Obama: Put Nordic Countries ‘In Charge for a While’ Because ‘They Could Clean Things Up’

Craig Bannister | May 16, 2016

Pres. Obama said that Nordic countries would make the world “more secure and more prosperous” if "we" would just let them run things.

Welcoming the leaders of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland to the White House on Friday, Obama said that, if “we” let Nordic countries control the world, that “they could clean things up”:

“So I really do believe that the world would be more secure and more prosperous if we just had more partners like our Nordic countries.  There have been times where I’ve said, why don’t we just put all these small countries in charge for a while? And they could clean things up.”

The Nordic countries are vital to his efforts to create a new world order, Obama said:

“They have been extraordinarily important for us in shaping and maintaining an international order that is rule-based, that is fair, that is just.”

Obama said that Nordic wealth redistribution has brought great joy to its citizens:

“In fact, in a world of growing economic disparities, Nordic countries have some of the least income inequality in the world -- which may explain one of the reasons that they're some of the happiest people in the world, despite not getting much sun.”

Obama also called Nordic countries “a model” and praised them for their “pluralism” and willingness to welcome refugees:

“And we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being.  We believe in pluralism and tolerance and respect for free speech and freedom of religion.  It’s why we welcome the refugee who seeks a better life.  It's why we stand up for human rights around the world.”