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. Bukky

    Dont you know....? Republicans LIE like people breathe. It come naturally to them... and when you try to stop em, they fight to the death...

    June 26, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Chris from Baltimore

    "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." –Joe from Chicago

    Now you're just talking SOCIALISM

    which I know is BAD, BAD, BAD

    ...because the guy on the talk radio show told me so

    June 26, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Marc PDX

    So, let me see if I understand this by using recent examples. When Clinton was president he worked out a deal with North Korea to prevent their development of nuclear weapons. But his approach was via "dialog" only – and trust and mutual respect. And the North Koreans secretly developed nuclear weapon technology until George Bush became president and demanded (and wouldn't back down) 6 party carrot & stick negotiations with verification requirements. Today, as reported by CNN below, North Korea came clean on its nuclear weapons program. Now, tell me which party is better at finding and stopping nuclear proliferation? I know, I know: it's the Democrats and Barak is going to show us how it's done by having a meaningful dialog with the extremely right wing Theocracy in Tehran – or else he'll leave them alone altogether (which is what I suspect will really happen). Either way it will probably lead to Israel dealing with the problem directly and the US having a worse problem land back in our lap. But "we love you, Obama" because we're airheads!

    NObama N'08
    (This is the real world, not a high school popularity contest!)

    June 26, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. MP-Pennsylvania

    Robers,
    Thanks for reporting the fact that Obama's bipartisan effort. GOP love to spin the facts.

    Obama haters in Hillary camp,
    You keep on saying you want to vote for McSame, then ask McSame supporters to pay Hillary'e debt and don't whine if ever you get McSame for another 4 years.

    June 26, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. AHH

    Huckabee would be better than Mitt Romney. Romney can't be trusted.

    June 26, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Haas

    All the conservatives talk about how Romney's so smart and how he'll get it right on the economy, but this shows he's no smarter than Bush. McCain&Romney=Bush. They should move to California and get married!!

    June 26, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. obamerican canada

    please, HOW MANY MITT ROWNEY THEY HAVE IN AMERICA(USA)?

    IS THIS THE SAME MAN (ROWNEY MITT) WHO ONCE IN THE PRIMARY SAID THAT "IT IS ONLY HIM AND OBAMA WHO ARE CANDIDATES OF CHANGE"?

    I wonder what kind of nigthmare this people are puting themselves into.

    SO, HE IS NO MORE IN THE SAME LINE OF CHANGE WITH OBAMA AND MCWHAT(sorry i can remember the fool name,spell check for fool not workin in my computer)WHOM HE SAID WAS'NT CONSERVATIVE IS NOW MORE THAN CONSERVATIVE,WHAO,ALL FOR THE SELF EGO OF VEEP.

    CORRUPTION HAS ENTERD THE MIGHTY NATION WE WERE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO.

    N:B. PLEASE HELP ELECT BARRAK OBAMA TO BRING BACK THE REPUTATION OF THAT COUNTRY,DON'T LISTEN TO ALL THIS BIG MOUTHS.

    PETER–CANADA-

    June 26, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Nunya

    Wake up and pay attention. All politicians speak in something of a shorthand at times, because they can't explain every last detail in terms that everyon moron will understand. Proliferation as a term or political topic isn't liberal in and of itself, but the attitude with which you approach that topic very much can be. The liberal attitude is that you believe you actually can trust that others can be convinced and/or trusted to cut back on their stockpiles. The conservative attitude on the topic generally is that such trust is unwarranted and there is nothing to be done other than make sure that you use yours while they're bigger than the other guy's. Since the group in question was promoting that an approach of cutting back, then yes, it qualifies as 'liberal'.

    And clearly, any attempt by the government to force companies to adhere to mileage guidelines is environmentalist and promoting big-government – how much more clearly liberal can you get?

    June 26, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Marc PDX

    @John: so if it is bad to "save" the big American corporations (oil, auto and pharmaceutical companies) where are Americans supposed to work? Or will that not be necessary in the fantasy Obama world? Honestly, what some of you people thinking? That life comes for free?

