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. T from Seattle


    I don't understand the brilliant ignorance of Repubs like you. McCain did the same right after he became the presumptive nominee. In fact he has been badgering Obama into going for sometime now.

    And now that Obama has being embraced by the entire planet (200k in Berlin – are you kidding me??) You guys want to call him arrogant? You want to give a thumbs up to McCain for staying home?

    Are you even paying attention to what is going on?

    WOW ?!?

    At any rate
    Obama 08'

    July 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Concerned Canadian

    Brad said,

    "From an undecided, observant position, I think this whole trip of Obama's just goes to show how extremely arrogant he is. How dare this man prance around other countries speaking and acting as though he is already the President of the United States. In this country, we vote people into office. Until this guy gets the majority vote, and the votes of the electoral college, he ought to stay here at home and focus on domestic issues. To act as though he owns the presidency is disrespectful towards our election system, and is a symbolic "spit in the face" to American voters.

    I give a thumbs up to McCain for staying at home and being focused on domestic issues, as well as keeping his compsoure during the disgusting bias of our mainstream news. I can't wait to see these two debate it out in the months to come."

    Brad, Obama repeatedly said he is there as a citizen, why do morons like you only see things the way you want to, not the way they are?

    AND, McCain did NOT spend his week "being focused on domestic issues" he spent his entire week attacking Obama, very scurrilously I might add, used the word SURGE waaaaaay too many times to count and did and said NOTHING to further his own positions.

    McCain will not help put America back on its good standing with the rest of the world nor get your own country back on track. Canada for one, who opted out of the Iraq war because our thoughts were EXACTLY the same as those held by Obama. We would only feel more distanced from America if McCain were elected.

    July 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Independence

    Yes you are right; it hurts because we don't want a Rock Star to be our President. Of course they like your rock band and what you offered them because they're not here in US to deal with it. They just open their eyes and wait to see if you can do what you promise them.

    July 26, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. applecrispbetty

    Obama's trip was not paid for by the taxpayers.

    July 26, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Linda31

    Trying again.............
    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 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Curtis Lacy

    to Brad your an idiot like all Republican yes men, Mcbutthead whined he need to go on trip now he's arrogant for going. You people are the most stupid people alive all Mcbutt wants is war and crap he knows he is told old to have to deal with later. I thought Americans were smart but i learned they are dumb petty and don't deserve to lead anybody let alone the rest of the world. You are Jealous that no one likes Mcain and that is the truth and as far as these stupid polls i know over 150k people and none of them have participated in any of these bull@%&# polls so i have no idea where these folks get their numbers. But i will tell you in November you will learn how far down the totem poll Mcbutt really is....See you on the oother side

    July 26, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Up in Polls

    Obama – you are up in polls. Your accomplishment in 8 days will put you in the white house. That is the Only poll you need.

    July 26, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. me 4 obama

    What a shame it will be if this hurts him.

    This small tour has proven how greatly this country has missed the mark on international relations. And how the world has missed it, too.

    July 26, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Solo performance

    Your solo performance on the world scene is all it takes you to the White House.

    July 26, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. debkansas

    to steve: are you talking from experience,"inbreed" or are you one of those know it alls. He is not our President and pray to God he never is. McCain served our country and all Americans should be proud of him, he gave his life for our country, did the 'inbreeds, or even did you give yourself for America, I think you are the total fool for talking the way you and so many others do, have you forgotten who fought for our country. Hessin Obama never gave a minute to defend our country, you and those like you are you crazy for wanting him for President. I would rather vote Republican then vote for someone that says his an American and have his fingers crossed the whole time he says he is, hoping no one will figure him out. Just what inbreeds are you talking about and just what country is Hessin Obama from

    McCain/Hillary for President 2008

    July 26, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Linda31

    Lisa – of course it is about him winning. What else would it be about??? This is an election.

    Brad – McCain also took a tour around the world after he locked up the election. This is nothing new, so why knock Obama?

    – The trip to the middle east was paid by tax payers and the trip to Europe by his campaign. They served two different purposes.

    July 26, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. LT for Obama

    Lisa – Isn't all about winning the election for John McCain also? Your comments are always so ridiculous.

    Brad – Where were these words from you when John McCain was doing EXACTLY the same thing when he clinched his party's presumed nomination?

    All you haters really need to think about what you are saying before you post. There are a lot of contradictions here that are really funny.

