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. Linda

    If this is a "political move" what were all the other stops about? He doesn't want to visit because he doen't care about our troops.

    July 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. ps

    Senator Obama could have easily gone to Landstuhl and left the press outside the door.

    According to the press themselves, access to Senator Obama has been limited to a careful script from the campaign. And photograpers have not been allowed in at most places. The basketball 3 pointer was from the Obama staff videographer – the press was not allowed into the area.

    This trip is all a photo op and a carefully planned one.

    As a taxpayer, I don't even think that I should be paying for his "fact-finding" trip to Iraq and Afghanistan – he already had his plan in place –

    I think his campaign should pay for all the travel and stops except Iraq and Afghanistan.

    July 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    I agree with Obama's decision however I think he's gonna get backlash if he went or if he didn't go. But at least they can't peg him as being political for visiting them.

    Face it – if you dislike Obama, you'd see it bad if he went and bad if he didn't. So please shut your pie hole.

    July 24, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Jean

    To some of us what ever he does will be wrong

    July 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Independent in Iowa

    Canadian black man for Obama:

    "Just admit you hate Obama because either you hate black man or you are dying hearted Republican who will follow them to their graves"

    OK – the race card has already been played over and over. You must be a sexist because you didn't support Hillary. I don't really feel that's true but you can see how ridiculous statements like that are.

    July 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Nate Hussein

    Marcus, Great Lakes IL


    July 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    People, remember the letter conde rice sent overseas? I don't blame Obama with all the stuff going on here not to go visit the soldiers, but bet you a dollar to a donut, he sent them a message and they understand.

    Karen, with the letter from the solider about Obama not shaking hands with everyone. All of the others said it better than I could. Maybe that soldier should volunteer to stay over there when Obama becomes President. With mccain, he won't have to volunteer, he will be stuck until death do them part.

    July 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Is America too racist for it's own good?
    Why complain about the economy and Bush and put the same
    type of administration back in the White House. Chris Matthews
    on the Tonight Show stated " I hope Americans can look beyond
    race." I hope so Chris.

    July 24, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Kurt C.

    Of course, making a political speech made the trip in no way political.

    July 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Debbie

    Come on Linda,

    Obama doesn't care for the troops? It was two weeks ago when he went to Walter Reed Hospital to visit the wounded vets and the press was not allowed in with him.

    His (Obama) voting records concerning our Veterans proves otherwise as he has the most consistant votes supporting our Veterans as opposed to another who is running for President and who himself is a Veteran. I guess it is the Veteran who can't vote to help other Veterans.

    So I guess I just let the air out of your balloon.

    July 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Yeah right

    This is a promise.

    When McCain wins, I will be the first one on this blog. I will type a three page long editorial on the subject.

    And it will be nothing but three pages of laughter for you idiots who thought that this moron could actually win. I don't care if the world likes him better. Screw the world. They liked Carter too, and he drove this country into a wall.

    July 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. DD, New York

    Blast it, Obama!!!! Your trip is already political one simply because you are running for President of the United States!!!

    July 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. bode

    Obama is politician. lest we forget. You do not defeat the Clinton political machinery by playing innocent. In my opinion he has shown his mettle. His decisions thus far have displayed wisdom beyond his years of experience.
    I have no doubt he can play "dirty", and I hope he does when he needs to. Otherwise the Republicans will make minced meat of him.
    Your strength is no less simply because you do not display it.
    He afterall is trying to win the election.

    July 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. marianna

    Obama '08

    for Chancellor of Germany

    July 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Kay

    trolling...... trolling...... trolling.......

    speed bump


    July 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Nate Hussein

    Don't like either one of them too much.
    Have to go with judgement and the record.
    No reason to defend McCain's military record–he has held command positions and retired as an 0-6 all of this is in the public domain.
    Obama's record is also in the public domain–and very weak.

    I want a President who won't screw the pooch.

    I don't believe McCain will because he has demonstrated through the years wise choices and good judgement. He owes nobody for his position–and has consistently reached across the aisle on various issues–a good quality in a President.

    Obama has never admit he's wrong, or could be wrong on any issue, and distances himself from any colleagues who dissent from his views–this shows me he doesn't yet have the maturity to stand on his own values and is not open to dissent–if under political pressure to change course he may wag the dog just to save face. This is a fatal flaw in a President.

    July 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Eric

    As an active duty military member, it is frightening to think this man could be the next Commander in Chief. There she never be an innappropriate time to visit the troops. It seems like Obama is like most democrats, supportive of the military when it is politically convenient. I'll take McCain any day over Obama. Hell, I'd take Carter first... at least he has served. And it is an insult to describe Obama's little visit to Iraq as a "tour of duty"... try l years like the rest of us Obama! And I'll proudly do it again!!

    July 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. norb

    A one term Senator drawing over 200,00 people to hear him speak in Germany. John McCain wants to debate at town halls. He'd do better at any Bingo hall. Get over it Republican's, it's over and you know it.

    July 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. marianna

    Obama "wanted to visit" wounded US soldiers in Germany, but "out of respect for them"... "he decided, it would be inappropriate"

    Can anybody explain the logic behind that,

    if there is any. It sounds like a mastery in flip-flopping spin.

    or "meisterstuck" as Germans would have said

    July 24, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. JD

    Yes, indeed; can't be seen with the "wrong sort" of Americans, after all.

    I'm sure that no one otherwise preceives this fabulous worldwide tour culminating with "Obama-fest" under the German Victory Arch as a political stunt.

    July 24, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. DSS, Ottawa

    Good move for Obama.

    You can be sure the Republican attack dogs would pick it up and spin it to their advantage. Just look at all the crap that McCain is dishing out while Obama is away from home showing the world there is hope in seeing the US as a world leader again.

    July 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Jana

    I just realized that Obama had cut all his chances to become a president of the USA. His real place is a president of Europe. Lets nominate him for that job.

    July 24, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Conservative and Proud

    Go McLincoln!
    Go McAmerica!
    Go McFreedom!

    July 24, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Morningstar

    If he visited the troop or not, then he is still be critized

    July 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    Beside his personal life running amok, his voting on veterans issues to say the least is bleak. I guess that is why there are some of us that won’t vote for this man. Integrity is what I look for in someone running for President. Self-aggrandizement without end is a characteristic flaw that I cannot overlook in anyone running for that same position.
    commend John McCain for his service to this country. Having stated that, I wish someone would run an ad on his votes on Veteran's issues.

    For someone who had, "been there, done that" McCain has done very little for the men and women who served before him and after him.

    I guess this is one of many reasons a lot of us that won’t vote for him (McCain).


    Hold on there big boy.....

    The recognition McCain has received from veterans groups is not "high awards" but FAILING GRADES:




    Vietnam POW Activists Called McCain ‘Songbird’ and ‘Manchurian Candidate’ We aren’t talking about a bunch of republican paid and funded operatives, we’re talking about all those who had to suffer at the hands of the Cong while McCain received special treatment.

    Sequentially, integrity is what I look for in someone running for President. Self-aggrandizement without end is a characteristic flaw that cannot be overlook in anyone running for that same position.

    Some Vet's might have forgotten, I haven't.

    July 24, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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