April 16th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: Bush, the pope - and politics?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/16/art.bush.pope.jpg caption="Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush greet thousands of guests on the South Lawn Wednesday."]
(CNN) - It was a beautiful arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. As a former White House correspondent, I covered many such ceremonies over the years. But no matter how many times you see and hear these events, it’s always exciting and spectacular. This one for Pope Benedict XVI, I must say, was even more extraordinary because so many thousands of guests were on hand, and they were genuinely moved.

President Bush delivered a carefully-written address touching several sensitive issues. But I was especially struck by these words: “The United States is the most innovative, creative and dynamic country on earth. It is also among the most religious.”

I may be reading way too much into those words, but I was struck by the contrast to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s controversial words about those people in small towns in Pennsylvania who’ve lost their jobs. “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter,” Obama said, “They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Was President Bush deliberating taking a veiled swipe at Obama? As I said, I don’t know, but it was curious – at least to me.

What I do know is that the Pope’s words very uplifting, especially when he blessed the United States with his “fervent prayers that Almighty God will confirm this nation and this people in the ways of justice, prosperity and peace.”

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Erick, SLC UT

    "What I do know is that the Pope’s words very uplifting,...." Where's your verb, Wolf? Shouldn't it be, " ...the Pope's words were very uplifting?" Nice one.

    April 16, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Xeno

    This is the same pope that tried to coverup reports of molestation in Europe, no? It amazes me that people somehow think the Pope should be free of criticism.

    April 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Moe

    Mr. Blitzer, you cant help but let your prejudice influence your reporting and I was so happy when Michael Moore told you the truth about your type of journalism.
    Bush ignored the last Pope's appeal and lauched a war that has killed thousands, now he is using the new pope as a photo op and then you bring in Obama's bitter comments, that is why your candidate Hillary keeps sliding in the polls, you just dont get it, I am sure you will try to ressurect Rev Wright story again.
    I am not a supporter of Obama, but I am shocked that people like you will stop at nothing to undermine his candidacy .
    PS. You didnt ask the right questions before the Iraq war now you are trying to convince us to hate Iran. I DONT BELIEVE YOU.

    April 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. jimmy vekmen



    April 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Susan In PA

    Wolf, it figures you are a Clinton supporter. How you could draw such an inference from the quote in the article is beyond me.

    I guess you had to be there, right?

    Somewhat like Bosnia?


    April 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Moe

    Wolf, why dont you come out and say you dont want a certain candidate and you want Bush (not America) to attack Iran, because the Iraq war is also Bush's war. You dont miss an opportunity to bash Obama.
    I dont believe what you tell me about Iran because you also told me about WMD in Iraq. Gas prices are high, billions are spent weekly in Iraq and you and the moronic Lou Dobbs are whipping up sentiment about attacking other people, why dont you put on the uniform and fight. yourself your comments are so repulsive.....Do you believe Bush is a true Xtian...who gave you the monopoly of deciding salvation...people with blood on their hands.

    April 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Newman

    Okay how does the pope being in D.C. have anything to do with Obama? Gee, it rained today, must be Obama's fault. Gas is $3.65 a gallon, must be Obama's fault. Dow Jones fell 85 points, must be Obama's fault. Get a freaking clue, people! Watch tonight's debate at 8 EDT.

    April 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. kevin from alaska

    We've now lost more American citizens in Iraq than in the WTC attacks.

    We spend $12billion/month in Iraq. Would we be safer if we spent $12billion/month on National Security and Intelligence?

    If we can't successfully take over Iraq, what makes anybody think Iran could?

    Who will Al Qaeda in Iraq have to kill without any American G.I.s around?

    Before we invaded Iraq gas cost about $2/gallon.

    April 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. henrie alabama


    April 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. MN

    "Most innovative, creative and dynamic country on earth" – agree.
    "Among the most religious" – probably not

    April 16, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Christopher

    To everyone why must me critsise obam or clinton? We must all look at the big picture of you we should vote for either of the candidates that includes Mccain. I see that everyone is very caught in all the hear say and garbage that the candidates are saying. I feel that most of the things they say doesnt mean anything. I want someone to change how things are now. Its terrible how America want to vote or not vote for someone because they said something misleading or degrading. We all do that but it doesn't mean we are bad people or we feel a certain way about something. Vote for whats truely right because if we dont things are going to get wore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Greg Mpls

    Get a grip people! Barak's comments were truthful when taken in the context that he intended them. I don't believe there was any intended insult. This particular story is just another example of the news organizations making news in order to fill 24 hours of programming. Blitzer has become ridiculous.

    A Hillary supporter who can see thorugh the crap on all sides.

    April 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. Retired Navy Veteran

    God Bless Senator Barack Obama,

    He truly represent America the Good the Bad the Hope.

    April 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. wood burns

    I don't believe in magical men in the sky telling us how to act and no grown person, including the pope should be pushing such fairy tales.

    April 16, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. Retired Navy Veteran

    Your Holiness,

    Bless them for they have sin, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night. Really? So much involvement – so much togetherness.
    Monica was having sex with Bill? 35 years of experience? When he was intimidating Katherine Wiley and Paula Jones? Where was the judgment on the cattle futures and white water. Do we forget Mark and Denise Rich? This was an impeached President who lost his license to practice law. He committed perjury. They settled with Paula Jones for the full amount of her lawsuit. I haven't forgotten and none of us should.

    Elected Hillary to take Mayor Nutty Place, but not in my White House!!!!!!

    April 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Lily

    I must give Mr. Bush a credit today for his tremendous effort and positive remark in the welcoming ceremony for the Holy Father. As American, I think we also should look at the positive side of his presidency. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    April 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. JP SW

    Nothing at this time is said without message.

    Obama's snide remarks, by the way said by Obama four years ago also, offended many.

    Obama is never going to be elected President of the United States. The media can excuse all his junk, but when it comes down to really voting for president, he'll lose and so will this country. What we've seen or heard from Obama, his wife, and his Rev Wright will pale compared to what is waiting to be disclosed.

    It's futile to attempt to convince supporters of Obama that if this man gets the nomination or under the darkest of days, he become president of this country, we all lose.

    Hand out the bumper stickers that say: "Don't look at me. I didn't vote for him."

    April 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. person

    Pope, help us, please! People are going crazy in this country, they have eyes blinded by some words, hype, and speeches which are not from the heart. Obama is not to be trusted. If he elected, chaos will power.

    April 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. tanea Dalpivo

    Peace is what we all need. You go Pope, and power to Obama, our President.

    April 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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