March 26th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney not worried about Santorum, labels Russia No. 1 'foe'

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Monday he was unfazed by recent ramped-up rhetoric coming from his opponent Rick Santorum.

"I'm not going to worry too much about what Rick is saying these days," Romney said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "I know when you're falling further and further behind, you get a little more animated."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Santorum made headlines Sunday when he claimed Romney would be the "worst" Republican candidate to match up against President Barack Obama in the general election, based on the issue of health care reform.

The former Massachusetts governor, he argued, would be poorly armed in a fight against the president after signing off on a health care law in the Bay State that critics now label a "blueprint" for the controversial federal health care legislation passed in 2010.

Romney argues, however, that he would attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act as president, saying states should have the right to regulate health care laws, not Washington.

"It's a power grab by the federal government. It violates the 10th Amendment. It violates the economic principles and economy freedom in this country," Romney said on CNN. "It needs to be repealed."

The candidate also blasted Obama over a private conversation caught by microphone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which the president said he could be more flexible on the missile defense system in Europe after the election.

Romney joined other top Republicans in slamming the president over the remark on Monday and for making backroom deals with a country that Romney called America's "Number One geopolitical foe."

“Who is it that always stands up with the world's worst actors? It's always Russia, typically with China alongside. In terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, and as of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe. The idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he's not willing to tell the American people before the election is something I find very, very alarming,” Romney said.

The White House hopeful also opened up about how he spent some recent time-off from the campaign trail, saying he went to watch "The Hunger Games" with his grandchildren over the weekend.

"I read serious books, but every now and then I read just for fun," Romney said, talking about how he read the book before seeing the movie. "That was weekend fun, so it was nice to see a flick for the first time in a long time."

Also see:

Santorum: Romney 'worst Republican' to run against Obama

Ryan's open to V.P spot

Graham's 'comfortable' with Romney

Plouffe calls out GOP candidates over Obama reaction

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Dmitry Medvedev • Mitt Romney • Russia • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Mr. Izz

    Let's see.... Russia supports Syria. Russia supports Pakistan. Russia supports all sorts of countries that have questionable reputations. The list goes on and on. But no, we'll just ignore the fact that hundreds are being massacred in some of these countries daily because of the Russian influences in those regions. Let's go into Syria and help the people there! Oh wait, we can't... Russia is backing them. Well, shucks. I guess we'll be diplomatic, and ignore the terrible things going on.

    All of you people bash away at Romney, but then fail to realize that Russia is actually a big problem in a lot of these countries we're actively involved with. Unless, you all want to trust Russia and their policies.

    March 26, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Alger Dave

    So is Romney's #1 foe Russia or Obama? How curious that he'd say Russia, which isn't really seen as our foe any longer. Good for Obama, as I guess Russia's got him off the hook for the time being. Of course, with Romney, things change fast – like his policies and positions among other things, so if you don't like the Russia comment or think he should have said Obama, just give it a few days and Romney will come around, again and again, and again...
    Of course, with the economy improving a lot lately, and Romney's only claim to fame being the 'economy fixer' maybe his #1 foe should be economic growth!! It's killing his candidacy.

    March 26, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. lynnmarie2u

    Welcome once again to the world of Romney. I know he hasn't been in a coma.but seriously,Russia is our number 1 enemy? Next he will be asking us all to clap our hands so TinkerBell can live!

    March 26, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. lynnmarie2u

    What is next out of this looney's mouth? Will he ask us all to clap our hands so Tinkerbell will live? Sorry Mitt,you are afew generations behind on who the enemy is.

    March 26, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. enkephalin07

    Looks like if he has to pick a boogieman to bolster support and sound hawkish, he goes for the classic - the Russians! I suppose next he'll be comparing himself to Reagan.

    March 26, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. CNNLoudMouth

    You still have to love the balz of Republicans thinking that somehow the U.S. has control of the entire world, without diplomacy or negotiations. The you're either with us or your with the terrorists diplomatic style is alive and well in the Republican party.

    March 26, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    All this guy knows how to do is follow the cable news cycle. No strategic goals for a Romney Presidency, just a hyper-reactive response to events. Etch-a-sketchism at its worst. Are you conservatives really happy with this guy? He's just so sad.

