Published September 24, 2012
President Obama will be among the world leaders arriving in New York on Monday for the U.N. General Assembly, but unlike other presidents or prime ministers Obama plans to head straight for a daytime TV interview.
The president’s schedule has him and first lady Michelle Obama sitting down for a taping of ABC’s “The View" shortly after arriving in New York.
Though Obama will deliver a major speech Tuesday before the annual assembly, he has largely left the one-on-one meetings to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sparking criticism that he appears more concerned about his re-election effort than talking directly to other world leaders about such issues as Iran’s quest for nuclear capability and the violent, deadly protests in the Middle East and North Africa.
“People around the world listen to the president because he is commander in chief,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News on Monday morning.
Clinton will be handling meetings Monday with some of the heavy-hitters who are critical in managing the latest wave of unrest and violence. Clinton is set to meet with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the president, saying he's had "extensive consultations" with those and other leaders in recent weeks. "Those consultations will continue," Carney said, adding that Obama will surely "encounter" world leaders on the U.N. sidelines.
The wave of criticism about Obama allegedly putting his election efforts first began earlier this month with news that the White House had declined a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because the president would be on the campaign trail.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has repeatedly accused Obama of "throwing Israel under the bus" and most recently said the president’s decision not to meet with Netanyahu was "confusing and troubling."
White House officials have said such a meeting is perhaps still possible Thursday or Friday.
Romney backed up his comments comments Sunday by saying that declining the meeting was a “mistake” – as Netanyahu looks to the United States for assurance that it will stand tough or draw a “red line” that Iran cannot cross in its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.
"It sends a message throughout the Middle East that somehow we distance ourselves from our friends," Romney said in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview.
The president – in a separate interview for the show – said he talks with Netanyahu “all the time."
"I understand and share Prime Minister Netanyahu's insistence that Iran should not obtain a nuclear weapon because it would threaten us, it would threaten Israel and it would threaten the world and kick off a nuclear arms race," Obama said.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/24/obama-goes-to-ny-for-annual-united-nations-meeting-heads-straight-for-tv/?intcmp=trending#ixzz27Q8XOsNb