Washington: US President Barack Obama has a habit of apologising for the United States and did nothing to earn his Nobel Peace Prize, former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Sunday.
Asked whether Obama had turned international favour back toward the United States after eight years of president George W Bush’s administration, Rumsfeld rejected the premise.
“No, and I don’t think there’s data that supports that,” he said in an interview with CNN. “I think he has made a practice of trying to apologise for America. I personally am proud of America.”
Rumsfeld said Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize “on hope” instead of his accomplishments, something Obama himself suggested at the time.
“Well, he had not accomplished a thing when he got the Nobel Prize. It was given to him on hope. Had to have been because there wasn’t anything that he’d done. He’d been in office 15 minutes,” Rumsfeld said.
When he was awarded the prize, Obama acknowledged that he did not feel deserving of the honour only months after becoming president.
“I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” he said.
Rumsfeld is promoting his autobiography ‘Known and Unknown’, which defends many of his controversial actions as defence secretary from 2001-2006 under Bush, including his role in deciding to invade Iraq and establish the “war on terror” prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.