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. Phyllis McDaniel, Jacksonville, FL

    It's this kind of chest beating that needs to be eliminated from our foreign policy. Once again, the conservative candidates prove that they do not belong on a world stage without a net. I think Putin was the choice, not for his humanity, but for his impact on the world. Like it or not, he has re-directed the focus of our relationship with Russia. He may not be a nice human being, but he has demonstrated he is an influencial one.

    December 20, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Paula, Mobile, AL

    Great! This is just how we want to start off with a new presidency, by further alienating ourselves from Russia. I can already see this backwoods fool will only alienate us more from the rest of the world. It will be interesting if this moron, er Mormon, gets elected (God help us) and he meets with "disgusting" Putin for the first time. How awkward would that be?

    December 20, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Bruce, Toronto, Ontario

    When I read stories such as yours, I am deeply troubled. The candidates running for president are vying to occupy an important WORLD position, not just the oval office. Time chose Putin, not as a popularity contestant, but as someone who has made an impact on the world stage – be it bad or good. Putin HAS changed the world, far more than your General has. I realize that your candidates are trying to garner favor from their constituency... but I am troubled when they display ignorance and narrow-mindedness. I have no say in your election, but I shudder when I contemplate the choices you make.

    December 20, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Claude Kalid, New York City

    An unproductive, thoughtless remark, that makes him equally unqualified to conduct foreign policy as George Bush. How might he expect to negotiate an arms control agreement with Putin with such rhetoric in the background? CK

    December 20, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Jeff, Baltimore, MD

    The person of the year designation is not about who is the sweetest, kindest, holiest person. It's about who has had the most impact on the WORLD (that means more than just the United States), good or bad. Mr. Romney's "disgusting" comment was ignorant. The only people qualified to comment on Mr. Putin's character are those who have met him face-to-face. As for Gen. Petraeus, he won't deserve the honor givento Mr. Putin until Iraqis are as well-off as the Russians.

    December 20, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Dave, Houston, TX

    Mitt Romney just lost any chance of my vote for the presidency. Its ignorance and blindness such as this that has turned out country into a joke on the global stage. And what if he does become president? Now he's on record as condemning Putin – how is he supposed to gain credibility with the man on foreign affairs? Like it or not Russia is here to play.

    December 20, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Bill, Bloomington IL

    So what if Time backs Communism and lack of freedoms? That is their choice. If you believe in freedom, dont read Time magazine.

    December 20, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Scott from Freehold

    These people intentionally misunderstand the Time choice. It is not about who does the most good, but who was the most important figure of the year. Time is wrong every year, and this year is no different, but Romney's reaction is manufactured and fake. Some possible choices for Man of the Year might be Al Gore, who came in second, or perhaps Pervez Musharaff.

    December 20, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Bob, Chicago, IL

    Romney knows perfectly well what the Time Magazine designation "Man of the Year" signifies, but he also knows that many voters do not. It is his constant use of these kind of appeals to the ignorant that will prevent me from ever voting for him. He should go back to what he is very good at. Driving profitable business at the expense of everything else.

    December 20, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. AJ, Bogota, NJ

    Mitt, did you read the criteria for TIME POY before you made this asinine comment? If you can't understand and interpret that, how can you be expected to understand and interpret the Constitu... oh, ok, now I get it!

    December 20, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Archie MacGowan, Wingham, Ontario, Canada

    Mr. Romney needs to get over himself.There is more that goes on in the world than just what happens with regards to the United States.

    My understanding is that Time chooses the person who has the most impact on the world in the last year (good or bad)just one more example of how the Republicans think they are the be all and end all, perhaps one should contemplate that if the United States had not engaged in a war under false pretense General Petraeus would not have the aweful mess to clean up that he has.

    December 20, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Michael

    Romney is absolutely right. Soviet monsters from Stalin, to Trotsky, to Khruschev, to Andropov have been darlinings of the cretinous left for decades. In the 30's and 40's you couldn't find New York "intellectual" who didn't think each was the Second Coming. They were all, of course, common thugs and murders. The New York Times is a national joke. You could fit the intelligence of Frank Rich and Maureen Down and Paul Krugman on a pinhead.

    December 20, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Rafi, NY NY

    Beck interrupted him and read a quote from Time that explained why Putin was chosen, and it was praising Putin for bringing stability to Russia, etc., NOT because he was simply influential.

    Posted By Scott, Muncie, IN

    Ironically, Beck read a quote from Time that itself was chosen out of context. The bit about bringing stability was only the second clause of a sentence. The full sentence: "At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power."

    The rest of Time's reasoning repeats that idea - that Putin has brought stability to his country, but he's also squashed lots of civil liberties to do that. I don't think either can be denied, and I don't find that flattering. And the POY article itself isn't really flattering, either.

    Time makes it clear they are NOT "praising" Putin. Romney is basically saying, I understand it's not an honor, but I wish they wouldn't honor him this way. It doesn't make sense.

