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. Sylvia

    he will NEVER have my vote

    July 26, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Anna

    And I agree, a BO/HRC ticket is unstoppable.
    Cover the entire Dem base and they are licked.

    And the Clintons have tons of good advice to offer anyway.
    they have first hand experience in cleaningupafterbush.

    July 26, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. LatinosforMcCain

    It going down hill for Obama, the American People not the European select the president and that is John McCain. He already losing ground on the polls. The American people have already notice that Obama is a fruad, a fake, flip flops and NOT ready to be Commander in Chief. If President Bush approval Rating is at a all time Low the Congress and the Senate which is a 9% is worse!!! The DEM in congress is so Badddddddd that Obama has no chance. That is right Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Dem Congress are worse!!!!!!!! just ask the AMERICAN People not European!!!

    Latinos for McCain!!!

    July 26, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. cindy

    Yo Brad up above, have you not been watching the news?? When has John McBush been talking about the economy, gas prices, the problems facing this nation? He's obviously obsessed about the war, the surge, and Obama. Do you really believe John McCain understands the problems we face in this economy? The saying used to be "The Republicans throw the party, the Democratics pay for it"!! I still think that is appropriate today. OBAMA 08!

    July 26, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Chris in CA

    Brad: Come on, Dude. Your grandpa told him to go and I bet at that moment your attitude was symbiotic with McCain's. Now, the trip is done, it was successful and now he's an arrogant jerk for going. You need to get your head out of the middle east sand, "my friend."

    July 26, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Poor McCain. He keeps forgetting things. Should we stop calling them "Senior Moments" and start calling them "McCain Monents"?

    July 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Bragg

    Are You Kidding Me? It Bothers me that, Barack Obama has been affiliated with the Muslim faith in his past. It bothers me even more that according to the Muslim faith we are all infidels that are good for nothing except to kill in as many numbers as possible, can you say 9/11, It bothers me even more that John McCain, has promised us another 100 years of war, or until the people that fight us in the middle east surrender. With these two immense choices for our President, what are we supoosed to do? We basically have two choices. (A) fight another hundred years of war. (B) Turn our government over to a man that will not swear on the Bible when he takes the oath of office

    July 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. CognitoErgoSum

    Brad, you are NOT unbiased!

    Obama is right to go abroad. Most of the trip was as part of a congressional delegation. He IS on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after all.

    There are a vast number of issues that affect everyone in the world. The pollution China creates drifts to L. A. and the air we pollute is breathed by those elsewhere.

    As long as we share the world's resources of air and water with others, as well as terrorist/nuclear proliferation threats, interacting with other countries is essential. These things ARE domestic issues as well. Obama is taking the holistic, long view.

    July 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. RyanD.

    Brad, I think the word you're looking for is "uppity". Your true colors are showing.

    You know McCain was just in Canada and Columbia giving speeches just last month, right? The difference : Nobody cared.

    McCain GOADED Obama into this trip. He took it and was wildly successful, now you want to complain. Wow.

    Obama 08'

    July 26, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Vig

    I find Obama one of the more ingratiating politicians – always trying to curry favor through one means or the other. This guy is so over rated and over blown thanks to the media, 7 years of George Bush and sexism.

    July 26, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Denise Groves

    Obama you will be alright. You have a first rate team, unlike McC's. Get you some rest, recover from your jet lag (been there done that). Spend some time with your family.

    July 26, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Tired

    To Brad:

    Like McCain did not go to Mexico and Canada. Get you facts straight before speaking out.

    July 26, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Kevin,FL

    Well isn't that some thing, Obama and McCain are virtually tied in the polls and Senator Clinton yes Hillary Rodham Clinton is leading John McCain by 8 points, according to Rasmussen ,as you may all know she dropped out over a month ago, what does that say about Obama?... the DNC is in some deep doo doo come November!

    July 26, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Diing in Washington

    Senator Obama hits a home run and checks the foreign policy box on this trip. That leaves Senator McCain with whinning as his strongest suit.

    July 26, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Jack from California

    What is going on here? I submitted two comments about McCain and his whining about being left out and they disappear when I hit "Submit Comment"?

    Censorship of comments critical of McCain? Looks that way!

