Obama Cancels the Rest of His Asia Trip Due to Shutdown
President Obama has cancelled the rest of his upcoming trip to Asia due to the government shutdown, the White House announced Thursday. "The President made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown," said Jay Carney in a statement, "and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government." Secretary of State John Kerry will make the trip in his place.
Earlier this week, Obama had cut his itinerary in half, canceling stops in the Philippines and Malaysia, but still carving out time for stop in Indonesia and Brunei. Now those have also been cut. Obama was to attend the APEC summit in Bali and a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The stop in Bali was highly anticipated since it would get President Obama and Vladimir Putin in the same room to possibly discuss Syria.
Carney's brief statement also contained the requisite finger-pointing:
The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government. This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world.