An aide to Sen. Barack Obama said Friday the Democratic presidential contender believed he could visit wounded troops at a military hospital in Germany without involving them in a campaign controversy and scrapped his plans after the Pentagon raised concerns.
The spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the Air Force several days ago cleared Obama's chartered campaign jet to land at Ramstein Air Base. It was only Wednesday night, two days before the planned visit, that Pentagon officials conveyed their views, he said, and Obama decided not to go.
Gibbs said Obama had decided several weeks ago he wanted to visit wounded troops in Germany. Asked whether either the senator or aides had considered that the trip might be viewed as political, he replied, "We had taken some of that into consideration but we believed that it could be done in a way that would not create, it would not be created or seen as a campaign stop."
According to officials at the two hospitals though, SENATOR Obama was more than welcome as long as he did it in his official Senate capacity. The story only gets more interesting from there.
One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama’s representatives were told, “he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers.” In addition, “Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama’s visit.”
The official said “We didn’t know why” the request to visit the wounded troops was withdrawn. “He (Obama) was more than welcome. We were all ready for him.”
So, the word from officials is that SENATOR Obama was more than welcome however PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Obama was not. So, Barack Obama was more than welcome to visit as long as it was part of his official capacity as a Senator. He couldn't bring his campaign staff, photorgraphers, or journalists. Of course, Barack Obama then cancelled the visit.
You make the call why he cancelled. I doubt, however, that John McCain would miss such an opportunity even if cameras and reporters weren't allowed to go with him.