April 3rd, 2009
08:55 AM ET
9 years ago

Speaking in Europe, Obama slams 'anti-Americanism'

STRASBOURG, France (CNN) - At a town hall meeting Friday in France, U.S. President Barack Obama lambasted what he called "anti-Americanism" in Europe and called on European nations to change along with the United States.

At times in recent years, the United States has "shown arrogance and been derisive," he told the packed crowd. "But in Europe there's an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious.

"Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad."

"On both sides of the Atlantic these attitudes have become all too common," he continued, saying such attitudes can leave both sides "more isolated."

In order to confront the economic crisis, both sides must find new ways of working together, the president added. "Let me say this as clearly as I can: America is changing. But it cannot be America alone that changes."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    You've gotta love the President. He doesn't bite his tongue. He says what's on his mind and you either like it or not.

    April 3, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Shooky

    He should have said:

    "Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans, BUT EVEN MORE SO AMERICAN LIBERALS, choose to blame America for much of what's bad."

    He MUST realize the 'Blame America First' crowd mostly resides on THIS side of the Atlantic.

    And now for the Ozombies meaningless rants about hope and change and evil Bush...

    April 3, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. obama-mama

    I love this man....Tell them like it is Obama....

    April 3, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Tom

    Sounds like it is time to go back to those "freedom fries."

    April 3, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Brian Crooks

    Oh yeah, definitely sounds like a guy that totally hates everything this country stands for...FALSE! I said all through the campaign that the far right would be super disappointed when they realized that Obama isn't a crazy far left anti-American radical. This has been one of the best overseas weeks of any American President and I defy anyone to say it hasn't.

    April 3, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. The One

    Obama should call Europe's bluff. They hate America so much? Obama should pull our troops out of Germany and the rest of Western Europe. We'll see how fast the Germans and other Europeans beg us to stay, just to avoid losing the economic benefits of having American troops buying European goods and services.

    April 3, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Lori

    Now that George Bush is gone and President Obama is here, there already is a decline in anti-American sentiment in Europe. They love our new President. They still blame the U.S for the world's economic crisis but they understand that that happened under Bush's administration. President Obama represented America well in Europe!

    April 3, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. L. Smith

    Very well said! And, this is just one more reason why I love President Obama.

    April 3, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |

    This is MY President speaking, and doing what he does best: driving his point home while still managing not to incite. He is the master reconciler, and his absolute confidence, and presence at the G-20 summit should put to rest once and for all all the snide comments from his detractors.

    President Obama I am sooo proud of you and your wife. So proud at the outstanding way you represented us abroad; at the respect that you earned at the summit and that was shown to you by foreign heads of states. Those that felt that you were'nt up to the task for x or y reason,a re now crying in their shoes. As for me: I am simply OVERJOYED!!! Thank you Mr. President, and way to go!!!!

    April 3, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Jersey Girl

    Good for Obama – he makes a good point; although I think our image will improve globally since he's taken office.

    That said, it does irk me that we, as a nation, tend to constantly stick our noses into places and situations before we are asked to help. It does come across pretty pompous. We don't have all the answers and we certainly should not be making decisions for other countries.

    We should be leading by example and be willing to help and collaborate when asked – period.

    April 3, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Richard E Harris

    This is why I can't help but like this President. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Keep it real Mr. President, Keep it real.

    April 3, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Hopeful Optimist

    Obama continues to amaze - not just me but most everyone. He has an historical grasp of times and events that only the most studied of individuals possess. And this allows him to inform in ways that elude most of us. The clarity with which he sees the world is a marvelous tool that he can call on to shape a better future for all of us.

    April 3, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Dave From Philly

    Darn right, Obama! It's time we start telling all the haters to shut up!

    USA! USA! USA!

    April 3, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Get Well Soon GOP

    It is great the way he recognizes our arrogance and derisiveness and at the same time reminds them of the good we have done. They would all be speaking German if it were not for us.

    April 3, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Well this is a first... I finally agree with something he said.

    April 3, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. Evan

    Obama is absolutely brilliant with his choice of words. I appreciate the fact that he's not sweeping the stupidity and arrogance of the last 8 years under the rug and pretending like they didn't happen. Addressing the nonsense of the Bush regime is a huge step in repairing the damage Bush and his entourage did to the world.

    April 3, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Obama is the man.

    April 3, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. jaye

    Just look at all the Anti-Americanism in the United States – it all comes from the republican party.
    The republicans have officially become Anti-American AND Obsructionist.
    So, shame on the republicans, the naysayers, the Obama haters, and the news networks that allow lies and innuendo from these republicans to be spread on their airwaves.

    April 3, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Jenn, Philadelphia

    The President accused Europeans of "anti-Americanism"? Is he upset because that's what the liberals usually do and Europeans are taking their jobs?

    April 3, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. Mari

    Thank you, President Obama, for defending our Nation. The United States is not perfect, we have made many errors and will make more. However imperfect we are we are still.......

    The Home of the free and the brave!

    April 3, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. S.positive

    This is why you were elected. Keep up the good job as the Lord is with you and let the nay sayers keep on making their familiar noise...

    April 3, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Europe is not the only place that this happens. His own wife said that she has never been proud of her country. That is "anti-Americanism" In my eyes.

    "Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad."
    Americans do that too. Obama did that the hole time he was running. He acted like Bush never accomplished anything. I constantly see posts hear that imply Bush never did anything good when he clearly did.

    "On both sides of the Atlantic these attitudes have become all too common,"
    Obama added to this by presenting falsities and half truths during the election. He and his administration continue to add to this problem by making false statements like, 90% of the guns used in crimes in Mexico came from the US.

    April 3, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Doug, New Jersey

    Why would he slam something that almost all the people who voted for him practice and believe in more than anything else, anti-Americanism.

    Let us not forget the libs over the previous 8 years. If you are in the military you can't ever vote Democrat after what they were wishing for.

    April 3, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. wally

    For once in my life, I am in full agreement with president Obama! I really do hate most European nations, especially France, because we all know who they'll call if they ever need anything.

    April 3, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Rick CT

    Obama did a lot to encourage that attitude when he was a candidate for President. Funny how things change when one get real responsibility.

    April 3, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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