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. Taylor

    Romey will create war after war after war, because he don't know what he is doing...... Unfit Mit needs to go back to Bain and take more monies from the working class.

    March 27, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Data Driven

    And so a Romney Presidency would already have a leverage deficit with this important Eurasian country, all because Mitt Romney babbled thoughtlessly on the cable news cycle like a squirrel hopped up on coffee beans.

    Um, no thanks.

    March 27, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. king

    These repubs think that bullying is the only way to accomplish negotiation. Lesson unless you don't want to start world war III, and wipe the earth surface clean of any human existance, because of nuclear bombs, a little diplomacy is good.

    March 27, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. PHIL TJ

    It is difficult to belive that Americans are dying for Romney. This guy has no credibility, he thinks money can buy votes. Americans, try to smarten a little bit, dont respect money. You guys seem to listen to all what politician say without its consequence. Remember, the world has learnt a lot from you. Try to learn from others too.

    March 27, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    The GOP will not stop their fear mongering. They purposely use the Iran situation to affect oil/gas prices and this idiotic Cold War stance by Mittens does nothing but keep tensions high...another aim of the GOP.

    March 27, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    Romney seldom knows what he is talking about.

    As to the comment on "more flexibility" on the missile defense system in Europe after the election", the question is: Why are American taxpayers funding a missile defense system in Europe anyway?

    March 27, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. out of step

    Poor Mitt, he finally gets some red meat on Obama... and still manages to get two feet stuck in his mouth and appearing to have his head up where the sun don't shine. Maybe someone for got to tell him the cold war is over, and that Reagan passed away years ago?

    March 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Blindersoff

    Romney the clown prince . . . how rich is that?

    March 27, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. mrindependent

    It again shows that Romney will go to any level to get elected. If he feels the fear mongering tactics of George Bush will help him win elections, he will continue to do so even if he does not believe it.

    March 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. dan5404

    Romney knows nothing about international diplomacy and should just keep his mouth shut.

    March 27, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Cricket11

    We're so screwed if Romney gets his foot in the White House. This whole thing has been a joke. It's like the GOP is a Monty Python-esque troupe. Well, maybe I shouldn't say that. THOSE men were intelligent.

    March 27, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Wake up people

    Thank you President Medvedev, as usual the idiot rethugs pounce on every movement or gesture by our POTUS. Once again they are trying to scare the people into voting their disastrous party back into office. It's a shame a President of a foreign country has to tell a presidential candidate how to act. All the rethugs together don't have the class, tact, or intelligence that President Obama has in his pinky toe.

    President Obama 2012!

    March 27, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. PJ/TX

    Republicans "accused the President of playing politics with national security".
    The Republican candidates are the guilty parties in playing politics with national security. They stick their nose
    in very dangerous waters when they make stupid remarks like this. They are not in a position, yet, to be
    briefed on national security affairs, and should tread very lightly before they open their mouths. They only
    show that they are absolutely irresponsible and should maintain a decorum that would be consistent with putting
    America's interests ahead of their personal desires to be "relevant".

    March 27, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. vito

    Russia supports our biggest enemies worldwide – their military equipment has caused more USA citizens death than all other nations combined

    March 27, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. GOP Observer

    Anyone else find it disturbing that Russia is now on the Obama campaign team? makes you wonder what Obama has promised Russia to help him - very very disturbing developments

    March 27, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Jonathan

    ""My other advice is to check their watches from time to time: it is 2012, not the mid-1970s.""


    March 27, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Romney is a typical rightie chickenhawk.

    March 27, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. RealityBites

    Meanwhile...., out here in reality,
    President Dmitry Medvedev continues his support of Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and about every other anti-American country in the world.

    March 27, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Debbie

    Our enemy is China but Romney wants to cozy up to them. Maybe borrow from them agains like GWB or maybe he wants to use his venture capitalism skills and buy the USA let us tank and then sell us cheap to China.

    March 27, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Nobama

    He is a cohort of Obama to oppose US strategic interest.

    March 27, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Nobama

    We demand Obama to explain what deal he was cutting with the Russians????

    Is Russian President standing with Obama or American people???

    March 27, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Donkey Party

    Look at the trajectory of the GOP's foreign policy. If they were in control, we'd be at war with Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. There is nothing more un-American than voting for Republicans.

    March 27, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. NRC

    Well then if the Russian's and Americans are so close, then why do they have to wait until after the election for us to cave into their demands. Obama is posturing to seem tough, Russia has been against us and Nato with Iran and Syria. How in the world would someone think that they are our ally? I disagree with Romney a lot, but he is spot on here.

    March 27, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Dammit Mittens, shut up! You have caused our country enough embarrassment with your threatening a war with Iran, and now this. You may be rich, but you are an idiot!

    March 27, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Well, if Russia is indeed a foe or enemy or axel of evil or whatever you wish to label it, then why does Russia possess permanent security counsel status at the United Nations? Rumney is indeed a flip flopper and a phony who would grab any headline to score political points. Obama was heard talking to Medvedev about missile shield and Mitt is already trying to make a case that Obama is making deals with America's new #1 enemy! What a phony Mitt Romney is!

    March 27, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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