July 25th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama sidesteps Bush criticism

Obama and Sarkozy held a press conference Friday.

Obama and Sarkozy held a press conference Friday.

PARIS, France (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he was avoiding criticizing President Bush on his trip through Europe.

Speaking to reporters, the Democratic presidential candidate cited a tradition that "you don't criticize a sitting president while overseas," adding that "it's very important" that U.S. foreign policy is presented "in one voice."

"I can say affirmatively an effective U.S. foreign policy will be based on our ability not only to project power, but also to listen and to build consensus. And the goal of an Obama administration in foreign policy would be, obviously to act on behalf of the interests of the security of the United States, but also to listen to our allies," he said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. patricia

    Obama '08!

    July 25, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Buddy

    Flip Flop!! BHO

    July 25, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Nikole

    He is better than me. I would have talked reckless about the idiot currently serving as President. No shame.

    @SKadams–If you had ever actually LISTENED to Obama, rather than a soundbite, you would have heard him say that he is not bi/mulit-lingual, and that our education system should include learning other languages.

    July 25, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Concerned American

    to Rea, i think you are just too ignorant to understand what it means to have allies in the world. You cant protect your country if you dont agree or talk to others, how do you share information on people who want to attack us? Think before you write crap like that...duh!!!!!

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Nani


    Every word that comes out of Senator Obama's mouth is overanalyzed and distorted by the right wing media. So of course he has to think before he speaks. Maybe if Senator McCain did the same thing, he wouldn't sound so ignorant and "confused."

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Tony Z-MD

    My fellow Americans lets stop being blinded by our polical belief. Obama took this trip because McCain and the RNC challenged him. Point blank they lost it- he is being well recieved by foreign diplomats and people. How quickly do we forget- Obama is familiar with other cultures.

    It is time that America gains back its respect that the generations before us had. This is America.

    Eight years ago, I would have considered supporting McCain. Today, I think he is just lost.

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    Obama is showing true Diplomacy unlike when mccain went to Canada.

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. paulie_nj

    Obama all the over there in Germany and can't even take time to stop in to visit our wounded troops there. He claims that the Pentagon advised him not to. Since when does he do what he's told? He certainly doesn't listen to our General's advice when he suggests how our troops should be allocated, now that doesn's sound like very good judgement to me. By the way, those 200,000 who he gave a speech to came to see the free concert, not to listen to Obama.

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Rich

    It's really great to see a politician like Obama who can actually make positive and cogent statements. Too bad Bush and McBush can't cope with a thinking person's world. But the republicans can distort and lie really good.

    July 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Franky

    You know, is true. You don't criticize the President when you're over seas..........only do it here in the states, LOL!! Is a WHOLE lot better, LOL!!

    July 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. McArsenic

    but wait until Obama gets home....my mother used to tell me as a child "i am going to give you enough rope to hang yourself with" well that being said, John has tied the knot.

    July 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Guyver from Canada

    I have never seen a bigger egomaniac in my life. Obama acts like he is already the Supreme Commander of the Milky Way galaxy.

    I hope you guys expose this imposter before it is too late. Is it just me or do others get the feeling of some sinister undertones when listening to him speak.

    July 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. TheTruthHurts

    That is an absolutely horrendous statement. How could he go on foreign soil and say that? Cooperation? Partnership? This is BLASPHEMY and this charlatan must be stopped. How could he make such a blatant treasonous attack on the country I love.
    [haterade off]

    July 25, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Casey Clark

    Let's see, in the United States we have: A housing slump, rising unemployment, rising gas prices, rising food costs, a slump in retail sales, a broken infrastructure nationwide, a healthcare crisis, homeless veterans, homeless children, an unstable stock market, failed banks, a mortgage crisis and so much more. While Obama is enjoying photo ops in the Middle East, who is addressing the problems back home? The Obama trip was supposed to be a fact finding mission. Instead, he upstaged our president and showed a level of arrogance that was incomprehensible. He can stand on the other end of a teleprompter, but he can't hold press conferences where he is asked more than one question at a time. Change has to come gradually with intelligence and humility. The spotlight needs to shine on the challenges of the American people not on Barack Obama.

    July 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Kiki

    If you don't like obama, you are either old or racistor maybe naive. this is the point you must have a problem to not like him
    Obama 08

    July 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. DJ, LA, CA

    He did NOT criticize the U.S. Just explained to the Germans that our policy at the moment is not popular but expressed intent to change it.
    Check yourself Mike.

    July 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. hillbilly,arkansas

    in the meantime mccain is making a speech claiming the iraq war was in retaliation for 9/11.

    July 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. rice, bryan

    people wnat to whine when he proposes health care plans, about wanting to create a stronger economy here, then people whine when he wants to make aour allies, allies. you see, bush talked about joining forces with our allies to fight terrorism, the only one that wen was england. but when was the last time your heard the coke head speak about a stronger economy plan?

    July 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush criticized the American people while attending Israel's anniversary. In fact, I think it was Obama he took a shot at.

    July 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. mike

    I think Obama's trip to europe to rebuild ties is crucial to America, not just his presidency. Even if Mccain does win, which he won't, but just in case the US closes its eyes and votes republican again the rebuilding of ties after Bush destroyed them is vital. McCain is a great guy, I would vote for him if he was the same McCain prior to the election, but he's been brought down by the "republican party." Libby really destroyed the republican's chances anytime in the future because all of the young voters that Obama reached out to have been bombarded with all of the Bush administration screw ups in Europe. All of these kids went abroad for a semester or two in the last 8 years and were seen as the villains because they were American. They saw the signs that Bush was the reason. Now we have a presidential candidate try to fix that image and he's all of a sudden a bad guy for doing it. Either way, this helps America's image in europe

    July 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Corey

    This is for Rae and others blasting him for being overseas. Wasn't it your candidate (McCain) that challenged him to go overseas, wasn't it your candidate that thought he wouldn't do it. Make up your minds. Do you want someone with foreign policy creds or not? If McCain did the same thing you would give him such accolades. You guys are so hypocritical and "one-way".

    July 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. jim

    This guy is so presidential. It makes me proud to think of him representing the United States. He makes Bush (who was completely unqualified in foreign policy when he took office, btw) look like a joke in comparison. It's embarrasing to have Bush go abroad, knowing that he has alienated our country and that he acts like such a buffoon.

    I can't wait for Obama to be one the same stage debating McLame. He is going to trounce him on the substance of issues alone.

    July 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Les

    Barack Obama has proven once again that he is a candidate for peace, not only in America but the whole world. He displays himself with such character, grace and honesty, something that is missing in a lot of politicians. This current administration has been misleading America and the few allies it still has abroad for a long time, and to think that electing Mr. McCain in Nov 2008 is strictly false hope.
    Please be honest and let's have a honest election in November and hopefully the right man is chosen and make The World a better place and show all people of all nations the goodness that America once stood for.

    July 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Lynn/West Hills, CA

    I am so bored with Barack Obama, over exposure is a bug turnoff!
    Obama has to pinch himself to remember that he has not yet been elected President, he is a contender.

    July 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Way to show some restraint, Barack! The world already has this punk's number....

    July 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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