Biden stands by Obama on 'hot mic' controversy
April 1st, 2012
01:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden stands by Obama on 'hot mic' controversy

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden defended President Barack Obama on Sunday, saying the president was only stating "the obvious" in his "hot mic" moment with the Russian president earlier this week.

"The idea that in this election year we're going to be able to deal with an agreement with the Russians on further reducing our nuclear arsenals ... is difficult," Biden said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

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At a nuclear summit in South Korea, Obama could be heard asking Dmitry Medvedev for some "space" on the missile defense system in Europe, telling the Russian president he will have more "flexibility" after the November election.

"This is my last election," Obama said. "After my election I have more flexibility."

In response, Medvedev said he would pass on the information to the incoming prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

Republicans quickly seized on Obama's comment as an opportunity to criticize the president for politicizing foreign policy decisions.

Biden, however, said Sunday that Obama was referring to the challenge of making substantive foreign policy decisions in the heated political climate of an election.

"We're not going to have the flexibility to sit down and talk with people in this Congress that are going to be able to listen and be able to work with us - probably between now and Election Day," Biden said.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee also came to Obama's defense on Sunday.

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the president's private conversation was nothing out of the ordinary.

"Politics, a lot of things happen in politics. People are trying to get elected," Ruppersberger told CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I'm not going to make a judgment (on) what he said. I have confidence in the president and that he is going to do the right thing to protect our country 100%."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Dmitry Medvedev • Joe Biden • President Obama • Russia • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. king

    These repubs are just looking for any glimmer of hope to feed to their rabid right wing zealots. Its like feeding fresh meet to a hungry tiger, they care if the meet is poison or not. Why should the repubs take this and make it a offensive situation towards the Russians when it wasn't necessary. Oh I forgot, rationality have no place in the rabid right party.

    April 1, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens' open mic gaffe is worse. To label Russia our number one enemy when we are fighting a war against al Qaeda, pretty much gives Mittens the Sarah Palin stupidity award this campaign.

    April 1, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. PJ/TX

    President Obama does not need defending. Those with brains know he was talking about the constant
    obstructionism carried on by the Teapublicans. Those who have nothing of substance to say, will
    jump on anything and criticize the President.
    Strength over weakness = Obama over any Teapublican.

    April 1, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Debwards

    Spin it anyway you want, we who heard.... know what "flexibility" means, and will not forget when we are in the voting booth.

    April 1, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Mark

    Just compare this to all the stupid things the last president said (and did), when he knew the mic was on. Anyone who votes for republicans this election is just beyond stupid, and has no memory. The republicans have destroyed the economy, the poor, and are now waging a war on women. Obama has done a great job, considering the mess he inherited.

    April 1, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Mike in Texas

    This stuff happens all the time in politics. The drama queen's on the right criticizing Obama are like the boy who cried wolf. When all you do is gripe and complain and say the President is wrong on every issue and whatever he says is wrong too, most people turn you out because you are not unbiased. What probably eats these people up is when Obama does do something or says something that they agree with they lash out publicly, but inside say good job. It is sad that they cannot give him credit for anything.

    April 1, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Living in the REAL world

    So just what has Obama gotten from the Russians in the last 3 years? He unilaterally cancelled the missile defense plans with Poland. Russia doesn't support any of our foreign policy goals. Their blocking action on Syria, builiding a nuke plant for Iran. And here Obama is practically bending one knee to kiss their ring. At this point I don't trust Obama OR the Russians.

    April 1, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Cue the phony poutrage from the rightwing hatemonkeys in 4,3,2,1.......

    And, BTW, President Obama didn't say anything every President in the last 100 years wouldn't also acknowledge. Big deals do not go down in elections years. It's kinda Politics 101 for those who missed it.

    April 1, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    I'm so glad Obama is keeping this buffoon on the ticket.

    April 1, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Keeping it Real

    Sorry, I can't help think that things would have been better off without Biden addressing the issue. The lame excuses from both of them make them look even weaker than before.

    April 1, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. CBR

    The Republicans will take any comment and turn it against you. This is nothing new and has been going on for longer than I care to remember. Truth and factual statements are not part of their plans. Just take things out of context or believe the latest rumor and then the GOP will use that material to their advantage and your disadvantage.

    April 1, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Ken

    Mitt commenting here is really rich! Mitt is the KING OF BACK ROOM DEALS and clueless on all Foreign Policy.

    April 1, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Geneva passed a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka. That was big win for Obama administration; India supported this resolution, getting India. Support was huge victory for US it was shocking development in the world
    Did local media talk about this? NO
    Did republicans talk about this? NO

    April 1, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    That's how real world leaders talk to each other. the fact that the repugs reacted so badly to it just proves again that none of them is ready to be a world leader.

    April 1, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Blue

    I trust President Obama, he alwsys works for America and its people.

    April 1, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. The-Least-Unelectable

    Who wouldn't need space to focus on domestic issues in an election year?

    GOP is simply out of touch with reality.

    April 1, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |