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Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama said Tuesday he should have been at twin summits in Asia this week but that he expected no “lasting damage” from his absence.

Obama, who canceled his trip due to a showdown with Republican lawmakers, said he believed that China felt less “pushback” to their positions at the gatherings because he wasn’t there.

“I can tell you, because I had to apologize to some of the host countries, that they understood that the most important thing I can do for them and the most important thing I can do for the bilateral relationship in America is making sure we reopen our government and don’t default,” Obama told a news conference.

“So I don’t think it’s going to do lasting damage,” he said.

Obama, who has tried to reorient U.S. policy toward Asia, skipped the summits in Bali and Brunei after the U.S. government shut down due to a budget impasse in Congress.

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has refused to vote to allow the government to stay open and a default is forecast on October 17 as it insists on revisions to Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The coronavirus pandemic has changed much about American politics and society—but not everything. One constant is that Republicans believe a lot of stupid things about how to run a country. Correction: Who knows what they actually believe. Is it better if they're lying rather than deluded? Either way, Republicans definitely say a lot of stupid things.

One of their longest-standing vapidities is the hoary, cockeyed notion that government should be run like a business. Trump has said this, as has his supremely unqualified son-in-law Jared Kushner, and so did Mitt Romney during his 2012 presidential run, just to name a few.

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