    No Fantasy! NObama N'08!

    June 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. randy

    This mitt romney guy is funny,he try as much he can to be in the news i am not macain supporter i dont even think macain gonna pick him for VP.

    June 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. anonymous

    Romney uses his looks to get things. Huckabee is less flashy and is a real conservative. Romney is scary.

    June 26, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. kayla

    HERMAN MONSTER, YOU ARE A LOOSER. YOUR COMMENT DO NOT COUNT.

    June 26, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    I guess this shows why McCain beat Romney in the primaries. He is still pushing the Bush/Rove campaign style, which caused him to lose in the first place. Thanks the GWB, that style is now as dead as dirt on the moon.

    June 26, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. randy

    Obama got this election locked on his side mit romney can yary up his mouth as long as he want we are not voting democrat.

    June 26, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Juan from L.A.

    Romney is garbage!!! Simple as that. My worst nightmare was for him to had won the Republican nomination and Clinton win the Democratic. I told my wife I would pack up our bags and leave this nation if either of these two ruled the country

    v/r
    A Latino OIF Veteran Independent

    June 26, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Sounds like Romney just defeated his chance of the VP slot nomination coming his way. At least this should kill it, but somehow I think he will wind up with it anyway. He talks the good talk.

    June 26, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. anonymous

    If the vice president's were Clinton and Romney , Clinton is less itimidating and trust worthy. Also all the women would support her.
    Romney would look toward the gay men perhaps.

    June 26, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. anonymous

    Romney gets the gay mens vote

    June 26, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    MITT IS ONE SMART PERSON.

    McCain likes the labor members, He will go to bat for them time after time. The union leadership, however, should get on a boat to South America as they will be persona non gratis.

    obama is a disaster waiting to happen. He will tax and spend our money and give big hand outs to the welfare queens in the ghetto, THEN HE WILL TAKE OUR GUNS AWAY.

    He has no plans to withdraw our troops from Iraq. Just big talk. A lot of hot air. No one wants our soldiers in Iraq but no intelligent person wants them out of there so Iran can get control of that oil rich country. So be careful about the guy with cotton candy speeches with no truth to them.

    Vote for McCain, he will be on your side.

    June 26, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. DJ, LA, CA

    Yes it is "odd" how the method of Romney's hate-filled madness is purely based on comparing himself to Reagan and dismissing anything positive a Democrat has done as "liberal agendas".

    Odd yes, but highly predictable for Mitt. Obviously he was only concerned about smearing and spreading lies about Obama and...since you put him in his place, he basically had no comeback except the "L" word.

    June 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Matthew

    Too bad Roberts did not ask a follow-up and ask Romney if he thinks Lugar is a liberal too! That would have been a good question. Lugar is very popular in IN. Would like to see how Romney would characterize Lugar if you put him on the spot to see what would come out of his mouth.

    June 26, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. mdg

    I do hope McBush picks Romney, a true, blue blooded, elitist as his running mate!

    There goes the GOP ship!

    June 26, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    War and the military/ defence industrial complex!!! Wrap oneself in religion and declare oneself a patriot!! Goebbels would have been proud!! Political leadership calls for accepting truth and Romney ain't it!! By the way JD, the money must be good, as the time in Canada would be at a more relaxed pace!!

    June 26, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. jimmy velman

    WE HOPE MCCAIN PICKS MITT ROMNEY AS VP RUNNING MATE.
    ANY OTHER THAN COLIN POWELL IS CERATIN DEFEAT FOR MCCAIN.

    OBAMA IS PILING UP SUPPORT FROM EVERYWHERE.

    BILL CLINTON WILL AND HAS PUT HIS WORD ON IT .HE WILL CAMPAIGN FOR OBAMA . HILLARY WILL CAMPAIGN WITH OBAMA
    WHOLEHEARTEDLY. ON THAT YOU CAN RELY" HER WORD IS GOOD. ON THAT.

    June 26, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. AMW

    John,
    Don't expect a Republican politician to make any sense now.

    June 26, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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