Donald Trump is questioning the Obama administration’s handling of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng’s case, saying the United States can no longer afford to be the “policeman of morality” for the world.
“Look, human rights is always very important,” the billionaire businessman said Monday night on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
But Trump said the United States doesn’t really know much about Chen and wondered whether his case was worth “going to war” with Beijing at a time when America is weak economically and no longer respected as a great power.
“Are we supposed to be running the world?” Trump asked. “In the meantime, we have $16 trillion in debt. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re losing a fortune every year, trading with people that we used to beat, and now we’re losing to them, every single one of them.
Trump said he would rather “devote more time” to what China is doing to the United States from a financial point of view, “because they’re trying to destroy us economically,” than “worrying about their dissidents.”
“We’re willing to go to war over this individual dissident, but when it comes to them sucking out trillions of dollars from our country, we’re not willing to do much about that,” Trump said. “So I think we have our priorities turned a little bit around.”
Trump said if the United States was still a respected superpower with a strong economy it could do more to promote human rights in China and elsewhere. But he said that’s not the case anymore.
“We can’t be the morality factor for every single nation throughout the world and what they do, and how they do it, and how they treat their people. We have a tough time treating our people fairly,” he said.
Turning to politics, Trump, who has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, saying “he’s trying to do something and nobody knows what that is.”
“But whatever it is, it’s not working,” he said, adding, “It’s probably working for other countries because they’re taking our jobs.”
Trump said one of the reasons the U.S. economy keeps going down, as he put it, is because “we just don’t really make what we used to make anymore.”
Asked about the possible impact of the French election and Europe’s financial situation on the United States, Trump said it’s all “very negative for the world.”
Referring to the election of Francois Hollande as the first socialist president of France in 17 years, Trump called him “an untested product” that would, he predicted, likely end up being “not a very good thing for the Free World as we know it” or the free market.
“This is somebody who wants to tax people into oblivion. I think it’s going to be very negative, much more negative than a lot of people are saying,” Trump added.
Trump also called the European Union and its one currency economy “an experiment that has to fail.”
“I think a lot of countries are going to go back to their own currency and I think the euro is going the way of dust,” he said.
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