As President Trump travels across the world on his first foreign trip, NTK Network looks back at President Obama’s first year on the job.
President Trump started the next leg of his first foreign trip as president in Israel on Monday. It’s a stop President Obama did not make on his first trip to the Middle East, part of a trip around the world now considered an “apology tour.”
The Wall Street Journal noted some of the differences between Trump’s Riyadh speech this weekend and Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech in an article published on Sunday.
Among the differences? On Iraq:
“Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world,” Mr. Obama said, while Mr. Trump promised to “apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment” to the terrorism fight.
And on Iran:
Mr. Trump was combative, saying “Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.”
Mr. Obama offered diplomatic talks to the Iranian regime. “There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect,” he said.
But the overall tone of the trip is different as well. President Obama spent much of his first year in office expressing regret for America’s actions on the world stage under President George W. Bush.
While multiple fact-checkers have asserted that Obama’s words were not official apologies, Obama aides acknowledged to Politico in 2016 that the president created “unnecessary problem[s]” for his presidency:
In 2009, top aides acknowledged they’d warned Obama he would create an unnecessary problem for himself by making such a naked appeal to the Arab world in his Cairo speech, but that he’d insisted on going through with it.
Trump’s first foreign trip has been an escape from problems for his presidency at home, but the tone also marks a departure from eight years of the Obama administration.
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