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October 9th, 2009
11:59 AM ET

Video: Obama accepts Nobel as 'call to action'

(CNN) - President Obama on Friday said he was "surprised and deeply humbled" by winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership," Obama said from the White House Rose Garden.

"I will accept this award as a call to action."

Obama said he did not feel he deserves "to be in the company" of past winners.

The Nobel announcement was a stunning decision that comes just eight months into Obama's presidency.

Read the full story »

Filed under: Politics • World
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. John

    The Nobel Peace Prize for President Obama was richly deserved. All through the campaign he committed to diplomacy to solve international problems and pledged to denuclearize the world. He initiated negotiations to denuclearize Iran for the first time in 30 years. He introduced a UN resolution to denuclearize the world in the UN Security Council which passed unanimously. There factors make him most worthy for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Barack Obama has not been apologizing for the US per se. What he has been apologizing for, (rightly) is the insult to the world of the so-called American foreign policy of George W. Bush. Bush’s paranoid anti-diplomacy, go it alone, war mongering, thumbing his nose at the world, foreign policy lowered the United States in the estimation of the world. The US under Bush was the joke of the world and was universally look down upon. Just as the US is universally looked down upon by the industrialized world for it's sub standard non-universal insurance-run health system, ranked 19 out of 19 industrialized nations.

    The US under Obama is once again a partner of other nations and has restored some respect for the United States, which had been destroyed under Bush.

    October 12, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  2. Jack Leechfil

    It’s not fair that President Bush didn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving his goals. But, at least he recognizes all his accomplishments. He sitting back laughing and saying, “he he, I screwed America big time, and they're to dumb to see it. I made millions of dollars from lobbyist by passing bills to help them. I started a war so I could hide a lot of money, and big oil corporates could profit billions. And, now that Republicans are keeping the “status quo” going, I can still receive my millions in royalties. Dang, I’m good!

    October 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  3. Jack Leechfil

    It’s not fair that President Bush didn’t get a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving his goals. But, at least he recognizes all his accomplishments. He sitting back laughing and saying, “he he, I screwed America big time, and they're to dumb to see it. I made millions of dollars from lobbyist by passing bills to help them. I started a war so I could hide a lot of money, and big oil corporate's could profit billions. And, now that Republicans are keeping the “status quo” going, I can still receive my millions in royalties. Dang, I’m good!

    October 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  4. barbara


    October 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Flo

    The nuts (wingnuts, you call them) never cease to amaze me. They are always ready to show their distaste for our first African American President, no matter what he does or what he does not do. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today, not because of any accomplishment of his, he didn't ask for it, the committee simply felt he deserved it for his outspokenness for freedom and for trying to encourage the nations to come together and talk peace. Is that such a bad thing or does everybody love the pictures of people being blown to bits by bombs and military men and women being sent back home in a flag covered casket? Obama has not done anything outstanding like his enemies, Steele, Lumbaugh, Beck, etc., have done (lol); what he did do was become the first African Americn U.S, President, and being the very intelligent, brilliant, humble, loving, kind, commuicative
    man that he is, he has brought back some of the dignity and hope that this country once enjoyed. Because of this, the nuts in this country – including elected ones – are too dumb, stupid and crazy to appreciate him. They are so dumb they don't even understand how silly they look.
    I am so proud that Obama is so intelligent, he does not give them the pleasure of feeding into their phyco-ness. Way to go Mr. President!!
    Let 'em run their stupid mouths while you run the business we elected you to run. My Bible Study Students and I are praying for you; you will win, you've got God on your side.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  6. stormy lady

    Congratulations Mr. President! Forgive the haters who say it is too soon, the same was said in the 2008 campaign, but the people won. When you receive the award step up to the podium and accept it with honor and poise graciously, posthumously, for every person that has suffered from the brutality of slavery, racial hatred, injustice, and who fought and gave their lives for freedom. Accept for families who die daily for lack of quality health care, poverty, disease, famine, wars, and violent crimes. God protect the lonely soldier on the battlefield and in hospitals crippled and sufering, and God please keep the president safe from the haters who encourage harm to the president. Respect him for his goodness, honesty, dedication, and sacrifice to make the world a better place for all God children, what a challenge. Yes, you are deserving of the award to face this corrupt evil force with courage!

    October 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  7. David K. Hendricks

    I think President Obama may have it right when he said it isn't about his accomplishments. but, rather about Leadership! I call for President Obama to return the award and for him to lead the world to stop Countries like Norway from hiding their own Human Rights violations behind such awards as the Nobel Peace Prize. If Norway is so righteous in giving out such awards. Why does it promote alienation and separation of children from parents whom has had their own children abducted and taken to Norway. Why does their citizens have protection from prosecution when it comes to Parental Child Abductions? Also, why isn't Norway willing to assist those children with the Mental condition of PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) to help them resolve issues that occur in teenage years. Wouldn't it be safe to say Norway is being hypocritical?

