July 24th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama decides troop visit in Germany would be 'inappropriate'

(CNN) - Barack Obama has opted against plans to visit wounded members of the U.S. military in Germany over concern that trip might be viewed as a political one.

“During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops,” Obama senior advisor Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

“For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Chris from NY

    I think that's a good idea. I hope he communicates with them in some form or shape; so they would have a sense of belonging and don't feel left out in this journey of change for the better.

    July 24, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    This whole trip is being viewed as political! Big photoop

    July 24, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. karen

    from a soldier's letter: "Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to 'The War Zone'. I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back home tha t he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you. I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don't understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country. If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake. In service, CPT Jeffrey S. Porter, Battle Captain. TF Wasatch, American Soldier "

    July 24, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Iron MAN

    "After the unpopularity of George W. Bush, the world is waiting to love America again, and many see in Obama, with his youth and his optimism, somebody who can bring that about." nuff said

    July 24, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |


    July 24, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Rebecca; Texas

    Wow . . Obama decided it was better for the troops who fight for our country that he should not see them . . but it's okay to see plenty of Non-Americans.

    I see . . what a hypocrite.

    July 24, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Debby

    OMG he can't take time and visit the wounded who fought for our country, and yet he gave this big rally today and that wasn't political. What a joke the US has for a Pres. candidate.

    July 24, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. ANGIE

    i can understand that hes not the president yet!!!!

    July 24, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Joe the Troll

    It's a shame that he has to watch out for the Republican smear machine so much that he couldn't see them.

    July 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. proud army and navy mom

    You are right, sen Obama, there will be lots of opportunity when you are President to visit them.

    July 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. OIF VET

    that sounds like something a officer would write and twist around the truth. Serving in Iraq, most of my officers were in the tank for the GOP, considering all they ever did all day was sit in the TOC and watch Fox News. Most Grunts don't write this kind of twisted political garbage. We only got up everyday and did our job and hoped one day we could get to go home.

    July 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Lisa

    He's Stuck up, I told you!!!

    He's Rude!!

    A leader we can all Trust!!

    July 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Linda31

    Karen, that letter is one point of view. I find it amazing, then that they were able to find so many of the troops to cheer for him if he was being rude or ignoring them. From what I understand, the troops are a form of family and if someone was snubbing your family, would you then cheer for them?

    July 24, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. hillbilly

    troops prolly would have appreciated,but,repubs will use anything to trash obama,so, he's doing well to stay on the tightrope.his speech and the crowds in berlin were great,and sent the world a message that global problems will take global committment to solve.the invasion of iraq was a serious mistake.it is why we dont have the support from nato allies in afghanistan,where it is really needed now.

    July 24, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Mike - Texas

    Good call, Obama.

    Neocons are looking for any straw to grasp at.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Lisa

    Obama you are not fooling anyone, the only people you are fooling are your dumb supporters.

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Bev

    Sorry Karen, that would not fly with us over here. You must be a Mcain mouthpiece. Our people over there (in the same war zone) told us a different story about how down to earth they saw him to be and how he made time to listen about stories they had to share...before he went into the gymn.

    Obama '08

    July 24, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. zina

    If he would've had them bussed in, everyone would be screaming about how presumptuous he is.

    Good move, Sen. Obama.

    July 24, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    He does go to an awful lot of the hospitals in the US. Hopefully ALL the troops will home soon to see him become President!!! He really is the only one that has strongly supported the troops. He pushed and voted for the new GI BIll. McCain didn't even show up for vote. AND Obama has said that there will be NO Vet Homeless under his watch!!! Yes We Can. And I'm a former republican and family member of friends who died in Vietnam. My brother was helicopter pilot there for two years. He's retired and 62! Which is what McCain should do!

    July 24, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. proud army and navy mom

    To Karen:

    Funny thing is my son-in-law was there and he said that the troops were absolutely excited to see him. He shook some hands, not all but who would expect him too. They were quite impressed by him and can't wait for him to be elected.

    I don't know where you got your letter, but I hear it from the horses mouth. Sen Obama will be a courageous Commander-in-Chief and he's the candidate I trust to look after our troops and my son, daughter and son-in-law who is serving our country proudly.

    July 24, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. We are a "nation of whiners" in a "mental recession".

    Karen- Take you Puma letter back to the Puma echo chamber. Karen is a Puma.

    July 24, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Sick of this

    What is a real shame here is that it's a catch 22. If he goes too far, people say he's acting "presidential" and is arrogant. If he doesn't go far enough, he obviously doesn't care.

    There's no way to win over people who dislike you during an election.

    People: READ. Read the words that John McCain and Barack Obama have written instead of "voting with your gut" or saying "I just don't like him".

    July 24, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. pakuna

    He stands before the German people and gives a speech as if he were president and his campaign went over early to get the stage set and get Americans over there to register and he says he is unable to visit the men and woman in our military because we might thing he is campaigning. I am so sick of seeing his face and hearing his lies. You know there is more people running for president then him oh heck lets just do away with the election and put the crown on his head now. This man has risen to power on a wave of world euphoria, as he spouts how he can save the world from its desperate economic, military & political problems with a brilliant 7-year plan for world peace, economic stability & religious freedom.
    Although most of the world will him as a political savior, three-and-a-half years after the enactment of the seven-year covenant, he will revoke the peace pact and show his true colors. He will outlaw all religions, except the worship of himself and proclaim himself saviour.

    July 24, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Tom

    What a jerk Obama is...

    July 24, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. RoRo

    No, He did not want photos of the wounded taken out of respect for them and their family. Also remember that the wounded soldiers are in a govt bases facility, I think,

    He made the right call, i believe.

    July 24, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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