Video: Obama tells Malaysian presser United States “has work to do” on human rights

posted at 5:01 pm on April 27, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

A trip around Asia entails a lot of pressers for the President, and as formulaic and stodgy as they can become you never know when the star of the show will fire off a memorable line. Caleb Howe notes that, while addressing the press in Kuala Lumpur, Major Garrett asked Barack Obama why, in general, he hadn’t used his diplomatic “tool kit” to do more to influence foreign leaders to improve on human rights, and in specific why he hadn’t taken a meeting with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, currently in jail for his views and activism. (Or for sodomy, depending who you ask.) His response drew more than a few odd looks.

“I think the Prime Minister is the first to acknowledge that Malaysia’s still got some work to do. Just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do on these issues. Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government.”

Caleb expresses some surprise, since many assumed that the Apology Tour was over by this point.

This is the first time a sitting President of the United States has made a state visit to Malaysia in almost fifty years. However, the last time the President bad-mouthed the United States in a foreign country is far more recent. From France to Mexico to Afghanistan and Egypt, the President has made a habit of negative assessments of the United States while traveling abroad.

It is especially ironic that a free press was on the list of human rights concerns that President Obama said Malaysia and America need to work on, given the many and increasing reports from White House reporters and the usually sympathetic mainstream press about his administration’s mistreatment and bullying of reporters.

We have some spots where there is probably room for improvement, at least in terms of overcrowding in prisons and citizens being spied on and such, but overall I think most people would agree that the United States has a pretty impressive record on human rights compared to the rest of the planet. In fact, there are areas where some could fairly say that we’re a bit too obsessed with human rights, leading to additional exposure to attacks, both internal and external. But hey… that’s part of the price you pay for living in a mostly free society.

This was an odd choice of words for the President, though. And certainly an odd time and place to break it out.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I was just listening to Mr Obama’s presser with Philippine President Aquino.
The radio is a bit fuzzy, but I’m sure Mr Obama referred to “President Noynoy’s policies.”
Um, if anyone referred to “President Barack’s policies,” he would be branded a racist.

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 4:30 AM

…Twenty-five minutes into the press conference with President Aquino, President Obama had said a lot of good things (marred by a bit of global-warming myth-mongering).

But a tough question from Fox News sent Mr Obama into a lengthy monologue full of misinformation & Bush-bashing.

*shakes head*

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 4:32 AM

It’s true. Obama wants the US to have the same inhumane rights as the rest of the world. Impeach him now before he accomplishes it.

sadatoni on April 28, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Yes, United States does have work to do: it needs to be rid of the current Attorney General, Eric Holder, who appears to believe that he and the President are above the law.

zoyclem on April 28, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Earflaps the Lesser has the audacity to speak about respecting the Rule of Law?

The jackhole that refuses to enforce the immigration laws? The mincing loser that has changed the obamacide law 30+ times? The creepy giggling killer that has his own hit list for drone strikes in the middle east? The bracket filling slackarse that has STILL not come close to passing an annual budget for the entirety of his infestation of the presidency, contra to the laws of our land?

Sickening punk.

GrassMudHorsey on April 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM

The Prevaricator-in-Chief forgot to give a “shout out” to Rev. Wright.

kingsjester on April 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government.”

The Leader of the Free World just conceded authority to HRW.

faraway on April 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

America’s racism will improve greatly once we get rid of our racist President and AG.

TfromV on April 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Too bad he isn’t in Indonesia, but it’s close enough.

This is the biggest thuggish fool the world ever saw, all in the sunlight.

What a stupid world cheered for this. I’m so glad they got him now.

Schadenfreude on April 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

“Punk” describes the thug the best.

Schadenfreude on April 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Well, really now, King Putt is right.
We have a way to go to catch up with the human rights records of Barky’s idols, like North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, China, Burma – but we’re getting there…..

dentarthurdent on April 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Maybe he wasn’t being specific enough.

The Obama Administration certainly has work to do: targeting citizens with snipers (gotta get those taxes), culling through private citizens’ cell phones and computers in case they might be guilty of some crime, random search and seizure of travelers’ property, maintaining a Grand Old South plantation mentality for menial labor (nobody else will do the work), threatening political foes with audits–imprisonment or asset confiscation being the natural threat.

Yeah, I’d say there’s a tiny segment of the US that has no concept of human rights, and their spokesman is front and center.

Psycroptic on April 28, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Two fools in one

Schadenfreude on April 28, 2014 at 12:14 PM

A trip around Asia entails a lot of pressers for the President, and as formulaic and stodgy as they can become you never know when the star of the show will fire off a memorable line. Caleb Howe notes that, while addressing the press in Kuala Lumpur, Major Garrett asked Barack Obama why, in general, he hadn’t used his diplomatic “tool kit” to do more to influence foreign leaders to improve on human rights, and in specific why he hadn’t taken a meeting with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, currently in jail for his views and activism. (Or for sodomy, depending who you ask.) His response drew more than a few odd looks.

That should get him a job on Good Morning America.

Ward Cleaver on April 28, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Comment pages: 1 2