Obama Will Not Travel to Germany for 20th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall

By Lindsey Ellerson

Nov 3, 2009 5:26pm

ABC’s Jordyn Phelps and Sunlen Miller report:

President Obama will not travel to Germany to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that President Obama’s schedule will not allow for a visit to Germany.

“Obviously, we have a lot to work on here and we have commitments for an upcoming Asia trip,” Gibbs said.

The anniversary festivities are scheduled for November 9, and the president leaves for his ten-day tour of Asia on November 11.

Gibbs added that the White House will soon announce a U.S. delegation to attend the ceremonies in Germany instead.

In 2008, then-Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama delivered a major campaign speech in Berlin, drawing the largest crowds—about 100,000 people—of his campaign. Obama received criticism from conservatives and then-Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain for using the speech as a political tool to capitalize on his star-status.

Today, the president is again facing criticism that the city that was an important stop in his campaigning is not a priority during this significant anniversary.

A headline in Germany’s Spiegel said “Barack is Too Busy.” 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Washington today, where she participated in an Oval Office photo-opportunity with Obama.  Merkel also delivered a speech before Congress, in which she drew a parallel between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the need to come to a global agreement on climate change.

–Jordyn Phelps and Sunlen Miller

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