December 20th, 2007
09:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney: Man of Year choice 'disgusting'

Romney is not happy with Time Magazine's choice.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Count Republican Mitt Romney among those who aren't happy with Time Magazine's choice of Russian President Vladimir Putin for Person of the Year.

In an interview with CNN's Glenn Beck, the presidential candidate called the choice "disgusting."

"You know, he imprisoned his political opponents. There have been a number of highly suspicious murders," Romney said on Beck's radio show. "He has squelched public dissent and free press. And to suggest that someone like that is the Man of the Year is really disgusting. I'm just appalled."

"Clearly General Petraeus is the person, or one of a few people, who would certainly merit that designation," the former Massachusetts governor added.

Rival presidential candidate John McCain also said Wednesday he disagreed with the choice.

“I noticed that Time Magazine made President Putin the Time Magazine ‘Man of the Year,’” McCain said, according to NBC. “I understand that probably, but my man of the year is one Gen. David Petraeus, our general who has brought success in Iraq.”

Time Magazine: A Tsar Is Born

Watch: Why Time chose Putin

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. Jay, Charlotte, NC

    It has been said many times – the Person of the Year, as chosen by Time magazine, is a person who has had a major influance in the past year good or bad. Instead of Romney blasting the magazine for picking a controversial leader, perhaps he should have simply commented on how his leadership would differ from Putin. McCain's comment is simply playing more to his base, as although Petraeus has certainly affected world events, how Putin is reshaping Russia is a much bigger story right now.

    December 20, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. AJ, IL

    Who cares about Time? I only get Time if it comes to me free though some other offer. Time claims that their Person of the Year (POY) has some true relevance, but it is all B.S. Time loves to claim past winners such as Martin Luther King represent what the Person of the Year is about about. But any thinking person knows that Time use to call this selection process, Man of the Year and some past recipients were Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. If Time was truly an independently and fair-minded magazine, which they claim to be, Osama bin Laden would have been Person of Year in 2001. Instead Time chose Rudy Giuliani, which only shows how weak and irrelevant Time's claim of POY.

    December 20, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Ronald E. Childs

    1. Our general hasn't "brought success in Iraq." What is McCain talking about? 2. Putin has taken his country by the reigns, has transformed it for the better and commands the respect of his people. 3. With respect to mysterious killings, no nation has presided over, or been responsible for more deaths (civilian or military) than the United States. TIME magazine has made a superb choice.

    December 20, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Jerry, Florida

    It's not a question of whether a person makes the most positive or most negative news. What is appalling is that Time seems to always show these dark figures in a favorable light by giving them a human quality. If you actually read the article Time wrote, you would get the same impression. And, interestingly, in 1939 they gave a largely positive impression of Adolph Hitler.

    It's not any wonder that mainstream media continue to lose readership and viewership at a phenomenal rate, and that their credibility seems to continue a downward spiral as well.

    December 20, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. beastofbourbon

    Come on some people , read ( think ) some before you write . Man of the Year is NOT an award for goodness but some (probably the same foolish 20 some percent that think bu$h is great )keep up posting the same false outrage over " why was this dictator awarded this distinction ? " Sheesh !!! How many more asshats are going to make a comment like "They gave this award to Hitler right ? "

    December 20, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. DT, Wisconsin

    Richard in St. Paul: "I wish he'd take his Ku Klux Klan mentality and go crawl in a hole"

    Drew in Rochester: "I don't think that General Betray-Us deserves recognition."

    Funny, the media has always told us that the right has the monopoly on extreme rhetoric in this country.
    The vitriol on the left is what will prevent the Dems from winning in '08.

    December 20, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Sally Wiethoff, Dallas, TX

    I pull up CNN in the mornings hoping to be pleasantly surprised by something. Sadly, this narrow-minded comment from Romney does not surprise me. The title of Time's Man of the Year is not meant to be an award or an honor. It's an acknowledgment of someone's influence and power over the past year, and for better or for worse, Putin has displayed that. By my standards, his actions in many cases have been deplorable, I agree, but that's not part of the criteria for Man of the Year. Last year, the title went to "You," and I think most of us can agree we didn't deserve that. In past years, both President Bushes and Adolf Hitler have also received the title of Time's Man of the Year. I believe I rest my case. This choice and the article bring to light some facts about Putin and Russia that Americans were not educated enough about. The wise American ought to be happy to have this information handed to them.

    December 20, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Nathan Prophet, Raleigh, NC

    The "Person of the Year" is not necessarily someone who "does good," but someone who makes an impact on the world stage, positive or negative. Al Gore should have been named "Person of the Year" – certainly NOT General Petraeus.

    December 20, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Rick, Chicago Illinos

    E. C., Houston, Texas,

    Go live in Iraq!

    I hear it's really "booming" this time of year – thanks to Dubya.

    December 20, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Al Cappone

    Do mormons get upset when Romney defends his faith by never mentioning the word 'mormon'?

