(CNN) – Republicans wasted no time Monday pouncing on President Barack Obama's now-controversial "open-mic" comment with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
In a new web video, the Republican National Committee painted a stark picture of Obama's exchange with the Russian leader, introducing the conversation with the text: "What Obama tells world leaders when he thinks you aren't listening."
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The video features the clip of Obama and Medvedev holding a private conversation at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea. During their talk, which was caught on camera and on microphone, Obama asked his Russian counterpart for some "space" on the U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe.
"This is my last election," Obama told Medvedev. "After my election I have more flexibility."
While Obama put his hand on Medvedev's arm, the Russian president responded saying he would transmit the information to the incoming president, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
But Republicans seized on Obama's request as an opportunity to frame the president as a politician primarily focused on re-election.
"It's amazing what we find out about this president's policies when he thinks no one is listening and it begs the question: What else doesn't Obama want us to know about before he's reelected?" Kirsten Kukowski, RNC spokeswoman, said.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also came out against Obama's comments, saying the moment represented "an alarming and troubling development."
"This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people. And not telling us what he's intending to do with regards to our missile defense system, with regards to our military might and with regards to our commitment to Israel and with regard to our absolute conviction that Iran must have a nuclear weapon," Romney said while campaigning in San Diego.
His team launched a new Twitter campaign Monday, highlighting the president's remark.
From his Twitter account, Romney asked followers to fill in the blank: "@BarackObama: I'll have more flexibility to ______ after the election."
Pushing back, the Obama campaign said Romney was distorting the president's words.
"Governor Romney has been all over the map on the key foreign policy challenges facing our nation today, offering a lot of chest thumping and empty rhetoric with no concrete plans to enhance our security or strengthen our alliances," Ben LaBolt, the campaign's press secretary, said in a statement. "Instead of passing the buck, it is time that Governor Romney shared his foreign policy agenda with the American people."
– CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Brianna Keilar and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.