July 26th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama: Tour may hurt me at home

Sen. Barack Obama leaves 10 Downing Street Saturday.
Sen. Barack Obama leaves 10 Downing Street Saturday.

LONDON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama conceded to reporters that his stint off the American campaign trail may hurt him a bit with voters but felt the trip was vital to giving a “sense of where an Obama administration might take” U.S. foreign policy.

“I am not sure that there is going to be some immediate political impact. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that in some polls that you saw a little bit of a dip as a consequence, we have been out of the country for a week," he said. "People are worried about gas prices and home foreclosures. So the reason I thought this trip was important was I am convinced that many of the issues that we face at home are not going to be solved as effectively unless we have strong partners abroad.”

Throughout his eight-country trip Obama sought to distance himself from his battle with Sen. John McCain and focus on foreign affairs. As he finished his meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama reengaged in the contest at hand when asked about McCain’s criticism that his time abroad appeared like a “premature victory lap.”

“It is hard for me to understand Sen. McCain’s argument. He was telling me I was supposed to take this trip. He suggested it and thought it was a good idea. But although I have to admit we had it planned before he made the suggestion,” he said.

John McCain has visited every one of these countries post-primary that I have. He has given speeches in Canada, in Colombia, Mexico, he made visits. And so it doesn’t strike me that we have done anything different than the McCain campaign has done which is to recognize that part of the job of the next president, commander in chief is to forge effective relationships with our allies.”

The scene outside Number 10 Downing Street appeared to surprise Obama as he strode out of the door. He had barely reached the microphone before British journalists started throwing questions.

Obama was asked whether he had any “advice” for Prime Minister Brown who is in a bit of political trouble after tremendous losses for the Labour Party in a recent election.

“I don’t have advice for Prime Minister Brown. I will tell you that you are always more popular before you are actually in charge of things. And then, you know, once you are responsible then you are going to make some people unhappy, and that is just the nature of politics,” Obama said. “And these things go in cycles. Even in the course of this campaign there have been months where I am a genius and months where I am an idiot. At least if you read the newspapers, it seems I am pretty much the same guy throughout this process but my actions and the results are going to be perceived differently at any given time.”

Obama returns to Chicago on Saturday and is expected to hit the campaign trail almost immediately.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. R.I.F.

    He will now come back to the US and acutall talk about the economy. Somtheing that McCain was suppose to do all week. The funny thing is that Obam's taken over the debate on foreign policy and now he will hammer away on the economy next week. McCain will be left to complain and attack Obama's economic postions next week which will really make him sem out of touch. Obama's got McCain on the ropes.

    July 26, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Paul

    Actually, the thing that may hurt him most at home is his own party. If people like Kucinich keep on about demonizing George Bush and threatening impeachment, I may well switch allegiance from Obama to John McCain.

    July 26, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. jeremy

    Well, I would think it wouldnt hurt at all with What America saw with How the world reacted with Obama. Which was amazing. They want him, America needs him. Now McSame is crying because he doesnt get attention! He his a hippocrit! Blah! If anything it showed me how badly the country needs him, because our foreign affairs would greatly improve, and we would get help with fighting the war on terror which is in Afghanistan, NOT Iraq. If anything he has improved in my eyes, and It will be a Democratic November! Obama 08

    July 26, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. wiser

    Americans will not be fooled by an adoring press. We will not support someone with so little experience. The press can keep pushing him on us but the voters will not elect him. We are not electing an American Idol. We are electing a president, which is more than a popularity contest.

    Also, the last time I checked Europeans could not vote in US elections.

    We will choose experience, judgment, and a genuine hero over a zero every time!

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 26, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. mollygonz

    The only way it could hurt you at home is that the people who are on another planet don't understand that you are trying to help our foreign relations..HOW could this hurt you?? I don't get the fact that people would be put off by this. Like Obama said, the whole world affects us back home, economy included.

    July 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Blayze Kohime

    I like Obama but do think he may have made the trip a bit too long. The more annoying thing is how McCain is whining and making up rumors about VP choices to try to get attention back to himself.

    July 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Loretta from California

    I don't think it will hurt too much. Especially since Senator McCain did nothing but whine and attack while you were away.

    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. DOH!

    OBAMA 08!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. dems be dopes

    Obama/Edwards in 2008!

    Whoops!

    Seems CNN missed that story.

    Suprised?

