Sen. Obama Holds News Conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris
Friday, July 25, 2008; 2:05 PM
SPEAKERS: SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.
FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
[*] (JOINED IN PROGRESS) SARKOZY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): ... how happy France is to welcome him. France is happy to welcome Barack Obama, first of all, because he's American and the French love the Americans.
Now, if I weren't to say this, they'd have been disappointed. I'll repeat for you, Senator: The president said the French love the Americans. When I said this, he says, "Because if I hadn't said it, they'd have been disappointed."
I want to say to Barack Obama that the French have been following with passion the election campaign in the United States, because the United States are a great democracy and that it's fascinating to watch what's happening there.
And because America -- the America that France loves is an America that's farsighted, that has ambitions, great debates, strong personalities. We need an America that is present, not absent. We need friends who are independent, but who are true friends. And you have to know that here in Europe, here in France, we're watching with great interest what you're doing.