    Keep in mind that even though Obama was in other countries, it was by no means any form of a vacation. Vacations mean that you are relaxing and getting away from it all which is nowhere near what he was doing.

    The world is watching and the world leaders need to know who they may be dealing with over the next 4-8 years. Keep in mind that domestic issues are NOT the only things our president has to worry about.

    July 26, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. brandie

    Why are maccain people dusturbed? we know that they are frustrated knowing very well that Obama is rock star wherever he goes around the globe. I hope Maccain keeps his words by not fumbling here and there. Obama all the way!

    July 26, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. William, from Cali!

    Now, I ask you...........................What did this "tour" really accomplish? More speeches, more maybes, and more pander; to the "pacifying Europeans", no less.......................

    July 26, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Charlie

    Having trouble reading, Brad? Look at the article. McCain has made several overseas trips this year since locking up his nomination, and he repeatedly criticized Obama for NOT visiting Iraq. Why is it OK for McCain to travel abroad, but not Obama?

    July 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Brent

    Um, Brad, why are you giving McCain a thumbs up "for staying at home and being focused on domestic issues?" McCain has been globetrotting quite a bit himself this year, visiting some of the same countries Obama has. Of course, when McCain did it, nobody here or abroad really cares, but he did do it.

    Let;'s face it, Obama captures the attention of the world, no matter if you're liberal or conservative. It's not like more right-wing media sources trumpeted McCain's successes this past week. Even they realize that criticizing Obama is a better news story than anything good that McCain does.

    July 26, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. bk

    Obama is to arrogant for the American people. We want a leader not someone grandstanding and reading prepared speeches. The debates will tell the story. UUUH UH UH. Obama is an empty suit. Obamas numbers are dropping as people realize Obama is nothing more than an actor. I would hate to think what would happen if we were attacked and Obama was president. UH UH UH.

    July 26, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Reality check #1

    Obama took a rest instead of visiting our wounded soldiers. Ofcourse, had he been able to take the lights and cameras with him, he would have found time to visit with them. Those soldiers are the true Americans and the very first people Obama should have concerned himself with, but it did not get him a photo shoot so he didn't give them one minute of his time. This is the leader John McCain is, nothing would have kept McCain or Hillary from visiting those troops.

    July 26, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Jason Rickner

    Does everyone criticizing Obama here remember that McCain made an identical foreign tour back in Spring? Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing, I guess.

    July 26, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Joe Regis

    There is a presidential vaccum that needs to be filled and Obama has to fill it.

    Obama 08/12.

    July 26, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. JIMMY

    Hey Brad,
    didnt Mccain just come back from visiting Central American countries? Would you call that prancing around? Didnt Mccain suggest Barack needed to take this trip? Decide, make up your mind. it cant be both ways.

    July 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. TheTruthHurts


    He went as a presidential candidate. If he had not been a candidate, he wouldn't have gone. However, the first part of the trip was paid by the government as a fact-finding and meet & greet session. That's what he did. Talk to leaders, talk to troops, talk to commanders. The second part of the trip was campaign financed, so he added a speech to the people of Europe and the world addressing his view of foreign relations. That was the candidate who as a candidate is nothing more than a citizen.

    Get it?

    Sorry, the ignorance is bringing out my mean streak.

    July 26, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. CNN loves McCain

    Your supporters are behind you all of the way!

    All posters spewing their hatred about Obama need to be outed for voting Bushy in to office, not one term but two terms.

    Republican Trolls

    July 26, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Daniel, VA

    Barack, you think that you are now prime minister of Britain and waving out from No. 10 Downing Street. Have a life. You have a long way to go. Vote John McCain

    July 26, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Ronald

    No Obama,

    The world problem also includes us, the next President needs to be a part of the world leaders. It would have been premature had you gone while still running for the Democratic nod, but you needed to go now as the next possible leader. Repubs can't have it both ways, if you don't go, your international credentials are questioned, if you do, your domestic care for the U.S. comes into question. We need a leader flexible enough to handle both, we can't drill our way out, according to T. Boone Pickens, how can we question the leading oil-man in this country?

    The housing crisis ship has left port, and oil profits will still be sought after by the oil companies, unless you're the one buying all these barrels, I don't see the connection to you and high gas prices the new McCain add implies....

    So no, I don't see how including America with the rest of the world can be seen as a negative....the world was made part of our economy years ago by all of our corporations, we need a leader to try to get us on board.

    July 26, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10