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. Mykyle

    As an outsider and having spent 39 days cycling from Halifax, N.S. to Miami, Florida I can truly say that I understand more about America then many Americans do. In the north I camped in the forest and in the south I camped behind churches. America is a very compartmentalized society, if the American people really understood some of the problems that exist in their society they would hold their government more accountable and vote in a democrat or independent from now until 2020. Reducing the size of government and spending on a large scale is a pipe dream, do you think these millions of people with their cushy jobs will just walk away with a smile on their faces. You can make your government more accountable and more efficient and that's a fact. Whether Americans care enough is another question. Mccain won't wreck the USA if he gets into power. Although if he bombed Iran he could wreck the USA's reputation. Mccain will most likely just create more gridlock and nothing important will get done. Obama on the other hand is a National Treasure, young, talented, inspiring and of mixed race; he's the candidate of 2024 who travelled back in time to 2008. I wonder if America is ready ?

    July 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Sheri

    Obama: Special guy "WELCOME HOME" MISSION SUCCESS ACCOMPLISHED

    July 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Tran

    i question his loyalty....is he an American citizen, don't demand American to work with its allies. I question, is he repersenting America or someone else.

    July 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Dew5050

    Great!! Very articulate. God has already answered your prayer and has given you the wisdom to do what is right and just! You will represent America well!!!

    July 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. internationally exposed

    seems there is some kind of blackmail the media is falling for here including CNN. why are you not mentioning the hypocrisy of Mccain whinning about Obama's trip and popularity. Mccain went on these trips too and gave speeches so why are you all attacking Obama for doing far well than Mccain. American should start thinking and looking at things surgically.

    July 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Rave

    No Mr. Obama, you did the right thing and it wont hurt you in any way. You will have a warm welcome back home
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Linda31

    People are making it sound as if Obama was out of the country for a month or something. He was gone for a week. Just a week. And as he pointed out, McCain has done something similar after he received his party nomination. Why should this be any different?

    July 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. La Chatte, Portland, OR

    Beware of false gods! Barry's arrogance is unacceptable, especially for someone who brings so little experience to the table. PUMA

    July 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Kerstin in OH

    This may hurt Obama, but it shouldn't. He looked very presidential... and showed us that the rest of the world wants to love America again, and just might if we elect the right candidate. Besides, McCain put him up to the task. Unfortunately for him, Obama did better than expected. Now the Republicans are whining that he is outside the country neglecting the issues here at home. Sounds like a desperate political ploy to me...

    July 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    mcWAR is a toothless bull dog.Nothing will hurt you.

    July 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Larry

    It's so refreshing to see a presidential aspirant demonstrate the reflective side of himself. While intelligent educated people will find this aspect of Barrack impressive, I know in my heart that for many ,this kind of thing does not resonate with them. This years' election is a struggle for the hearts and soul of America. It will define what kind of eople we are. For example, are we the kind of people who judge the wisdom of pre-emptive invasions of soverign nations based soley on whether it succeds or not....or might we weigh other factors in our considerations????

    July 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Voter

    No worries Obama – McCain will complain about anything (i.e. whether you go or not... even if he recommended it. Same with the military hospital visit)

    He seems less strong every day and spends more time critiqueing you than he does telling us about where he will take us.

    July 26, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    The difference is the media either is ignored by McCain camp when he's going around selling what's left of our economy to Columbia, Canada, Mexico, or he's ignored by his 'Base. Hence, whatever move Obama makes, heck if he sneezes, the media must analyst it to death and use the usual Republican talking point.....God forbid just reporting the news might be construed as being Pro-Obama.

    I enjoy reading about Obama's humbleness, its because he doesn't think he has it won that made him beat Clinton machine and will ultimately beat McCain and Right Wing whiners.

    July 26, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. The T

    I don't think so, Sir you have made us very proud

    July 26, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Watermann

    That`s what it takes, not more but not less.

    July 26, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Voter

    Might Hurt? Only on Fox and that doesn't count.

    July 26, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. TJ Williams

    I simply love this man. He has done America proud. He has all my daughter's (20ish) friends enthralled in politics. We know he may make mistakes along the way but we appreciate his clear thinking, his real understanding of just how complicated the world really is and his superb intellect. We are prepared to work and sacrifice for him. He makes us all want to be better Americans.

    July 26, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Justin Slayer

    In some ways Senator Obama's trip abroad will help protect him, literally, in this campaign.

    Based on how well he was received on the WORLD STAGE ... after having been taunted by McCain to make these trips ... Senator Obama has broad and growing international appeal.

    God forbid, any intentional harm be directed his way, I think now the world community would rally behind him and/or his vision for America and her place in the community of nations.

    More importatnly, the domestic community would drive his focus on changing the way Washington works, changing the tone & tenor of the political debate, changing the rancor in the halls of Congress, to successful completion.

    He is too popular to silence through nefarious means. The storm clouds of the Bush era are clearing. There's a new sun rising.

    July 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. BrendaF, Mesquite, TX

    Pre-trip McCain: He (Obama) is not presidential enough.

    Post-trip McCain: He (Obama) is too presidential.

    Sen. McCain, make up your mind, which is it? Please go find a cloud to yell at!

    July 26, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. BrendaF, Mesquite, TX

    OMG! I thought I would never see the day where an African-American man would be accused of being "too presidential".

    My we have come a long way.

    July 26, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Dixon, Des Moines Iowa

    The trip will not hurt Obama in my opinion. The people who want a third Bush term will be upset. The people who know his true intentions will be happy and know he is trying to do the right thing repairing the damage done by Bush. After all, McCain used his buddy George Bush to go around the same areas bashing on Obama. All we hear from McCain is bashing on Obama. I have yet to hear any real explanation of how he will accomplish his plans. Obama has a page on his site spelling out everything. Obama is the real leader and I will vote for him.

    July 26, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Old Man Yells At Clouds

    The difference, Sen. Obama, is that you got all the attention and MCain did not – it's called jealousy and childish behavior, though McCan't is no child, just acts like one. Don't worry Senator Obama, we here at home are very proud of you and happy at your return home.

    July 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    Hope you have a safe trip home Senator Obama. You are so right in your answers to McCain's criticisms. IMHO, McCain has become a mean, nasty, pathetic little man. He has made some very unforgivable statements against Senator Obama, which never should have been made. I thought Senator McCain had promised to run a clean campaign, but all he is doing is taking low blow, cheap shots at Senator Obama.

    I look forward to Senator Obama getting back, and getting back to the subject that should be front and center, THE ECONOMY here in the US. Somehow, McCain has made "THE SURGE, THE SURGE" the centerpiece of this campaign. While I do believe that Iraq is in the top three concerns of US citizens, the economy is right now the number 1 concern. We need to get back to the main issues.

    Obama/Biden, 08

    July 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. kim hussein smith

    only the ignorant, small-world americans will see visiting foreign countries as a negative. obama's actions and words are EXACTLY what a REAL president should do, especially now!!

    people, please dont let 8 years of a baboon for president lower your expectations, mccain does not have what it takes to be the leader of our country NOW--he's too old, cranky, pro-war and will send YOUR kids to his wars, and his mind is definitely slipping! america-and the world-–deserves better!

    July 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    Presumptous, arrogant egomainiac. Prancing around the world as if he is King. Where's Hillary when we need her? At the very least, she would know how to conduct herself as the nominee. What a mistake, choosing this snob over a person of substance, Does anyone know what he plans to try to do to fix our problems over here on THIS side of the world? I think not because he just keeps screaming "Change we can belive in" and all the little sheep go slobbering after him. What a disgrace!

    July 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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