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. sally

    "Well, I'm NOT glad he went. I can't help but think that if the Obamas and Oprah had not gone and displayed their obvious arrogance, the IOC may have just gone with Chicago."
    _____

    I CANNOT believe the comments on this post. ALL FOUR countries in the running had their presidents there. So say he hadn't gone–that would reinforce how "unAmerican" he is, right? Was there ANY way you would have cut him some slack on this issue? He goes and we get the Olympics? Chicago cronyism at work. He goes and we don't get them? He's useless. He doesn't go and we get them anyway? He's also useless. He doesn't go and we don't get them? He's unAmerican.

    And about traveling on the taxpayer dime: since when do any of you Republican idiots care about the "taxpayer dime"? I never heard a word from any of you when Bush was spending 500 vacation days traveling to and from his ranch in Texas, or going anywhere in the world he had to as part of his job. You people are complete hypocrites, and you are getting on my last nerve. But that's the point, right?

    October 2, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Rick

    MR Bohener; or any complaining Rep oR Sen.: Do you do work on YOUR PLANE RIDE HOME? Do you really think the American people are STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT IS OUT OF COMMUNICATIONS? Because IF YOU DO, please resign NOW!

    The Olympics were a long shot! NON attendance spelled NO CHANCE! Where were the GOP? Where are the GOP "activitists" protesting the brutal killing in Chicago? Where are they? IF the President is degraded, then why not ALL CONGRESS, or the SUPREME COURT or ALL the Illinois State Congress? Where is the "outrage" from the rest? Should ONLY the President have to express his concern? FOR HOW MANY STATES, ALL? WOW, Let's absolve the entire US Congress and every State Congress of their moral ineptness!

    October 2, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Nothing risked, nothing gained. If President Obama hadn't tried to get the Olympics in Chicago, the GOP would have made nasty remarks about how he must be ashamed of his home town.

    The GOP will always find some fault with President Obama, no matter what he does.

    Why? Because the GOP and their lackeys want our president and our country to fail. They insist on putting party before country, and are willing to take everyone and everything down with them in their efforts to regain power.

    Pathetic!

    October 2, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Tim

    Neutralizer is brilliant

    Obama is an (_!_)

    October 2, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Kiss

    People, People, People

    All these negatives comments. I am glad the PTOUS went and tried. This would have been good for the city of Chicago (money, money, money). As I tell me children when something dosent workout over done with and gone.

    October 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Obozo the Great !

    Obozo the Great is glad? Republicans are ecstatic ! Do it again Obozo !

    October 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Diana

    At least he went for the good of our country. Not like that Republican from North Carolina- Jim Demint who went to go to Honduras to help the coup ignore the US. Where's the story on that? Can you say treason.

    October 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Tim

    Let's face it, he didn't apologize or grovel enough.

    October 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. EC

    I'm PROUD of President Obama. He went to BID on having the Olympics in Chicago. American should be PROUD that we have a President willing to go that extra mile to bring BILLIONS of dollars in revenue to the United States economy. Who in their right mind would NOT want billions of dollars spent in the United States? I mean really?

    We may have lost the bid, but at least we TRIED. President Obama made the effort, didn't quit and at least STEP UP when it comes to promoting the UNITED STATES.

    I don't care what anyone says, I'm proud he went to Copenhagen, I'm proud that my President was willing to PROUDLY promote my Country.

    October 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. HJA

    jack October 2nd, 2009 4:42 pm ET
    "hahaha what a joke.. like you ever did support Bush, Reagan, or any other republican president. you liberals are a piece of work. "

    Yeah I supported Regan and I'm sorry I did. His BS on less government turned out to be a joke. He fed the American people to the corporations. Regan started the destruction of America and Bush / Cheney and the rest of the RepubliNAZIs finished it. How quickly you people go into denial is amazing.
    Yeah I voted for Regan. I'll never vote RepubliNAZI again!

    October 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Karl in Charleston,SC

    A swing and a miss, now what about JOBS???

    October 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. indiana voter

    Gallimimus,

    What did he do besides fail?

    October 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Susan

    Thanks for trying, President Obama!

