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McCain-Obama Race Grabs Attention Across Europe

Some 200,000 people are estimated to have attended Sen. Barack Obama's speech in Berlin Thursday, a sign of the increased interest abroad in this year's U.S. election. A panel of European journalists offer insight.

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    Huge crowds turned out at Berlin's Tiergarten Park today to hear Barack Obama call for stronger cooperation between the United States and Europe.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. And that is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.

    Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden.


    Obama said Europe and the U.S. must work together on common security threats.


    This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real, and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it.

    This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets.

    No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success.


    Obama closed by looking ahead.


    But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye towards the future, with resolve in our heart, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.


    In earlier meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the foreign minister, Obama affirmed his commitment to do more on climate change and to involve the U.S. in negotiations with Europe and Iran over Iran's nuclear program.

    This was Obama's first trip to Germany as a senator. Republican John McCain has been to Europe more than 20 times since 2000, a point he emphasized to reporters outside a German restaurant in Ohio this afternoon.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: I have very good relations with many of the European leaders. I've had many meetings with Chancellor Merkel over the years.

    I have visited with President Sarkozy. He has visited with me in Washington. The same thing goes with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and others.

    So I know them well. It's not my first meeting with them, so I know them. I know their relations. And I'm very happy that a lot of these new leaders in Europe, particularly in France and Germany, are much more pro-American than their predecessors were.


    Obama will meet with Sarkozy in Paris tomorrow and with Brown in London on Saturday.