Long Beach Press-Telegram: Rohrabacher wants Bush, U.S. boycott of Olympics

Jul 17, 2008

Long Beach, Jul 17, 2008 - Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach/Long Beach, doesn't expect to change President Bush's mind, but he's firmly opposed to the president's planned trip to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

And he's opposed to having an American athletic team sent to the games, in a country that's shocked the world with its human rights policies.

"I think the president is undercutting his moral authority," he said in a recent interview.

The congressman said the United States erred when it sent a team to Germany in 1936, because it allowed the fascist country to propagandize the games. The move helped the country to "gain international acceptance," he added.

Rohrabacher's stance is opposed by Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Long Beach/Carson, and by his challenger in the November election, Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook.

Both Democrats said the games should not be politicized.

Cook said the games are a good opportunity to bridge the differences between the two cultures.

"Just boycotting doesn't resolve anything," she added.

Richardson said she supports stronger diplomatic efforts, but the games are not the right forum for human rights protests.

Richardson understands the impact of boycotts on the games.

The congresswoman lost out on an opportunity in the 1980 Games, when she was a candidate for the women's basketball team. She was in the final 40 selection process when word reached the candidates in Colorado that the U.S. would boycott the games.

She was a small forward as a senior at Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles before attending UC Santa Barbara.

"I can use my elbow well," she joked.
Original Article: Long Beach Press-Telegram