In his key foreign policy speech held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. Wednesday, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump blasted President Barack Obama for his mishandling of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid.
He highlighted the example when listing what he felt were major foreign policy blunders by the President.
“Do you remember when the President made a long and expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark to get the Olympics for our country, and after this unprecedented effort it was announced that the United States came in fourth?” Trump asked at a rare, scripted foreign policy speech as he seeks the Republican nomination to enter the U.S. General Election.
“Fourth place. The President of the United States making this trip, unprecedented, comes in fourth place,” he emphasized.
Chicago fell on the first ballot of an election by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at it’s all-members session held in Copenhagen in 2009. The city finished last behind Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid.
“He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world as we have been many, many times. The list of humiliations go on, and on, and on.
“It’s called no respect. Absolutely no respect.”
Both Obama and the First Lady arrived in Copenhagen to make speeches during the bid’s final presentation to voting members. The President had been criticized for the trip at home because it took time away while he was in the thick of negotiations over his health care initiative.
But his efforts were also poorly received by IOC members as additional security at the event venue caused delays and inconveniences to the over 100 members – the royalty, political and sport leaders who were about to select the winner.
Obama was already on Air Force One heading back to Washington when he was given word about Chicago’s embarrassing defeat.
Leading up to the meeting, speculation over whether Obama would attend to support his bid was hotly debated and his presence in Copenhagen was considered key to any possible Chicago victory. Many analysts believed the U.S. city was the favorite with Rio being a possible spoiler as potentially the first Olympic Games in South America. As those in Olympic circles know about IOC votes – always expect the unexpected, and Rio won.
Pressure was put on Obama to attend after Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva committed to travel to Copenhagen along with Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, as well as Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Japan’s Crown prince Naruhito and Crown princess Masako arrived to support Tokyo.
Currently Los Angeles is locked in a battle with Budapest, Paris and Rome to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a contest that will end in a September 2017 vote. Earlier Wednesday LA 2024 Candidature Committee leaders and California Congressmembers announced a bipartisan US House of Representatives resolution in support of Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton traveled to Singapore in 2005 as then Senator to support New York’s bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and to represent President George Bush. There is no official IOC protocol requiring Presidents to attend bid elections.
As part of an April Fool’s day joke published by GamesBids.com this month, a fictional report quoted Trump criticizing Obama over the same Copenhagen event. Maybe it’s not that funny after all.