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. When liberalism becomes a disease

    It's true.........a few of you really are blaming Bush, Sniffit

    October 2, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Rewhinagin

    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.
    -
    clearly you've never been to either city ...

    October 2, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. TJ WILLIAMS

    Republicans hate for our President just shows how pathetic and slimy a bunch of criminals can be. President Barack Obama has more class, intelligence and honor than the whole Rethug Party combined. What a bunch of losers. They offer N O T H I N G but whining, crying and complaints. They care about NO ONE but their own morally bankrupt gang of leeches. Thank you Mrs. Obama, Oprah and President Obama and all the other REAL AMERICANS who put our best foot forward for our country. To the "peanut gallery" ...you are worthless.

    October 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Phil

    What an absolute waste of time AND taxpayer money. We need a President not a Popularity-Monger. This is turning out to be the opposite of what Reagan was. Reagan was an actor turned President, and it appears so far our President wants to be an actor with the Hollywood popularity to go with it. We don't need a "hip jokester", we need a President.

    October 2, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Wake Up

    Michelle + Barack x Oprah = zero!!

    3 annoying self-important power hungry people just got lauged at by the world!! Finished LAST!

    October 2, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. kris

    its not so much that the IOC did not buy Obama's pitch for chicago and eliminated the US bid in the first round. Its the fact that the president has not been able to structure a winable, agreeable and winning bid for the olympics, healthcare reform, afghanistan, education and the economy. It is the totality of these hanging issues and the lack of good results from the administration on these areas that is the concern. what we need is a president that can perform beyond words and not one that relies on words in order to perform.

    October 2, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Carlos

    Gee Wally another nice vacation for the Griswalls, European style.

    October 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Wake Up

    Snifit, you crack me up. you have no ideas, you just regurgitate lib blogs. You only attack people and do not debate issues. Go to school, get a job and pay for your own self. You need daddy govt. because you are one of the laze and unwilling!

    50% of america pays 97% of taxes!! how is that fair!!!!

    October 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. jack

    >>>>Fine don't support my president Repubs and I sure as heck won't support yours and will hope they fail as well<<<<<<,

    hahaha what a joke.. like you ever did support Bush, Reagan, or any other republican president. you liberals are a piece of work. obama is a joke to most Americans and now, we are seeing (aka Sarkozy and others) that he is a joke to the rest of the world as well. Sorry there buddy

    October 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. seebofubar

    I was kinda hope'in that he'd like it over there and stay a month or two or three or ..............

    October 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    The republican party again stuck it to the American people by not supporting the president's olympic bid for the city of Chicago,never mind it would have created a million jobs helping the midwest,wake up people they dont care about us its a game to them i call on all americans to vote the Republican party out of office along with max Bacus,Lincoln, Nelson, Conrad. &Carper.

    October 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Proud Member..Party of No

    lolol...I'm just joining in with the rest of the world laughing at what a loser the egotistical Obama and his gigantic wife really are.

    October 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. j todd

    the person standing in the shoes ment for a president, should be cutting expenses, and living without money and jobs like the people that voted for him are. I hear there is a campaign to have a take your vote back day and un elect the idiot. he has no clue of day to day reality and strife of the american people. fly two planes to Denmark to help crooked chicago politics. WHERE IS THE HELP FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE??? more factories and stores are closing every day in this country, and the president flies around the world, and give several hundred thousand to terrorist charities.. he needs to go on Are you smarte than a fifth grader.

    October 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. No More Incumbents

    Can't wait to see the photos of the celeb-in-chief flying over windmills in Air Farce One.

    October 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Chris (I) from Texas

    It's going to be hard to swallow for losing but glad he tried his best to go for Chicago. It was not the time though because of the accounting violence that has happened in Chicago. All these nutcases think that Chicago is appeasing his "thugs" to get into the Olympics. BS. Those people need to fix their heads about Illinois. The Conservatives are gonna slam Barack Obama on using tax money to go to Copenhagen then keep on spitting on his face on the war, the economy, etc. America hasn't been the same since the eight years of torture and misguidance from the tyrant Bush and Cheney that caused us to become hated. Harsh judgment will not work and makes people look like fools. At least Obama will know that he tried his best, but as of this point, Rio will have their first crack in the Olympics in 2016.

    October 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    For the first time in my adult life I am proud of the Olympic commitee.

    Sorry sheep if we were not happy with the possibility that Obama and his cronies were going to make millions on payoffs and paybacks the "chi-town" way.

    The tax payers were going to pick up the tab as is the case for most olympics that Mitt Romney doesn't save.

    Would Barry have went on the road to Rio if this were ANYWHERE BUT CHICAGO? DON'T THINK SO.

    He didn't plan on going two weeks ago as he was busy with healthcare REMEMBER, his own words, he thought this was a done deal and wanted a WIN on his presidential resume and HE GOT NONE.

    MEchelle and Oprah sacrificed for the children, are YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS?

    Christmas and my Birthday all rolled into one.

    October 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. J of K

    How can anyone who has continually criticized his own country, etc expect the world to overlook how he has been doing. How can the world overlook that this very Chicago is the place of the latest violence to its own – the beating to death of a young black male. Would this violence be transferred to visiting Olympian guest or participants?:
    So .....who will bet the blame for Chicago not getting the Olympics – republicans, right wing nut jobs, or the old stand by 'racists'. Yea, the world Olympic committee is racist for NOT selecting Chicago. I mean read the really arrogant plea Queen O gave – bet that had more to do with it then anything. The world is NOT the fools that the Americans that voted for Obuma were. (yea, I was a fool).

    October 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Tired of Same Old Trash Talk

    Many forget that even when a President travel they still work on issues affecting our nation. This thing about cost of his travel is bogus. At this time our last Pres would have taken four vacations to his ranch in Texas. Give me a break!

    October 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Angie in PA

    Everybody atleast he TRIED Dont ever bash someone for trying I tell my Kids all the time try hard and if you fail try harder and dont be upset because you atleast made an effort. kudos to you President Obama for thinking about OUR COUNTRY!

    October 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Sigh

    Wow, is it any wonder CNN has a leftist image? Lot's of right wing hate here. Wish people would act more civilized, on both sides.

    October 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Mike Tamborrino

    It's not whether we need democratic or republican leadership.....it's that we need leaders who stop pissing money away and deepening our debt! We need a true fiscal conservative who understands what makes an economy tick.

    October 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Dan

    Chicago Lost Because the World does not like us and IOC members voted against us.
    Bush and GOP have:
    1. Ruined our Reputation in the World.
    2. Made Enemies everywhere.
    3. Made the World to Hate us.
    4. Made no Friends.

    BUSH and GOP are the BIGGEST AMERICAN FAILURE.

    October 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. charlie in Maine

    South America has never hosted the Olympic games until now. Although Obama must be disappointed that his city did not get it he can probably relate to the "never before in history " aspect of Rio's victory.

    October 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Gary

    Liar liar pants on fire! hehehe

    October 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Now the haters are saying he spends tax payers money when he travels wher was all this bull with the last 43 presidents Obama has worked harder than any US president .Marilyn you sound like a hatercant stand the Obama's living in that big old white house,

    PS their haveing SEX in the white house LOL.

    October 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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