    March 26, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Just Say No to Flipper

    According to the nightly news, Mr. Flipper has already flopped and "thought better" if his initial comment. The walking gaffe machine goes on with robotic efficiency.

    March 26, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. dotheflippinmath

    What an idiot. GWB himself proved his lack of international common sense when he decided to name the "axis of evil" countries. It's one thing to have such conversations behind closed doors. Only a complete fool picks a fight with the biggest bullies on the block, especially when we've been working for years to form better relations with Russia and China. Does Romney really think another cold war is the way to improve our bottom line, or is he pandering to the ignorant fools who would alienate foreign nations who we need to work with to ensure a stable global future? The USSR broke up around 25 years ago. I really want a president who keeps up on foreign affairs.

    March 26, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. RUDY88

    calling out russia or china worked in the 60's and 50's but these are economic and military powers so how would mitt handle the russkies

    March 26, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    These Republicans can't and won't call on GWB to campaign for or with them because he is a reminder to the country of why you can't vote Republican. They can run but they can't hide from the truth, GWB is Republican history.

    March 26, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. RA

    What is this, the Cold War?

    How about:

    Iran
    China
    *insert other 50 countries that hate us here*
    Terrorists
    Obesity
    Drugs
    Crime
    Poverty (Wait no. That's not Romney's foe)
    and finally, Republicans in Congress.

    I rate all of those things above Russia on the "Out to Get US" chart.

    March 26, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. BK

    Russia is our number one foe? Stuck in the 60's are we Santorum?

    March 26, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Ricardo

    Forgive him, he doesn't know much. Those GOP clowns just running their mouth without fact check on the details. They think because Obama did it in 2008 they can do it too.

    March 26, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "I know when you're falling further and further behind, you get a little more animated."
    -------------------
    That sounds like the voice of experience talking.

    March 26, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Bob

    I love it when the GOP go "old school". Oooh. The red scare. That'll excite the base. What's next. Committees on "Un-american Activities"? Blacklisting "subversive" writers and poets? Still waiting for the apocalypse all those GOP pundits said was going to happen when we got rid of DADT. Or how about how the government was going to use the GM bailout as an excuse to takeover the auto industry. Gee, they've had the best year in decades with record profits. That sure does sound like Socialism... or was it Communism...or was it Facism? I don't remember. I guess it doesn't matter since none of those GOP monkey know the difference anyway.

    March 26, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Tweet of the Day from Matt Romney.

    I'm glad our family doesn't have to volunteer for military service if we go to war with Russia.

    March 26, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. Aaron Swisher

    Mitt should read "Resuscitating America – An Independent Voter's Guide to Restoring the American Dream." Maybe it would help him develop a realistic economic plan.

    March 26, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Gopherit

    The U.S. has enough international problems already without Romney reliving and restarting the Cold War. And nothing would persuade Russia to become more deliberately confrontational than to have Romney, or someone even more internationally belligerant, as U.S. president.

    March 26, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. mms55

    and they say obama didn't know jack about foriegn affairs well we see romney knows even less if you want the same bs we went thru with bush vote rep. and if you have a brain vote for the dems.

    March 26, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Hangtownie

    Wake up Mitt, It not 1962 anymore.

    March 26, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. gregor1971

    He didn't call Russia the number one economic foe. He said geopolitical foe, and I hope you know what that means. It speaks to the fact that they continue to sell arms to our enemies and continue to promote unrest in the Middle East. The quote shows that Obama intends to say and do one thing on national defense now, and then alter course as soon as the election is over....

    March 26, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. gregor1971

    Romney knows diplomacy well. He and Netenyahu are close friends, and whenever he travels to Israel, Romney stays in Netanyahu's home. He has done this on several occasions.

    March 26, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. CBR

    Wow! Where has he been? His President opened the dialogue between Washington and Moscow. President Reagan got them to tear down that wall. How many state visits have their been since then, It would be difficult to declare them an enemy now. They are a world power and we need to work together. We cannot ad to the axis of evil proclaimed by George Bush.

    This shows that Mr. Romney does not have an understanding of foreign policy. He is carrying his big stick without knowing why,

    March 26, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Melo-D

    Willard just can't stay on topic can he? This guy will say anything, and I mean anything to get elected. He makes me sick!

    March 26, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
1 2 3 4