(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.