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. 57 States

    To Angie,

    He is still a Senator of some young servicemen........Nice try that is awful

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

    He know how to show his strength. Imagine waht the Rethuglicans would say if he had gone. He is not the President yet, but when he is, you can be sure he will take care of all our soldiers!

    July 24, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Ian

    He probably didn't want to draw attention to the fact that we still have troops in Germany. Which might attract attention to the fact that we have bases in over 130 countries. As a tax payer, I'm curious to know just how much it costs for something like that.

    July 24, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. What!!!

    Big mistake. He will lose a big voting block of people (Military) who for the most part vote republican. That was a good chance for him to show the troops he cares as a possible Commander in Chief. Smooth move! You will lose many votes.

    July 24, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Dearest Karen, You sound so much like a Hillary fan. I'm not sure what people expect our politicians to be, other than human. Perhaps Mr. Obama wanted to go out and 'touch' the military personnel, but maybe that plan was thwarted by his campaign staff, and the lack of time that he most likely had, as you stated that he was only there for approximately an hour. Everyone needs to just relax and stop being so hateful. Think about it.....maybe the negative spins that everyone likes to put on everything, is maybe the reason that we are in the state of disarray that we find ourselves in. All these christian people, who have literally NO IDEA what being a true christian is about. It's extremely sad to see how angry the entire world has become.

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |

    Sorry Karen,

    He did not go there to talk to you. He did what he was suppose to do. Talking to you is not going to save my house from foreclosure or stop people from giving me duty look every time i travel to Europe. But doing what he did today will reduce our enemies.

    Thank you and get a life or at least objective the next time. WHO ARE YOU???

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Sandy

    "Out of respect for these servicemen and women . . ." ? I don't know anybody who shovels it better than Obama.

    He's doing this for the person he cares about the most–himself.

    He wants to win the election for the person he cares about the most–himself.

    Why is it so hard for people to look past empty words? This is not a pep rally, folks. A lot is riding on this election, and we can't afford to put Obama in office, even if he's Rookie of the Year.

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Veronica

    At least he has integrity. It would have been inappropriate for him to use campaign funds to visit the troops as he would have to use his campaign money and then those on the right would have criticized him and it would have been a photo-op. I think he did the right thing.

    As for Karen, Obama did address the troops and thanked them for their service (ABC has the video). I'm sorry he couldn't address every single base as he only had one week and he is only one man.

    People need to realize that Obama is human and he is doing the best that he can. I'll take his imperfections any day over any other candidate. I know his heart is in the right place and he knows you can't please everyone, all the time.

    July 24, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Justin

    Karen, where did this message from the soldier below my comment come from? how are we to know it is legit?

    July 24, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Loretta from California

    I think he should go. Just a visit from someone from home can be so uplifting to an injured Soldier.


    July 24, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Nation of Whiners

    It's amazing how Obama haters claim to know the REAL Barack Obama. If you hate someone, would you really spend all day getting to know them?

    Obama haters are the ones who are really full of themselves...and they're also full of something esle.

    Obama 08!

    July 24, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Les-Wa

    What a FLIMSY EXCUSE OF NOBAMA! He couldn't even shake the hands of troops waiting for him in Afghanistan! NOBAMA......NOVEMBER.........NO WAY!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Lance

    I have seen Barack Obama in person. I stood ten feet from him at a rally in Santa Barbara last year. He was supposed to be there for only an hour and then off to Oprah's for a big fundraiser.

    After the speech, I shook his hand. He paused a few people down from me to speak to an Iraqi war vet. Even though he obviously had to leave, he kept those celebrity types waiting another hour as he chatted first, for about a good ten minutes, with this vet, and then with others in the crowd. He really, really listened to this vet, to what the guy was saying about the war. He wanted to know. It wasn't a photo op. He could have spoken to dozens of people in that time, or just blown the guy off with a handshake. He didn't do that. You could see in his eyes that he was taking everything the guy was saying seriously.

    If Obama didn't stop to shake all the soldier's hands that this guy above saw, its probably because he was simply on a tight schedule and that he didn't have time to stop. I'd be willing to bet that the moment he had any time at all, soldiers on the ground in a war zone would be the very first people he'd want to talk to.

    As a matter of fact, one of his top campaign aids is a Lt. in the Guard that was recalled to action in Iraq. I know that Obama texts the guy all the time and is often wondering how he's doing. The L.A. Times did a big article on it actually,

    Obama's the real deal. Don't believe that he's there for the photo ops, he's there because he cares.

