Axelrod spins Egypt
Obama was confronting Mubarak about human rights to "get ahead of this," according to David Axelrod. Josh Gerstein in Politico:
To hear soon-to-depart White House senior adviser David Axelrod tell it, President Barack Obama has long taken a tough line with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak over human rights and political reform issues in his country."The way [Obama has] confronted it, is he went to Cairo and talked about the need, the universal human rights of people. He's on several occasions directly confronted Pres. Mubarak on it. And pushed him on the need for political reform in his country," Axelrod told ABC's Jake Tapper Friday, on the adviser's last day of work at the White House."To get ahead of this?" Tapper asked."Exactly. To get ahead of this. This is a project he's been working on for two years and today the president is working hard to encourage restraint and a cessation of violence against the people of Egypt," said Axelrod.
...there's little public evidence that Obama "confronted" Mubarak on these issues. White House officials have said the subjects were raised in meetings between the men, but when the two met publicly there was little indication that Obama was pressuring Mubarak on the issue. [snip]The other sleight-of-hand in Axelrod's comment is his suggestion that Obama's visit to Cairo in June 2009 was intended or perceived as speaking hard truths to Mubarak. To the contrary, many in the region, in other Muslim countries, and the U.S. ( see here and here), saw the choice of Egypt for Obama's first speech to the Muslim world as a huge laurel for Mubarak.