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. Obama 2.0

    Everybody take your clothes off, were going to Rio ;)

    October 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Bill

    I wonder how he'll figure a way to blame this on George Bush.

    October 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. john

    All other heads of state were there. When Bush lost New York's bid for the Olympics he just phoned in.

    I'm also glad that the president helped lobby for our country. This loos has nothing to do with the US or the president. We lost because of the Olympic spirit of global reach. It wasn't our time. And everyone knew it.

    October 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. TH - ATL

    Someone get him a box of tissue...

    October 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Jeremiah

    That's true...he's always willing to talk about his country, and apologize for how horrible we are. And your wife did a great job, so great Chicago was eliminated first round. Amazing.

    October 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. indy

    lol wow I guess the rest of the world isn't drinking the big Os kool aid , he can't get anything done overseas. I kinda shocked a community organizer from chicago doesn't have more clout internationally! lol what a joke ! 3 years 3 mos to go ! god I hope we make it.

    October 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Open Your 3rd Eye

    I love how everytime things don't go Obama's way these little people get so happy.

    You can bet they're going to have a great weekend because America will not be hosting the Olympics ?

    It's so silly, yet so sad. It's the Olympics people, it really shouldn't matter so much as your emotions depend on the perception of failure.

    Get a grip.

    October 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. GenPatton

    Now get home and tax me, for socialized medicine.

    October 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Gallimimus

    Good for you Mr. President! It's nice to have a president that can do more than one thing at a time. A president that is involved and wants to help with helping the US. Don't let the GOP and the nay sayers bring you down.

    October 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Dont blame me

    Of course he is, he went on the TAXPAYER dime.

    Chicago never stood a chance anyway.

    I mean, would you rather go to crime riddled Chicago or to Rio ???

    Be honest now.

    October 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Nana5

    Sure he's glad he went – another big trip at the cost of overburdened American (republican) taxpayers. Dems (especially those in elected positions) conveniently "forget" to pay their taxes until they get caught and have to so this trip was at the cost of Republicans. So glad to know he, his wife and girlie girl all had fun. Big "O" and Big "O" sure have lots of fun paling around. Most of middle America can't even take a vacation and he is jetting all over the world getting his face plastered on every liberal news media and newspaper that will do so. Just get selected president and you get to see the world at someone else's expense. Way to travel.

    October 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Neutralizer

    Top 10 Reasons Chicago Didn't Get the Olympics

    10. Dead people can't vote at IOC meetings

    9. Obama distracted by 25 min meeting with Gen. McChrystal

    8. Who cares if Obama couldn't talk the IOC into Chicago? He'll be able to talk Iran out of nukes.

    7. The impediment is Israel still building settlements.

    6. Rahm Emmanuel forgot to send a dead fish to the IOC

    5. We've been quite clear and said all along that we didn't want the Olympics.

    4. This isn't about the number of Olympics "lost", it's about the number of Olympics "saved" or "created".

    3. Clearly not enough wise Latina judges on the committee

    2. Because the IOC is racist.

    1. It's George Bush's fault.

    October 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Gee

    Can't wait until I can help vote him out of office.....I am so sick and tired of our Cam-painer in Chief. We need a real president to govern this country, not a community organizer that hasn't managed anything in his life except a line of bull.....

    October 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Sgt. USMC

    Hey Michael Steele, why don't you save some time; instead of listing all of America's troubles, just say 'the mess that Bush got us into'!

    OBAMA 2012

    October 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Alex

    At the very least, he gave it his all. What more can you ask for.

    October 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Keith Pollard

    Frederick Douglas once said that freedom of the slaves would bring harm to them because they could not function as free citizens. Its a shame that Mr. Steele still has these thought in his head when attempting to represent a party that has only negative comments about the president who convincingly beat his candidate. If Mr. Steele believes he can grow the Republican party with minorities with this type of talk then he must be secretly rooting for the Dems. As an African American I am ashamed of this man.

    October 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Lisa, Saugus MA

    Maybe even the world is starting to realize that Obama is all glitz and no substance.

    October 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. victim of republican greed

    Maybe President Obama should have tried to be like a republican and do some fancy pageant walking. However, I really appreciate a president who stands up for Americans.

    But now, it's time to move on and Investigate DeMint and Ensign, as well as Coburn and McConnell.

    October 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. m jeff

    Rio and Fox news are dancing in the streets.

    October 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Dale

    A few million tax payers dollars glad?

    October 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Shibumi

    The terrible news of not getting the Olympics can be summed up by simply saying "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA".
    I use to think Bo Bo was just a doofus but now he' also a looooooooser!
    Bring on 2010!!!!!

    October 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter, the real enemy of humanity

    Now the media and right wingers will forget all about that kid who got killed. He played his part through his murder making Chicago look bad. Back to business as usual: ignoring the problems in poor neighborhoods. Have a nice day!

    October 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Obama Victim

    We're all happy the Obamas went to Copenhagen. We'd be happier if they would just stay there.

    October 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. tate

    So is american now stay there you back stabbing socialist. Obama is now not just a joke to americans but to the world.

    October 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Dennis TheBald

    Do you know anybody that regrets a trip to Copenhagen?

    October 2, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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