A few tidbits from Your Preznit Speaks: Too Much Coffee Edition, otherwise known as yesterday’s news conference:
First, we’ve got the preznit taking the wheel of the USS Clueless:
Q You’re worried, sir, that you’re losing some of your push?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t worry about anything here in Washington, D.C. I mean, I feel — feel comfortable in my role as the President, and my role as the President is to push for reform. The American people appreciate a President who sees a problem and is willing to put it on the table.
Then we have Uzbekikitty, Donald Rumsfeld’s favorite pussy:
Q Two questions about the consistency of a U.S. foreign policy that’s built on the foundation of spreading democracy and ending tyranny. One, how come you have not spoken out about the violent crackdown in Uzbekistan, which is a U.S. ally in the war on terror, and why have you not spoken out in favor of the pro-democratic groups in Egypt that see the election process there unfolding in a way that is anything but democratic?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I thought I did the other day, in terms of the Egyptians. I think you were traveling with Laura, maybe just got back, but I was asked about the Egyptian elections, and I said, we expect for the Egyptian political process to be open, and that for people to be given a chance to express themselves open — in an open way, in a free way. We reject any violence toward those who express their dissension with the government. Pretty confident I said that with President Abbas standing here — maybe not quite as articulately as just then.
In terms of Uzbekistan — thanks for bringing it up — we’ve called for the International Red Cross to go into the Andijon region to determine what went on, and we expect all our friends, as well as those who aren’t our friends, to honor human rights and protect minority rights. That’s part of a healthy and a peaceful — peaceful world, will be a world in which governments do respect people’s rights. And we want to know fully what took place there in Uzbekistan, and that’s why we’ve asked the International Red Cross to go in.
And lastly, China is huge, it’s immense, you have no idea just how friggin’ huge that friggin’ country is:
THE PRESIDENT: Matt Cooper. Here we go — no, go with the mic, Matt. We want you heard. We want you resonating around the country.
Q I appreciate that, Mr. President, thank you. My question is about China, which looms larger in the lives of Americans, sir. They finance an ever-larger part of our trade deficit, Americans are concerned about China’s growing economic might, and, of course, about the oppression of human rights and religious minorities there. My question, sir, is how should Americans think about China? As an ally? A rival? Competitor? Friend?
THE PRESIDENT: I think that we ought — it is a — the relationship with China is a very complex relationship, and Americans ought to view it as such. China is a emerging nation. It’s an amazing story to watch here. I mean, it’s consuming more and more natural resources; it is generating jobs and exporting a lot of goods; it’s a massive market.
And so, on one hand, we ought to look at China as an economic opportunity, and the best way to deal with China is to — is to say, look, there are some rules, and we expect you to abide by the trade rules. And as this — as she grows and as trade becomes more complex, you’ll see more and more instances where the United States is insisting upon fair trade. We expect our — expect to deal with — expect China to deal with the world trade in a fair way.
Now, in terms of security matters, obviously, we just spent a lot of time talking about North Korea. China can be a very good partner in helping to secure the world. The best way to convince Kim Jong-il to get up — give up his weapons is to have more than one voice saying the same thing. And, therefore, China is a partner in this case, in terms of helping to secure that part of the world from nuclear weapons.
China, as well, can be helpful in the war on terror. They’re just as concerned as we are on the war on terror.
China is a — obviously, there’s tension on — about Taiwan that we have to deal with. And I made my position very clear and very consistent about Taiwan. The Taiwanese understand my position; the Chinese understand my position. So, in this case, the relationship is one of helping to solve that problem, is to keeping stability in the region so that eventually there will be a peaceful solution to that issue.
And so China is a fascinating country that is significant in its size. Its economy is still small, but growing. But, as well, I believe we have an obligation to remind the Chinese that any hopeful society is one in which there’s more than just economic freedom, that there’s religious freedom and freedom of the press. And so, in my meetings with the different Chinese leaders with whom I’ve had the honor of meeting, I’ve always brought up issues such as the Dalai Lama, or the Catholic Church’s inability to get a bishop into the country, or the need for the country not to fear evangelicals, but to understand religious freedom leads to peace. And so I’ll continue doing that so long as I’m the President, and at the same time help deal with this very complex relationship.
Thirty points to Gryffindor if any of you can translate that last bit into something that doesn’t sound like he’s just had his fifth pixie stick in ten minutes.