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US Reacts to Obama Peace Prize Win

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In the United States, reaction to President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win has been mixed, with some comments sharply divided along party lines.

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, a past Nobel peace laureate, praised the choice as a "bold statement" of support for Mr. Obama's commitment to peace in international relations.

Former Democratic Vice President Al Gore, another former peace prize recipient, called Mr. Obama's win "extremely well deserved" and an honor for the country.

Republican Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama's rival for the presidency, offered support. McCain told CNN that despite the surprise of the decision, Americans are "always pleased" when their president is recognized. He said he believes the Nobel decision was based in part on expectations.

But the chairman of the U.S. Republican Party said Mr. Obama is undeserving of such recognition.

Michael Steele issued a statement Friday saying it is "unfortunate" that the president's "star power" outshined advocates who he said have made real achievements toward peace and human rights.

Some conservative commentators reacted by saying the Nobel committee has turned itself into a joke and that the president has not done enough to earn the award.

Steele said Americans are asking what the president has actually accomplished.

But others in the Republican party have taken the McCain route, choosing to commend rather than criticize Mr. Obama's win. The Republican governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty said the "appropriate response is to say congratulations."

Some information for this report was provided by AP.