    July 26, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Ralph

    McCain is the pot that tried to call the kettle black since he did some fundraising in both Canada and Columbia.

    July 26, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Jickson

    actually brad, you don't seem undecided at all and the fact of the matter is according to CNN, Obama is not using any federal funds. he is using his own funds he has raised. Mccain is the one who has decided to use federal funds. Not only that, McCain has already made the same trips after the primaries just that Obama has waited to do it and that the press don't care what the geezer has to say. Do you really want more of the same or someone who can motivate and move millions and millions of people not just at home but across the world? I understand that McCain worked the american dream by being born into it and marrying rich (the second time) and i suppose there is a certain demographic that really enjoys that but the rest of us hard working americans relate with the one who worked hard up to it. and has been in the business of helping people. The low down dirty people instead of the big business and Corporations, and if we as a first world country is to survive this peak oil age. We're going to need someone who represents the rest of us.

    July 26, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. ps

    The differences between Senator McCain's trips to other countries and Senator Obama's trip are:
    1) the press coverage
    2) Senator Obama giving campaign speeches on foreign soil – saying things like he represents the US when he has not been elected
    3) Senator Obama giving press conferences with foreign leaders when he has not been elected

    Item 1 needs to be rectified by the media – we need both candidates covered so that we can make an informed choice in November

    Item 2 & 3 demonstrate arrogance on the part of a candidate and may actually be in violation of the US Constitution – he is making foreign policy, which the Constitution explicitly states IS ONLY the job of the President and his appointed representatives......

    July 26, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. tai

    Wait an american president, workig and respecting other opinions.......omg is this actually happening?

    July 26, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Clint, WA

    Yep, it proved Obama to be as inept, naive, and inexperienced in foreign relations as many of us knew he was. That's gotta hurt.

    July 26, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. JS

    Obama is a true leader and has worked extremely hard throughout his campaign. No one in the world can take his accomplishments away from him. Your ignorant statements can never go against his record.

    Regardless of what happens – whether McCain becomes president or Obama, I am proud of Obama for all the hard work and inspiration he has spreaded through the black community and throughout the every community in our great country. Obama will be recorded in history as running the best campaign in the USA. He has represented our country well, and we should be so proud that so many countries around the world admire us.

    Look at all the people in the countries around the world who showed up to see Obama. How many of us in the United States know about what is going on in Europe elections? However, the world admires us enough to keep up with what we are doing. This country that we live in is truly blessed, and we should be so proud that we represent freedom, unity, and peace for all.

    I am an African-American who loves the United States of America. This is my country, this is your country, and I am proud of our nations leaders. Barack Obama has proven he can hang with the best.

    Thanks Obama for representing our great country!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. pam Eugene OR

    Brad 2:04
    I doubt that you are undecided. You sound very much like you are voting McCain. If not you would admit that McCain has already made several global trips. That is why he baited Obama to go.
    The republican are just jealous that Obama was so well received and the world loved him. They hoped and prayed that Barack would would gaff as badly as McCain does.
    Obama 08 for America and hope for the world

    July 26, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. aware

    Obama, the obfuscating, arrogant, egomaniac is a talented actor in his "all about me" drama.

    But, he is also the most nauseating, arrogant, egomaniac that has ever disgraced the political scene.

    This former Democrat will not vote for a phony, media-created American-idol-myth. Never Obama! 😦

    I will vote for a genuine American hero. McCain 08! 🙂

    July 26, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Independant Thinker

    If Obama hadn't used the race card and trashed Americans while he was there then he might have done better.

    I guess that we are still those bitter Americans clinging to our guns and religion in his eyes.

    July 26, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    It is absolutely true that Obama lacks judgment for the most difficult job in the world. He can't even decide on his own what's best for him, never mind the country as whole. I am quoting, "He [McCain] was telling me [Obama] I was supposed to take this trip. He suggested it and thought it was a good idea." Why couldn't Obama determine on his own if this trip "was a good idea?" Instead, he waited for McCain to suggest it to him? It just doesn't make sense. If you want to be a President of the United States, Obama, take charge, show us some leadership. At this point in time Obama lacks these very vital characteristics.

    July 26, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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