POLITICS
03/30/2011 05:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama Jokes About Receiving Nobel Peace Prize (VIDEO)

President Obama took a brief moment during an ambitious speech about energy on Wednesday to simultaneously praise a colleague and drop a bit of self-deprecating humor about his Nobel Peace Prize.

"[Energy Secretary Steven] Chu's the right guy to do this, he's got a Nobel prize in physics -- he actually deserved his Nobel prize," Obama said, drawing laughter with his offhanded remark on the otherwise serious topic of improving the safety of natural gas extraction.

Obama recently came under fire from a Russian political leader and the president of Bolivia, who called for him to be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize in the light of the recent U.S. military engagement in Libya.

The apparent irony of holding the coveted Nobel prize while presiding over wars in two countries and launching military airstrikes in another has not been lost on President Obama. In an interview with CNN from El Salvador earlier this month, he addressed the matter.

"I'm accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also somebody who aspires to peace," explained Obama.

The president then claimed, as he did in his recent address on the mission in Libya, that the role of the U.S. in the nation had been taken on by his determination to protect its civilians from their leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

"We're not invading a country; we are not acting alone," he said. "We are acting under a mandate issued by the U.N. Security Council."

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