CBS: World Leaders ‘Relieved’ Obama President Instead of Bush

Chip Reid, CBS On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid described the relief of world leaders at the G-8 Summit that Barack Obama was representing the United States: "...the President showed yet again he's the most popular leader here...And some leaders said they're relieved that President Obama is here instead of President Bush."

Reid’s report focused on Obama’s efforts to get world leaders to agree on policies to combat global warming and the difficulty the President encountered: "Being well liked, though, doesn't necessarily translate into influence. The President came here hoping to forge consensus on an aggressive response to global warming... But in the end, there was disappointment, as the gap between rich and poor nations proved impossible to bridge, just as it has for years."

The report failed to mention any criticism of Obama’s efforts, other than a brief explanation of why nation’s like China were not on board with the plan: "While the eight major economies agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, the nine developing nations, including China, refused to adopt specific limits, fearful that cutting emissions too much will hurt their growing economy." No time was given to global warming critics in the United States who share that concern.

Reid attempted to tout some progress on the issue: "There was some consensus. The nations unanimously agreed to try to keep the average global temperature from ever rising higher than 3.6 degrees above what it was a hundred years ago." Reid failed to provide any details as to how world leaders would successfully control global temperatures.

After describing how "relieved" world leaders were that Obama, rather than Bush, was attending the summit, Reid went on to play a clip of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declaring: "How welcome it is to see the return of U.S. global leadership on climate change."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

6:39PM TEASE:

KATIE COURIC: Coming up next, President Obama shakes hands with Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. And that may have been the high point of the President's day at the G-8 Summit.

6:42PM SEGMENT:

KATIE COURIC: One of the guests invited to attend the G-8 Summit in Italy is Moammar Gadhafi of Libya. And there was a remarkable moment today as Barack Obama became the first American president to shake hands with him. Gadhafi was once a prime sponsor of terror attacks, including the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Six years ago he renounced terrorism and abandoned his nuclear program and he's been welcomed back into the world community. Meanwhile, the real business of this summit is to reach an agreement on measures to reduce global warming. But as Chip Reid reports, President Obama didn't get what he was hoping for.

CHIP REID: Arriving a bit late for the group photo-op in L'Aquila Italy today, the President showed yet again he's the most popular leader here. Being well liked, though, doesn't necessarily translate into influence. The President came here hoping to forge consensus on an aggressive response to global warming.

BARACK OBAMA: Ice sheets are melting, sea levels are rising. Every nation on this planet is at risk.

REID: But in the end, there was disappointment, as the gap between rich and poor nations proved impossible to bridge, just as it has for years. While the eight major economies agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, the nine developing nations, including China, refused to adopt specific limits, fearful that cutting emissions too much will hurt their growing economy.

OBAMA: It is no small task for 17 leaders to bridge their differences on an issue like climate change.

REID: There was some consensus. The nations unanimously agreed to try to keep the average global temperature from ever rising higher than 3.6 degrees above what it was a hundred years ago. And some leaders said they're relieved that President Obama is here instead of President Bush.

KEVIN RUDD [AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER]: How welcome it is to see the return of U.S. global leadership on climate change.

REID: Tomorrow, the President comes here to Rome for a private meeting with the Pope. We're told it will be a frank discussion, covering serious issues from global poverty to abortion. Chip Reid, CBS News, Rome.

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