President Obama Tells Chinese Audience Americans Can Be ‘Lazy’

While speaking at a town hall in Laos Wednesday, President Barack Obama said Americans can be “lazy.”

Following a G20 Summit in China, Obama made a stop in Luang Prabang, Laos, where he spoke to the Young Southeast Asian Leaders’ Initiative group.

Obama told the group that the United States is so vast, some Americans believe it is unnecessary to learn about other people and cultures.

“You know I believe that the United States is and can be a great force for good in the world but because we are such a big country we haven’t always had to know about other parts of the world,” the president told the crowd. “If you are in Laos you need to know about Thailand and China and Cambodia because you are a small country and they are right next door and you need to know who they are. If you are in the United States sometimes you can feel lazy and think, ‘You know we are so big we don’t have to really know anything about other people.’ And that’s part of what I’m trying to change.”

He went on to allude that Americans are being lazy for not supporting his economic policies.

“Usually, if you see the environment destroyed, it’s not because that’s necessary for development,” he said. “It’s usually because we are being lazy, and we’re not being as creative as we could be about how to do it in the smarter, sustainable way.”

White House correspondent Gregory Korte posted the president’s comments to Twitter where many responded negatively to Obama’s assertions:

One Twitter user posted:

Another commented:

One commenter said the president’s comments were made in frustration:

White House reports say while Obama was in Laos he would meet with leaders to discuss the subject of unexploded ordnance from the Vietnam War and the United States’ responsibility to assist financially in locating and removing them.

During the war approximately 270 million cluster bombs were dropped on the country, where nearly one-third of them failed to detonate.

Efforts to locate and safely remove the approximately 80 million unexploded bombs have resulted in the removal of less than one percent of the devices.

As a result, the undetonated bombs have been responsible for claiming over 20,000 lives of innocent people.

Titus Peachey, board chariman of Legacies of War said, “We’re hoping for a strong multi-year commitment to clearance and victim assistance.”

Prior to Obama’s visit, White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest suggested the trip could serve to bolster economic ties with Laos.

“Given this president’s commitment to reach out to countries with whom we’ve had complicated histories, we see this as a real opportunity to … build a real working partnership that can benefit both of our peoples,” Ernest said.

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