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. Marlene Klim

    The only time the communist traitor in chief has any use for the military is to use them to push his campaign. He's done nothing but gut every branch of the military. He thinks everybody is too stupid to see through his bs. WRONG.

    AB0 2012

    May 1, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. outraged

    This guy is completely disconnected from REALITY>
    Military spending has gone up every year that Obama has been in office.
    To say Obama gutted the military just does;t match up with the real numbers.

    Job creation has been positive for most of the first Obama term. Gov has lost 500,000 jobs (mostly state and local, would have been much worse w/o fed assistance). Osama is dead and GM is alive! S u c k s to be a right winger n u t t e r.

    May 1, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. chuck weidemann

    Damn if you do damn if you don't..... I would like and respect any republican who could just put political nonsense aside and quit saying anything this president does is to get six year term is the answer. No election year politics for the incumbent and both parties run on their merits. To simple?????

    May 1, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. hiltonsgnlvr

    This clown hasn't stopped campaigning since his inaugural speech. And, without exception, everything he says (not does) is aimed at his voting base. His base is the uninformed and ignorant and those wanting something for nothing.

    May 1, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    Don't see too many college age kids singing the praises of this windbag-don't worry senator, he'll do just fine. Oh, he doesn't need to shore up his foreign policy credentials either-he's had the most successful one in my lifetime.

    May 1, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Bisonfan

    When the Republican administration left office, they had two wars going on, no clue as to how to end either one, and no idea how to find Osama bin Laden. Obama has ended one war, is winding down the other, and made sure bin Laden won't be planning any more attacks. It's amazing that Republicans actually want to talk about national security.

    May 1, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. lean6

    Perfect example of why this country can't ever see the sun...constant black clouds being towed around by traitors like Inhoffe. President Obama is the Commander in Chief. He can and should visit the troops on the frontlines whenever possible.

    May 1, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. jinny

    Obama is a disgrace to our nation. Sen. Inhoffe is right. Obama barely meets with our generals or mentions our troops (except to use them as pawns with OBL, or their salary during the debt ceiling standoff.) Now that his celebrity status is gone, and his poll numbers are mediocre, he decides to act like he did something extrordinary in allowing the seals to take OBL. Congrats Obama, so would every other NON-"occupy wall street moron" in America. This trip is a publicity stunt only slightly better than his embarrasing stunt on Jimmy Fallon last week. Moron. NOBAMA 2012

    May 1, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. Iwandr

    Who or what is an "inhofe" ?

    May 1, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. WAHEID

    Inhofe is another of the infamous conservative politicians who have nothing good to say about Obama. What he says is not a considered opinion, it's a knee-jerk reaction. If Obama made a speech saying that we should honor our mothers, Inhofe and his ilk will find something derogatory to say. If Americans wonder why the country is so polarized, just take a look and listen to the kind of hate that these die-hard political neanderthals are spewing. Read the comments from the conservatives and you will find plenty of hate, but seldom a thoughtful comment.

    May 1, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Arch

    gutting the military? really? you need to stop drinking during working hours you know-nothing member of the silly party.

    May 1, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. RomyMon

    Bravo, Senator Inhofe! I could not have said it better!

    May 1, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. gg

    what he left out that afganistan is a republican mess obama has to clean up

    May 1, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. unretired05

    And if he didn't go he'd find fault with that. Party of NO

    May 1, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Jane

    So tell me. Mr. I'm An Idiot, is the sitting President NOT ALLOWED to do ANY campaigning for a second term? Is he supposed to sit in the Oval Office quietly, and listen to the lies and filth the Republicans are spreading? Is this another of those famous IOIYAR moments?????

    May 1, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. ouisee

    There is always one nut out there who does not want to work with anybody to "Keep America Great". Here's hoping this guy is voted out quickly. If he wants to divide, then his home state should separate him from the thinking side.

    May 1, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. Sorensen

    What did this knucklehead from Oklahoma ever do that anybody has heard of?

    May 1, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  18. Paul Williamson

    Sen, Inhofe is an Okie who never met a military budget he didn/t like. Even though we spenf 40% more on the core military budget (after adjusting for inflation) plus two wars , for a totyal,of $680 Billion/yr, up from $300B on 2000, it is clearly not enough for Sen. Inhofe. Obama has not been "gutting " the military; he, along with the JCS, the top 4 stars, and the SECDEF, have been trying to bring some sanity and reduce gross waste and requirements creep in the military budget. The US spends more than the rest of the world together *allies plus adversaries) on its "defense" (read offense) and it still not enough for this red-necked Okie. He wants it all; $130M F-35s are replacing $18M fF16s; $2 B B-2s have replaced $100M B-52s,and $12 B for helicopters werte planned for the President's protection to be built by Lockheed (thank God Obama had the sense to cancel this procurement).This is insanity!! I am a retired Aerospace engineering executive that worked for the #1 defense and aerospace company for 40 years, I have seen it all, and "enough is enough". With our deficit spending, DoD must be cut back like all other Government agencies and programs

    May 1, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. Get Real

    Obviously the president is desperate for votes; I mean really, he waited this long to go to Afghanistan?

    May 1, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. America Beautiful -- Less GOP/TP

    I am sick of these shameless idiots always blaming our POTUS at every which ways and grossly undermining the country. If your party is so much more important than the country as a whole, start your own country in Alabama.

    May 1, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. gate

    "Shore up his National Security credentials" How much more could they be shored up? He got Bin Laden, ended the war on Iraq, is winding down Afghanistan, made the right call on the snipers taking out the pirates, led the way to victory in Libya, and that's just off the top of my head. Name one single GOP foreign policy victory since Noriega.

    May 1, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. Ken

    Are all republican as dumb as rocks? Sen. Jim Inhofe obviously hasn't been around for the last three years.

    May 1, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Pete

    You republican hypocrites never have anything good to say.During Bushs time in office of which in his first two years he was on vacation a meager 477 days,not bad out a possible 730 days total,wow,I like his job,because he didn't do a friggin thing,nothing at all.Now that's a republican president,then they let him lose and he broke everything,a bull in a china closet,real pathedic,not a bit amusing at all....ignorence at it finest.Now leave our president alone you jackels...

    May 1, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    so I guess this guy didn't get the talking points memo that said, "uh we're not gonna go after Obama on this one because it not only makes us look petty but downright STUPID!" Sen McCain and Sen Grahamn need to send him a much needed tweet.

    May 1, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  25. John

    You Republican are Just mad because he got him In two years that you couldn't In eight.

    May 1, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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