(CNN) – President Barack Obama received one endorsement he definitely did not ask for Monday: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The leftist leader and strong man, who has used strong anti-United States language in his political rallies and official speeches, told state-owned VTV, "In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez, I am positive."
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"Obama is a good guy," continued the Venezuelan president, who has led his country since 1999 but is facing his strongest challenge in years.
Chavez became well known for using strong anti-American rhetoric against former President George W. Bush, whom he called a "devil" and also referred to as a drunk.
Things seemed to be changing in 2009, when Chavez and Obama met during the Summit of the Americas. The two leaders shook hands and Chavez presented Obama with the book "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."
Chavez spoke highly of a newly elected Obama during a rambling speech at the U.N. General Assembly, calling Obama an "intelligent man" and compared him to President John F. Kennedy.
Since then, however, Chavez has largely backed off his kinder approach to the American president, calling Obama a "great disappointment" in an interview with CNN en Español's Juan Carlos Lopez in 2010.
The issue of Venezuela arose on the campaign trail in July, when the president told a local Miami television station that Chavez has had little impact on the U.S. of late, but the South American country requires continued attention particularly when it comes to Iranian influence.
"We're always concerned about Iran engaging in destabilizing activity around the globe," Obama said. "But overall my sense is that what Mr. Chavez has done over the last several years has not had a serious national security impact on us.
"We have to be vigilant," he continued. "My main concern when it comes to Venezuela is having the Venezuelan people have a voice in their affairs, and that you end up ultimately having fair and free elections, which we don't always see."
Romney called the comments "stunning and shocking," writing "as president, I will speak clearly and resolutely on the challenges we face so that both our allies and our adversaries will know where we stand."
Latino voters, who are particularly concerned about Chavez's rule of Venezuela, make up a voting bloc seen as crucial this year.
CNN's Marilia Brocchetto and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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Putin, Chavez, so I guess once Fidel Castro endorses Obama the trifecta will be complete! Socialism uber alles!!
BTW, did you hear the socialist President of France wants to raise tax rate to 75% to pay for their socialist state?!
Another glimpse into the future that Obama has for our country...
Hi Samantha, your mind was made up long time ago..... :-)
Why is this news? It will not matter who wins because Chavez will not work with them . He always finds a reason to dislike us which is really too bad. The people of Venezuela are so nice and gracious.
Well there ya' go... if you ever needed proof that Obama was a socialist...
There are 190+ countries in the UN, and about 180 of their World Leaders also prefer President Obama.
Sounds like American's prefer our President as well: EVERY SINGLE swing state has our President ahead!
No surprise – Mitt Romney is unlikeable and his VP candidate is an outright liar who runs 2 hour marathons.
Hey Hugo, just contact ACORN, they'll get you registered!
Hugh Jass - The guy's not a socialist, not even close.
He believes in and would have signed into law universal healthcare, ie government controlled and run healthcare. The only thing that stopped it was a few Democrat Senators. He settled for Obamacare.
He illegally took over 2 car companies that were publicly owned and held corporations. The government STILL owns part of GM and will likely lose billions of dollars.
His administration breaks and circumvents and refuses to enforce laws which they do not agree with. DOMA, our immigrations laws, our election laws.
His administration attacks and bullies states that DO try to enforce the laws that the feds refuse to enforce.
He wants to use the "progressive" tax code to further redistribute the wealth in this country.
While Obama may not fit the classic definition of a "socialist", he is a breed all his own. He is more like a union thug socialist willing to do whatever they want to get they way. Laws mean nothing to him. In one breath he says the laws prevents him from granting people amnesty, then he issues an executive order or "guideline" that does just that.
Obama is the most dangerous person that has ever occupied the Whitehouse if you care about our Constitution.
Of course. They share an ideology. Except Obama is a little more liberal and less effective.
Probably secretly supporting Romney. He knows his endorsement, in the eyes all 90%+ Americans, is a very negative thing. This was on purpose...
"But of course Caves would rather vote for Obama (the Muslim). He also recognises Obama's weakness, and how Obama bend's in Breeze!!!"
What has Obama promised Chavez? Not good. Best news of the day for the Romney campaign.
Best news if you're desperate and Willard IS.
making me think it all for peace. president Obama are known for his drone attacks. peace for everone.
Oh c'mon. Obama is progressive lite. Vote Green Party for a Change.
What a surprise. Did you really think he'd see both candidates as N.G. and not socialist/communist enough? No, one is.
it's a Socialist lovefest
Well that was unnecessary. I assume that you are going to let us hear from some right wing dictators who would stage a coup for Romney also?
Wow, this certainly brought out the thinking impaired. I hope that none of them have to balance checkbooks or do any other things that require thought because their a+b=c skills must be in their other pants.
Chavez doesn't vote here, so who cares?
Obama 2012, the only choice
NoTeaForMe – Chavez doesn't vote here, so who cares?
But he could if he wanted to thanks to the Democrats!
No matter how many times you repeat the lie, it will never be true.
President Obama is not a socialist
He has NEVER had any socialist policies
Can you name any piece of legislation that President Obama has signed that can be called socialist?!?
THE ANSWER IS NO!
and I don't care who Hugo Chavez would vote for.
Premier of the People's Republic of China .. Wen Jiabao would vote for Mitt, after all Mitt has send them many and many jobs...
Hint to Republicans: Putin, Chavez, and Muslim Brotherhood know that they are hugely unpopular in America. So they are doing a little election engineering, giving advice to Americans that they want Americans to reject, in order to get the guy they actually want in the White House.
Consider the following:
Putin: Romney wants to go to war with Iran. This will suit Putin just fine. The more America gets entangled in Middle East wars, the weaker it gets.
Chavez: For his energy policy, Romney wants to double down on oil. Guess who is sitting on a huge oil reserve in South America?
Muslim Brotherhood: Obama's popularity in the Middle East has taken a hit, because guess who has used the unmanned drones more than Bush?
Anyone that thinks this site is in the bag for President Obama needs a brain transplant. This story at the top of the ticker for two days is here for one reason only. Red meat for the right wing nutjobs. Willard is sinking like the Titanic and they are doing their best to prop him up.
What next? Will the combover queen oops I meant king finally provide his proof that President Obama is an illegal alien???
Have Sasha and Malia been cloned??