President Barack Obama’s unprecedented critique of past American behaviour towards Europe aroused predictable ire among his conservative foes and praise from liberals in the US.
Phone lines to Right-wing talk radio shows were buzzing with angry attacks on the commander-in-chief for alleged “treachery”.
Mr Obama may be rebuilding some frayed alliances abroad but his comments are the latest blow to his erstwhile aspirations of developing a post-partisan political atmosphere at home.
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His references to American “arrogance” and its “dismissive” attitude were viewed by some commentators as an unwarranted attack on his homeland while travelling abroad.
In a speech in France, a country that has been a bastion of anti-US sentiment in recent years, the President said: “In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
“But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognising the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what is bad. On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common.”