July 25th, 2008
08:48 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama: Partners abroad will help solve problems at home

CNN's Candy Crowley sat down with Obama Friday in Berlin.

CNN's Candy Crowley sat down with Obama Friday in Berlin.

BERLIN, GERMANY (CNN) - America’s allies in Europe are crucial to the success of anti-terror efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and in helping solve economic problems at home, Sen. Barack Obama told CNN on Friday.

“Part of getting that right is having the Europeans engaged and involved in this same battle that we’re involved with,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told CNN’s Candy Crowley in Berlin, Germany, on Friday where he had addressed an estimated crowd of 200,000 a day earlier.

Asked what message his traveling abroad three months before the election sent to Americans, Obama said getting commitments from the United States’ partners would help address some of the domestic issues Americans are facing.

Watch: CNN's Candy Crowley asks Obama: Why are we sitting in Berlin?

“If we have more NATO troops in Afghanistan, then that's potentially fewer American troops over the long term,” he said, “which means we're spending fewer billions of dollars, which means we can invest those billions of dollars in making sure we're providing tax cuts to middle-class families who are struggling with higher gas prices … that will have an impact on our economy.”

Obama left for Paris later Friday for a visit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Illinois Democrat is in the middle of a multi-nation tour in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials.

Obama, accompanied by fellow Sens. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, and Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, has visited Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, and Germany. He will visit Great Britain after his meeting with Sarkozy.

The meetings are meant “to send the message that Americans want to partner with these countries in order for us to be successful, and also to relieve some of the burden on our fighting men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Obama said.

Asked if he saw his trip as some sort of rebuke against President Bush's foreign policy, Obama said that was not his intention.

"You know – that is not my job on this trip, I think that if you look at how we have tried
to conduct this trip – that I have tried to abide by a rule that has been historically I think very important – which is that whatever political differences that we have – we have one government at a time and that when public officials like myself who are not the president, travel overseas, that we are not in the business of spending all time second guessing our president," he said.

Tune in for the full interview on “The Situation Room” at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. Manuel Jaramillo

    Like Pelosi, Obama has overstepped his line of authority and attempting to usurp the President's authority.

    I've NEVER been a Bush fan but Obama's actions are totally unacceptable.

    Obama THINKS this one or two week tour is going to legitimize his foreign policy "experience". It's only shown his arrogance and disrespect for the electoral process and the United States.

    During Obama's tenure as a Senator, he has NEVER gone overseas to participate in any legitimate Senatorial activity. Even now, and as was pointed out, he skipped out on the NATO meetings where he may have been able to use some influence to gain immediate help. That would have shown his leadership skills but he chose not to do so.

    This just reinforced McCain's comments that Obama puts his personal needs before our country's needs. Such behavior has already gotten us into enough problems we don't need more of it.

    Best Regards

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Florida

    Let him get all the attention he wants.... he only has 100 days left before he's out of the spotlight!

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. bohica

    The speech had been intended less for the crowds gathered in Berlin's Tiergarten park than for "hesitant white voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia" Obama has proved himself to be a clever tactician, capable of shifting positions to suit his audience.
    "He wants to convince (voters) that the world will also listen to a black president... And there's one other thing one shouldn't forget when talking about Obama: He easily reworks even positions that have been written in stone and adjusts to new requirements." Translated, you can't believe a thing this guys says.

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Jim Beam

    Yeah, Obama did this during a free concert. And all those waving US flags were t-shirts for the bands!

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. portateck

    What an ego. all talk no substance.

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. JimBlanco

    Obama is a compulsive liar and his comments cannot be taken seriously.

    Lie: Obama says "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama."

    Fact: The Selma march occurred in March, 1965... Obama was born in August of 1961.

    Example: Obama referred to the Banking Subcommittee as "my committee",

    Fact: He's not even on the Banking Subcommittee.

    Need I continue?

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. mnjack

    Why is it when you read CBS comments, you get both side of the coin from the comments.
    CNN appears to moniter the comments and only put on the bias replys. Yeah Obama
    BS- there are many of us who think his pretty speeches are just a bunch of Political huey.
    He will tell us what he thinks we want to hear and then vote or do what ever he feels like, regardless of his promises.

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. EMJ

    I love it when I read some dofus comment that 200,000 people really went to Obama's speech because two bands were playing before that. What world do you live in? Now if U2 or Pearl Jam, or a world famous band or singer was entertaining before the speech I could see several thousands being there just for the free concert but that was not the case out west here nor in Europe. Nice try, please insert your next false negative slam.

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Farnk, Las Vegas

    The McSame camp is complaining about the trip that they insisted on Obama take. The trip has shown that Obama is indeed ready to take office, to be Commander In Chief, to be the world leader America has lacked for 8 years. So now that the McSame camp challenge has been met, they're whining. I think they can see the light, when McSame went overseas and gave talks, he couldn't draw 200 people, much less 200,000!

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. David

    Mcbush thought he was setting a trap for Obama by forcing him to visit Iraq. But he realized that he has fallen into his own very net, he cried foul play by the media. And what do you know; the media is stupid enough to fall for it. The truth of the matter is that Obama is advocating world peace, unity and the need to turn away from the old politics that creates more enemies than friends (that’s why the world is so enthuse about his candidacy). On the other hand, Mcbush is always talking about war, war, and bomb, bomb Iran. And he wonder why the media is not given him enough coverage. People are tired of war Mcbush; they want peace, love and justice for all. This is a new era, with new challenges that demands different approach as the one Obama offers.

    July 25, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Cricket

    RE: rock concerts-how many have you attended where the crowd was waving American flags?? DUH.
    Sen. Obama has done an excellent job working to restore the image of our country that GWB and his cronies have destroyed over the last 7 yrs. Now if the sore HRC losers and those that seem to admire warmongers will stop "pouting" and do some serious listening, research, and THINKING, maybe all his efforts will not be in vain.
    Young people, we oldsters, over 60, are depending on you-don't let us down. I continue to hear the pundits say "as a rule young people don't show up to vote"- PLEASE PROVE THEM WRONG THIS TIME!!!!

    Southern white granny rooting for OBAMA!!

    July 25, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Obamabot #28,435,989

    First McCain criticizes Barack for not having enough 'world' experience. Then Barack takes time out of his schedule and goes to all the spots where there are problems that he should see and McCain criticizes him for doing that. He gets along with the military they get mad at that. Then Europe and goes wild for Obama(all those 200,000 people had nothing better to do in Berlin) and the McCain camp has more jealousy fits because no one did that for McCain.

    All McCain's campaign can do is complain because that at least keeps their antiquated candidate in the news.
    Until the next whine
    It's Obama in 08!

    July 25, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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