and yes this includes the Clintons have gained much financially from China and so now our dealings with them must be done in a carefully calculated manner. They have a much bigger army than we do and have more money than we do so Obama is correct in taking it slow!

    April 7, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. RJ

    Like she really cares. China is still the most favored trade nation. They harvest human organs for trade on the black market. They have goulag camps to produce the cheap goods that we buy. If you don't believe me google video ENDGAME.

    The Presidential Canidates are hand picked by David Rockefeller. The elections are rigged. The media is not telling us the truth. Something is wrong with the system >Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. There seems to be a pattern.

    April 7, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. HILLARY!

    Ever notice if you bash Hillary your comments stick, if you make intelligent points on BO's weaknesses, you get moderated off......Nice......

    April 7, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Hanging Chad

    )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    Boycott Clinton!

    )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    April 7, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Katherine

    SHE IS NOT ASKING THE US TO BOYCOTT THE OLYMPIC GAMES! She is just saying that Bush should not attend the opening ceremony, that's it. All of the athletes would still compete . Come one people, don't come here and blab inaccurate things. Read more carefully, and maybe more than just the inaccurate and ridiculous headline of the article.

    April 7, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. MP-Pennsylvania

    CNN WHERE IS MY COMMENT?
    I KNOW YOU LOVE LTTE AS MUCH AS HILLARY. YOU NEVER PUBLISH ANYTHING THEY DO BAD.

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

    Our relationship with China is a delicate one. if we follow Hillary here, we can expect bad things from a country that could cripple us without firing a shot. they could totally dump our currency and that would be it folks.

    April 7, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Aliou FL

    This is just something to say to get what she really wants: The presidency and a life pension as president.

    What has this got to do with her running for president? The chinese are trading with America. The only thing that works with countries like china is to cut trade deals with this country. we want our cheap goods from china made with the sweat and blood of suffering chinese. and we want to boycott the olympic games by suffering Chinese, Africans, or Americans who worked hard to create this as a means to achieve peace despite the uggliness of all other aspect of their lives and countries.

    Hillary will say anything to get elected if the wind is blowing in that direction.

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