People back home are not too happy with Barack Obama after the president said Americans are "lazy" because they are uninterested in learning about other people and cultures. Speaking at a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) town hall at Souphanouvong University, during his visit to Laos on 7 September, the Potus also accused the US of being lazy in regards to climate control and the environment.
"You know I believe that the United States is and can be a great force for good in the world but because we are such a big country we haven't always had to know about other parts of the world," Obama told the audience.
"If you are in Laos you need to know about Thailand and China and Cambodia because you are a small country and they are right next door and you need to know who they are.
"If you are in the United States sometimes you can feel lazy and think, 'You know we are so big we don't have to really know anything about other people.' And that's part of what I'm trying to change," he added.
"Usually, if you see the environment destroyed, it's not because that's necessary for development," Obama said, according to a transcript provided by USA Today reporter Gregory Korte. "It's usually because we are being lazy, and we're not being as creative as we could be about how to do it in the smarter, sustainable way."
In America, a number of people were angry with Obama's comments, especially after he commended Laos for its fast-growing economy and said the US could learn from the small Asian country.
"If we are not here interacting and learning from you, and understanding the culture of the region, then we will be left behind," Obama said. "We will miss an opportunity, and I don't want that to happen. Okay?"
The US president was in Laos to attend a Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit and after his comments, Americans have taken to Twitter to suggest he stay there and not come back to the States.