Campaigner Obama: “As president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.” President Obama: “Ixnay on the EnocideJay”
President Obama on Monday declined to repeat his claim that the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War I was a “genocide,” stepping back from his campaign pledge to Armenian Americans that the “widely documented fact” would be fully commemorated during his presidency.
During a joint news conference alongside Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Obama said he did not want to “focus on my views” or in any way interfere with delicate negotiations between Turks and Armenians on what the president called “a whole host of issues.”
Obama sidestepped the issue — a key tension point between Turks and Armenians and a rallying cry among Armenian-Americans — saying he was trying to be as “encouraging as possible.”
“I want to be as encouraging as possible around those negotiations, which are moving forward and could bear fruit very quickly, very soon,” Obama said. “What I want to do is not focus on my views right now but focus on the views of the Turkish and Armenian people. What I told the (Turkish) president is I want to be as constructive as possible in moving these issues forward quickly. My sense is that they are moving quickly. I don’t want to, as the president of the United States, want to preempt any possible arrangements, announcements that might be made in the near future.”
When asked if his views had changed or he was tempering them in light of the fragile Turkish-Armenian talks, Obama said he is not interested in “tilting these negotiations one way or another while they are having useful discussions.”
Fast forward through the first minute and a half where Hill is talking about Tuzla if you’re not interested. Half way through the clip is the bowl-action-rama.
Also on the agenda was gay rights. La Times has more:
About to enter the final two weeks before the crucial Pennsylvania Democratic primary on April 22, Sen. Hillary Clinton stops by to chat with Ellen DeGeneres again Monday because she wants to reach one of her strongest group of voters, older women.
Actually, they don’t really talk Monday. They taped it last week. So we know a little about the discussion. Ellen says she knows how strong Hillary is, but how hard it must be to hear all this talk about how she should give up, get out and quit the race for the Democratic presidential nomination because she’s behind.
And Hillary says: “You know, boys used to say that to me all the time.
“And I figured I know this contest is close. I don’t think either one of us should get out. We should let people vote. There are a lot of states that haven’t voted yet. They deserve a chance to have their votes counted, and I just feel like I’m doing this for myself,
obviously because I believe so much in what our country can be again once we finally get through with President Bush and get back to being the America we know and love.”
And Ellen asks her about the rights of gay couples. And the New York senator says she’s going to do “everything I can” to ensure equality.