'Odd Connection': Obama Mentions Ferguson Riots in UN Address, Takes Shot at Bush
Ed Henry brought us the latest from outside the United Nations in New York following President Obama's address. In a sweeping speech that touched on ISIS and extremism in the Middle East, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and Israeli-Palestinian issues, the president raised a few eyebrows by mentioning last month's Ferguson, Missouri riots.
I realize that America's critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri -- where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.
But we welcome the scrutiny of the world -- because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems and make our union more perfect. America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. Because we fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary. Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy -- with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and countries for the better.
It did not go unnoticed:
OBAMA INVOKES FERGUSON AT UN http://t.co/uwLzOWbeUt
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) September 24, 2014
— Matt Ford (@fordm) September 24, 2014
Obama Brings Up Ferguson at U.N. http://t.co/JMOUgnYG4r
— The Weekly Standard (@weeklystandard) September 24, 2014
During his UN speech, Obama felt he needed apologized to the UN for the Ferguson incident. How many more days before this nightmare ends?
— Ken Gardner (@kesgardner) September 24, 2014
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) September 24, 2014
The connection seemed "odd" to Ed Henry, and he noted that the president was attempting to address critics of U.S. foreign policy.
Henry said reporters have been pressing the White House about the mention of Michael Brown's death and getting the answer that Obama was simply trying to point out that "America isn't perfect either."
Henry added that the police shooting is still an "ongoing legal matter."
Some also questioned what President Obama meant by the following line, and whether it was a shot at his predecessor.
The president said, "No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds."
What did Barack Obama mean today at the UN when he said "no external power can transform the hearts and minds of... http://t.co/seDFCrYIbt
— Mr. Diggs (@michaelagentile) September 24, 2014
Gretchen Carlson interpreted it as a "shot" at George W. Bush's 2005 address to the UN in which he said, "Across the world, hearts and minds are opening to the cause of human liberty as never before."
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who was there for the address nine years ago, weighed in this afternoon on "The Real Story."
Watch his analysis and Ed Henry's report above.