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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Yes Mittens, please take us back to the cold war days. Students today need to learn how to crawl under their desks. Maybe if we are lucky, you can get a war started, you ignorant twit!

    March 27, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Dave

    This guy doesnt qualify to br Commander in Chief based on pure stupidity. Gee, lets start an arms race with a Country who isnt even our enemy. SEVERLY dangerous stuff, what a stupip, stupid man!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Romney wants to start WW3 -– big bucks for his corporate friends to provide all that needed stuff for the "free wars" (like Haliburton/Cheney/Haliburton/Bush/Big Oil in Iraq).

    March 27, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I swear, Mittens thinks he is running for class president of some elite private school instead of the office of the president of the United States. How can anyone support him?

    March 27, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Republican who supports President Obama

    Mittens has no place speaking about foreign relations with Russia or any other country b/c he is not exposed to it whatsoever. Even better he does not have access to the intelligence briefs.

    This whole primary process is counter-productive and it should end. Everyone should go to the polls within a period of 60 days and that's it. The losers should then stay quiet and not make any more speeches/interviews/etc. The winner (and eventual loser) will then have to answer to the people for all the stupid right-wing comments made – and not rely on a toy made in the 1950s for a prop.

    Not one Republican has shwon me that they are competent or capable of being the commander in chief. All I see are rebuttals, digs, spin, and counter-messaging.

    Time for this crap to end.

    March 27, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    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."
    DAAAAAAAAAAANG!!!! In your face Romney!
    Mittens got CHUMPED!!!
    Care to comment Mittens? No? Oh well!

    March 27, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Joi Gibson

    "Reason never harmed a presidential candidate." EXCEPT, of course, if you are a Republican presidential candidate in 2012. In this Republican presidential field, reason has no purpose.


    March 27, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. beevee

    With this type of comments to the reporters Romney sounds stupid, not a presidential candidate. I think Romney has not foreign relations experience and thoughtless comments like this will not get him that.

    March 27, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. DEcember 2012

    The new prop after Etcha Sketch: the watch.

    March 27, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Is Mitt a Git?

    Mitt's comments alone are a blaring indication of how ignorant a man he really is–especially in dealing with foreign leaders. President Obama said it best a few weeks ago that the republican candidates could easily weigh in on foreign political matters and say whatever they feel is the best way to handle Iran because they weren't the ones who were responsible. He is, and he handles foreign relations very well thank you. Can't wait until Mitt goes all pro-Israel and anti-Russian in the foreign policy debate.

    He is a stupid idiot–period. I can't even imagine him sitting across from Vladimir Putin in policy talks, he would crap his pants from fear.

    March 27, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Socrates

    If I were Medvedev I will not worry about Romney. He is not so bright and tomorrow he will change his mind saying that Russia is the US # 1 ally. We call him flip flop Romney.

    March 27, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. The-Least-Unelectable

    If only Rmoney can keep his mouth shut, he might be able to wrap up the GOP nomination.

    March 27, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. big d

    great russia way more popular with americans than congress, lol fantastic

    March 27, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. d

    What else would one expet from romney the king of the party of fear! i think all the gop should go ahead and take the leep into this century where the rest of us live!

    March 27, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. GetCounseling

    Just what we need Presidential advice from Baby Puppet Putin.
    He should explain how to conspire to keep a tyrant in power at all costs.

    March 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. geg

    yep russia and china are dropping bombs all over the planet,there bombing is so secret even CNN can,t keep-up

    March 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. macrasta

    these candidates think this is a is troubling when you have the leader of Russia.. educating a so-called elite 1% top earner of our US society ... ex-corporate head... who wants to be president .... very troubling!

    March 27, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Alejandro Vasquez

    This Guy is right Mitt. Republicans have no idea of how the world works ...

    March 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    I like this Russian!
    You're not ready for the world stage Mittens. You are being treated for what you are, an international joke, something NOT to be taken seriously. World leaders are taking potshots at your lack of commonsense and reasoning. This does not bode well for Team Mittens, but your arrogant, elitist, know-nothing azz has had it coming for a loooong time.
    Spasiba Presdient Medvedev! Muchas Gracias! Thank you very much!
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    March 27, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. FIELD1stSGT

    If you rubbing heads with the traitor Obama you are exactly the enemy of the United States.

    March 27, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Byster

    57% in May had a favorable view. We are not in May. We are in March. Look at your Calendar. It has been nearly a year!

    March 27, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Byster

    What do you think Obama and Medvedev talking about last May that we don't know about?

    March 27, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Appalled

    Is there any country that Romney and the warmongering republican candidates don't see as a threat (other than Israel, of course? It is so helpful to have a bogeyman (or two or three...) out there to pick a fight with. This gives me so much confidence about our future in the global economy and competition - if any of the current republicans were to be elected.

    March 27, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "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."
    Well, he'll just have to do something so that we can see what he did. Kinda like the healthcare bill had to be passed so we could see what's in it. Move along, move along....

    March 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. B

    Romney does not Get IT and would turn back the clock to the days of the half-wit Bush& Co. with unqualified arrogance and threats.

    Obama is respected now in most of the developed world and is a steady hand and thoughtful leader that will not turn the clock back to imperialism and unilateralism that was the hallmark of the Bush era.

    March 27, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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