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. Sherry, Atlanta

    Senator Obama...We progressive American's understand that we need World support in order to meet the challenges that face us today. Your position of (1) FAIR TRADE, and not FREE TRADE (2) Energy Problem (3) Global Warming (4) War on Terror. Unfortunately, A huge number of American's can't see beyond the NOSE ON THEIR FACE. Thank you for your vision.

    July 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Healing fences with the world was important. McSame even encouraged Obama to go to Iraq and once he did, got his panties all in a bunch because Maliki agreed with Obama's timetable to re-deploy troops. Fixing the destruction to the US economy of waging a senseless war will take the help of our allies.

    July 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Janice

    This is the 133 Lobbyist hounding the media to make Obama's trip an issue. Mccain for weeks was on the stump and all of his surrogates were attacking Obama for not traveling to Iraq and had a time clock of the last time Obama went to Iraq. Now that he's traveling abroad and meeting with foreign leaders which has been a great success, the Mccain campaign can't do anything else but complain and Whinning about the media coverage. Mccain is just angry because Obama up staged him all week while Mccain was on attack mode an thrown off of his message because of Obama's success and warm welcome with crowds of adoring fans, and anxious leaders hoping for an Obama administration. Mccain hasn't done anything with his week were he had the whole country to him self but attack Obama for his success and it made him look unsure of himself and frustrated which doesn't look presidential at all. I think Americans are proud of Obama trip abroad because atleast we wouldn't have an unpopular president like Bush who foreigner burn the flag instead of wave it. Mccain is just angry and frustrated and thats all he shown this week and that is a shame.

    July 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Carl

    I am sure that it will hurt,Obama.
    You are acting like you are already the president,but guess what you aren't. If I can do anything about you not becoming the presiden I will.

    July 26, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. paul oregon

    i wouldnt worry abount pollsright now. the more mccain babbles the more he proves hes out of touch with reality. (surge,surge etc) if people liked the bush era all they have to do is vote for mr senile and nothing will change. except for maybe a extra side benefit of another
    war or two.

    July 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Ken, LA California

    We love you Obama, God Bless you, God Bless America we need you as president yesterday.

    July 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Larry Buchas

    The tour only confirmed the fears of Republicans watching you hit those 3-pointers, cheered by our troops, comforatble and smiling with digniaries and reaching out to a crowd of 200,000.

    I would expect about a 4-6 point bounce instead.

    July 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Denise

    I've never seen anyone with so much hubris. I thought Bush believed himself to be the King of the Universe but I believe we've actually found someone worse. Ugh, I could puke.

    McCain '08 Clinton '12

    July 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |


    July 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. RyanD.

    No Obama!

    Just because the mainstream media has been trying to make it true doesn't mean it is, the American people are proud of you!

    Obama 08'

    July 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Des,Toronto, Canada

    t's truly amazing to sit back and watch this charade of what you you call fair reporting. The next time, McWar... Bomb... Bomb Iran asks Obama to admit the surge is working, you guys should ask him to first admit the war was a mistake. Had there not been this war, that should have never been waged, the idea of a so called surge would have been unnecessary. You ought to hold McCain to the same third degree 24/7 scrutiny you have held Obama to, by pointing out his numerous gaffes and nonsensical statements!!

    Obama 08,12

    July 26, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. idealistic in NM

    I *heart* Obama.

    No, this trip has NOT hurt him. It has made him look graceful, intelligent, confident, and engaged; he looks like he is enjoying learning as much as he can about things, and we welcome that. He is so inspiring ! For the Repugs who criticize him: what exactly is wrong with wanting to be inspired by a leader ? Isn't that what leadership is about ? Inspiring people ?
    Obama is just what we need at this critical time.

    July 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Four things I got out of this trip:
    1) Obama is quite at home with European socialist ideals. (check out how well it's working over there)
    2) The media loves Obama
    3) Obama is not as proud of America as I am, choosing to recite the things he thinks America has to work on, not mentioning much of anything about what makes this country the best one in the world (yes I truly believe that)
    4) Obama's campaign is based far too heavily on marketing as he chooses to go work out instead of visit wounded troops after the Pentagon weighs in and tells him it can't be a political event.