    October 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  8. stormy lady

    Congratulations, Nobel Committee for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the President. Many including the GOP M. Steele disagree but Steele is a robot, needs a new battery. The president is more than worthy and those who claim its "too soon" was the same ones who claimed this even by his own democratic opponents in the 2008 campaaign. He is deserving for the courage to run for the office and win against the hater and fox pundits, racist bigots and those who never wanted or accepted him candidacy. He won and the haters continues to haunt him changing their titles to birthiers and tea party. This president has received more threats on his life from the day he took office than any president in history of the country. That desrves an award for his strong faith to withstand such hypocriscy and threats. He stands tall and continues tp spread the message of hope and PEACE throughout the world. Mr. President forgive the haters, when you receive the award step up to the podium and accept it graciously with poise posthumously for every human being that has suffered from the stains of slavery, hatred, racism, who fought and gave their lives, past and present for freedom and justice. Accept the award for families who die daily from lack of health care, poverty, disease, famine, and violence in wars and violent crimes. God bless the soldiers who sacrifice their lives to serve the nation, and God keep the president safe from those who preach hate and encourage harm to him for no reasons other than evil hate. Love him for his goodness, hard work, and dedication to improve this world and country, what a challenge.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  9. Mary

    I'm not sure why the coversation took place this morning, but Kira and a guest were talking about the Nobel Prize and pretty much dismissing it as a partisan award. We were supposed to wonder why Ronald Reagan didn't receive the Nobel Prize. Well, how about Iran-Contra? I'd cross him off my list for that mess. He and his administration were responsible for unrest, the attemted overthrow of duly elected officials in other countries, and the addition to tensions in the middle east. Reagan didn't deserve a Peace Prize on his best day.
    A little research before you attempt to discuss the news, please.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  10. Cheryl

    I am absolutely proud and happy that President Obama has won this most prestigious award! It really speaks to the fact that the international community and the Norwegian Nobel Committee are seeing beyond the rhetoric of the American right wing. Fareed Zakaria today has put it in its right context outlining why this is most deserving. (Read it on CNN post).
    From the sounds of it, the right wing media (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, John Gibson) are in a tizzy. Pretty soon, we may hear them ask for the resignation of the Norwegian committee.
    It's amazing that what should be seen as a great thing for America, these people are fuming and calling for the President to return the award. They are crazy and forever are putting their political idealogies before love for country. And they call the President unpatriotic!
    I say " IN Your FACE" to the Party of No. Don't they see everything they come with against the President bounces off him.
    God has his back!!

    October 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    There are two bottom line reasons why President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize so early in his Presidency in my opinion:

    1) The minor reason is because of Obama's charisma, star power, and his celebrity status.

    2) The major reason is because when Obama made trips around the world before he was inaugurated, he pledged to reverse former President Bush's Neoconservative go-it-alone foreign policy along with his arrogant cowboy diplomacy which is what most of the world was wanting to hear. Most of the world despised President Bush's foreign policy and they were thrilled to hear Obama's promises to reverse it in very high powered and charismatic speeches before so many millions of people. Obama was not apologizing for the United States, he was basically apologizing to the world for Bush's behavior.

    Obama winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize so early in his Presidency was a repudiation of Bush by most of the world just like how the 2006 and 2008 elections were mostly a repudiation of Bush in this country.

    I wonder if any 24/7 cable news pundits will ever be as blunt as I am being right now but those are the most likely reasons why Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize so early in his Presidency. Obama has never had a shoe thrown at him yet in a foreign country which is just the tip of the iceberg as to how much that Bush was hated by so many people in other countries.

    So people who agree with Bush's Neoconservative foreign policy will obviously not like Obama winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize while pragmatic people who disagreed with Bush's Neoconservative foreign policy will probably not have any problem with Obama winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

    October 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Dale O'Connor

    Frankly I have to say that even the president was suprised about him winning award so I am not sure why the big issue about this. Especially from Mr. Steele from the GOP questioning what has Mr. Obama achieved since being in office. I think he should go look at the under achievements of his party.

    This is a wake up call america now is the time for us to come together as a country to correct the mistakes of the pass eight years. We are being watched by the world and as a world power this prize obviously shows that we are still respected.

    October 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  13. Scott Cameron

    It is very sad when we, as Americans, cannot celebrate the accomplishments of an American.

    What President Obama accomplished in 12 days was changing the international attitude towards America. This Nobel Peace Prize is the evidence of that accomplishment. We, as a country, went from an Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at our leader to our leader receiving a Nobel peace prize.

    What message are we sending to the international community? Are we sending the message that this open hand is only temporary? Will things change once President Obama is gone? Does President Obama represent the true heart of the American people?

    Whether we win gold metals, collect moon dust for water testing, or receive a Nobel Peace Prize for a newly elected president, I am proud to be an American!

    Thanks you,


    October 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  14. Barbara Opacki

    Ed Rollins and all the other nay saying republicans will never acknowledge ANY accomplishment of President Obama and his administration. I am so sick of all their lies and negative rhetoric that I vow to never vote for anyone even in local races that have an R beside their name...
    "He has to win it now" remark is just moranic. HE WON IT ALREADY!!!
    Just shut up already!!!!

    October 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  15. JEZEBEL58

    Congratulations Mr.Obama you deserve the Peace Prize and more what you have accomplish so far trying to make your country a better place for your people and peace with all the nations.Maybe the Americans should take a page from your book and work with you to better the country that they live in instead of trying to shoot down every thing you put out.I believe if Mr.Obama knew he was to be nominated he would have refused and he should not refuse it now.A lot of his fellow Americans believe he did nothing in the ten months that he has been in office and he won for not being Bush,well if that's the case the so be it.Maybe these non belivers should read what Alfred Nobel said on rewarding of the prize before they jump the gun.I have never seen so much discord in as an adult and the ones who are wishing him failure,well if he fails so will you because in 2012 you are going to vote in the person who can see Russia so that you can have a white person in the White House.

    October 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm |