U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to ease growing Asian worries about the raucous election campaign to succeed him which has been dominated by the incendiary rhetoric of mogul Donald Trump, now the Republican Party’s nominee.
“I think other people sometimes look at our election system and say ‘what a mess’,” Obama told a townhall meeting with young leaders in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.
“But usually we end up doing okay because the American people are good people … Sometimes our politics doesn’t express all the goodness of the people,” he said, without referring specifically to any of the presidential candidates.
Obama made the comments just before ending a three-day trip to Vietnam, whose high point was an announcement that Washington’s ban on sales of lethal weapons to the country – a vestige of the Vietnam War – would be completely lifted.
Obama repeatedly insisted that lifting the embargo was not a response to Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea. Critics accused Washington of throwing away a powerful lever it had to press communist-ruled Vietnam for improvements in human rights. Read more