Tale of 2 Summits: ‘America’s Comeback’ to America’s Fallback – WSB-TV Channel 2


ELMAU, Germany — (AP) — A year ago, Joe Biden began his first Group of Seven summit as president and confidently told America’s closest allies that “America is back.” Now many of them worry that America is going backwards.

As Biden meets with the heads of the G-7’s major democratic economies this week in the Bavarian Alps, he carries with him the inner baggage of political unrest, shocking mass shootings and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to put end to constitutional abortion protections.

Biden’s 2021 summit was meant to cleanse the palace of the “America First” ideology of his predecessor, President Donald Trump.

Embracing multilateralism and global partnerships and restoring trust in US alliances — particularly NATO’s Mutual Self-Defense Pact — were high on his agenda. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of Biden: “We are totally on the same page.”

Biden’s election was seen by most allies as an American reset, returning to standards honed over decades, with predictability and stability at the forefront.

A year later, the reception for Biden remains warm and the public focus on America’s global leadership remains optimistic, especially as Biden rallies the world against Russia’s invasion of Israel. Ukraine. But increasingly, this view is placed in the context of potential unrest ahead.

“I think Europeans are definitely looking at the domestic US situation with some fear,” said Max Bergmann, director of the Europe program at the private Center for Strategic and International Studies. He added: “It’s kind of the best of times, the worst of times.”

Biden’s visit to Europe comes as a congressional committee investigates the attempted reversal of the 2020 presidential campaign by Trump and his allies, whose party is poised to make substantial inroads in the midterm elections. November term. The crisis of mass shootings and gun violence – uniquely American among like-minded nations – draws condemnation from horrified allies. And the High Court’s ruling that allows states to ban abortion has sparked a fresh round of denunciations and concerns from some of America’s closest partners.

“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. “We have to protect him. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose freedoms are undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Biden told reporters on Sunday evening that the subject of the abortion decision had not come up in his discussions with world leaders.

“Not related to Ukraine or any of the issues discussed,” he said, answering emphatically “no” when asked if the issue had been brought to him by another summit participant.

Yet when the Supreme Court’s ruling was released on Friday morning, Biden ended up being the third G-7 leader to react, with Canadian Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Johnson quickly condemning the ruling before Biden had even spoken. remarks at the White House.

“I have to tell you, I think it’s a big step back,” Johnson said Friday. “I have always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stand by that view and that is why the UK has the law it has and we have recently taken action for us ensuring that these laws were enforced across the UK”

Trudeau called the decision “horrific”, adding, “No government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.” He said he couldn’t “imagine the fear and anger” women in the United States must feel as a result of the ruling.

And after 19 students and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s condolences poured in, even as his own country’s armed forces suffer multiple casualties in because of Russia’s aggression.

“The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and of all Americans,” he tweeted at the time.

Bergmann said that while European leaders might have differing opinions on the merits of the Roe vs. Wade decision, they were widely concerned about the upheaval the decision could unleash.

“They’ve seen the January 6 insurrection, they’re very concerned about America’s internal stability and then here’s a move…that clearly has the potential to upend and blow up American politics and make American political divisions even deeper and that’s something incredibly disturbing,” he said.

Europeans, he added, view American domestic discord through the prism of their own security.

“The underlying concern is what this is going to mean for the United States as a guarantor of its security,” he said. “Will America be stable enough to sustain this?”

Pressed on how the decision on abortion would affect America’s position in the world, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the decision an “extreme decision” that endangered same-sex marriage and access to contraception for married couples. But she said Biden’s standing in the world was unchanged.

“Look, we’ve heard from a lot of leaders already,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Germany. “I know some of them have released statements – very vocal – about what they saw of this decision,” saying they were “offering support for the American people.”

“I don’t think that stops the work that the president is going to do or wants to do or seeks to do with the leaders,” added Jean-Pierre.

Johnson, for his part, denied harboring specific fears about America’s overall path.

“Looking from the outside, it was pretty weird,” he told CNN on Sunday when asked about the Jan. 6, 2021, attempt to overturn the presidential election. “But I don’t believe that American democracy is seriously threatened, far from it. I continue to believe that America is the world’s greatest guarantor of democracy and freedom.

Most G-7 countries tend to be more liberal than the United States on a range of issues, and Trump’s questioning of longstanding alliances has rattled more than heads of state and government.

Biden’s “America is Back” message has come under intense scrutiny from ordinary citizens in allied countries.

“I think America is divided,” said Gabriele Jocher, 59, a freelance social worker from Garmisch, Germany, a few miles from the summit site. “I think there are some really, really good forces and people who really want to move forward like that but also very backward. And that just makes me think, overall, about what’s going on there, like two forces clashed.

Christina Maurer, 59, a housewife and nurse in the quaint town, added: “Anything Mr. Biden wants to change now, I don’t know. Then another will come, his name will be Trump or something similar and he will mess it up again.”


Associated Press writer Daniel Niemann in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, contributed to this report.


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