President Obama should read the book that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him last week and respond in writing with his thoughts, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said today.

Rendell added that to rejecting the book would be inappropriate because it would embarrass Chavez on the world stage.

"I wouldn't comment about a book I hadn't read or didn't know anything about," Rendell said on MSNBC's Morning Joe when asked why Obama didn't simply reject the book. "I think it may be appropriate for the President to read the book and then send Chavez a letter saying he rejects everything that's in the book and what it stands for. But I would have taken the book because you're on the world stage, you're not going to embarrass a world leader."

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BBR reported over the weekend that the book--"Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by historian Eduardo Galeano--had skyrocketed on the Amazon.com charts after Chavez presented it to Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

Rendell also defended Obama's handshake with Chavez.

"When you're at a conference, someone is going to shake your hand," Rendell said.