    December 20, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Eric Rivera, Montclair, VA

    I can't say that I am 'disgusted'. After all, the man has been successful in turning Russia back into a powerful nation. The one thing I did get a kick out of was the 'success in Iraq' comment. Until we bring our soldiers home and cease to have them fighting and dying in order to pad certain people's pockets, I wouldn't call what we're doing in Iraq successful!

    December 20, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. Hilary, Rochester NY

    Does Mitt Romney think TIME was electing the prom king? The Person of the Year does not have to be someone popular, likeable, benevolent, or American.

    Personally, I was pleased to see a choice that reflected a critical thought process and analysis of world affairs, as opposed to a popularity contest. Vladimir Putin is brilliant, ruthless, dangerous...and effective. He's made Russia a world power again and has found a way to continue his leadership indefinitely. The next U.S. president will need to step carefully around Putin's Russia.

    Romney and McCain, on the other hand, seem to view the Person of the Year designation as an opportunity to have a pep rally. Maybe after the primaries, they'll have time to sign my yearbook.

    Felipe Calderon, Hugo Chavez, Alberto Gonzalez, Pervez Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would also have been insightful choices. My own choice, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was admittedly absent from most of the 2007 media coverage. But then again, so was most of Africa.

    December 20, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Steve, Warrensburg, MO

    it's not as though Time's choice reflects the best (moral/ethical) person for person of the year, but rather the individual who's impact has been most significant. While I'd still agree there may have been other suitable candidates, it is the very negatives Mr. Romney points out which make President Putin so interesting and a suitable choice.

    Stop blustering and know what you're talking about.

    December 20, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. D. Mason, Toronto, Canada

    Success in Iraq? If Time Magazine awarded 'Man Of The Year' to anyone even remotely associated with the war in Iraq I would cancel my subscription for life.

    December 20, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  15. Michelle Hamilton Ontario

    If Putin's personality and traits are questionable for man of the year...what about GW Bush
    don't forget he has made up his own version of the constitution,put the US in debt for generations to come! Every facet of his crooked government has come into question(list is too long to mention)
    His intellect is even in doubt now,
    what little "brain" he did have left the white house about 6 weeks ago!

    December 20, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. Edith, Waynesboro Virginia

    When is the last time anyone was happy with the Iraq war? Petraeus might be doing a good job, but he is guilty by association. Furthermore, when WAS the last time Bush had a 70% approval rating?

    December 20, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. mountaingnat, smyrna ga

    Romney – what a knee jerk idiot – he obviously doesn't get it.

    December 20, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Gordon Orr, Avon, CT

    When I see comments such as this from Mitt Romney, it reminds me how fortunate we are to live in a country that enjoys and embraces freedom of the press. I applaud Time's choice and International view of the world we all live in. Mr. Romney's views are very unfortunate for a man who professes to be prepared to lead our Nation. He is clearly not prepared to do so. His views and potential policies are extraordinarily myopic and potentially dangerous to U.S. interestes.

    December 20, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Brian, NY NY

    Certainly Mitt Romney is entitled to his opinion (as he should as a candidate for POTUS). However, just like so many others have already noted, the TIME Magazine person of the year is not always Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny – sometimes the person is a bit more controversial than that... perhaps the next POTUS should be aware that we live in a world where sometimes bad things happen. It honestly scares me that someone like Romney could occupy the Oval Office and add another 4 years of backward thinking.

    December 20, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Lucas Jackson, Marquette, MI

    I agree Romney is showing ignorance of Time's rationale here, not to mention a willful ignorance of our own government's actions when it comes to curtailing civil liberties and ignoring the laws around prisoner detentions. 'Tis the season to pander.

    December 20, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. John, New York, NY

    Mitt just doesn't get it. "Person of the Year" has nothing to do with positive impact (he should refer to the Nobel Peace Prize recipients for that). Instead, Time chooses the person who has had (or is likely to have) lasting impact on the global community. I think their's was a perfect choice...albeit a little scarey.

    Further, callingt he choice disgusting begs the notion that the US still needs to deal with Russia as a force to recon with. Is he advocating a new line of "evil empire" rhetoric?

    December 20, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Kath Stevens, buena Vista, va.

    Sounds like he's talking about george Bush

    December 20, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Atta boy Mitt! Your comment really sends a positive signal for setting up a dialogue with a major world leader even before your elected – NOT!
    It's this kind of shooting from the hip comments that by Dubya and his crew that has the US held in such low esteem worldwide and all you've managed to do is keep the string alive.
    I was forming the opinion that you were the best GOP candidate for the international world political stage but you just blew it...

    December 20, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Brooks, Little Rock, AR

    It seems Mr. Romney is among the many people who don't understand that TIME's "Person of the Year" designation is NOT AN AWARD. It's nothing more than the magazine's opinion of the person who, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, most impacted world events during the year. Past designees have included Hitler, Stalin, Kruschev, etc.

    December 20, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Elaine, Wallingford, Connecticut

    Tom from Albuquerque and John from Connecticut said it all and saved me some time typing. DITTO, at least the Russians can be proud more than I can say for being an American right now!

    December 20, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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