    October 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Tim

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

    Because the other 50% don't have any money. It all disappeared in the great republican wealth redistribution known as deregulation and trickle-down economics. Have a nice day!

    No, actually it all disappered into flat screen TV's, crack and hi-tops.

    October 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. PK California

    He gave it his best shot! Glad he went!

    October 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Expat American

    Proud Member..Party of No October 2nd, 2009 4:44 pm ET
    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.
    ----------
    How can the rest of the world be laughing at the 'egotistical Obama' when they are still laughing at Republicans for hanging effigies at Palin rallies?

    Yes, I am sure your significant other is a real beauty....and not 350 lbs suckin' on 6-pack and a 24 piece bucket of chicken.

    October 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. that is really a tough one

    I think in the end his going means he gave it his all

    the president of Brazil went... we needed a full court press too

    October 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Linda in Cal

    Here we go again! When all else fails start blaming Bush, Cheney, Rush, Hannity, Glenn, Fox News, Dobbs, including middle America for being racist - blah, blah, blah...Get a life!

    Question for the Liberals: Is the "Daily Kos" and "Huffington Post" are keeping track (as much as they did on President Bush) of the expensive trips Obama and his first lady have made in 9 month, domestic and international?

    October 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Expat American

    Proud Member..Party of No October 2nd, 2009 4:44 pm ET
    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.
    ----------
    How can the rest of the world be laughing at the 'egotistical Obama' when they are still laughing at Republicans for hanging effigies at Palin rallies?

    Yes, I am sure your significant other is a real beauty....and not 350 lbs suckin' on a 6-pack and a 24-piece bucket of chicken.

    October 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. http://twitter.com/whybs

    Brett Favre had the most interceptions, and he is great because he has always stepped up & taken risks. Obama runs circles around previous presidents - why waste time waiting for things to happen.

    There is no question that he'll be one of our best presidents!

    Right wingnuts don't even know what will hit them! And it's a very good thing for the U.S.!

    Just watch!

    - from someone who voted for Reagan & I'm not black!

    October 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. center left

    It's a once in a life time opportunity to bring the Olympics to your home town as president. I think it was a good effort by President Obama to vie for the Olympic. The GOP see this is lost for President Obama, no it was a loss for America. The conservatives movement is betting against America.

    October 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Wake Up

    People who don't have money (unless disabled) because they CHOSE not to work hard. They chose not to go to school! They chose not to get 2 jobs. They Chose not to save their money. Quit whining and get to work.
    I'm sick of supporting the lazy and unwilling. Obama is a false prophet.

    October 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. indiana voter

    Alan in Marietta, GA

    Boo hoo. Republicans haven't even done 10% of the anti-American, hateful things you Democrats did when Bush was President. My what a short memory you have. You must be a true Democrat showing your ignorance yet again. I can see why you follow Obama.

    October 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Stu

    Totally wrong to spend taxpayer money to travel and attempt to sway the IOC.

    October 2, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Beverly in NC

    I think it was a great thing President Obama did to try to bring the Olympics here. It would mean jobs, money, and recognition for Chicago.
    I think Rio was chosen simply because no Olympics has ever been held in South America and it's their turn. Rio is a beautiful place.
    Every leader of every nation being considered went to Denmark to lobby for their cirty, so why not ours too?
    President Obama loves this country and is doing everything he can to restore it, bring jobs, help ALL Americans, and reform a long-standing disasterous greed-based healthcare system. He is working hard for ALL of us.
    What have the Republicans done? Destroy the economy. Put us into a fraudulent war in Iraq where tens of thousands of American soldiers were murdered for Cheney's grab for oil, threaten every country with war and make us a target, under-fund education, and run the deficit up higher that ever before. Now they are sitting on the sidelines doing NOTHING to help clean up their mess and pretending they are not accountable. They are spreading hate, fear, racism, and lies and creating a dangerous environpment of violence all for political games.
    There is no line they will not cross and not so dishonorable they will not embrace it.

    So what positive things have Republicans done for America this year?? NOT ONE...they have no solutions and no leadership so all they left to do is to complain and whine and criticize those who are working for the People.

    Their negativity and constant whiing is really old and unpatriotic.

    October 2, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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