    July 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Bendo

    I think it might be a couple of things: first, he has taken a dip in the polls especailly in Ohio, but he has a bit of a bounce in the polls as well after the extensive coverage. Once he gets back into the states, he has to get to the battleground states and name is VP choice before the convention. Then the VP and Obama can concentrate on the battleground states the the states most liikley to pick off. I think Gov. Tim Kainie of VA is a no brainer, take those states Kerry won and add Virgina, he wins even if he lose's Fla and Ohio. So prepare for the worst case sceniro and hope to pick off states like CO, NH, and maybe even Indiana. BO needs to seal the deal at the convention and force Mclame to unforced errors and make him spend time and money in those red states to defend them after he can only spend the $85 mil on the general campaign.

    July 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Hillary supporter for Obama

    I love how McCain went on and on about how Obama needs to go to Iraq, and then Obama goes to Iraq and McCain complains that Obama went to Iraq. Yeah, that someone I want in a commander-in-chief.

    July 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Goodness gracious me. obama finally got something correct. The asinine picture of him with crowds of Germans side by side of McCain with several people in a supermarker and making fun.

    HEY GOOD OLD BOYS WHO HATE WOMEN....remember this all those celeb seekers in Germany well heck they can't vote. But the ones who surround McCain...well they can. You are darn right his "rock star" tour is hurting him. People want substance not fluff. And fluff is all obama is giving people on top of his changing of his mind constantly.

    July 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. David Goldman for OBAMA





    July 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Timmothy B

    No you shouldn't be hurt.
    Because you are in a dame if you do and dame if you don't. case
    If America votes for McCain we will be licking our wounds for another
    4 to 8 years.
    Some of the things you do the GOP always seems to go along.
    I guess McMcain will now hop on the plane and do what you did.

    July 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. the best bet

    We as americans got to stop picking at the little things about Obama and look at whats really important. The time has come when we as americans will be able to travel anywhere in the world and feel loved by everyone, we got to stop this childish way of thinking this is our best bet.

    July 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. McNo

    Dont worry Obama we see when you go overseas that people waive American flags when McPhony goes overseas people waive protest banners. We dont want this murderer to be our president,

    July 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Mike

    Obama has been propelled to notoriety by the biased media. He speaks well, but says nothing. If Europe likes him so much, let them keep him.

    July 26, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. B

    It was nice for once in a while to see people outside of the US waiving the American flag instead of burning it. I haven't seen that type of foreign enthusiasm for the US in years. I think Obama has done a great service for America by meeting with these heads of states. It's obvious this is just a glimpse of what is to come with the international community finally warming back up to the USA. We were once the Nation of choice that everyone looked up to, to set the standard for freedom and morality. I think we lost that in the last eight years. Nice work Barack. Thanks for taking the lead.

    Former USMC, Republican voting for Barack Obama

    July 26, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Forget about what John McCain has said because it all backfired on him. McCain's just whinning and people here at home are sick of his constant whinning. McCain knows only one word "surge" and who cares.

    July 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Rose

    How anyone could be opposed to elevating our standing with our world allies is beyond me.

    Obama has clearly shown the US that he will be a major player in foreign affairs–something we have not seen since Bush took office.

    Neo-cons, right-wingers and Xenophones WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

    July 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. James

    Obama looked presidential throughout the trip. He had no major gaffs, policy misteps, or episoedes of poor representation of America.

    The people who support him will feel that the trip was great and affirmed their belief in him.

    The people who don't like him will continue to say he's arrogant, presumptious, etc. and not have anything positive to say about the essence of his visit but will continue to attack him personally.

    And by the way,

    Ronald Reagan also said he was a citizen of the world when he spoke in Europe. Obama said he was an American first and then a world citizen.

    July 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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