    July 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Bulldog

    Most people want America to be friends with the rest of the world. It seems the GOP doesn't give a crap. The GOP is what most would refer to as isolationism. Just a reminder, we live in a global economy in 2008. Reagan believed we need friends all over the world but the current GOP doesn't seem to care. Obama was a great inspiration showing that America can once again have friends that Bush and Cheney have bullied for the last 7 years. McCain seems to agree with Bush and Cheney. We don't need another bully which McCain has proved to be.

    July 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Mary In AL

    No it did not! The trip was good and it will be worth it when the conventions begin! I'm very glad the Senator Obama took the time to go, loved the pictures. He is ready to be President, but I already knew that before he went. I'm ready to vote!
    Senator Obama for president of the United States of America! Yea!

    July 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Obama, your tour didn't hurt you. Respect for you has grown. And international influence, like it or not, does have an impact on the way American business will lean in its support of you. US business is interwoven with the world. The American people saw you as presidential. Something we want to see. The "cowboyism" of Bush and the "1970's military industrial complex" of McCain are antequated American images.

    It is time to let the next generation lead. Specifially, you!

    July 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Upon Further Review,Texas

    Anyone remember the DOWNING STREET MEMOS?

    July 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. seyi

    Welcome back r. President,
    Now it's time to finish off what's left of the Old Surger

    July 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. ANGIE

    Senator obama i dont think this tour hurt you people have to realize we live in a global economy, We have to work with other leaders across in diplomatic ways it effects the whole world I am very proud of you and i will be very proud when you become president,We dont need anymore my way or the highway president and when i saw mccain on cnn with wolf he sooo much reminded me of bush with his comment about malaki THAT HE WONT DEMAND A TIMETABLE FOR TROOPS thats just like bush STUBBORN it will be all mccains way thats not good no leaders in other countries will not want to deal with us and hate us even more than now!!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. susan

    I was wondering, does John McCain get the same trip with all the same stops BEFORE the election? I am 43 years old, and have follwed every campaign since the '76 Ford re-election campaign that my grandmother worked on.

    I have never seen a candidate do this BEFORE elected until now. I voted for Bill Clinton in '92 and '96; while he was drawing crowds like this in the United States. I don't remember him taking such a taxpayer sponsored trip overseas before he was president. If Obama went under the guise of his committee work on foreign affairs, it's the first serious work he's one as his three years as a senator on this committe.

    July 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Independent

    Welcome Back OBAMA,
    We miss you!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Carl from MI

    The world is yearning for leadership from the US. Obviously, the current cowboy diplomacy just isn't their cup of tea. The world is ready to accept Obama as the new leader of the free world... and so are the intelligent voters of the good ole' USA.

    July 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Nobama

    Ha CNN you still show your bias ways by not reporting that Obama wanted to meet with the Queen but she refused him saying that he was "no one of importance". This story aired on BBC, funny how the BBC has no problem showing these types of things but you shy away from them. Time to end your love affair with Obama CNN. Time to go back to the unbias media of the past if you can. Or are your lips super glued to Obama's backside?

    I doubt the CNN mods will post this since CNN can't take the heat, and hates to be proven wrong. But I dare you mods to post this anyway.

    Have a nice day

    July 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. susie

    He is so arrogant. How come he didn't give his big speech in German?

    July 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. bob in LA

    Obama the hypocrit continues to pander. Pander to the foriegn press, pander to the american press and pander to anyone that is in fornt of him at that moment.
    This is the gout that thought at 18.5 cent gas tax vacation was pandering when Hillary wanted it. He makes her look like a saint!

    July 26, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. jason, tx

    EXACTLY! McCain challenges him to go. He goes. It backfires in McCain's face and now he's whining. You go Obama! You have shown us that you are very competent and able to handle yourself on a world stage. You will bring dignity back to our country in the world's eyes. McCain will do the opposite.

    July 26, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. mike

    ITS OK...COME HOME .BE SAFE AND LETS GIVE MCCAIN A RUN FOR HIS MONEY.

    THIS WEEK HE'S WHINNYING LIKE A PUP AND COMPLAINS HE'S NOT GETTING ANY ATTN

    IM A REPUBLICAN AND I'M VOTING DEM

    TO MY FELLOW REPUBLICANS STAY HOME 8 YEARS WAS ENOUGH!!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. texas DEM

    i am not a huge obama supporter, but i am glad he went over there to appear global, unlike bush.

    VICE PRESIDENT CLINTON 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Don't worry Senator Obama, the majority of us Americans are really proud of you. It is so sad that you have to fight the bush administration, the pentagon and some of the media.

    Good news is that you have an 'Republicans for Obama' office in Indiana and we are proud of that. Hope you really get some rest!

    July 26, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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