July 26th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
10 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. judy, Wisconsin

    No, no–your trip was great!!! You demonstrated what a great leader you are. Stay positive and keep your message coming. McCain has nothing but complaints, every sentence starts out with "Senator Obama...........blah blah in a condescending voice and then ends with that strange smile. He gives me the creeps!!!!!

    July 26, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. jim

    This trip will definitely help him in the long run. Seeing him being so positively embraced abroad will definitely weigh in on peoples minds as they try to make a decision.

    July 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    No question about it. Obama thinks he is the king of the world. Why worry about Illinois or the USA he is the king of the world.

    Isn't that a little like the last leader of the third reich?

    Amazing the similarities. Both had thugs around them. And both preached a hope message.

    Now bam wants to unilaterally attack not only Pakistan but also Iran. This is a war monger of the third kind. Watch this guy, soldiers. He is a neo warrior with no experience.

    July 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. AVEMBE The sun

    Yeah so better go back home straight!!!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Mike

    What a lightweight. He spent 1 week abroad and said nothing, then thinks that anyone has an idea of where an Obama administration may go in foreign policy! Obama doesn't even know. His foreign policy will be based on what is most popular with the Europeans and the Arabs.

    Prosecute Howard Dean for fraud!

    July 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. THE O

    I think Obama might be right especially with idiots that think that bush is a good president or people that are dumb enough to think that mccain would be a good president. Its time we elect a president that has a brain, Its time to elect Obama!!!!!

    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!


    July 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Frank from Peterborough

    The biased news medias and die hard Republicans will most certainly try and diminish Obama's tour. Fortunately the sensible and honest people of both America and the rest of the world see it as a beacon of hope for the future.

    The plain truth is if the majority of American citizens can logically figure out where they stand both domestically and internationally then they will recognize the importance of electing Obama.

    If Americans don't think things can get any worse then they should put some serious thought into what is going on around them. Remember the bigger you are the harder you fall!

    July 26, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Thomas, Illinois

    Don't worry sir....We'll be fine, its all-good....

    July 26, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Jean, Portland

    This guy is certainly pompus and arrogant.

    Has he actually accomplished anything or does he just give alot of nice speeches?

    I'm especially offended that he removed the american flag from his plane and replaced it with his O'bama logo.

    If he's President are we expected to say the pledge of allegiance to that?

    July 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Texas trail puppy!

    Has anyone noitced that while Obama is away on this Foreign trip trying to restore America's tarnished reputation in the World, the McSame Camp has gone into overdrive with the Kitchen sink/ Mud slinging/ Rove strategy. It really must be true that "when the cat is away the rats come out to play".

    July 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Chuck, Euigene Oregon.

    If your tour abroad hurts your campaign here in the US, then those American's that think ill of your trip are blind and stupid for buying into McCains egotistical, and childish retoric. McCain insisted on you taking this trip, yet he makes ugly remarks when you do all because he felt slighted by the press. McCain has leveled some pretty harsh chages during this trip. The fist of which that Obama would rather loos the war for political gain. He also completely messed up the surge by confusing it with the Counterinsurgency by equating them to be one in the same. Then he states "HE" knows how to catch Bin Laden, yet Bin Laden still roams the mountains of Afganistan and Pakistan if that is even where he is! So dont worry, Mr McCain has made enough egotistical and political gaff remarks while you were gone to give you some major breathing room.

    July 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. PUMA-Darragh

    Nope, not me! It makes me respect him MORE now than ever. If the world embraces him it says a lot about whom we should be choosing! If one person says he's good, so what.. but the WORLD is embracing him!! Unity!!

    A vote for McCain is a vote for Bush!

    PUMA = PUKAH (People United Killing American Hopes)

    FACT: PUMA founder has donated $500 to John McCain but donated NOTHING to Gore or Kerry in the past 2 elections!!!!!! Who in the world gives $500 to a REPUBLICAN and than CLAIMS to be a Democrat???!!!

    July 26, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. caliguy55

    Sen. Obama has nothing to worry about. Both the Gallup and Zogby polls show that he is starting to widen his long-standing lead over McSame. In fact, if the election were held today, Sen. Obama would win with 273 electoral votes (it takes 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency). Of course, the MSM will down play this news, and even report that McSame is holding his own, because they don't want the American People to get the idea that the election is over with Sen. Obama the clear winner. If that happened, they would lose viewers and readers, and their advertising revenue would drop. But, sooner or later, and probably sooner, the American People, especially the large majority that favors Sen. Obama, will realize that this is the true situation.

    July 26, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. ex republican

    Advice to Obama and his campaign:

    Bring up the OIL SPILL that ruined mcCANE's photo op!!!! It will take all of the wind out of his argument to drill offshore!!!! Do not let this piece of golden luck get away!!!!

    July 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Tony, Miami

    Give Mc Cain a break , he may not fit to be President of the US but he is entitled at his age to be cantankerous.

    July 26, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Obama 08

    ...sad but probably true about a country that professes to be the leader of the western world....here's hoping Obama is wrong and we see aboost in the polls nest week...although recent polling indicate a =5 and =6 for him although CNN's so called poll of polls doesn't indicate this.

    Obama is actually up 4.8 nationally in the RealClear Politics polling which doesn't cherry pick which polls to include in its averaging.

    July 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Scott, West Chester, OH

    You mean your one-week vacation abroad that was supposed to make you a foreign policy expert? That tour?

    McCain-Romney 2008

    July 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. A CANUCK

    Obama's tour was amazing.... ( must have been dissappointing for all those waiting with baited breath for him to blunder.)...... Americans should be very proud of him....and if not.....they are jealous and narrow minded. Congratulations Barack Obama.

    July 26, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Big D

    Go Obama! He did a fabulous job on this trip, and it is important to strengthen our relationships with our foreign allies. Obama should see a boost in his polls for having such a strong trip, and avoiding the gaffes, whining complaints and outrageous attacks that McCain indulged in all week. Go Obama!

    July 26, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Cheryl (Retired Vets for Obama)


    July 26, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Independent Voter

    Another attempt to lower the bar on what we can expect of politicians. Obama's "worrying" over Americans being mad at him (what a crock!) is designed to get the Obama cultists to rush to his defense, thereby eliciting more praise, more loyalty and more pandering.

    What a creep this guy is. He knows how to out-Rove Rove himself. Is this good for the American people?


    July 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. former republican white man from california for Obama

    The only reason there would be any problems back home is because of Mc Cain and the rest of hte GOP spreading lies and hate in our country these nasty people whom refer to themselves as republicans make me sick! they are not a true republican. Republicans do not use hate and fear to divide people into following a certain path it is plain sick Regan is probably rolling over in his grave!

    July 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Travis in Colorado

    Yes, Obama has gone too far, he has crossed so many lines with his campaign. He is going around undermining our president, taking his campaign overseas, as if he's running for president of the world. This guy is arrogant. And he's a jerk. Oh! And, his numbers are going down and McCain's are going up! I like that!

    McCain 08!

    July 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Will in Richmond, VA

    Thank you Obama for calling McCain out on this. Keep it up.

    July 26, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Patrick Lewis

    I'd think this is temporary harm for a long term good. It will be forgotten in October and it steels him against the charges of a lack of foreign policy experience. McCain can't say both that he has no foreign policy experience and that he portrays himself as a citizen of the world. It won't stop his surrogates from doing just that, but it's less likely to stick.

    July 26, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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