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. Joe in NJ

    "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,"

    Nonsense! Who said the media had to be with him when he visited the wounded? All he had to do was tell them he wanted a private moment if this was the case.

    July 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. susie

    He cqn't take time out to see the wounded soilders, but has time to give a political speech in Germany. Obama is so arrogant! I guess Rev. Wright taught him right, down with America.

    July 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain visits them and he should – he helped put most of them there by supporting the war!

    July 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    And Bush in a flight suit on a carrier deck is what???????

    July 24, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. McArsenic

    hey CNN John McCain was at a super market looking at eggs...why aren't there any stories about that. i wonder if he and Cindy bought the market?

    July 24, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. JC

    The letter Karen posted is actually real. I received it from one of my friends who works in DC and saw the email traffic.

    As for the substance of it – political leaders are normally on very strict timelines and don't have alot of time flexibility. If Obama did blow of some service members it could probably be blamed on whatever aide was managing his schedule/time.

    Obama is wrong not to visit the medical center in Landstuhl though. His whole trip is being portrayed as a photo-op – him visiting and encouraging wounded men and women wouldn't change that fact. He should have gone. The reason he gave makes no sense – he just visited US servicemembers at several military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    July 24, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. John Air Force Vet

    He couldn't do it due to Neo-Con spinsters! 200,000 people came to hear him speak. McCain is trashing him about it! Can you say JEALOUS!

    July 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    "Shortly before the address began, Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, chided Obama and said he'd rather give a speech in Germany as president than as a presidential candidate."

    McCain's camp is so sad..............................

    July 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. gina


    You know better. It is time to stop this smear. There is so at much risk here. It is one thing to support your candidate but another to put such a lie on the backs of our U.S. troops.

    July 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Raymond Duke

    I doubt if that is the reason he did not won't to visit the troops wounded in Iraq and sent to Germany for treatment. It might be the comment that the american soldiers had nothing really to do with the growing stablization in Iraq. I guess he figured all they did was take up space , kill innocent civilans and be bullies.

    July 24, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. SIMP


    Good try. Every campaign trail and every state Obama went to during the primary you could see he was not the kind of person to brush people off. You are a liar and you need to stop printing these fabrications because you are either a Hillary fan of Mccain fan. nobody is falling for this, amazing what the evil mind comes up with.

    Obama 08-2012

    July 24, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. carlo

    For all of you Obama haters-jealousy is so unattractive.

    July 24, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Tina

    Oh boo hoo, our future president is popular. You guys are crazy. If we wanted an unpopular president we'd vote for McSame or another Bush.

    Obama 08

    July 24, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Funny how all of the Army troops he shared lunch with–were junior enlisted–and the only senior staff who got close to him was Petraious?

    Could this be a vote of no confidence from military NCO and Officer leadership–or just staged photo-ops by the Obama ground team?

    I believe it's a no confidence vote myself. Everything he has said and done is contrary to NCO Academy education and OTS, Command/Staff Training.

    So–who's right? A body of knowledge with over 200 years of history and scrutiny of non-partisan foreign policy military experts from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan/Iraq and around the globe or Mr. Obama?

    July 24, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Was a Democrat-Now an Independent

    Let me see if I have this right. Obama has plenty of time to have a work out before his speech, but he does not have time to visit the troops? Let me guess, it would not have been a good enough photo-op.This guy has a serious ego problem. I would like the Obama supporters to name five accomplishments Obama has made that qualify him to be POTUS. If you can think of more than two, it will be a miracle. This guy is nothing put a blowhard.

    July 24, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Frank

    So Obama is admitting that this trip is nothing more than a Democrat presidential campaign gimmick! You are lower than low Obama!

    July 24, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    "It is a no win situation, but he chose wisely, these wounded soldiers do not have be shown off to the entire world."
    @VB, They could have left the press out of the meeting. But of course that would detract from the spectacle. This whole trip was a political song and dance. Visiting wounded troops WITHOUT the press would have been the one genuine thing he could have done. Obama, all hat and no cattle as they say in Texas.

    July 24, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Why would he care about troops? He's going to save the world, make it a better place for everyone. Soldiers won't be needed. Hundreds of years from now, historians will look back and call the age he ushers in the Pax Americana. All because a freshman senator from Illinois wasn't afraid to apply his inexperience and make the world a utopia. Thank goodness none of us thought logically about his claims!

    July 24, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama

    Someone in his posee must have reminded Obama that these guys wont get back to the USA in time to vote in November.

    July 24, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Raymond Duke

    Karen , I guess the Army has changed since I retired in 93 after the first Gulf War. I did not think women were allowed to be in the Infantry (which is what a Grunt is). I was a grunt for twenty years and even though I share some of your feeling about the officer corp I think this officer probably told the truth with all the anti-american , unpatriotic statements and his staff being allowed to call anybody who does not vote for him as Uneducated , gun toting religous nuts and "Crackers" Bob Beckel one of his main democrat strategist loves to call white peoplee that. So vote your heart you earned it. I will vote for the old man even though I don't really like him. I have to think of america first.

    July 24, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Nate Hussein

    From one Sr. Nco retired to another. You have no clue what his schedule was or what might have been said at Landstuhl. Being in the military IS NOT a prerequisite to be President. Get a grip Sarge!

    July 24, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Google – "CPT Jeffrey S. Porter, Battle Captain. TF Wasatch, American Soldier", that letter is all over the place. It's fake.

    July 24, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. NO DOGS ALLOW!!!!!

    DOG GONE!!! Mr McCain need some new staff members .....Just maybe this a good way to get rid of you -do something positive for a change I don't have any more bones.... but you can take LISA with you !!!!

    July 24, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Debby

    Raymond Duke where did Karen say she was there? I think she was just posting a letter from 2 soldiers point of views which were named at the bottom.

    July 24, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Chris (CT)

    Sure it would have been nice to see him go there, but I think it goes without saying that the scumbags on the right would have used it against him. "Look how evil he is, using our wounded as a political tool." In the end, it's unfortunate, but he probably made the right call. So much for McCain saying he wasn't going to run a negative campaign. McCain is so far over his head it's almost pathetic to watch.

    July 24, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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