June 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Roberts: Those 'Liberal' non-proliferationists

CNN

Watch John Roberts interview Mitt Romney.

(CNN) - Just when you think you’ve heard everything in this race for the White House, along comes something truly surprising. Such was the case on Thursday's American Morning. I was speaking with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about Sen. John McCain's new line of attack against Sen. Barack Obama. McCain hopes to paint Obama as a politician who puts party and self-interest above the needs of the nation, claiming that the Illinois senator has “never been a part of a bipartisan group that came together to solve a controversial issue”.

This morning, Romney faithfully repeated that charge. When I pointed out that Obama reached across party lines to work with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, on a non-proliferation measure, and with Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, on increasing gas mileage requirements, Romney shot back, saying that “Actually, on both cases, you’re talking about two liberal positions, non-proliferation as well as the gasoline mileage."

Watch: Romney attacks Obama

It struck me as rather odd – having covered five years of the Bush administration as a White House correspondent – that the governor would view non-proliferation as a “liberal” issue. I seem to recall a little ditty called the “Proliferation Security Initiative,” launched by President Bush on May 31, 2003. The aim of the initiative is to enlist the nations of the world to “stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern.” Whether the program is a success is very much in question (though the administration claims it is), but I’ve never heard anyone call it a “liberal” position.

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soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Edmund

    Mitt Romney needs to go to Utah and farm wheat or something. The more he talks, the more my head hurts. I would sooner eat a ball of aluminum foil soaked in chicken fat than listen to him anymore. At this point, voting for a Republican is the same thing as putting a bullet in our future's head, and stealing it's wallet as it dies.

    June 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Kavin

    WHY is Mitt Romney still getting time in front of a camera. He's a joke – completely changed his views and was noted as a liar during the campaign. He's desperate to become VP – even changing his nasty tune against John McCain over the past few months.

    June 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. tiffany jackson

    Someone has got to get this to Obama campaign- nuclear threat is a liberal issue

    June 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Rj

    OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DONE DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. blaising

    Gawd!! Romney is such a dufus...

    Improved gas milage is often a by-product of engineering advances by all automakers (engine power, tire design, lighter and stronger frame/body materials, etc.)

    Romney and his ilk are doomed to repeating the mistakes of the past. Go back to school...brush up on some history duncecap!!

    June 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Will from NYC

    Jesus was a liberal... I think calling anybody liberal is complement.

    June 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. tim in carroll

    WELL IT LOOKS LIKE THE REPUBLICAN HACKS ALL GOT TGETHER AND DECIDED TO START CALLING BARACK OBAMA NAMES.

    THEY ARE APPARENTLY SO OLD AND TIRED THAT THEY DON'T DON'T REMEMBER THEIR CHILDHOODS. WHEN THEY CALLED PEOPLE NAMES BACK IN THIRD GRADE, THEIR POOR LITTLE TARGETS DIDN'T BECOME WHAT THEY PATHETICALLY TRIED TO CALL THEM.

    AND THEN ADULTS WOULD HAVE TO TELL THEM TO KNOCK IT OFF!

    WELL, REPUB LICANS, WE ADULTS UNDERSTAND YOUR PROBLEM. YOUR CANDIDATE McCAIN IS LIMP. HE MEETS SECRETLY WITH BUSH SUPPORTERS AND THEN SUDDENLY HE'S IN FAVOR OF OFF-SHORE DRILLING. WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HE COMES UP WITH NEXT AFTER HIS SECRET MEETING WITH CONSERVATIVES EARLIER TODAY.

    IT'S TRULY SAD THAT YOUR PARTY IS SO DEVOID OF LEADERS THAT YOU CAN'T THINK UP ANYTHING NICE TO SAY ABOUT McCAIN.

    WE ADULTS – AND THE REST OF AMERICA – ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA AND MOVING FORWARD. YOU CAN STAY BACK THE IN THIRD GRADE WHERE YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY COMFORTABLE.

    June 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Chris in Oregon

    I guess Romney just showed the country his views are out dated and idiotic. Good job, Mitt!