    July 24, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Henry n New York

    A considerate candidate – McSame used our wounded for photo opts that no one bothered to watch.

    July 24, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Dennis

    Thanks Karen for serving! Thank you for being on the line and thanks for shooting straight about your comment. May God bless you and all the troops.

    July 24, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Erika, KS

    Not only is his little world tour one big gigantic media event to stroke his ego, he's not president. Hell, he's not even presidential material!

    Talk, talk, talk. Look good on television. That's about it. This man absolutely is not experienced enough to lead our nation. He uses his children to gain attention. He uses the ruse of visiting Iraq, and Afghanistan, but doesn't actually visit with them? What? How very self serving and it speaks volumes!

    No substance. Like I always say, every single day he proves how ill prepared he is to handle the job. Why does it want to be president so bad? Go away Obama. This is just one more thing to add to your long list of stupid things you say and do. And it all adds up to NOT QUALIFIED!!!!

    July 24, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Lesley

    I think this is a mistake. Why not visit US troops, who cares who's paying for it. If campaign funds that come from the people pay for visiting our troops no matter where in the world they are, what's wrong with that?

    July 24, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    As a Sr. NCO and retired from the Air Force. I dispute Obama's logic.
    Any American–regardless of their reasons for being in Germany–and in particular–an elected official–should deem it as a core responsibility to visit the hundreds of wounded heroe's in Landstuhl.
    Because of his position–one phone call would have gotten him base access. The Commanders would love for ANY member of congress to visit the troops who are wounded in the hospital there.

    It is true–that many of these troops might provide unscripted remarks–about how heroically they feel about defending the nations interests, the President, and the Iraqi people–which wouldn't fit in well with Obama's campaign message about how wrong everything is.

    He's still a coward–and not a patriot. A military veteran wound never had made such a seriously flawed decision.

    Another good reason for never allowing anyone to become Commander-In-Chief who hasn't served in the armed services.

    July 24, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. What!!!

    Big mistake. He will lose a big voting block of people (Military) who for the most part vote republican. That was a good chance for him to show the troops he cares as a possible Commander in Chief. Smooth move! You will lose and have lost many votes.

    July 24, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Karen

    Karen, this is Karen, cut the crap. I saw video and pictures of Obama talking to the troops. Your soldier is obviously a Republican who supports John McCain and that's ok; but don't try to bash Obama. Video, and photos don't lie. Plus, people who have followed Obama during this campaign knows that he doesn't act like that.

    You people are starting to sound idiodic. If you don't support him, that's fine; but stop with the bashing. It's getting old.

    Karen, Ohio

    July 24, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Oh! The Irony

    karen July 24th, 2008 2:11 pm ET

    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 "
    Never hold one person's opinion as fact, they could have many unknown motivations.

    July 24, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Little Lulu

    Well, you closed last before comments were posted (or since they were anti-Obama you closed at convenience). Anyway...... My perfect plan still stands.....All you "alleged" Latinos, Canadians, Germans, and who the crap ever else loves Obama so much, here's a plan--just let us know when your bus will be here and we'll have him packed up LOCK STOCK AND BARRELL and you can have him, his bitter wife and All the Obamanots too. Take him with all the murderers, rapists, thieves from the US with you and have a good life. WE DECENT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS of the US (that we know and love – not Obamantion) are tired of working day after day to provide shelter, food and medical care for the slugs and thugs that kill, rape and steal their way through the US. Once you all get him on your side of the border – IT'S NO DEPOSIT/NO RETURN – HE'S YOURS FOR LIFE. Also, since you are NOT a registered, LEGAL CITIZEN of the US, keep your opinions to yourself. Don't TELL US WHAT TO DO WITH MURDERERS AND RAPISTS. WE'll just send them over the border and you can have them over for Sunday dinner with your family and friends. And we'll throw CNN in also.

    July 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. victor

    KAREN!! Wow i bet GWB or MCCain would have sat down and had a two day talk with you! We Get your dift! just keep thing the way the are!!!

    July 24, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Mike

    As Sad as it is to say. I must agree. MCBush has been so highly critical of Obama's every move that he would be sure to put a negative political spin on it. He might make up another 60's AD with Obama dressed up as Beetle Baily or something else as corny.

    July 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. bill for barack

    If McShame was only half the man Barack is he'd be....well, he'd be half a man............which would be twice the man he is today.
    EVERYTHING McShame does is carefully, coldly calculated for political gain only. He cares for no one but himself, made painfully obvious by his phony, pasted-on smile whenever he interacts with real Americans. (You know ....people who were actually born here in America and not somewhere overseas )

    July 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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