TPMDC Sunday Roundup


Obama: We Will Work With International Community To “Deliver A Strong Message” To North Korea
A reporter asked President Obama what his message was to North Korea, after today’s missile launch. His response, from the White House’s transcript: “We delivered it today. They, I think, have taken a provocative action. It creates instability in their region, around the world. If they want to take an appropriate path to rejoin the international community and break out of their isolation, that’s available to them. That’s not the path they’re taking right now. And we intend to work with the international community to deliver a strong message.”

Obama’s Day In Prague
President Obama spent the day in Prague, meeting with Czech President Václav Klaus and Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek at 3 a.m. ET. Obama delivered a speech at 4 a.m. ET, calling for a world without nuclear weapons. He met at 5:30 a.m. ET with EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and then attended an EU summit working lunch. Obama met with leaders from Spain at 8:55 a.m. ET, with leaders from Poland at 10:30 a.m. ET, and with former Czech President Václav Havel at 11:10 a.m., and then left Prague for Turkey at 12 p.m. ET.Gibbs: North Korean Launch Was Violation, Even Though Unsuccessful
Speaking to reporters today, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the North Korean missile launch was not a success — no stage of the rocket went into orbit, but it fell into the Pacific Ocean after passing over Japan. “Look, the launch itself was the violation, not the fact that the launch we now see was unsuccessful,” said Gibbs. “It was the launch itself that was provocative and in violation of Security Council resolutions.”

GM’s Henderson: I Have “Several Masters”
Appearing On Meet The Press, GM’s new CEO Fritz Henderson downplayed the role that the White House would have in controlling the company. “David, I report to Kent Kresa, the interim chairman of the board, the board of directors,” said Henderson. “But I also have direct line into the president’s task force. In fact, I have several masters.”

Obama: America Can Lead In Creating World Without Nuclear Weapons
Speaking today in Prague, President Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons: “Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. And as nuclear power — as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.”

Obama Backs EU Membership For Turkey
President Obama told the EU summit today that he supports membership for Turkey: “The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbors and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence, forging a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interests.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reiterated his opposition to Turkish membership, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “It’s clear there are different opinions.”

Axelrod: Bush Has Behaved Like Statesman — Cheney Didn’t Get Memo
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, David Axelrod shot back at Dick Cheney’s public criticism of the Obama administration: “And let me say, in contrast, how much we appreciate the way President Bush has behaved. He was incredibly cooperative during the transition. And when he left he said, ‘I wish you guys the best. I’m rooting for you.’ I believe that to be the case. And he’s behaved like a statesman. And as I’ve said before, here and elsewhere, I just don’t think the memo got passed down to the vice president.”

Jeff Frederick Ousted As Virginia GOP Chairman
The Virginia Republican Party has ousted state Delegate Jeff Frederick from his position as state party chairman, in the wake of severe losses for the party in 2008 and accusations of mismanagement. Frederick is perhaps best known for comparing Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden while briefing campaign volunteers on talking points for the 2008 race, and for Twittering that a Democratic state Senator was about to switch parties and give them power in the chamber — an event that subsequently didn’t happen.