From NBC's John Boxley and Mark Murray
A campaign source confirms the report from Drudge that Clinton will call for Bush to boycott the opening ceremony at the upcoming Olympics. The source says a campaign release will be going out shortly.
Not a bad way to change the subject, eh?
*** UPDATE *** Here is the statement: "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."
*** UPDATE 2 *** At a March 25th press conference (where she said Jeremiah Wright would not have been her pastor), Clinton demurred when asked if the U.S. should boycott the Olympics. "Let's wait on that; I don't have an opinion on that," Clinton said with a look of uncertainty when asked if the U.S. should avoid the Olympics.
Here's the video. The question relevant to the Olympics starts 6 minutes, 30 seconds in:
Here's the transcript:
REPORTER: Can you talk about Tibet at all? Are you concerned about what's going on there--?
CLINTON: I am
REPORTER: Specifically should the U.S. consider not going to China for the Olympics as a result of it?
CLINTON: Look 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. I've actually raised that issue with Chinese leadership going back a number of years. I don't think we should wait until the Olympics to make sure that our views are known. And I think we should be speaking our through our administration now in a much more forceful way. And you know supporting people in Tibet who are trying to preserve their culture and religion from tremendous pressure by the Chinese.
REPORTER: Avoid the Olympics?
CLINTON [at 7:17, a look of uncertainty]: Let's wait on that, I don't have an opinion on that.