    December 20, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    The "Freedom of Speech" police at CNN deleted my message, so here it is again:

    I agree with Governor Romney's sentiments; Time Magazine's selection of former KGB despot Vladmir Putin is disgraceful yet not a 'shock'.

    The entries in this blog by liberals are absolutely laughable; like a stubborn child who is throwing a temper tantrum (and needs a spanking), many Democrats REFUSE to acknowledge the improving conditions in Iraq due to General Patraeus' military leadership and President Bush's tenacity to squash the bloodthirsty, intolerant terrorists.

    Liberals want to throw the baby out with the bath water; their hatred for President Bush is paramount, regardless of the ramifications it may have on our nation and our military.

    Just yesterday a true TORTURE HOUSE (established by the terrorists) was discovered by our brave troops north of Baghdad. No, not water boarding or sleep deprivation; poor souls who were chained up, tormented with electric shock, and then shot in the head.

    Is President George W. Bush perfect? No, the man has made errors, but he has prevented terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 09/11/2001. Success is NEVER an accident.

    God bless our brave troops overseas, and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of them.

    December 20, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Vlad, AL

    I am from one of the former USSR countries. Putin is VERY popular in Russia. He is more popular in former USSR states then local presidents. Russia has 10 mln illegal immigrants from there. To understand that you need to know Russian 1990's. Putin was good for Russia so far. His "political opponents" and "dissidents" are losers who collapsed Russia in 1990's whom russians really hate.
    Surprise: Putin cares about Russian interests. God bless America with an educated and smart president who would care about american economy and american people, not japanese, not chinese, not iraqi... Russia is #1 importer of american chicken, Chevy is the best selling foreign car in Russia and Ford's sales grew 70% in Russia this year and Russian auto market is becoming largest in Europe. It is 2nd oil exporter, etc. Mr.Romney, better think how to keep Detroit car plants from closing. God save America from stupid presidents.

    December 20, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Robert Allen, Dallas, TX

    For Patrick in Denver:

    In May 1999 Bush addressed the Texas House and Senate and uttered these famous words, "there ought to be limits to freedom."
    Since that time he has done everything he can to take away freedoms and emasculate The Constitutional provisions of The Bill of Rights.
    Do some of your own research and you will also learn that he is a spiteful, demogogic, mean-spirited, law breaking individual who would be an ex-con right now if it wasn't for daddy. At least G. H. W. Bush has some sense and the ability to reason. Dumbya has no positive quality that has ever been specifically pointed out by anyone.
    Have a great life and keep buying those rose-colored glasses,

    December 20, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Rob Akers, London, KY

    Terrible blunder by Romney. IF he wins, this will be a major media talking point every time he interacts with the Russian government.

    December 20, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Ajay Jain

    Sure Putin choice is disgusting. It should have been AL GORE. Go Hillary 08!

    December 20, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. KarlB, Minneapolils MN

    Romney still has my vote. I couldn't fathom electing Barack or Hilary, both have only legislative work experience.

    Guliani stood up to organized crime as a prosecuting attorney, even as they called for hits on his life. Plus, he did clean up New York.

    Yet Romney still has the core values of market freedom and self-sustainability. A successful businessman may be the type we need in office, not idealogical pundits.

    December 20, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Phil, Memphis, TN

    Glenn Beck. Wasn't he a 2nd baseman for the Cubs back in the 60's, no wait, that was Glenn Beckert. Who the hell is Glenn Beck anyway? Oh, another admittedley biased neocon with no qualifications that a supposed "impartial news" network allows to spew his right wing propoganda. Oh, and yes, Romney is so transparent in jumping on this. Where is the flag in the background and the Pledge of Alleginace being recited as he talks?

    December 20, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Dale Davis, Glendora, California


    December 20, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Mike - RR, VA

    TIME? Who really gives a rodent's rectem?

    December 20, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Jerry Holly Springs NC

    Obviously Romney has no clue about Person of the Year criteria. The criterion for Person of the Year is not about who has done 'good.' Its about who has had the most influence good or bad throughout 2007, period. While Petraus has had a great influence on that fiasco in Iraq his worldwide influence does not even come close to Putin (whom I personally dislike). Maybe when Mitt realizes this he can flip flop his position as usual.

    December 20, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Really Bill, don't be daft. Time is not backing communism at all – they are just saying that Putin shaped the news the most in the past year. As much as I groaned when I read that Romney and McCain wanted Petraeus, they might have been right. His failed policies in Iraq have crippled America financially and diplomatically even more – not to mention the cost of American lives.

    December 20, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Dan Seattle, WA

    Oh silly Willard!

    Those same traits you bash have been personified by Time's 2004 "Man of the Year"...George W. Bush.

    It's about who was most newsworthy not who is most moral.

    2001 was the biggest joke when Rudy one. Bin Laden, though a complete scumbag, won hands down that year–that is, if Time consistently applied it's criteria.

    December 20, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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