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. susan, washington dc

    Why does the man of the year have to be a US Citizen? Heeelllloooo, the US is not the only game in town. No one said that we had to LIKE the individual that TIME names "Man of the Year".

    December 19, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Fred Pittsburgh PA

    Attacking Time magazine for selecting Putin for most Americans is a given because they mindlessly believe only Americans should be selected and Republican Americans at that. For Romney to attack using the language he did only proves he is not ready to be a president that can deal with other countries. That makes him just a Bush imitator and we've had enough of the real McCoy. I'll bet every Time critic has yet to even glance at why they selected Putin. They're more interested in reading Sports Illustrated.

    December 19, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. Lee

    I'm sure that Gov. Romney and Sen. McCain are aware that Time's Man (or Person) of the Year title is for the one who had the most impact on the world, for good or ill. Many people have criticized Time's choices over the years (Hitler and Stalin for example). The point that Romney and McCain make, as has been made before by others, is that Time shouldn't be giving an award for doing bad things. Having an award for someone who makes the most news or changes the world the most by doing bad things acts to condone or legitimize that sort of behavior. Time needs to change its criteria for selection of the Man of the Year title.

    December 19, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  4. J Mullen, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Mitt Romney is correct. The ignorance related to these posted comments scares me. Putin has placed almost all political opposition in jail. Most suspect that he was directly involved in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, one of the few reporters in Russia who dared challenge him. The British government suspects Putin was directly involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Putin has manipulated the Russian elections to essentially make himself the perpetual leader of the country.

    In 1 year, George Bush will be gone. A new president with new policies will take over and will take a different approach. That will happen because the USA has a system that allows it to happen. Our elections work. If you lose elections, don't cry about it, work to win the next one. In Russia, there are not valid elections because a dictator has changed a country to serve himself. There is no comparison to the USA.

    December 19, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  5. Don Longmont, CO

    Finally a politician who speaks the truth and isn't worried about being politically correct. What a concept, tell the truth.

    December 19, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Editor, (Washington DC)

    I read this article again and it just amazes me that Romney is so out of touch. When he first declared his candidacy, many writers commented how "presidential" Romney looked. Looked maybe, but he certainly doesn't sound presidential. Harvard must be ashamed to have an alum with such narrow minded ideas; possibly a course in international relations or peace and conflict resolution might be in order.

    December 19, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Bryan, Boston, Ma

    I can't believe all the hippies commenting on this thing. Isn't Putin the freak that lifted up the little boy's shirt in the public square and KISSED HIS TUMMY?!!! What a pervert. ROMNEY IS RIGHT – and I'd bet a dollar Romney is the Man of the Year choice next year...after winning the presidency.

    December 19, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Paul, Jacksonville Florida

    why doesn't Time magazine just ignore a bad person? If we all agree they're a bad person, why put a bad person on the cover?
    Posted By Laura Tulsa OK : December 19, 2007 8:52 pm

    Because Time is a news magazine that covers world events, and is noting the person who most affects the news and the world in a given year. It's not a feel-good puff award. Time is not People magazine. Ignoring someone who's a bad person doesn't make them go away, and it sure doesn't reduce their influence on the world.

    We Americans ignore far too much about what's going on outside our borders as it is.

    December 19, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  9. Hugh, Syracuse, NY

    I don't know who I'm more ticked at Romney or Beck. Neither appear to know the basis used by Time Magazine. Both should know. Romney is running for President and Beck works for a Time Warner company!

    December 19, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. jms, Tn

    His father laid ruin to the state of Michigan. We can not stand another one like Bush.

    December 19, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  11. August, Phx, AZ

    Sorry Gentlemen,

    When the U.S. begins to believe in equality for all, then I'll agree with your assessment of Mr. Putin; till then, congrats to him.

    December 19, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  12. Nick Fish, Albion MI

    Mr. Romney and Mr. McCain clearly do not understand the selection process for Time's Person of the Year. It is the person who, for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year.

    They both say that Gen. Petraeus deserves that distinction. Iraq is much the same as it has been since 2006, progress is slow at best, and the surge has succeeded militarily but not politically. Gen. Patraeus has certainly influenced events, but not to the degree that Mr. Putin has.

    The reemergence of Russia as a world power has occurred almost entirely in the last year. Much of Mr. Putin's influence in world events could certainly be characterized as "for worse", but he has certainly done more to impact our lives in the world than any of the other candidates. This is not necessarily an "honor"; it only is an indication of the impact one has had on society. Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney seem to believe that the "best person for American policy interests" should have been chosen by Time. When Time chose Gorbachev, Hitler, and Stalin, it was not implying that these three were the "best" men, only that they had a dramatic impact on the world as we know it. Certainly Mr. Putin can claim that distinction. I applaud Time for its choice and for not shying away from a controversial selection.

    December 19, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  13. Dan, Dallas, TX

    Are you all really comparing Bush and Putin saying they have "repressed free speech and their opposition equally"? The fact you can go ahead and say that on this blog shows otherwise. The fact there can be legal protests involving thousands of people in the USA demonstrates otherwise. I am not a huge fan of President Bush, but at the very least I ask all of you to make apt analogies.

    December 19, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. chris-seattle

    romney + mccain

    a couple of real diplomats those two. good god how do these people get to where they are? can we please make an i.q. test part of the presidential election process.

    December 19, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  15. adam, cleveland ohio

    how about picking a man of the year that doesn't cause death? seems like a weird concept, but hey, why not?

    December 19, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. Angel, Boston, MA

    Looks like Romney needs a history class. Time's Person of the Year isn't an "award", its who they think has had the biggest impact on the world, negative or positive. Stalin and Hitler have also won...

    December 19, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. JR, Houston, TX

    Does it even matter? Both of these clowns are (thankfully) well on the road to irrelevancy. They'd have something dumb to say even if the POY award went to, say, Mother Teresa.

    December 19, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  18. Matt, Cambridge, MA

    Boy, another example of how these GOP candidates are a bunch of lightweights. Talk about being completely undiplomatic in one's dealings with another country. Putin may not be democratic, but he's no worse than many of the right-wing dictators this President has propped up in the name of the "war on terror." (And don't think Bush doesn't bear some of the blame for looking the other way on Russian human rights abuses in Chechnya and elsewhere.)

    December 19, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. John..Benson;Freedom..toFascism

    December 19, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  20. Andy, Carteret, NJ

    I dont know what sort of success they are talking about in Iraq. Also, Osama Bin Laden was the man of the year a few back, it doesn't mean they think he is great. Get a life, politicians, and start talking about things that matter.

    December 19, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. Pat, Houston, TX

    Mitt Romney deserves the award for Unnatural Smile Of The Year.

    December 19, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. C. Baker Heber Springs, AR

    Yeah, they have to yap about Putin, because, gee, Ron Paul was one of the most important men of the year in that magazine, and they sure don't want to comment on that...

    December 19, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Mario Uy Streamwood IL

    Man, you guys are so naive. You see, Times is not doing so well in their circulation. This is one way to pump it up. Free publicity. And everyone of you is eating this up.

    Have you ever heard of CNN doing such a stupid thing?

    December 19, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  24. Glen, Boston, MA

    If only people knew how many generals they went through before they found one that critics could not attack without seeming unpatriotic and who would do the bidding of the White House.

    We live in a Fascist state. It's disgusting.

    December 19, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  25. Antonio,Oakland CA

    The crateria for Man of the year is the person who was most newsworthy. Sometimes its an evil person ad sometimes its a good person.

    Two of the canadates are just padering to the crowd. Putin would not have been my first choice, but I am not TIME magazine.

    December 20, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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