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. Get It Right

    No matter who wins this election, the American people must start waking up to reality. These so-called terrorists are living in countries such as Germany, France, Great Britain, Afghanistan, and throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa. We need somebody who can engage the leaders of these countries/regions, instead of antagonizing them and maybe the American taxpayer wouldn't be paying trillions to fight wars of choice, practically by ourselves. We have too many problems domestically that the "Going it Alone" diplomacy has us tetering on financial ruin. We all enjoy a tax cut but how do Americans like $5/gal gas/milk? That's where your good ole tax cut has gone. Never have we Americans sacrificed so little and yet ask for so much more. If people are hungry for more boondoggles like Iraq (maybe Iran) then put your wallet where your mouth is and ask your congressman to help increase your taxes!!!

    July 25, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Joyce, ny

    Uh, Sarcozy was also wearing a translation wire. Geez, people stop grasping for straws.

    The world is excited over one of our Political figures for a change. Be happy and proud of this moment in our history instead of whinning and fault finding. Put your country first before political affiliations.

    July 25, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Shari, NY

    No suprise here! Mama, grandama, etc. RAISED YOU RIGHT. Plus, you are well educated, intelligent, diplomatic, show promise, and that's why your opponents (most of whom do not have half of your attributes) are hopping mad.

    July 25, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. JC for Senator Obama

    I noticed some comments calling Senator Obama a fake in response to the brief article above. How can you criticize him even when he doesn't do anything wrong? All he said was that he wouldn't criticize the president while overseas. Pretty straight forward. Comments calling him a fake even when he does something reasonable makes me think that there are a lot of people out there who refuse to give Senator Obama a chance. Just relax with the partisanship and the polarization and give both sides a chance to make their case. You would serve your interests and those of the country better if you wouldn't be so severely FOR or AGAINST one candidate.

    Also, I hope Obama chooses a republican VP.

    July 25, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    An answer you would expect from one with Presidental qualities....something America been void of for almost eight years.

    July 25, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Irishspacemonk

    I wish I could read anti-obama comments for what they were, as some sort of intellectual attempt at a conversation, but unfortunately they are nothing but thinly veiled racists attacks. Have fun with that while you all wank in 2009

    July 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    SKadams...........what on earth are you rambling on about. Barack Obama does NOT have a speech writer. He writes all his speeches himself.

    When Barack speaks, he is formulating what he is going to say before he opens his mouth. Unlike McBlabbermouth.

    Barack Obama is a very smart, intelligent man so please stop the insults. All you are doing is showing us your own ignorance.

    And by the way, when a teleprompter is used, at least Barack can read from it. He doesn't have to look down every other word like some McSomeone else that we all know.

    July 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Peggy, PA


    Now whos the one crtisizing who?!

    July 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Ted

    I see the McCain coolaid drinkers have found a new outlet for their jealousy. CNN blogs. Forget the polls and the day to day stuff, McCain will be buried by the biggest Democratic landslide ever. Maybe he could then find time to support Vets instead of consistently voting against their benefits since 2005.

    July 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Syl

    I left the DNC after 40 years over this obama nonsense and was going to just write in Hillary's name or not vote for the Pres., but the more the media shoves obama down our throats, the more I am thinking of voting for a TRUE PATRIOT...McCain. I dislike the way the media is not giving equal time to McCain, I dislike the media shoving all these being Black in American "specials" down our throats...as if they can in-fact brain wash us into feeling guilty and voting for obama! What nonsense! Check out the Polls....we will not be brainwashed, period.

    July 25, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. KG

    Obama can't criticize something he knows nothing about. The office of the Pres of the USA, is so far above his capabilities and experience level it's frightening. It's amazing there's still people out there who think this guys even remotely capable of handling this position. He's already proven that even the office of Senator is beyond his capability.

    July 25, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    This really is the only way to answer the issue. And I noticed that he didn't take any shot at either President Bush (who took a shot at Senator Obama in Israel a month or so ago) or Senator McCain who continues to take shots at him, including an accusation of sedition and treason.

    Rae, from 1:20, I'm sure you're an intelligent person, I know that I am.
    However, I'm not as smart as Obama is. He knows we're in trouble and he knows we need help. So, he's doing his best to set this country up for help after President Bush leaves office. That, then is how he is trying to look out for America first.

    But I don't think he said anything about our problems, especially nothing that a 6th grader couldn't read in their own papers.
    Come on, let's try something else.

    July 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. independent

    I'm starting to conclude that McCain's people OBAMA just don't like him, they have no real reasons, they just feel better calling him an empty suit when He oushines their candidate. OBAMA could have taken easy shots at the current administration like Bush took shots at him in Isreal, but he handled it perfectly, and here I see on this blog, ignoramuses still talking.....ya'll come around eventually.

    July 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. M.S. Indiana

    Way to go Obama, wish McCain and Bush had the same sight, not to attack some one not here..

    Poor Puma people, McCain will never get that kind of welcome in the world, nor any media coverage... Maybe he should step up and tell America and the world what he wanna do...

    and McCain, you wont be able to complain if you get president.... you will be sleeping in the bed you made...

    July 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Northern Michigan

    Dignity and diplomacy - when it would be convenient to bash Bush, he refrains and respects the presidency. Not even president yet and already leading through example; most notably, building, rather than burning bridges. Go Obama - you make me feel proud to be an American again! Thank you!

    July 25, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Texan for Progression

    To proud army and navy mom: you would vote McCain and risk having your children die in an illegal and unjust war??? Come to think of it, why do you have TWO children in the military if you're making more than $250k a year, which is the only reason you could possibly have to oppose Obama's tax plan. You know pride is often the final emotion expressed before the fall….I'm sure it's all that Bush has to lean on these days.

    July 25, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. KG

    To simply state what is the absolute rule for any US politician when overseas, does not make him Presidential nor does it make him a diplomat. All it means is one of his advisors told him not to do it and he followed the golden rule. Wow! Let's all bow to the man for following a set tradition.

    July 25, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. joseph

    He is a diplomat. Elect the smart guy please.

    July 25, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. NoMcSame

    Peace and love to all the world. What a dream it could be if it was not for the hate that comes out of America. Hate,hate,hate is all you people do. McSame has something for you though. He will take us all further and further and into the hell hole that we are in.

    July 25, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Michael

    I would really like to know where some of you get Obama is a Socialist. I wonder if some of you really understand what a Socialist is or are you just showing your ignorance. Some of you want to make a big deal about Socialism, did you ever stop to think that many of the government programs we have today are based on Socialism, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to name a few. Obama is not a Socialist, he has not promoted anything to suggest he is a Socialist and I suggest some of you study your Sociology and learn about Socialism. I would be willing to bet most of you do not even know who the father of Socialism is without looking it up on the internet.

    July 25, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Juan

    Both McCain and Obama where on campaign trips lets be honest but as of right now my vote is with Obama

    July 25, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Enlightened voter

    First off, he doesn't set or present US policy. Second, he may not have criticized Bush directly, but he certainly alluded to us being racists and torturers and the main cause behind the 'man-made' global-warming hoax. His arrogance knows no limits. I hope people start to recognize this before November.

    July 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. VERA


    July 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Tran

    Respect....Obama needs to learn that, and know his place.....he is an American presidential candidate....NOT the President......

    July 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Steve Rich

    That's diplomacy. We can't just make decisions on our own and stonewall those who don't agree. We have to listen to our allies as well as our enemies. McCain would rather fight than talk to people we have problems with (i.e. Iran) which doesn't solve problems. It just create more.

    July 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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