Bill Richardson: Trump Invites Foreign Criticism

Obama can slam his successor overseas because the president slams him all the time, the Democrat says on 'The Ingraham Angle'

by Jim Stinson | Updated 06 Dec 2017 at 10:53 AM

Former President Barack Obama can go overseas and complain to foreign audiences about a lack of American leadership — because President Donald Trump criticizes Obama a lot.

That was the reasoning of Democrat Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defending Obama’s Saturday remarks in Paris while on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Former U.S. presidents tend to restrain themselves from remarking about current occupants of the White House, especially when they are overseas. Host Laura Ingraham asked Richardson why it is OK for Obama not to do so after less than a year out of office.

Obama criticized Trump indirectly for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement earlier this year.

"It did not solve climate change but it provided a framework," said Obama while in Paris on Saturday. "I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue."

Ingraham asked Richardson about the remarks on Tuesday night's edition of "The Ingraham Angle."

Related: An Exceptional America: We’re Divided Yet United

"Whether you're Republican or Democrat, a former president of the United States going overseas and talking about the absence of American leadership, do you support that?" Ingraham asked.

"President Trump criticizes President Obama every day," Richardson said.

Richardson told Ingraham that when he's abroad he gets a lot of questions about Trump's policies. Obama has been restrained about Trump's "isolationist" policies, Richardson said.

"I go overseas all the time," said Richardson. "Do you know what they ask me? ... Why is he negative on the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Why did he want to pull out of NATO? ... You get questions like that. I think Obama has been very restrained in his criticism."

Ingraham slammed Richardson for listening to so many foreign elites, and noted they were also negative on former President Ronald Reagan, who was later widely credited with ending the Cold War.

Ingraham asked Richardson if U.S. foreign policy was at its apex under Obama, given the rise of ISIS and the 2012 deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

"President Obama was a good foreign-policy president," said Richardson. "He won a Nobel Prize ... We were respected overseas. He opened the relationship with Cuba. I think he was a very good foreign-policy president and President Trump is an isolationist. He's a nationalist. I travel all the time ... We are getting criticized by everybody."

Ingraham slammed Richardson for listening to so many foreign elites, and noted that those same elites also sounded negative notes on former President Ronald Reagan, who was later widely credited with ending the Cold War.

"The fact that European elites and other elite foreign-policy gurus around the world are criticizing the president, they used to do it to Ronald Reagan, for whom I used to work," said Ingraham. "They did it to him relentlessly."

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