The Drudge Report is flagging the video (below) of Obama speaking in Connecticut on behalf of Richard Blumenthal while being heckled by left-wing protesters seeking more global AIDS funding. I have no idea who they are, but Obama addressed them as “young people” who have been showing up “at every rally” and interrupting him. They appear to have a bone to pick with him. Obama took a break from his trusty teleprompter to address the protesters:
Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, young people? Let me just say this: You’ve been appearing at every rally we’ve been doing, and we’re funding global AIDS, and the other side is not. So I don’t know why you think this is a useful strategy to take. I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren’t interested in funding global AIDS, and go to that rally. We’re trying to figure out how to finance the things that you want financed. You guys have made your point. Let’s go.
I can’t think of many circumstances under which it is appropriate for the president of the United States to encourage a bunch of boorish clowns to heckle anyone. These circumstances are certainly no exception.
Who are the people “who aren’t interested in funding global Aids”? Is the implication that they are Obama’s political opponents? That’s the way it sounds to me, but I’m a little sensitive.
The United States devotes enormous sums of money to fighting AIDS. In 2009 the United States was the largest donor in the world, accounting for more than half of disbursements by governments. And it’s Bush’s fault! Or, rather, credit.
As the AP reported at the end of Bush’s time in office, Bush launched a $15 billion plan in 2003 to expand AIDS prevention, treatment and support programs in 15 hard-hit countries, 12 of them African, which account for more than half the world’s estimated 33 million AIDS infections.
The AP report notes that the initiative tied in with a World Health Organization campaign to put 3 million people on AIDS drugs by 2005 — a goal it says was reached in 2007. The AP added that Congress passed legislation in 2008 that more than tripled the budget to $48 billion over the next five years, with Republicans and Democrats alike hailing the program as a remarkable success.
While the reputation of George Bush is snapping back, Barack Obama grows smaller by the minute.