Inhofe fires off on Obama over trip
May 1st, 2012
05:43 PM ET
10 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. rat pt 01

    Well in terms of politics this is a good strategic move. Besides looks like he got some work done too

    May 1, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. vet in tx

    Ah, the original healthcare mandate supportors, back when the Heritage Foundation came up with it. Why doesn't the Tea Party speak out about his past..........I'll let the usual suspects answer that question. While your researching ask Grassly the same thing. "we got the mandate from you Newt, you and the Heritage foundation" – Mitt Romney.

    May 1, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. FlopFlop

    Right wingers are always upset when US win with Obama in the driving sit.It just shows they are rooting for the US to lose so they can have bragging rights, sick individuals......

    May 1, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Leah DiMarco

    Someone needs to remind the senator that is it improper to criticize The President when he is overseas.

    May 1, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. rs

    Inhofe's party has had 4 years to do something, ANYTHING to help the American people. Did they? No. They chose instead to enter into a scorched earth policy of criticising each and everything the President has done EVEN IF THEY THEMSELVES, OR FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH DID EXACTLY THE SAME THING.
    These people are worse than useless.

    May 1, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Alex in Wisconsin

    Seriously, when will the Media learn to filter out baseless accusations. I think Inhofe is playing politics by trying to politicize a commander and chief going to a warzone to visit troops and sign agreements.

    May 1, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. B

    This man does not have enough to keep himself busy-

    May 1, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Don in Albuquerque

    Inhofe is a disgusting waste of food! An embarrasment to Oklahoma and living off the public dole for what-a couple of decades or more.

    May 1, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. me

    Let me get this straight. The Senator is complaining that Obama is campaigning during the campaign season and he is visiting the troops in Afghanistan who are putting their lives on the line for us daily. What's the problem?

    May 1, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    So what if the visit is political or not!!
    Obama went!! For the THIRD time..
    More than can be said for Bush, who was too darn busy on his Crawford ranch to go anywhere in his last 2 YEARS in office. Check the FACTS. His last trip was in 2006 to Russia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
    Misplaced political grandstanding on Inhofe's part. Bu tI expect no less from the Grand Obstructionist Party.

    May 1, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. scottye

    I didn't know he needed permission.

    May 1, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Ideas, Ideals, not ideologies

    Romney can score political points Afghanistan is open to visitors.

    May 1, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Jimma Odumber

    Nice one jimma, fly to afghanistan while you deploy ur occupy troops at home

    May 1, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Wayne

    So the President make s trip, the Republican party rails against him. The President stays home, the Republican party rails against him. The President gives the order to take out Osama Bin Laden, and the Republican party states thet the President had nothing to do with it. On and on and on, blah blah blah, I am fully convinced that The Republican party should be renamed the Retarded party. I used to be a Republican, but I just can't believe in the idiotic ideals and statements that the party has ever since the beginning of the 8 years of George W Bush. It just gets worse every year...

    May 1, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Dean

    The moment Obama utters the name "Mitt Romney", the trip will be deemed political.

    May 1, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Wayne

    Inhofe made a trip to Afghanistan 2 weeks ago, oh my, that must be campaign related!

    May 1, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Typical Republican.!!! Always ready to go against the president's positions and policies

    May 1, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. steven harnack

    "gutting the military for the last three years"? Did something happen that we are all unaware of? No cuts have even gone into effect yet and any cuts that do happen are the result of a proccess that the Republicans all agreed to. Why doesn't somebody just tell Inhofe that he is a pitiful liar?

    May 1, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. Lee

    It will be interesting (and frightening) to see how much American treasure in money and lives that the dog eater has promised this corrupt bunch. And all for the sake of another pre-election campaign trip to try and prop up his resume. I imagine the exact terms will for some reason, remain a secret until after the next election. Kind of like the dog eater's personal info to this day!

    May 1, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. Ken in NC

    Only Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma would dare to let the American people know that President Obama is in Afghanistan registering Afghans to vote for him in the election. He is mad because he did not come up with the idea first. Inhofe needs to go crawl into a hole. Not to worry, we will cover it for you Inhofe.

    May 1, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. Mark

    Yep after 20 months he gets a deal with an election upcoming. Question is what did he give up to get the deal with the election coming up, and how will it harm the American people moving forward. That is the real question here. The fact that Obama is a weak opportunist is a given.

    May 1, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Knucklehead

    Are those scales growing on the side of Inhofe's face?

    Too bad Elizabeth Warren didn't return home to Oklahoma and run against this stooge.

    May 1, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. gary

    Another out of touch who does nothing but blame the other party. It makes me ashame to be from Oklahoma with people like this in congress. He has accomplished nothing for this country and needs to be voted out of office. He could then devote full time attention to remedial pilot training to ensure that he does not attempt another landing on closed runways that came close to taking workers lives. What a worthless person.

    May 1, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. mdn

    If Bush had killed Bin Laden, one would need the space shuttle to rise to the heights of Bush' ego...and the GOP would have supported him all the way to the moon!

    May 1, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. cruzin596

    I'm sorry, I don't believe in coincidences. This whole thing was staged for this time and place. They are trying to convince us that after 20 months of negotiating, they finally came to terms on the anniversary of the apprehension of OBL? Apparently, the President thinks that the electorage is stupid. Even if this were true, it reeks of politics. The President doesn't understand that perception is important. Taking costly vacations when most Americans can't afford to – perception. Hosting extravagent events at the WH – perception. Only traveling to swing states to push your agenda – perception. Traveling to Kabul on the anniversary of the apprehension of OBL – perception. I perceive that it is all about you Mr. President and your sense of entitlement that you deserve a 2nd term. Three cheers for the CAMPAIGNER IN CHIEF!

    May 1, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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