Inhofe fires off on Obama over trip
May 1st, 2012
05:43 PM ET
11 years ago

Inhofe fires off on Obama over trip

(CNN) - Longtime Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma criticized President Barack Obama over the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan Tuesday, describing the visit as "campaign related" and an "attempt to shore up his national security credentials."

"We've seen recently that President Obama has visited college campuses in an attempt to win back the support of that age group since he has lost it over the last three years," Inhofe said in a statement. "Similarly, this trip to Afghanistan is an attempt to shore up his national security credentials, because he has spent the past three years gutting our military."

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A former member of the military and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Inhofe visited Afghanistan two weeks ago. In his statement Tuesday, he said the progress made in the country is "fragile" and accused the president of playing politics with the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

"The security improvements and the killing of Osama bin Laden a year ago are great American victories that should not be politicized," he said.

Obama has taken heat from many on the right, including Mitt Romney, after his campaign released a recent ad praising the president over ordering the raid in Pakistan.

Romney's campaign, however, has not made a statement on the president's trip to Afghanistan.

While the senator praised the commander-in-chief for visiting the troops, he took issue with Obama's overall handling of the war in Afghanistan since assuming office in 2009.

He argued the president "has allowed Washington and campaign politics to dictate his strategy in Afghanistan rather than the conditions on the ground."

Also while in Afghanistan Tuesday, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement outlining cooperation between their countries once the U.S.-led international force withdraws in 2014.

Senior administration officials maintained on a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the timing of the trip was driven by negotiations over the SPA, not politics.

After 20 months of talks, final details came together in recent weeks. The agreement then went to the presidents for review, the officials said.

However, the officials also acknowledged that the timing coincides with the anniversary death of bin Laden.

- CNN's Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney might convince me, Christie says

Obama calls out 'previous statements' about bin Laden

McDonnell's Va. ads are about his state, not himself, spokesman says

Filed under: Afghanistan • Jim Inhofe • Oklahoma • President Obama
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Janice

    Dam if he goes and dam if he doesn't

    May 1, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. OS Bird

    So, When George W landed on an aircraft carrier to declare victory in Iraq, it was different? Not a PR stunt?

    May 1, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. scott

    sure up his national security creditials??? is this guy serious??? i guess killing al alwaki, bin laden, quedafi and a host of others through drone attacks doesnt mean a oaklahoma a real state??? oh yeah it is one of those southern states where the men are men and their sisters are scared

    May 1, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Inhofe would know a proper move if it came up and bit him. He doesn't understand science and doesn't seem to like anything that stop business in whatever they would like to do even if it hurts people. I would question his loyalty to the citizens of this country. His support for businesses seems to be unwaivering.

    May 1, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. Niko_in_Richmond

    When is Inhoufe going to retire??? Hopefully soon because I am tired of this old sour puss complain about everything the president does. He really is like the old man in the neighborhood that people don't like because, if your ball lands in his yard, he yells, rants & raves and keeps your ball. He gives a new meaning to the term crotchety old man...

    May 1, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. Steven Colo

    Obama's national security credentials include gutting Al Qaeda, navigating the Arab Springs, and winning back the allies that the Bush administration alienated. They need no shoring up.

    May 1, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    How cynical and partisan! He'd criticize the president if he DIDN'T go visit the troups. Leaders (and I use the term lightly here) like Inhofe that explain why Washington has digressed into ugly partisan paralysis!

    May 1, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  8. Conrack

    "The security improvements and the killing of Osama bin Laden a year ago are great American victories that should not be politicized," Inhofe said.

    That mean unless they were done by a Republican president. Inhofe was in Afghanistan two weeks ago. Does that mean that the President can't go? Also, who will call out this cowboy on his bizaree remark that the President "has been gutting the military"?
    Political hacks should be seen and not heard, and seen as little as possible.

    May 1, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. Jeetu

    Senator Inhoffe is out of his mind to suggest this. Even Senator John said it was a good thing for President Obama to visit the troops in Afgahnistan. Had President Obama not made this trip, republicans would have criticized him for not meeting the troops. Thus, for republicans, whatever President Obama does is wrong even if he does exactly what the republicans say he should do.

    I applaud the President for taking this risk for his life and make this trip to Afghanistan to meet the troops and to show to Afghan people that USA stands by it. No matter what the republoicans say, I would like President Obama to stay the course, improve the economy which is imrpoving slowly but stradily and let these republicans plan their own demise. These republicans don't care for the common people in USA, only the richest ones and themselves. We need to realize this and vote them out in November.

    May 1, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. AB

    you sir are out of touch. you clearly have no clue . retire.

    May 1, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. rickirs

    In a Hole would have critisized the President anytime during his four years for going anywhere as a political setup. And should the Presdient never leave the White House he would have critisized the President as being ineffective. Reality is that the President of the US is one of the most political jobs in the world 24/7. If he went to visit his mother it would be deemd to be politically motivated by the RNC cabel. His visit to Afganistan was primarily to sign the accord with Karzai and his personal attendence adds a lot of power to the importance of the agreement and elevates Karzai politically too. That in turn gives Karzai political strenght with the Taliban.

    May 1, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  12. MikeH

    Inhofe is a sick cartoon character who sells himself out to the most corrupt corporations.

    May 1, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  13. eMan

    Inhof is clueless, and desperate...

    May 2, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  14. Balls McGhee

    sure, so when Bush goes to Iraq, that is perfectly fine. two faced politicians with no spines. vote this dolt out!!

    May 2, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    Inhofe is so predictable and utterly useless. Obama hardly needs to polish his foreign policy credentials.

    May 2, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  16. jboh

    Inhofe is a cheep hack. He's been around too long.

    May 2, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  17. Denverdriver

    Obama is playing politics? All that Sen. Inhofe ever does is play politics. He is part of the Mitch McConnell gang who announced that their ONLY goal in the Senate is to deny President Obama a second term, and in keeping with that goal, they have tried their best to block everything that Obama has tried to do for the good of this country.

    May 2, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  18. craig

    Like it or not, the death of bin Laden is political. Bush claimed Mission Accomplished, but left the bad guy to re-build. The President said the job wasn't done, and then completed it. Which man told the truth? All Inhofe has done in the recent past is join the filibuster threat each time the President tried to do something helpful or constructive for the American People. Which man has tried to make things better for all Americans? Simple questions, equally simple answers. The only reason Inhofe says this is political is because he can't find anything else negative to say about it.

    May 2, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  19. ff11

    You can tell it's campaign related because the White House went to such great lengths to keep it a secret. And after all, what would a republican have to gain by putting a negative spin on it?

    May 2, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
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