October 2nd, 2009
02:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs: Obama 'absolutely' glad he went to Copenhagen

President Obama said Friday he's glad he went to Copenhagen in an effort to help Chicago win the right to host the Olympic Games.
President Obama said Friday he's glad he went to Copenhagen in an effort to help Chicago win the right to host the Olympic Games.

(CNN) – President Obama said Friday he's glad he went to Copenhagen in an effort to help Chicago win the right to host the Olympic Games. The head of the Republican Party said he's glad the president's coming back.

Obama is disappointed with Chicago's failure to land the 2016 Summer Olympics, his spokesman told reporters on Air Force One Friday – but he's not sorry he went to Denmark to make the pitch for his hometown.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said that the president is "absolutely" glad he spoke in person on behalf of Chicago's unsuccessful bid, and that he "would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about this country."

Gibbs also said the president was "obviously proud of his wife for the presentation that she made." Michelle Obama had traveled earlier to Copenhagen to lobby members of the International Olympics Committee to choose her hometown to host the 2016 Olympics.

(Updated with Obama's own comments after the jump)

As the president returned stateside Friday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement suggesting his efforts to land the Games had been a distraction from more pressing matters.

"While I am disappointed with the IOC's decision, I look forward to the president returning stateside so that he can refocus his efforts on the growing unemployment crisis that was highlighted by today's monthly jobs report," said Steele. "Our country needs the president's undivided attention on the urgent issues facing American families today: rising unemployment, soaring health care costs, winning the war in Afghanistan and dealing with Iran's nuclear threat."

UPDATE: The president told reporters Friday afternoon he's happy he went and made the case for Chicago, even if the bid fell short. "You can play a great game and still not win," Obama said after returning to the White House. "Although I wish we had come back with better news ... (but) I could not be prouder of my hometown."


Filed under: Olympics • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Neutralizer

    A lot of people doesn't know Chicago has already spent $100 MILLION to bid on 2016 Olympic WITHOUT anything to show for their $100 million; EXCEPT the FACT their community organizer can't even speak about the game but spend MORE time talking about his self in Copenhagen; his wife had done the SAME thing, talking about herself. We're talking about two peas in a pod – NARCISSISTIC personality.

    October 2, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Carlos

    Snuffutt, how much are the libs paying you to troll these blogs all day, every day with your drivel, get a real job.

    October 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Blaming this on the Republicans demonstrates the biggest reason that Chicage was voted out in the first round. The entire country of Brazil was behind the Rio bid, but even the City of Chicago was divided on their bid to host the games. Politicians from both sides would do well to work toward uniting Americans, instead of attempting to use our differences to achieve their own ends..

    October 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Milly

    Looks like Obama's penis just got a little shorter than it was when he got up this morning. Maybe he should change his name to Pee-Wee. :-)

    October 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Ray

    Hey Sniffit! Keep writin'. I think more than a few of us on here appreciate what you have to say.....

    October 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. ICARE

    Consider the fact that we built a 700 million concrete building in Iraq, I find it a perfect harmony to have Olyjpic 2016 come to America.

    Really, 2012 shoudl ahve gone to Rio. How the heck did London, the size of Guam, get the bid? And I feel that 2016 should hav come to Chicago.

    October 2, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. ICARE

    Yerk! 2012 in London? Fog and heavily-densely populated London won over Rio four years ago. Can someone tell me about London? Every athlete will sleep in a phone booth over thre.

    October 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Idiot_Pelosi

    How much TAX PAYER $$$ did it cast for Mr. and Mrs. OBOZO's vacation in Denmark?

    October 2, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Melissa

    You can always tell when Republicans and the me-firsters are at a loss. They turn to their "A"s:

    Anti-Obama
    Acorn
    or
    Abortion

    United we stand – Maybe we should rename the country the Divided States of America.

    Nice try, Mr. President.

    October 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Funny thing about the Europeans . . .

    They have great nationalistic spirit and don't respect leaders who tear their own country down.

    Take note, Obama!

    October 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. sheena - Canada

    Wake Up

    Must be nice to live such a cosy life – so cosy you have no understanding that some people do try to improve their lot – some make it – some don't – does not mean they are the lazy losers you try to make them out to be – why don't you just show gratitude for where you are – and forget bashing others whose life you know nothing about.

    October 2, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. wheat

    sure, free trips are great.

    October 2, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. sheena - Canada

    to Barbara – a Canadian Perspective

    You hit the nail right on the head!! I agree 100%. Either they are to stupid to realize what they are doing to their own country ( and I do not say that lightly) or they just don't care.

    The World is watching – and it sure ain't pretty!!

    October 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. crazydee

    Orlando, Florida and several parts of California wouild have better choice for the U.S. People all over the world come to Florida and California.

    October 2, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. johanna

    I feel bad about Chicago not getting picked, but I also believe that no matter what the Obamas and Oprah and other well known people said, the gangs of Chicago ruined any chances. It's so sad to hear about the beating deaths of children "by" children AND LET'S FACE IT, thats all thats been in the news. What kind of message does that send to the rest of the world? Good try, Pres.& Mrs. Obama, but now that you are back lets concentrate on what really is important...our children!

    October 2, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. johnnie w

    President Obama and First Lady Obama , thank you for your great EFFORT to bring the Games to America, and to the the GOP and Hannity Hate, Insane Beckies, Orelly Pinheads, your going to need a huge amount of TISSUE, in New Jersey and Virginia, and 2012 when it turns more BLUE in the Elections SWEEP. Start paying something you dont have SMARTS to and RESPECT the President of the United States, not UNITED FLAKES, . How can you pull for another COUNTRY ?Morons run with MORONS. President Obama job well done, oh by the way the President has a 77% approval RATING over seas, and his poll numbers are at 54 Gallup Poll , and 67 % with the Jewish Americans. and moving back up with Independants, and the Youh Vote, Minority Vote off the CHARTS .... CLOWNS...

    October 2, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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