June 4th, 2010
07:59 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama postpones Asia trip as oil spill continues

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/04/art.getty.obama.jpg caption="President Obama's trip to Australia and Indonesia has been postponed for a second time."](CNN) - President Barack Obama's scheduled trip to Australia and Indonesia this month will be postponed, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement released late Thursday.

Gibbs said the visit would be rescheduled, but did not say why Obama had decided not to make the trip.

The delay comes as his administration is facing one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, with up to 798,000 gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico daily from a ruptured undersea well.

"This is imperiling an entire way of life, and an entire region for potentially years," Obama said on CNN's "Larry King Live" Thursday.

It was the third time the trip had been postponed. In March, Obama postponed his visit to Australia and Indonesia twice to remain in Washington for the House vote on the health care bill.

Gibbs said Obama spoke with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Thursday night and "expressed his deep regret that he has to postpone his trip."

Obama plans to meet with Rudd and Yudhoyono when the leaders are in Toronto, Canada, for the G-20 summit later this month, Gibbs said.

"President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono fully understands the need for President Obama to remain in the United States and deal with the worst
environmental disaster in the country's history," the spokesman for the Indonesian president said.

The president "himself would find it very difficult to leave Indonesia in the middle of a natural disaster - like, for example, a tsunami," said spokesman Dino Patti Djalal.

- CNN's Kathy Quiano contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Brenda

    Okay now they did it---they got Urkel really mad-–and he is heading to the Gulf again.

    The empty suit will then use his favorite line--"I will not rest until this Gulf crisis is solved'.

    Seriously, I don't know why they don't have Obama, Pelosi, and Reid riding in clown cars-–that would definitely be more appropriate.

    June 4, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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