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President Obama made a stop in New York City Tuesday (Sept. 25), where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, and appeared on ABC’s The View. The president’s address was centered around the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, in response to a controversial film making fun of Islam, which he blasted as “crude and disgusting.”

Following criticism over a lack of aggression in dealing with Iran and the threat of a nuclear attack, the president was stern with his criticism of leaders, both in and outside of the Arab world, who are unwilling to own up to the turmoil in their countries. “We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture,” he said. 

“These are not simply American values or Western values — they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges that come with a transition to democracy,  I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.”

“True democracy — real freedom — is hard work.”

Of the violent outbreaks overseas, and the bombing in Benghazi, Libya, which took the life of U.N. Ambassador Chris Stevens, the president said that the issue is not specific to the U.S. “The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America,” he said. “They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded — the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.

“Today, we must affirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.”

Obama shared the same sentiments during a visit to The View, which has been criticized after he jokingly call himself “man candy” for the all female hosts.

Mitt Romney also traveled to New York to speak at a meeting for President Bill Clinton’s organization, the Clinton Global Initiative.


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