From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
At 1:42 p.m. of its "Obama Live Ticker" -- essentially livblogging Obama's day in Germany -- Der Spiegel writes, "SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. 'Barack Obama will not be coming to us,' a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. 'I don't know why.' Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.
The RNC has been passing along the story as well.
The Obama campaign confirms to First Read they won't be visiting and here's its official response:
VIDEO: Following a brief stop in Afghanistan, presidential hopeful Barack Obama travels to Iraq to meet with U.S. commanders and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports from Baghdad.
"During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops," Obama strategist Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign."
Also part of that live ticker, Obama gets some headlines it probably wants out of the speech -- "Obama Says He Loves America," "Obama Calls on the World to Support Iraq," "Obama Calls on Europeans and Americans to Fight Terror Together."
*** UPDATE *** From NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube
A U.S. military official tells NBC News they were making preparations for Sen. Barack Obama to visit wounded troops at the Landstuhl Medical Center at Ramstein, Germany on Friday, but "for some reason the visit was called off."
One military official who was working on the Obama visit said because political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama's representatives were told, "he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member, no campaign officials or workers." In addition,
"Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama's visit."
The official said "We didn't know why" the request to visit the wounded troops was withdrawn. "He (Obama) was more than welcome. We were all ready for him."