March 27th, 2012
09:38 AM ET
6 years ago

Russian president lobs 'Hollywood' charge at Romney

(CNN) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tweaked Mitt Romney for his characterization of Russia as the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the United States, saying the comments did not reflect the current relationship between the two countries.

"It is very reminiscent of Hollywood and also of a certain phase in Russian-U.S. relations," Medvedev said at the end of the nuclear security summit in South Korea Tuesday.

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Romney made the comment to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday while criticizing President Barack Obama over his open mic moment a day earlier.

"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," Romney said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "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."

Medvedev urged Romney to take the current climate into account if he hopes to win the presidential election.

"My first advice is to listen to reason when they formulate their positions. Reason never harmed a presidential candidate," Medvedev said. "My other advice is to check their watches from time to time: it is 2012, not the mid-1970s."

In response, Team Romney characterized Medvedev's comments as further evidence "the Kremlin would prefer to continue doing business with the current incumbent of the White House."

"In contrast to President Obama, Governor Romney is clear-eyed about the geopolitical challenges Russia poses," Romney Policy Director Lanhee Chen said in a statement. "The creeping authoritarianism of its government make Russia a unique geopolitical problem that frustrates progress on numerous issues of vital concern to the United States."

When asked about Romney's assessment, rival candidate Newt Gingrich said the world is "much more complicated than just any one country."

"I think there's at least three centers of gravity, or four if you count Mexico, that you have to pay attention to every day," Gingrich told CNN Tuesday.

Democrats were quick to pounce on Romney's original comments, issuing a string of press releases from military and security professionals.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Romney's statements sounded like a "rehash of Cold War fears."

"Given the many challenges we face at home and abroad, the American people deserve a full and complete explanation from Governor Romney," Clark said in a statement released by the Democratic National Committee.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig compared Romney's Russia analysis to his policies on domestic issues.

"This conclusion, as outdated as his ideas on the economy, energy needs, and social issues, is left over from the last century," Danzig, who served under President Bill Clinton, said in a statement.

The Russian relationship grew new legs on the 2012 campaign trail after a private exchange between Obama and Medvedev was caught by television cameras.

Obama told Medvedev he would have "more flexibility" on the missile defense system in Europe after the election.

Republicans, including the current White House hopefuls, accused the president of playing politics with national security.

The most recent CNN polling about Russia indicated that 45% of Americans considered it a friendly country to the U.S., while 28% considered them unfriendly. Sixteen percent said they were an ally while, 9% characterized the country as an enemy of the U.S.

Overall, 57% of Americans surveyed in May held a favorable view of the Eurasian country and 40% held an unfavorable view.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Dmitry Medvedev • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    I would vote for Medvedev over Romney any day of the week.

    March 27, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Scott S.

    And Republican candidates continue to throw their beloved country under the bus. Don't they realize that these other countries are aware of what we say, particularly people who are trying to become the leader of the freaking country? If this is their idea of good foreign policy, why don't we just go ahead and attack ourselves already and save everybody else the trouble?

    March 27, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Brian G

    Romney taking a page out of Darth Chaney's playbook. WOLVERINES!!!

    March 27, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Exactly what foreign policy experience do Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney has?

    This is the same idiot that is running away from his 47th position jobs record im Mass, his ObamneyCare in Mass, his Bain Capital "Vulture Capitalist" experience!

    Newt and Santorum are right...Etch-a-Sketch Mitt is the worst GOP candidate ever in the history of presidential elections!!!

    March 27, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. AL in West Palm Beach

    Romney's mouth....

    MEET FOOT!!!

    March 27, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. Dare Taiwo

    The bane of American Politics. I wonder when American will start taking the tough stump talks of political office seekers for what they are – empty and lacking in substance. I guess Mr Romney is stuck in the cold war era. As Medvedev advised, can some tell Romney to check his watch?

    March 27, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Robert

    What planet doesn Romney live on? I supppose were still at war with England as well?

    March 27, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. JJ

    Whether you like Russia or not, it's an important relationship to the US and one that we should continually be trying to have constructive dialog with....not this crap.

    March 27, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Bill in Florida

    Mitt Romney in 2012 is quickly becoming Sarah Palin of 2008 - and absolute airhead.

    March 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Robert

    "Republicans, including the current White House hopefuls, accused the president of playing politics with national security."

    It sounded to me more like he wanted to prevent everyone else from playing politics with national security.

    March 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Ouch!!!! Even the Russians think he is clueless! Of course he was wrong about the mid 1970s, it's the mid 1570s or before.

    March 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Jerry

    Sure! Our president kisses his butt in order to get reelected. This is Medvedev reciprocating. Neither man has any shame.

    March 27, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. shawky

    Romney: Out of touch with reality. Fake and a war monger.

    March 27, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. royboy

    Romney's fear mongering finally caught up to him, what's he thinking what century does he live in?

    March 27, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Gen. Clark makes a good point. The American people are owed an explanation by Gov. Romney. Romney's remarks are divisive, not aimed at seeking resolution of Security Council differences at all.

    March 27, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. realitybites

    Here ya go folks. Before Bush got elected we were all saying, "This fool will have us in a war before his 1st term is up if he gets elected". Now it looks like Romney is trying to restart a cold war w/ Russia. Nice.

    March 27, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Dave

    He isnt even close to sealing the deal to be the Repub Nom & already he is takin in his mind owership of The Oval Office & trying to start another arms race with a country who isnt even our Enemy. This Tabby Nackle would turn our Great Country back 40 years. He is gotta be the dumbest & most irresponsible Idiot who ever ran for the highest office.

    March 27, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    Republicans, including the current White House hopefuls, accused the president of playing politics with national security.
    The fact is Obama is All Politics All The Time. It is how he got in office and has been the guiding light of everything he has done while in office. The Stimulus Bill was all about politics and nothing to do with economics. ObamaCare was all about politics and nothing to do with health care or economics. It goes on and on. And America has seen that politics just makes for bad behavior in Washington and very little progress managing the federal government. We can do better. Romney 2012!

    March 27, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. M-W-T

    What is it with republicans?..........every time one of them speaks...Santorum comes out of their mouths.

    March 27, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. The Dude

    I have to agree with Medvedev. Romney is trying to reignite the cold war. It is clear he has no foreign or domestic policy, nor does he understand diplomacy...much like the rest of the republican field. If we elect any one of these clowns, we are voting for a return to the dark ages.

    March 27, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Real Politics

    One of the main reasons why Romney not be elected and stay home, spend his millions, be husband, father, and grandfather because can never get the facts straight and give any facts. Vote Santorum!

    March 27, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Malory Archer

    It was good and it was strong and it was about time because he's saying enough is enough of the reichwing using inflamatory words to stoke fear and create controversy. I was like welcome to President Obama's world Dmitry. And good on ya, don't retreat."

    March 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. steve

    Medvedev is sharper than our current crop of Republican presidential candidates.

    March 27, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Patriot Awesome

    My number one reason not to vote for any of the Republican candidates is that (with the exception of Ron Paul) they all want to start a war and they don't seem to care who with. Their first choice would be to bomb a country with brown people in it, but they'll settle for a nostalgic cold war if that's what they can get.

    March 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Stop the Charade

    Look closely and you can see the strings attached to the mighty president for ease of manipulation by Putin.

    March 27, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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