CBS’s Reid: Obama ‘Showered With Praise’ in Britain

Chip Reid, CBS On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show correspondent Chip Reid reported on President Obama’s first day in Britain: "Arriving at 10 Downing Street this morning, the President and First Lady were warmly greeted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah. They posed for a hoard of photographers who shouted for the President, who is hugely popular here, to give them another wave...Then a short walk across the street for a press conference where Mr. Obama was showered with praise."

A clip was played of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown offering that "praise": "Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you've changed America's relationship with the world." Reid then added: "After cementing relations between the two close allies, the President said he's confident this summit will help ease the global economic crisis."

Reid began his report with breaking news, touting a possible nuclear arms reduction agreement between the United States and Russia: "At this very moment, President Obama is meeting with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev and White House officials say they will soon announce a diplomatic breakthrough. Opening negotiations on a new treaty to reduce their nuclear arsenals. Some very good news for President Obama as he begins this high stakes summit."

Following Reid’s report, co-host Harry Smith spoke with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, who was in London with the President: "Let's talk about President Obama's meeting right now with Medvedev. U.S.-Russian relations have soured over the last couple of years. What specifically is on their agenda, and how hopeful is the United States?" Couric praised the meeting: "Well, it looks like those relations are actually improving even as we speak, Harry."

Later, Couric reported on Obama’s upcoming meeting with Queen Elizabeth and warned of past presidential gaffes in such meetings, citing Republican presidents: "[The Queen’s] met with every president since Harry Truman and many of them, by the way, have committed a few faux pas along the way. The first President Bush apparently sat before Queen Elizabeth, which was a real no-no. But my favorite story was at a state dinner during the Ford administration, when the Queen started to dance, the Marine band started playing ‘That's Why the Lady is a Tramp.’"

Smith then referenced a segment from Tuesday’s Evening News in which Couric described those presidential faux pas: "...you had a great piece on the Evening News last night about all those meetings with the president. And, of course, seeing George Bush 43 winking at Queen Elizabeth might have been a highlight as well." Couric replied: "Yeah, apparently she wasn't really digging that."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Breaking news, President Obama meets the leaders of Britain and Russia this morning in an attempt to jump-start the global economy.

BARACK OBAMA: We must not miss an opportunity to lead. To confront a crisis that knows no borders. We have a responsibility to coordinate our actions and to focus on common ground.

7:01AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: Well, all eyes are on London this morning. The big G-20 is just about to get under way there. The President met with the British prime minister this morning and there is news this morning as President Obama is meeting with the Russian President Medvedev that there will, in fact, be work on a new treaty on reducing nuclear warheads. That's going on even as we speak. Katie Couric is in London where she broadcast the Evening News last night. We'll have a report from her in a few seconds.

7:02AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But first this morning, the G-20 summit in London isn't officially underway yet and President Obama already has a full day of meetings with world leaders. CBS News chief White House correspondent Chip Reid is with the President. Chip, good morning.

CHIP REID: Well, good morning, Maggie. At this very moment, President Obama is meeting with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev and White House officials say they will soon announce a diplomatic breakthrough. Opening negotiations on a new treaty to reduce their nuclear arsenals. Some very good news for President Obama as he begins this high stakes summit. Arriving at 10 Downing Street this morning, the President and First Lady were warmly greeted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah. They posed for a hoard of photographers who shouted for the President, who is hugely popular here, to give them another wave. Inside, they were joined by top advisers for a meeting to prepare for the G-20 economic summit. Then a short walk across the street for a press conference where Mr. Obama was showered with praise.

GORDON BROWN: Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you've changed America's relationship with the world.

REID: After cementing relations between the two close allies, the President said he's confident this summit will help ease the global economic crisis.

BARACK OBAMA: I came here to put forward our ideas, but I also came here to listen, not to lecture. Having said that, we must not miss an opportunity to lead.

