Obama congratulates Phelps via Twitter

United States' Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal for the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

(CBS News) After Michael Phelps won his record 19th Olympic medal, Tuesday, President Obama congratulated the swimming phenom via Twitter.

Phelps' enthusiastic response:

The president's praise for Phelps extended to the campaign trail Wednesday telling a crowd in Mansfield, Ohio, "I want to congratulate Michael Phelps, most medals, we've ever seen."

The president also said he called the women's gymnastic team to congratulate them on their gold medal victory in the all-around competition Tuesday evening.

"I told these young ladies as I was congratulating them, how do you not bust your head every time you're on that little balance beam. I couldn't walk across that balance beam! So anyway, we could not be prouder of them," the president said.

The president also had praise for all the American athletes competing in London and their athletic ability.

"I have to tell you, you know, when I'm watching, you know when people run track, I understand, I know how to run, they're just much faster, and I know how to swim - they just swim much better than I do. These gymnastics folks, I don't understand how they do what they do," the president added.

After talking to the president, the women gymnasts took to Twitter.


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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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