World leaders, Nobel laureates offer Obama praise, skepticism

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 9, 2009 

WASHINGTON — Here are some reactions to President Barack Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize:

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations . . . To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize . . . I will accept this award as a call to action." -- President Barack Obama

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." -- Nobel Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland

"He hasn't had the time to do anything yet . . . " --Lech Walesa, former Polish president, 1983 Nobel winner

". . . it sets the seal on America's return to the heart of all the world's peoples. . . . I am convinced that everyone, all over the world, will draw from this an even stronger determination to cooperate with you and with America to achieve these common objectives." -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in letter to President Obama

"Because of him, the rest of the world is starting to see us in a more positive way. I'm very excited about this," U.S. Airman Frederick Jones, at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

". . . a bold statement of international support for his vision," Former President Jimmy Carter, 2002 Nobel winner

"I join my fellow Americans in expressing pride in our president on this occasion." -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., 2008 Republican presidential nominee

"The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?' It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights . . . President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action." -- Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele

"The Nobel Peace Prize is a testament to his leadership and vision and a tribute to American values." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"The president has consistently shown that he is committed to reaching out to other nations and positioning America to once again be the global leader for peace and prosperity. This is a great honor for our country and reminds us all of the promise our nation holds." -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif.

"We congratulate President Obama as a fellow Nobel Laureate and welcome this recognition that achieving a nuclear weapons free world is critical." -- John Pastore, physician, co-recipient of the 1985 Nobel award to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Sources: Speeches, statements, news releases, interviews

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McClatchy Newspapers 2009

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