REID: Later today, the President has his first face-to-face meetings with the Presidents of China and Russia. Mr. Obama's diplomatic skills could be tested by two nations that are increasingly challenging U.S. dominance on the world stage. This evening, the President takes a bit of a break from high-stakes diplomacy when he comes here to Buckingham Palace, with the First Lady, for a intimate meeting with the Queen. Harry, back to you.

HARRY SMITH: Chip Reid in London this morning. Thank you so much. There is tension in London this morning as there are a number protesters in London protesting against the meeting of the G-20. These are the most powerful economies in the world. We're looking at a live picture right now. There's been some to and fro. Apparently there have been several arrests already. Security is very, very, very tight in London. And we want to check in right now with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric who is live there this morning. Good morning, Katie.

KATIE COURIC: Harry, good morning to you. I was looking at those same helicopter shots of the streets filled with protesters. There's been a lot of speculation that thousands of demonstrators were expected to descend upon London during this G-20 summit. Many of them experiencing the same populist anger that we've seen in the United States against the banks, that the government isn't doing enough for the poor, against the rising unemployment rate. Many of the problems that are being felt in the United States are obviously being felt here in Great Britain as well. And I think you are seeing evidence of that with so many people hitting the streets during the summit.

SMITH: Yeah. Let's talk about President Obama's meeting right now with Medvedev. U.S.-Russian relations have soured over the last couple of years. What specifically is on their agenda, and how hopeful is the United States?

COURIC: Well, it looks like those relations are actually improving even as we speak, Harry. The Russian president has said he wants to support President Obama and the two are reportedly talking about working together on Afghanistan, that Russia might be helpful in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions, and also, both countries, as you mentioned earlier, want to reduce their nuclear arsenals. So there's also some talk, Harry, that they may set a date for a future summit between these two countries.

SMITH: The other issue, as this thing has been, you know, sort of coming to -- the meeting hasn't even really begun yet, but there's been all this conversation about Germany doesn't want to do this, Sarkozy has talked about maybe even walking out if the agenda isn't exactly -- or sort of the conclusions of their meeting aren't to his liking. What are the tensions like leading up to this G-20?

COURIC: You know, I spoke with the British Finance Minister Alistair Darling about that very thing this morning, Harry. And he said there -- of course, there are bound to be differences, but it's very true. There are major philosophical differences between the U.S. and many of the other members of the G-20. President Obama's following FDR's New Deal approach by trying to pump more cash into the system, but the Germans and the French worry that putting even more money into their economies could cause prices and inflation to go sky-high. And there were some rumblings, Harry, that French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants the G-20 to agree on very strict international financial regulations, something that isn't that appealing to the U.S. And he's reportedly threatened to walk out of the summit. But we don't know if that's really true or just a bit of grand-standing on the part of Sarkozy.

SMITH: And finally, along with that there is some pomp and circumstance, and the Obamas are heading to Buckingham Palace?

COURIC: That's right. Yes, they have a meeting with the Queen this afternoon. The Queen has met, I think, 11 U.S. presidents so far, with the exception of LBJ. He was busy with Vietnam. She was busy having babies. But she's met with every president since Harry Truman and many of them, by the way, have committed a few faux pas along the way. The first President Bush apparently sat before Queen Elizabeth, which was a real no-no. But my favorite story was at a state dinner during the Ford administration, when the Queen started to dance, the Marine band started playing 'That's Why the Lady is a Tramp.' So you really have to watch your p's and q's. But President Obama's apparently very excited about meeting with the Queen. And according to Prime Minister Brown, she very excited to meet him as well.

SMITH: Well there's -- you had a great piece on the Evening News last night about all those meetings with the president. And, of course, seeing George Bush 43 winking at Queen Elizabeth might have been a highlight as well.

COURIC: Yes, yes.

SMITH: Katie, we'll look forward to seeing-

COURIC: Yeah, apparently she wasn't really digging that.

[LAUGHTER]

RODRIGUEZ: That's exactly what you said, 'I ain't digging that.'

SMITH: 'I ain't digging that.' We will see you tonight on the Evening News. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. Do appreciate it.

COURIC: Okay, nice to talk to you guys.

RODRIGUEZ: Bye, Katie.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC