A Short History of Obama Apologies

Julian Notaro, writing in The Hill, has put together a fascinating collection of Obama apologies over the years.

What’s interesting is that there are several Obama “apologies” where he expresses regret for something someone else did, as with these instances:


Sept. 21, 2012

Obama apologized to Muslims. The president expressed regret for the anti-Islam film, “The Innocence of Muslims,” which was produced in California and triggered outrage.

Feb. 23, 2012

Obama apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This apology came after U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan had burned copies of the Koran, which sparked widespread rioting.

Oct. 1, 2010

Obama apologized to Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom. This one was for a study conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service between 1946 and 1948 in which almost seven hundred Guatemalans were purposely infected with syphilis.

Then there were some slips of the tongue:

June 1, 2012

Obama apologized to Poland. The president had referred to World War II concentration camps as “Polish death camps,” rather than Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland.

Feb. 2, 2010

Obama apologized to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). In 2010, Obama said, “When times are tough you tighten your belts, you don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.” Reid, who faced a tough reelection race that year, criticized the remark. Obama penned a letter to Reid clarifying his comments.

Feb. 12, 2007

Obama apologized to U.S. troops. At that time, he said because of the Iraq war, more than 3,000 American lives were “wasted.” Obama later said he was upset with himself, adding that he immediately knew he had misspoken.


Then there are apologies for being politically incorrect:

May 2, 2013

Obama apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. He had called her “America’s best looking attorney general.” White House press secretary Jay Carney later said that Obama “fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be based on appearance.”

March 21, 2009

Obama apologized to the Special Olympics. During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Obama mocked his bowling skills, saying it was “like The Special Olympics or something.”

June 19, 2007

Obama apologized to Hillary Clinton. Obama’s campaign drafted a memo that homed in on Clinton’s financial ties to India, labeling her the “senator from Punjab.” Obama said his campaign made a “dumb mistake.”

Someone should write a post: “Apologies I’d Like to See Obama Make.” He could apologize for stuff like screwing up the economy, botching so much of our foreign policy, coarsening the culture, continuously playing the race card, being a partisan hack, and calling Republicans names.

Add your own suggestions in the comments.


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