As Chicago Bids for Games, Obama Ducks Olympics Criticism

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama doesn't seem to want to talk about the Olympics or Senator Clinton's call for a boycott of the opening ceremonies on August 8, 2008.At a town hall in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Obama, D-Ill., was asked about U.S. policy toward Tibet and Darfur, especially in light of the forthcoming Olympics in Beijing this summer. Obama has not followed Clinton's lead in calling for an opening ceremony boycott to protest China's human rights abuses in Tibet and Darfur. "It's very hard to tell your banker that he's wrong," Obama said, after talking about the need to restore America's stance in the world, "And if we are running huge deficits and big national debts and we're borrowing money constantly from China, that gives us less leverage. It give us less leverage to talk about human rights, it also is giving us less leverage to talk about the uneven trading relationship that we have with China."Obama never once mentioned the Olympic Games in his response.  He did say the United States has not been "consistent enough and tough enough" toward "pushing (China) to deal with Tibet properly."In a paper statement released on Monday, Obama said there "should be consequences" if the Chinese government does not take immediate steps to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people.In reference to Sudan, Obama sounded a similar note, asserting, "We have to take a stronger stance. We have to take a stronger stance and it's got to be more consistent over time."The junior Senator from Illinois has a particularly tricky balancing act when it comes to the subject of the Olympics: Chicago is vying to host the 2016 games and one of Obama's top campaign advisors and close friends, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of Chicago's bid committee.

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