April 10th, 2009
06:10 PM ET
10 years ago

GOP accuses Obama of ‘groveling’ to Saudi King

The NRSC has unveiled an ad that accuses the president of bowing before the Saudis.

The NRSC has unveiled an ad that accuses the president of bowing before the Saudis.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The campaign arm for Republican senators is soliciting donations in a new national Web ad that accuses President Barack Obama of bowing to Saudi Arabia King Abdullah during the recent G-20 Summit.

The ad, which appeared on the Drudge Report Friday and scheduled to run for several days, shows a picture of Obama greeting Abdullah at the summit with the headline: Should America Bow to a King?

Readers are asked to click on the “Yes” or “No” button on the ad and it directs them to a Web page where they are then asked to contribute or provide a name and e-mail address to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Should the president of the world’s pre-eminent superpower be groveling at the feet of a Saudi King,” the NRSC asks visitors, who are also able to watch a short FOX News clip of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich knocking the White House for denying that Obama bowed to Abdullah.

“Well, I think he bent over with both – to shake with both hands to shake his hand,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Thursday. When asked again if Obama bowed, Gibbs answered “No.”

In addition to the Web ad, the NRSC e-mailed political supporters Thursday stating the same criticism.

"In light of the bizarre denial from the White House, the NRSC is simply presenting two questions to the American people: Do they believe the White House's explanation that this was not a bow? And if they don't, do they think it's appropriate for the leader of the free world to be bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia?” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said to CNN. “It's not an attack ad – it's simply raising a fair question."

Walsh also told CNN that in just a few hours of the Web ad appearing on the Drudge Report more than 4,000 people have provided the NRSC with their email addresses.

Filed under: NRSC • President Obama
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Brian Crooks

    So he bowed. Big freakin' deal. He didn't get down on his knees and cry out "I'm not worthy!!!!!!" Have any of the GOP'ers ever done business overseas? For example, when I go to Japan on a business trip, I bow and then go through the elaborate ritual of exchanging business cards. It doesn't mean I'm groveling to the Japanese or that I think they're better than me, it just means that I understand proper etiquette when dealing with foreign cultures.

    April 10, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Oregonian

    Yup. He bent over all right. But he was also reaching down for the guys handshake. Unbelievable.

    April 10, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Harold Abbott

    Maybe the President mistook him for Rush Limbaugh!

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. MJ

    Way to go Rushlimbacans! You've got him on the run now!

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. jim

    Obama did not bow, He kissed the kings belly button.

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Larry

    History is going to show, as does present ... just how low the Republicans will go

    I think the circumstances are approaching "Treason" by these people who spew their factless criticism of the PRESIDENT of the United States

    This man was voted in by We The People ... a whole lot of us

    And I for one am getting tired of this disgusting and contant bashing

    Who polices this stuff ... people should be heading to jail already ... Period

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Kim

    Big. Fat. Hairy. Deal.

    So what if he did bow? What is wrong with showing a gesture of respect to another head of state from a foreign culture? And with trying to understand the customs and ettiquettes of other countries and their cultures? Some people are just to arrogant to bet bothered, I guess.

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |

    What about Last Summer when Bush was Pretty much on His Knees BEGGING The Saudis for Oil keep digging that Hole Republicans! keep digging!

    April 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Dave from WI

    Wow, and again, we see the typical defense of our president.
    Attack, demonize, name call any group or person that is a 'threat' to the POTUS's image.

    I think the reaction of certain supporters of President Obama speaks volumes. What ever the 'indecent' is the reaction is the same.

    Has it come to this?

    Sad days for our country continues.

    (sorry I can't help it but is this going to be the because of 'the last eight years too'? We need two NEW right and left parties but not the EXTREMIST views either have, most of the USA is not on the edges but more center. Weather it be center right or left)
    Just my opinion.

    April 10, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Mary

    Did you see the video of President Bush and the Saudi King walking hand in hand on the Crawford ranch. It was hysterical. Obama looked just as ridiculous with his bow. They are both only human though, so give them both a break. There are bigger fish to fry.

    April 10, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Fed up with the gop

    The gop has nothing better to talk about? The Prez could tap dance for all I care as long as the economy gets better. Just a simple sign of respect (The Saudi's don't deserve it considering the way they treat women.)

