Take Two: Obama To Visit Landstuhl

(U.S. Air Force)
The Obama administration announced in an email to reporters today that the president will be paying a visit to wounded soldiers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility in Germany next Friday.

Unmentioned in the email, however, was the dustup last summer, when during a campaign trip through Europe the Obama team cancelled a visit to the facility.

Remember that? The campaign said it cancelled the trip because the then-senator did not want to "politicize" the visit.

In July 2008, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told CBS News "the senator is more than welcome to visit any military facility, he always has been and always will be, as a senator…The Pentagon was willing to accommodate the fact they were on a campaign trip."

"It was their decision to cancel the visit," Morrell said.

Later, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs explained to reporters that "…it was pretty clear from the guidance that we received from the Pentagon that the trip would be viewed as a campaign stop. Given the info that we had received, Senator Obama made the decision that we were not going have wounded men and women become involved in a campaign trip."

At the time, retired Major General Jonathan S. Gration, the campaign's advisor and point of contact at Lundstahl, defended the campaign, saying, "[w]e learned from the Pentagon last night that the visit would be viewed instead as a campaign event."

And a McCain campaign spokesperson had this to say: "Barack Obama is wrong. It is never 'inappropriate' to visit our men and women in the military."

Now, as president, Mr. Obama has plans to visit the medical facility during his trip to Europe and the Middle East next week.

The press release from the White House reads, "Landstuhl supports our service men and women stationed in Europe, and serves a leading and vital role in the care and recovery of personnel medically evacuated from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other forward-deployed posts.