Obama talks about overseas trip, flooding, Iowa campaign

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called into the Radio Iowa newsroom this morning. My interview with him runs about 6 minutes (MP3).  I had time to ask three questions.  The first was about his upcoming trip to Europe and the Middle East.  The second was about the nation’s infrastructure and rebuilding after the flood.  The third was specifically about the campaign for Iowa’s seven electoral votes.

Here is the text of Obama’s response to the first question about his trip:

"Obviously, there are a wide range of issues that we need to prepare for.  The next administration is going to have as challenging a set of foreign policy issues as any president has had.

"In Iraq, my goal is to talk to the Iraqi leadership about making political progress so that we can start phasing down our troops in Iraq and obviously I want to congratulate the troops for the extraordinary work they’ve done in reducing violence there.

"In Afghanistan the situation, unfortunately, has not been improving.  On many measures, things have been getting a little bit worse so the key is to talk to our commanders on the ground and find out what do we need to do to strengthen our efforts there.  Our troops have performed magnificently, but we don’t probably have enough troops there and we’ve got to do a better job on the reconstruction side to build the infrastructure that’s needed in that country to consolidate long-term gains.

"With our European allies, I think what’s important is not only encouraging their ongoing involvement and support in areas like Afghanistan and on the military side, but also to discuss a wide range of economic issues. There are certain issues like climate change that can’t be addressed without the participation of the Europeans as well. so that’s going to be something that hopefully we’ll be working on over a long period of time, but when it comes to nuclear proliferation, Iran — those are issues where we’ve got to act in concert with our allies."

UPDATE:  Here’s the Radio Iowa story about Obama’s 10-year, $60 billion fund to rebuild infrastructure like the levees, dams, etc which were stressed or wrecked by this spring’s flooding.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.