    By the way, did the gop leader Rush Windbag give his blessing to start crying over this subject.

    April 10, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Machiavelli, Baton Rouge, LA

    This is another classic case of the American, white male hubris and arrogance. They always assume they are the elite of the world and superior to all others simply based on their race and citizenship. In other words, they are too good to pay deference to someone of another country, whether that individual be a king or queen–of course that individual was anlgo-European.

    Well for all of their braggadocia and hubris, what has it gotten this country, an ill-advised war based on fabricated intelligence and a near-bankrupt economy? Now that the American people–people of all races and backgrounds–have elected a black American to clean up the mess these same pretentious ingrates created, they cannot stand the thought that this man may be sucessful at his job. Furthermore, he multitasks to keep this country going. He did not pick one agenda during the campaign, he chose many because he knows that is how you keep this country going forward, by attacking many problems as they arise. He will not leave problems to pass to the next president as many others have done in the past.

    April 10, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Central FL

    If President Obama extended a customary gesture out of diplomatic respect, what is the big deal? This seems to be more feign cries of desperation on the far right.

    Do these Republicans have any actual ideas for the issues we face? If not, who would give their hard earned money to them? It's nonsense.

    April 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. proud army navy mom

    seems to me that the repugs is the ones that should be groveling, considering they help Bush and gang break the world.

    Of course they makes too much sense for them. they really look like a bunch of desparate for anything, wild-eyed psychos.

    April 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. I Am The Great And Powerful Wizard Of Rush

    Bush held his hand, yet the Sludge Report said nothing.

    But . . . but . . . but . . . he's an arab . . . (Brainless rushpublicans)

    April 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Larry Schlueter

    It is evident to most intelligent people that this is a bow . . . the response by the WH press is the same as an untruthful response, and they should change their response. This is dangerous since it can cause people to believe the WH is not truthful.

    April 10, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. No Hillary = No Obama

    There is no doubt Obama bowed to the prince – so why deny it? But if I remember correctly, didn't Bush plant a couple of kisses on this prince and hand hold? Obama's act seems to be one deference while Bush, well, that's Bush.

    April 10, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. IndyVoter

    Anyone who has ever traveled abroad or taken an intercultural communication course knows that bowing to a Monarch is standard and totally within the norm, whether you're the President of a foreign country or a peasant. The GOP obviously is full of pride and cannot bring themselves to show honor where honor is due. Remember "Conservatives" Jesus said, that the one who serves, who washes another man's feet, the one who is last is the one who will be first! HUMILITY DOES NOT EQUAL WEAKNESS! Jesus is at the same time the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah or don't you read your Bible? By the way, there is a word to describe the behavior when someone can't find it within themselves to affirm someone else for fear that they will be looked upon negatively or will lose out – Its called INSECURITY!

    April 10, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Kelby In Houston, TX

    after Bush was kissing this guy and holding his hand the GOP is talking about This man bowing before a King...
    Did he bow before Queen Elizabeth?
    Was he a king?
    Somebody needs to serve the GOP a nice tall glass of STFU

    April 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Lee

    Suggest that only those who have benefited from our relationship with the Saudis give to the above-mentioned fund.

    April 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. G in BR

    Wow. The Repubs said Obama did not follow protocol with the Queen of England. They now say that he should not have followed protocol by bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia. He will never be able to win over the Repubs crew of misfits so I hope he is just ignoring them all. As a matter of fact, maybe we all should do that!!!

    April 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. AnOregonian

    Who cares again (besides Faux News)?

    April 10, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. repukelicraps R dumb

    Who cares! President-select shrub gave the German G8 representative a back rub which she tried to avoid. The Japanese bow all the time, The rnc is broken and trying to pull out all stops to act like this was a disaster. Problem is that the shrub with the cardiac kid were arrogant and that's why just about everyone in the rest of the world hates Americans.

    April 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. George

    Wow, I see CNN is still trying to cover their tracks for that abysmal and lazy reporter who embaressed CNN and the whole media industry.

    I wonder how many other "News" groups will cover this smear campaign as legitimate news.

    Smells alot like the Swift Boat coming back.

    April 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. KeepingItReal

    I just don't know what to think. Perhaps we should ask Bandar Bush...?

    April 10, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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