- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2013

First, he was going no matter what. Then, he was going, but skipping key stops in Malaysia and the Philippines. Now, President Obama has dropped his entire itinerary for a four-stop swing through Asia — and it’s the Republicans’ fault, he said.

“Due to the government shut-down, President Obama’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled,” the White House said in a statement.

The late Thursday announcement comes a day after Mr. Obama cited the government shutdown as his reason for skipping Malaysia and the Philippines. That came after he made comments to the press that the shutdown wasn’t going to prevent him from traveling through Asia, a long-ago schedule economic summit that was supposed to see him departing Washington, D.C., this Saturday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will fill in for the president.

“The president made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The White House also blamed the Republicans for Mr. Obama’s change of plans.

“The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government,” the White House said. “This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world.”



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