The McCain campaign is slamming Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., over a decision to cancel a visit with U.S. troops in Germany.
The German magazine Der Spiegel is reporting online that Obama has “cancelled a planned short visit to the Ramstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday.”
“Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl told Der Spiegel. “I don’t know why.”
Obama senior adviser Robert Gibbs told ABC News in a statement, “During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Sen. Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops. For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”
But the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., issued the following comment on Obama’s decision.
"Barack Obama is wrong," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “It is never ‘inappropriate’ to visit our men and women in the military."
An Obama adviser, Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Gration (Ret.), later elaborated on Obama’s decision to skip the event.
"We learned from the Pentagon last night that the visit would be viewed instead as a campaign event," Gration said. "Sen. Obama did not want to have a trip to see our wounded warriors perveived as a campaign event when his visit was to show his appreciation for our troops and decided instead not to go."
This blog entry has been updated.