Donald Rumsfeld was on CNN’s State of the Union where he unleashed the doozy of a claim that was as internationally popular as Obama. Rumsfeld claimed that, “No, and I don’t think there’s data that supports that. I think he has made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.” There is data, and it shows that the world was not a fan of George W. Bush.
Here is the video from Mediaite :
Here is the transcript from CNN:
CROWLEY: The president’s supporters say that in two years he has been able to return this country to a status of being liked across the world in a way that America was not liked during the Bush administration, that he has once again made America a beacon. Do you agree with that? Do you think that the U.S. is now looked at much differently than it was, and much more positively than it was during your tenure?
RUMSFELD: No, and I don’t think there’s data that supports that. I think he has made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.
CROWLEY: Well, he seems to be quite popular overseas in a way that President Bush was not. The streets aren’t full of people burning him in effigy. There does seem to be a new — a chance to look at America in a different way than it did during the Bush administration. You don’t think that’s true.
RUMSFELD: I don’t think that’s true, and I don’t think that there’s data that would support that.
CROWLEY: Even though the streets look differently?
RUMSFELD: I just don’t think it’s correct. I could be wrong, but I honestly don’t think it’s correct. I think that the people…
CROWLEY: Some people think it’s part of the reason why he got the Nobel Prize was that he was — you know, that people just looked at him so much differently.
RUMSFELD: Well, he had not accomplished a thing when he got the Nobel Prize. It was given to him on hope, had to have been, because there wasn’t anything that he had done. He had been in office 15 minutes.
CROWLEY: A little more than 15 minutes.
Oh, that crazy Rummy is up to his old tricks again. In fact, there is data. According to a 2010 Pew study, the international perceptions of Obama and Bush are night and day. In France, US favorability went from 42% in the last year of Bush to 75% once Obama was elected. In Spain favorability went from 33% to 58%, in Germany it went from 31% to 64%, and in Mexico US favorability ratings went from 47% to 69%. Interestingly, the election of Obama did not change the US’s favorability rating in the Middle East, China, or Russia.
However the most telling data was revealed with the question will the US do the right thing in world affairs? During the last year of the Bush administration only 13% of the people in France thought the US would do the right thing. This jumped to 87% when Obama took office. The numbers were similar in Britain (16% to 86%), Germany (14% to 93%), Spain (8% to 72%), China (30% to 62%), Japan (25% to 82%), S. Korea (30% to 81%). All of the countries on this list, except for China, are considered allies of the United States.
The idea that Bush was as popular as Obama is internationally is absurd. The neo-cons don’t get that their my way or the highway, go it alone cowboy diplomacy killed the international reputation of the United States. Rumsfeld wants to pretend that Bush should have won the Nobel Prize, and that he is on par with Obama. The truth is that Obama is still undoing the damage to America’s international reputation that Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld orchestrated.
Rummy’s criticism of Obama was ridiculous considering the source, and even worse it defies common sense, and all international polling data. This is also the same crew that invaded Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction, secretly spied on American citizens, and generally treated the Constitution as optional advice, not the law of the land, so Rumsfeld’s claims are not a big surprise.
These people really believe that they were popular, and no amount of truth will ever be able to shatter the delusions and lies of one Donald Henry Rumsfeld.