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. Dan L

    The president has never looked as small as he did in the brief promo for the Brian Williams interview. He is such a small man.

    May 1, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Thomas

    What a hypocrite .

    Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma need to go back to Uganda and find Joseph Kony , lobby for big oil in Africa.

    May 1, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen. Inhofe demonstrated extreme partisanship by criticizing the presidnent's trip to support our brave soldiers. He must have been silent when the previous president of his own party made similar trips.

    May 1, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Peggy - TX

    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."

    No sen. Inhofe, it was clearly security related and if he visits the troops and looks presidential ... well that is what Presidents are suppose to do.

    I take it, from the repeated jabs by GOP, that the President competently going about the duties of his office sort of trips up the GOP strategy to paint him falsely as a celebrity president with no substance. He may indeed be a celebrity, but he is admired for his performance of his duties, in spite unrelenting opposition by the haters of American, the Right-wing-extremist, who have hijackers the once creditable Republican party.

    If he makes a point to publicize his accomplishments, for political gain … well good, because that is his job as well. The Office of the Presidency is not an appointment, he has to play politics to win the election and save America from the Haters who want to pick up from where Pres. Bush left off and destroy America as we know it.

    May 1, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Tom Milam

    I agree with Senator Inhofe. Obama is wasting taxpayers money on this trip. It is nothing more than a campaign photo op.

    May 1, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. Ronny Lammatee

    The Senator is SPOT on. The potus is doing his best to remain relevant as the country crumbles around him. This is hands down the WORST president in history. Jimmy Carter should send him a thank you note.

    May 1, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. tanjainfh

    If Obama sneezes it is "campaign related". So petty...

    May 1, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    How DARE Obama take a shower! He must be campaigning, trying to sew up the shampoo lobby ... and worst of all, he did it on the taxpayers dime !

    May 1, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. olegunny

    Everything this alien does is campaign related.

    May 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. askafeld

    Obama must be campaigning, he took a shower ... How dare he!

    Probably trying to sew up the shampoo lobby.

    And worst of all, he did it on the taxpayers dime! He MUST be stopped, impeach Barack Obama now!!

    May 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. MK

    Obama is most likely selling us out over there. All political. What a jerk, it is all about him .

    May 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Kwesoe

    Inhofe could have gone to Afghanistan too instead of sitting on his behind and criticizing the President for doing his job.

    May 1, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. longshot

    coming from the party that cuts funding for troops, for VA, for veterans services, Ihnofe should just keep his mouth shut before people really take a look at Obama's record of success and support

    May 1, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Supie

    Sorry Nebraska and you Cornhuskers... thats next door in Oklahoma where Inhofe resides. Lucky you not having to put up with him....

    May 1, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. carl Berglund

    Just get out of the way, turkey. Romney would have flip flopped for weeks. All he is good for is Olympics and I'm not even sure of that.

    May 1, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. aaron

    Wonder if he had any issues with the GOP congressmen going to Afghanistan last week and spending millions of taxpayer dollars in the process? Doubt that the hypocrite had any issue with that.

    May 1, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. macrasta

    you see it is only a problem when it's President Obama...he can find the cure for all ailments and they will still complain

    May 1, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. CBR

    Senator Inhofe routinely makes remarks that are critical of the President and every other Democrat. The need to keep the military numbers at high levels does not match the needs right now. This idea that we need thousands upon thousands of soldiers at the ready does not match the needs of the country nor does it make economic sense. Mr. Inhofe would like to cut back the government but increase the Defense Dept. How wise is that and who wins and who loses?

    May 1, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. John Galt

    He's in Afganistan because he was afraid to stay on the US because of the May 1 threats

    May 1, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. Luke Brown

    This guy has done NOTHING in the US Senate except draw a paycheck and vote to rubber stamp whatever the right wing of the GOP supports.

    What in the world makes this guy's mutterings newsworthy?

    May 1, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Reasonable1

    Somehow we did not see the pictures of any "mission accomplished" banner on an aircraft carrier...

    May 1, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. abqcatholic

    So, H, what have you done for me lately besides eliminate jobs, create conditions for $4/gal gas, exacerbated the SS mess, increased people on the dole, ...

    May 1, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. megamimi

    So, the politicization of this is a surprise to whom/ Surely not the American people who have seen the great Campaigner in Chief in campaign mode since January 2008.

    May 1, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Daddy-O

    The Impostor-in-Chief clearly realizes that his one term experiment with communism in the US will clearly fail unless he pulls out all the stops and violates campaign rules in a desparate attempt to keep his job...

    May 1, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. manhandler1

    Go Away! We are so tired of you criticizing EVERYTHING he does. If he were to sleep, you'd be out there saying he sould be awake, GIVE IT A REST!

    May 1, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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