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. WiredweirdinSF

    Besides selling the security of this country and Western Europe to the Russians if the most incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady president is reelected. What else will he do to decent, hard working, taxpaying American citizens. We already know that he is going to tax those of us who followed the rules, didn't used drugs and actually worked more. What other freedomes and economic opportunities take away from us to give to the dope addicts, non workers and welfare frauds.

    March 27, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. S.positive

    Stupidity may work in America but it never works abroad. Bush 2 tried it and well, need I tell you more?

    March 27, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Honestuck

    I think things were better during the Cold War. We should elect the Republicans in November to lead the nation back to the Cold War era foreign policy. That way we can start the pissing contest again. Given our current station in the world we could do worse.

    March 27, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He might once he has to stop campaigning for re-election. Once that is over, then Obama will go back to his agenda of securing loose fissionable material and providing a missile defense system for the US and allies.

    March 27, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to think Russia is more of an ally to our country than the republican party is.

    March 27, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Wake up people

    This is the rethuglican way. Back in 2008, some idiot actually said, if Obama becomed POTUS he was going to reinstate slavery, except it would be in reverse. These people are nuts and will use any tactic to get their point across. I responded, if so, I want Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart cooking and cleaning my house. LOL. These idiots and their scare tactics.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 27, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Publius Novus

    There was a time when politics stopped at the borders. Political candidates put country first. Not any more. The Republican candidates should not make comments about U.S. foreign policy. Especially Romney, whose knowledge of foreign affairs appears to be limited to which Cayman Islands banks pay the highest rates of itnerest.

    March 27, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |

    Willard is clearly not ready for the big leagues. Dimitry called him out. The President(Obama), sprung a trap, and willard stepped right into it.

    March 27, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Weird has piled the the hatred and bigotry b s just the right height this morning. Mittens will give him an extra biscuit for his blind loyalty.

    March 27, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Pander Bear

    R-Money is throwing anything out there now. And 'morans' like Truthy, 1stSgt and Wiredweird are lapping it up. I'm going into the tin foil hat business. Gonna make a fortune.

    March 27, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Marry

    It is unbelievable that GOP “presidential” candidates have such a poor grasp on reality! The President does GREAT work with his international partners and so increases Americans security! And a Republican talking about “telling the American people” is a joke considering the stupid decisions they made with starting two wars on false premises. Wow, the GOP is really in a position to criticize the President!
    Then, on second thought – their friends will not make that much money anymore when conflicts are solved peacefully. And perhaps not that many lives are going to be wasted in war either. Think of that….

    March 27, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. GI Joe

    We really need Mit (WW3) rmoney. (NOT).

    March 27, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    I'm going with retired General Wesley Clarke and former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig. You know, men who actually SERVED this country and know a heck of a lot more about dealing with foreign powers than Mittens could ever dream of knowing.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 27, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. knowndoyen

    When Romney hits the nail on the head all the Dems and Russians jump. We have bent over backwards for the Russians and it is time to stop. If Pres Reagan was still with us he would tell the Russian where to go and how to get there. Also if Pres Reagan was President today with the technology we have we would have the Missile Defense up in Europe and not still bowing down to the Russians. Russia has not shown they are will to support our interest especially when it comes to Iran or Syria. They should be one of our stronger allies but are not. Obama has given into the Russian demands time and time again. The Russians know that Obama is a weak leader and he does not have a backbone. So yes Russia would like to see Obama stay in. One last thing it is good to see the Russian leader Medvedev can tell time. Russia only wishes it was still 1970 but as he pointed out it is not it is 2012 and Russia is still one of our geopolitical foes.

    March 27, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Remember how the Repubs warned us that if President Obama were elected, we'd be attacked?

    Remember how, at President Obama's order, Osama bin Laden was killed?

    Who are you going to trust: A party of fools or real leadership that has been GETTING THINGS DONE these last 3+ years?

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 27, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Glenn Doty

    So it's not enough for this pathetic pandercreature to demand that we start an immediate war with Iran, Romney now wants to fire up the old cold war again and cease friendly relations with Russia?


    I do not think this is a rational or responsible path of rhetoric. Romney needs to calm down.

    March 27, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    "the Kremlin would prefer to continue doing business with the current incumbent of the White House."
    Why wouldn't they? With the chump we have in the white house, we give away everything and they give away nothing. Incompetent, unpresidential, rookie.

    March 27, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |

    If Romney had been President,.. he would have been hunting down Russians instead of Al Quaeda terrorists.

    March 27, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @knowndoyen: "If Pres Reagan was still with us he would tell the Russian where to go and how to get there. "

    President Reagan presented the first START proposal in Geneva on June 29, 1982. This proposal called for a dramatic reduction in strategic forces in two phases (Reagan called it SALT III at the time). The first phase would reduce overall warhead counts on any missile type to 5,000, with an additional limit of 2,500 on ICBMs.

    In other words, Reagan (like President Obama is doing now) ENGAGED the Russians.

    If Reagan were around today, Repubs would not allow him in your party – and he wouldn't want to be there, given what a bunch of imbeciles you have become!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 27, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. geg

    i hope the republicans get there world war three –the sooner the better what ever,s left can start over

    March 27, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. damo12345

    On the bright side, when Obama is reelected, the Russians might have a greater appreciation for him. "You might not like what I'm proposing," he'll be able to say, "but in a few years you might be up against another Romney."

    March 27, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Hasai

    Personally, I think both Dmitry and Vladimir can take their thinly-veiled dictatorship and flush it. However, on this I agree with Dmitry:

    Bad, bad political theatre, Mitt. Perhaps it's about time you realized you need to live and work in THIS century? Or are you going to start slamming "goose-stepping Germans," next?

    March 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    "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."

    Oh, SNAP!!

    March 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. thomas

    Why didn't any of the Romney's volunteer for military service during the Bush wars ?

    Mitt please answer a simple question .

    March 27, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. IndeePendant

    Romney should have Palin as his Foreign Policy Advisor as she can see Russia from her house. Thus she can advise him which way to stand to address Medvedev and his boss. Go Palin and go away Romney:)

    March 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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