DNC: GOP Has Thrown In With 'Terrorists -- Taliban and Hamas' in Opposing Obama's Nobel (Updated)
While two reporters -- Washington Post White House reporter Michael Fletcher and Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Gerald Seib -- criticized RNC Chairman Michael Steele this morning on NPR's Diane Rehm show for issuing a statement against Obama after the Nobel Peace Prize win [transcript now below], will reporters forward and criticize this, from the CNN Political Ticker?
A Democratic National Committee spokesman said Friday the GOP has "thrown in its lot with the terrorists" in criticizing the president's Nobel Peace Prize award.
“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
"Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize – an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride – unless of course you are the Republican Party," the statement also said. "The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore – it's an embarrassing label to claim.”
But CNN also reports that some in Hamas are congratulating Obama, since he is no Bush:
Hamas official Ahmed Yousef also congratulated Obama, "though it is early for him to be awarded this prize."
"He reached out to the Muslim world in his Cairo speech and said many of the right things" and said, "this is a man who thinks of achieving world peace."
He said he believes Obama represents a "new era in American politics," but thinks "the president has done nothing to push forward peace between Israeli and Palestinians" even though the "intention is there...it is an uphill battle with the Jewish lobby and Congress."
"We know he is somebody different from past leaders who supported Israel economically and militarily," Yousef said.
UPDATE: Here's a transcript of Gerry Seib and Michael Fletcher advising RNC Chairman Michael Steele to refrain from criticizing Obama on National Public Radio on Friday morning:
GERALD SEIB, Wall Street Journal: You have to say that Americans would rather have their president be a Nobel Peace Prize winner than not. And it’s a recognition, I think, that the world appreciates perhaps more than Americans do the extent to which just the arrival of Barack Obama has changed the tone of American foreign policy, the notion that we’re not unilateralists any longer is a big deal to the rest of world, even if Americans kind of shrug their shoulders sometimes because they have other things to worry about.
SUSAN PAGE, USA Today, substitute host: Change the tone perhaps in the world, but the tone of American political, politics, American partisanship has apparently not been changed. Michael Steele, the Republican chairman, out with a statement this morning already. A three sentence statement that takes Obama to task for winning this award. He says ‘The real questions Americans are asking is: What has President Obama actually accomplished? And Michael Steele, the Republican chairman, goes on to say, ‘President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.’ What do you think about that, Michael Fletcher, that some Republicans including the chairman of the party, are right out of the box, taking Obama, really trying to turn this award, to criticize him?
MICHAEL FLETCHER, Washington Post: I find it quite interesting I mean. Clearly, as Gerry point out, it plays into the notion of the president being more potential than deliverable at this point. But the idea that the Republicans would criticize this – you heard the same thing went he went to Copenhagen a week ago when he tried to win the Olympics for Chicago, and when he came back empty-handed, there was a lot of derision there. Before he went, people were criticizing him, saying he shouldn’t go. I think it just speaks to where politics are in this country today. Because it seems to me the smart political move would seem to be to applaud him, and just kind of move on. But clearly, there’s no room in our political landscape for that.
Seib added: "I do think, I agree, I think the politics of the moment probably would have suggested congratulating him and moving on for the Republicans would be the thing to do."
Could a journalist who isn't enthralled with the promise of Barack Obama see objectively that it might not be in the best interest of Republicans to congratulate the president every time an awards panel tries to add to his political luster? And do they understand that they probably would not counsel the Democrats with this advice if the parties were reversed?