Posted: August 23, 2007 6:03 PM
Obama's Comments on Cuba Raise Eyebrows
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., caused a bit of a stir Tuesday with an op-ed in the Miami Herald, in which he called for easing travel restrictions to Cuba.
“Cuban-American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the beginnings of grass-roots democracy on the island,” he wrote. “Accordingly, I will grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island.”
The column was published ahead of the senator’s trip to Miami on Saturday for various campaign events.
The senator’s wife, Michelle, also made news this week. She was quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times column by Jennifer Hunter as saying during a campaign appearance that “if you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.” The remark was widely interpreted to be a swipe at the Clintons, although her husband denied that charge.
The comment came up Wednesday night when Obama appeared on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart:
Speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Mo. on Tuesday, Obama again expressed support for U.S. troops in Iraq, but not for continuing the war.
“[N]o matter how brilliantly and bravely our troops and their commanders perform, they cannot and should not bear the responsibility of resolving grievances at the heart of Iraq’s civil war,” he said. “No military surge can succeed without political reconciliation and a surge of diplomacy in Iraq and the region. Iraq’s leaders are not reconciling.
They are not achieving political benchmarks. The only thing they seem to have agreed on is to take a vacation.”
And the same day, Obama received the endorsement of freshmen Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., the only Iraq war veteran in Congress.
“Senator Obama truly wants to unite America, and, speaking as a former captain in the 82nd Airborne Division, I know that he has the judgment we need to be our next commander in chief,” Murphy said.
Obama also responded to President Bush’s speech before the VFW on Wednesday, where he compared the war in Iraq to previous conflicts in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
“The disastrous consequences described by President Bush are already in motion and are a direct result of a war that should never have been authorized,” the senator said in a statement.
Obama spent Thursday campaigning in South Carolina. On Friday, he plans to travel to Tallahassee, Fla. for a community kick-off event followed by a dinner. In Miami on Saturday, he is scheduled to attend a fund raiser and “Generation Obama” event. He is expected to travel to Lexington, Ky., on Sunday and then New Orleans, where he plans to participate in a walking tour of a neighborhood.