    June 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Debbie,Ewing,Nj

    McBush and friends you are very stupid. Didn't you learn anything from the primaries. Attacking Obama was Hillary's main tactic. It didn't work for her it won't work for you. While you're trying to throw people off from focusing on you by attacking Obama, we are looking to see what you are made of. So far, it looks like nothing but war and more war.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. skunkrat The Marine

    Another IDIOT, he doesn't even know the meaning of non proliferation.
    Mitt is a good example of a misinformed talking head. If the issues mentioned were so liberal, why was it necessary for Sen. Obama to reach out to his Republican counterparts. This guy had to get lucky in business, he would be homeless if he had been required to think.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. MMN - Milwaukee WI

    Romney:

    If you keep your mouth shut, your foot will not end up in it.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Kick Hillary to the Curb

    Mitt ROmney is speaking like an idiot! Painting someone a Liberal but the right policies doesn't make Barack a bad candidate. Mitt stop trying so hard to get the VP, you so selfish! You have no interest in AMerica! You are an aristocrat from a cult religion.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. tina

    Romney please just shut-up until you can start thinking about Americans instead of your own agenda!

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Those crazy liberals and their desire for Fuel Effeciency and Non-proliferation. Next thing you know those crazy liberals will call for public education and giving women and minorities the right to vote.

    June 26, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Bob PDX

    So did John Roberts bring this information up to Romney as a follow up question? If so, what was Romney's response? If Roberts did not bring this up as a follow up question, he failed the interview. If he had to do a bunch of research afterward to come up with this information and then extrapolate it out in this article, it comes off more as an opinion piece than news.

    June 26, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Cheaters always Prosper

    I just realized that John McCain reminds me of Randall from Monster's Inc. you know the you know the lizard with the ability to change his color from purple and blue to blend into his surroundings at will, much like a chameleon, making him invisible.

    He worked as a Scarer for the power company (Hmmm... what party is in power now?), and was working on a way to eventually rise to the leader of that company.

    Funny how art imitates life.

    June 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Not fooled by distractions.

    Knowing Mitt Romney he probably had no earthly idea what Mr. Roberts was talking about. When you send out a surrogate, at least send one with some snap. Poor choice in using that squawking flip flopper Romney. Lord, imagine the world of hurt we'd be in with McSame/Romney running the show. Dumb and Dumber.

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Peter Frederick

    To Lisa. Barack's answer to the $30/summer gas gimmick that effectively gives the money to the oil companies is $1000 in tax rebate. Surely you can take the $30 out of that.

    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Gary B

    John Roberts, do your job! You started to question him but then said 'what John McCain's campaign says' then you let him slide on lies. ASK HIM TO GIVE EXAMPLES OF WHAT HE'S SAYING! Then, challenge him if it incorrect!!!

    I wish you would stop bringing these pundits on to just banter the 'message of the day'

    Gary

    June 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. J from PA

    Obama, 'the next great Communicator' continues to pander on about his bipartisanship, but has nothing of substance to show for it. He is an arrogant Senator who lacks any true productivity in the Senate. He needs to spend more time in the trenches learning more about being a representative from his state, before he can even hope to be the commander in chief.

    June 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Beverly, NYC

    Spoken like a true member of the rich elite, non-proliferation and gasoline mileage are American issues. I guess these issue only affect the little guy, we care about $4 gas and our children being used as pawns in unnecessary wars. Can't wait to see McCain spin Romney's comments and blame Obama. Just what the country needs a new older decider. Can we move up the election so this stupidity can be over!!!!

    OBAMA

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Willow, from Iowa

    Of course, nonproliferation is now a liberal view. The conservatives want McCain as President and he wants World War III. Ought to start calling him McGoldwater.

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Marc PDX

    The actual McCain quote was “[Obama] has never put his career on the line for a cause greater than himself". Neither of these two positions referred to constitute putting his career on the line as they are positions that liberals support. It happens that conservatives also support non-proliferation but neither issue is "going out on a limb" for Barak Obama. That was the point being made and sadly CNN wants to parse words and deflect the issue away from the original point. (Yes, Romney said it poorly – but the point that Obama hasn't ever risked anything to stand up for a position is the actual point on the table here).

    June 26, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Nice try, but that dog don't hunt. If this is the best they have (and it certainly seems to be), then Obama will win hugely in November.

    June 26, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Barack Hitler

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." – Voltaire

    June 26, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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