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. Beth from Virginia

    SKadams – perhaps YOU need the translation wire. Obama has never criticized Americans for speaking only one language – he merely advocates that we SHOULD learn a second language and would encourage the education system to implement that. He has NEVER claimed to know any other language but English. And he has a much better command of that language than the sitting president does (can you say "nuclear"?)

    July 25, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Chuck

    The media made this a campaign trip and Obama knew they would after he took McCain's advice and encourgaement to make such a trip. 1 for Obama – 0 for McCain.

    July 25, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Tara, Westmont, IL

    Mike Tx: "True. Yesterday in Berlin he criticized the entire United States.
    " – Why, is the US above and beyond criticism? We need to recognize what's wrong with us, before we can fix it. "Multilateralism" does not mean "weakness"!! That's what his speech was about.

    I hope before commenting, people read the entire speech and not just take those soundbites that support their views.

    Obama, '08!

    July 25, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Barack Obama is Our 44th president! YES WE CAN !

    This is great news !

    France have more confidence in Obama than McCain – 84 % favor Barack Obama to be the next president, because they expect the next president to improve the country's policies toward the rest of the world.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    July 25, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Daniel

    This guy is dammed if do dammed if he don’t…He has had a phenomenal week, I pray for his safe return.

    July 25, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Taylor

    Good job Senator Obama.

    July 25, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Dave

    Obama handled that very nicely. No attacks on Bush or McCain. All the while McCain is still forking over cash for attack ads he said he wouldn't support. The man won't run an ad explaining his stance on anything because it would basically just tell us he's gonna do the same thing Bush did...and the public doesn't like what Bush did...so attack attack attack.

    July 25, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Mel



    July 25, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. jake, San Francisco, CA


    July 25, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Not surprised.

    Mike, TX July 25th, 2008 1:16 pm ET

    True. Yesterday in Berlin he criticized the entire United States.

    Wrong. He stated a fact, that our country is not perfect. He did not criticize the US – unless you're living is Billo Land or Rushville.

    July 25, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. tina

    Bush is just jealous because his approval rating in America is 23%. I'm sure his approval rating in the World is 3%! HAHA!! truth hurts!

    July 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Ken Pittsburgh

    Sorry that he knows what he is doing and McCain is still walking around in the dark

    July 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Barack the Vote in RI

    To Rae and all the other Obama hating morons –

    this was worth repeating:

    McCain CHALLENGED him to go to Iraq and Afghanistan and he went. Is this hostility just because he was so well received and the trip was successful? And they also criticized his foreign relationships ability and said he would not be able to do well because he had none. Well, he's done FANTASTIC! He did what THEY ask AND THEN SOME; now you want to try to hold it against him for trying to restore some dignity to the US. That is pathetic, to say the least. The President has to take care of foreign as well as domestic issues.....which is exactly what he was doing before he left and will continue to do.....Rae – you must have been in a cave over the last 12 months.

    July 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Merde! (That is French for shiete which is German for caca which is Spanish for crap which is English for Republican.
    Go count your money and stop raining on our parade. Bunch of whiny losers. So sick of this ordure day after day.

    July 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    AGAIN, the far-right has nothing but snide remarks, attacks, etc. I thought that hate-and-fear-monger-Limbaugh would have a stroke!

    Please, get a grip. Far-righters AND McCain have been whining ALL week that the media is basically ignoring their guy. And some on this blog actually think its the other way around?

    McCain= more of the Same

    McCain foreign policy statement "BOMB..........BOMB...........BOMB IRAN"


    July 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. MD for Obama


    Obama's policy is to increase taxes for people making over $200,000 a year only. That is not everybody and everything. People spend more time on these blogs with their rants instead of checking facts.

    July 25, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Unity

    SKadams – when you can handle a French press conference televised to the entire world with many different dialects and accents of the language all flying around & answer perfectly, you can make a remark like that actually mean something. If you can't, your statement is ridiculous. I've studied French & have even lived there for years – believe me, even if you were fluent, you'd still request a translator.

    July 25, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Orlando for Obama

    While Obama was running a smoothe campaign overseas McGaffe was up to his OLD TRIPS on the trail. McGaffe wasted a week going after Barrack instead of talking about his own policies. Now that's smart. He doesn't need anyone else Foot his is fitting perfectly in his own mouth.

    July 25, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Dem 08

    One word to all Obama haters:


    July 25, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Since he's not President yet like so many others keep reminding us, I think he needs to call Bush the baffoon he is and ask John McOld how's the best way to get captured during a war.

    July 25, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Joseph, Los Angeles

    I have learned not to believe eveything I read on these blogs. Thank God I have a mind of my own and cannot be swayed by all this hateful rheteroic. I'm voting for Mr. Obama in November and nothing the hateful McCain supporters can say can sway me. I know the difference between good and evil.

    I think his trip was a huge success. Maybe for once, the world will respect us again; like it used to be.

    The future is not near, it is here!

    July 25, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. MJC

    Obama wraps circles around George Bush. He is so smart and genuine. Not perfect, but a man of good character. I really don't understand why so many don't see that. I can see if you may have doubt because he has less experience than most, but not to acknowledge some of his attributes is down right backwards. Especially when you compare him to men like George Bush and Dick Chaney.

    July 25, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Illinois registered voter

    Nice looking, good dresser, millionaire who knows how to play a room and a crowd. Too bad during his political career in Illinois he was non-descript as an advocate for "Change."

    Despite being the annointed one by the media and the Germans, he will not be getting this vote–but that is only one, yet it remains mine.

    July 25, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. michelle

    if this is the kind of criticism he's getting, then we're in good shape.

    obama 08

    July 25, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Martin

    They are already following his policies and he is not even President yet! Unless some nutcracker comes along and does what we don't talk about, this election is a wrap.

    July 25, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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