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. Gabby

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to think Russia is more of an ally to our country than the republican party is.
    That's because the Republican party isn't communist.

    March 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Wake up people

    W bullock, go back to school. Please.

    March 27, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Doug in NYC

    The old Soviet Unions flag color is red, the Republican color is red. Coincidence? I don't think so!

    March 27, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Scott S.

    I fail to see how this is somehow better than the open mic gaffe.

    March 27, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Any moron that thinks Russia and China are allies and friends of ours need only look as far as the United Nations. They have consistently sided with terrorist regimes to protect them and in many cases to supply them with weaponry and technology (even nuclear).

    It was just wonderful to see Obama slapping the knee of the Russian puppet and promising to give them more ONCE HE IS RE-ELECTED. Now Obama is the same fool that threw the Poland under the bus when it came to missile defense. It is clear the Russians view Obama as a naive imbecile when it comes to strategic arms discussions. All he does is give stuff up and has gotten NOTHING in return, not even cooperation on issues like Iran and Syria.

    Thank God Obama will be toast in November and won't be able to sell the country, and our alllies, down the tube any further.

    March 27, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. 2cents4free

    "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."

    March 27, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Obama got Osama

    Yeah, let's bankrupt this country with another missile defense system and another war. Lets scare our foes with our military power.

    Yeah, it worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan that it will work every where else too!

    Funny, the Repubthugs accuse Obama of being a Muslim, now they are accusing him of being a Russian. What's next? LMAO!

    March 27, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Romney is a complete fraud !

    Virtually every one outside of the United States can see that the republican candidates would be awful at foreign policy ! Just look at the Bush administration , even some of our own allies hated us ! President Obama has reset many of these relationships and is very well respected among'st his foreign counterparts ! President Obama is the logical choice going forward , anything else would mean regression and us going back to being hated by many of our own allies !

    March 27, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    The Russians coming to the defense of the chump who gives away everything and gets nothing in return? Knock me over with a feather... who'd have thunk????

    March 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. beevee

    If Romney continues to make this type of stupid comments that will jeopardise our foreign relations with other countries, I doubt even Ann Romney will vote for him if he is the GOP candidate.

    March 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. BobbyKearan

    So, who do you want as our Leader, our International face – someone who creates foes where there were none (Romney or any GOPher) or someone who turns potential foes into friendly nations if not allies (Obama)?

    I'd go with more friends, less wars.

    March 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Marry

    It looks like the GOP “presidential” candidates are trying to outdo themselves on a race to the bottom! With Romney’s outrages comments about Russia I start to understand why Santorum and Gingrich and Paul are still in the race – hoping such knockout statements are going to carry them to the top again – except they make knockout statements just as fast. So, all stays the same...Yes, my friends, watch and learn!

    March 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Chess Boxing

    Chess Anyone!!! I say time and time again that the Republicans are not that bright! What seemed like a "gotcha" moment for the President was actually a rabbit trap. Mittsie chased the bait and got trapped in an ill advised spat with RUSSIA! The only country with ability to wipe us off the map. It is in both countries national security interests to remain COOL! Read a book you CONS! Romney just got his queen snatched!!!

    March 27, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Laverne

    Romney is pathetic and don't know quat about nothing. He thinks everything will revolve around a board room setting, silly wannabe!

    March 27, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Laverne

    Romney also said he would go after Fidel Castro in Cuba as if this man who now has one foot in the grave is our real threat. He is a joke, with NO foreign knowledge whatsoever!

    March 27, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. carlos


    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to think Russia is more of an ally to our country than the republican party is.
    That's because the Republican party isn't communist.

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

    Gabby, your party is NOTHING.....hehehehe

    March 27, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Ann

    don't you find suspicious that Medvedev is responding to a presidential candidate? What is his interest in slapping Romney?

    March 27, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Maybe Obama will fulfill his wish if he gets another term and totally dismantle our entire nuclear deterrent while others maintain theirs? I mean, why should be be a world bully with nuclear weapons? Nobody will use nuclear weapons on us because Obama has convinced them we are just really really nice people. Obama is a very dangerous person who gets NOTHING from others while he unilaerally disarms the country. Clueless on the economy and naive, clueless and dangerous on nuclear disarmament talks.

    March 27, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Party thinks it's 1959...

    ...boy those GOPs are sure up on current issues - NOT! (apologies to Prince)

    March 27, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Stopthemadness

    It shows just how far out of touch Romney is with real world on goings. With him spouting off at the mouth about things he knows nothing of. And way to go Mr. Russian President tell those hateful nasty vile and more often than not wrong republicans the way it is.

    With Romney acting the fool and Santorum being the Christian conservative he claims to be cussing during an interview for hearing his own words used against him. Man the republicans must be so Proud.

    March 27, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Hey, Governer. You can gain a lot of respect with comrade Medvedev of you share a shot of some that 131 proof vodka.

    March 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. JohnW

    Seriously, Romney steps in it so much he should invest in hip waders.

    March 27, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Dave

    even repulicans admit, having this plastic human being as Commander in Chief would be the worst thing to ever happen to The USA.

    March 27, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Norm

    I am now convinced that the depth of knowledge of the republican candidates is so shallow that a vote for any of these candidates is a national security risk.

    March 27, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Keith A. Sillsbury

    Love it! A Russian that speaks better and more inteligently than the entire republican party.Go ahead mitt,v start a nuclear war with Russian and China. Who cares you'll be killing millions of babies and children. It's your right as a republican.

    March 27, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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