On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” CNN host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria argued that the controversy over President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia is a problem Biden made for himself by engaging in “foolish rhetoric” on Saudi Arabia during the 2020 election “either to appease a certain constituency within the party or to sound tougher than Trump and a greater upholder of human rights.”
After reading part of Biden’s op-ed defending the trip, host Wolf Blitzer remarked, “That certainly sounds like a president who knows he’s being accused of hypocrisy.”
Zakaria responded, “Exactly, Wolf. And this is a problem of President Biden’s making. He said things on the campaign trail, either to appease a certain constituency within the party or to sound tougher than Trump and a greater upholder of human rights. I understand all that, but it was foolish rhetoric. The truth of the matter is, the United States should be talking to everyone. … So, it feels to me like the idea of meeting with and talking to the man who is running arguably your single biggest strategic ally in the Middle East outside of Israel should not be a controversial thing. But it became controversial really only because Biden said those things that he did on the campaign trail. He’s now having to unwind a mistake he did, and that always is awkward.”
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