(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%."
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