DRUDGE: Clinton to Bush, Boycott Olympic
Update 1326 ET
Leaders led by German chancellor Angela Merkel have made plans to boycott the opening ceremony to press China for its crackdown in Tibet.
A coalition of groups trying to end the Sudanese government's attacks on civilians in Darfur also called Friday on world leaders to boycott the opening ceremony to protest China's support for Sudan's government.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also suggested boycotting the August 8 opening ceremony.
"How can world leaders watch the lighting of the Olympic torch – under the “one world, one dream” banner – without taking bolder action to extinguish the flames of violence still consuming the defenseless men, women and children of Darfur?" the groups said in a statement.
Clinton calls for Olympic opening boycott
The first high-profile move of the post-Penn campaign:
Clinton is calling on Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremony.
An aide confirms the news, reported first -- EXCLUSIVE -- by Drudge
Clinton Calls on Bush to Boycott Olympic Opening Ceremony
irst reported on the Drudge Report, Clinton's call for a boycott specifically cites China's reaction to recent violence in Tibet and inaction in Darfur.
"The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership," Clinton said in a written statement.
"These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government."
Don't want to answer difficult questions, Change the Subject
A bold PR move by the Clinton campaign. Desperate to change the subject from their demoted strategist Mark Penn, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY -- following in the footsteps of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. -- is calling for President George W. Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing (though not for an overall boycott of the Olympics by athletes and the U.S. government in general.)
ABC News' Eloise Harper reported this news just a few minutes ago, following a Clinton campaign leak to cyber-giant Matthew Drudge.