(Chicago Sun-Times) — President Barack Obama got a near-endorsement on Monday — from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
It happened while Gorbachev was addressing Advanced Placement students at Von Steuben High School as part of the 12th World Summit of Nobel Laureates.
The 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner recalled a speech that he gave to a university audience of 12,000 shortly before Obama’s historic election in 2008.
Two young men were being “particularly persistent” on that day in seeking advice on how Gorbachev believed they should vote.
“When they asked this question, I said, ‘I don’t want to teach you because, often, America teaches others how they should live.’ If I give you advice, I said, that would be a risk,’” Gorbachev recalled Monday, speaking through an interpreter.
“But nevertheless, I did say, ‘I think you Americans need your own Perestroika.’ And 12,000 people rose from their seats and gave me an ovation. And I think that the elections that followed brought a new spirit to America. Of course, there are many people who don’t like what President Obama is doing. But, my opinion of him is very [favorable]. I will support him. However, there are still vested interests who want another Cold War, another arms race, weapons trade, interventions. They will not succeed.”