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. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    I am very saddened by the fact that some of you think Putin deserves the title because he is "a great leader of a country". This just shows your lack of love and respect for America. Being from that country myself, I can almost guarantee you if you made similar comments about Putin living in Russia, you would have been on the FBI watch list followed by an agent day and night. You are very lucky you live here, in America – a free country indeed with no strings attached.

    December 20, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  2. scott,manchester NH

    for someone who sounds a lot like he supports bush, i'm just not sure anything he says should be taken seriously; "squelched" public dissent ha? i'm pretty sure Bush just plain IGNORED public dissent.
    his use of the term "disgusting" has better application with GOP politics here in america.

    December 20, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. David, Copperas Cove, Texas

    Putin has over 70% approval in his country. The Russians are once again in control of their destiny. We on the other hand are declining in every respect. Good or bad, tha's their choice. Our General has hardly created success in Iraq. that is just a phase that will probably end once we reduce troop levels there.
    Britney spears would have made a better choice for person of the year. We watch more tv about her that anything else in the US. God Bless America.

    December 20, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. Charles

    Time Magazine says that their objective, in naming the "Person of the Year," is to identify the most influential newsmaker- without regard to that individual's notoriety or acclaim. Personally, I don't endorse the notion of rewarding bad behavior in such a manner. Nevertheless, Putin was not, by any means, the most influential newsmaker of 2007- certainly not in American news outlets, in the very least. He is an agitator, but he lacks the influence or importance that the magazine imputes. What happened to the editorial board that made the "Person of the Year" decisions in years past (not including last year)? Have they all been fired?

    December 20, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  5. Daniel, NY

    The latest Iowapoll has Romney trailing Huckabee by 8% - though Romney has now tied Giuliani in the latest national poll.

    December 20, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  6. arias, seattle, wa

    Unreal. To all the people that agree with Romney and ask why Time can't ignore a 'bad person' regardless of influence, it's time to get your head out of your provincial little world where the sun don't shine.

    You sound like the obvious type of obstructer that would only report the good news and not the bad. Yet you're not smart enough to realize your ideal world is Orwellian and not Utopia.

    December 20, 2007 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  7. Benjamin Dovers

    TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability—stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years. Whether he becomes more like the man for whom his grandfather prepared blinis—who himself was twice TIME's Person of the Year—or like Peter the Great, the historical figure he most admires; whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression—this we will know only over the next decade. 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. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year.

    December 20, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. Mark, Portland, OR

    Um, Hitler was Man of the Year back in the late '30s. Just because somebody is Person of the Year doesn't mean that they earned that by being the world's most upstanding citizen or something like that. TIME picks them based on impact...for better or for worse. It's not an endorsement, just a recognition of importance. And nobody can just laugh Putin and his Russia off anymore, unfortunately. The guy's bats, but he totally deserves to be Person of the Year for the press he's generated in 2007.

    December 20, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  9. Sparrowhawk,Mich

    The only reason things are not worse in Iraq in the short term is the Sunnis are being paid in "CASH"= OUR CASH TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE.How long will that last? And how much more money will it cost us??? The tax payer!

    December 20, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  10. Nick, Milpitas, California

    Mitt Romney is rapidly becoming the king of phony outrage. First his angry demand that Mike Huckabee "apologize" for criticisms of George W. Bush, and now this. Mitt Romney is an intelligent, educated man, and as such knows fully well that the designation of "Person of the Year" goes to those individuals who have had the most effect on the course of history in a given year, for better OR for worse. This is a cynical attempt on his part to manipulate an electorate that he assumes is ignorant, plain and simple.

    December 20, 2007 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  11. CMS, Socal

    Yes Dims, lets pile on a fellow American because a neo-dim is man of the year. Good idea; socialism for everyone! Celebrate Comrades!

    December 20, 2007 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  12. B. Lyden, Fort Collins, CO

    It just goes to show how narrow minded many of our would-be (and current) leaders are. They criticize what they do not understand and celebrate an injustice that should never have happened in the first place. He just lost my vote (not that he ever had it to begin with).

    December 20, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  13. E. C., Houston, Texas

    AMEN! You can say that again, Mitt, Loud and Clear! We're ALL appalled and disgusted. That guy from TIME is plain NUTZ! Putin brought the KGB with him, Putin obviously agrees with the KGB methods of Control and Murder. Just What was the Message with this horrid choice? The world hasn't seen the WORST of Putin...just wait. Iran and China are Putin's friends...not the U.S.A.

    December 20, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. Bryan, Folsom, CA

    To assume that Mitt Romney is somehow unaware of what the POY really is...I can't express how dumb that assumption is. Hate the man if it tickles your fancy, for whatever reason (perhaps most importantly because you support a different candidate), but don't be absurd. I really don't like Mike Huckabee or Rudy Guiliani, but neither is stupid.

    December 20, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  15. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Tom New Mexico....go live in Russia. You're obviously IGNORANT of Putin and what he has done. Educate yourself. How dare you mention George Bush in the same comment in such a derogatory manner? Putin is EVIL and that is WHY Time selected him, although the U.S. is appalled. Putin is just getting started and you will soon regret your comments.

    December 20, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  16. Kent Phillips, Mito, Japan

    Time's Man of the Year is not designated to be the best man of the year or the biggest role model, but the person whose actions have made and will make the deepest impact on world history. In 2007, Putin's actions transformed the world's largest nation into an international player once again while simultaneously creating a new political paradigm that will rule over hundreds of millions for years to come. No other person can lay claim to such lofty actions this year.

    December 20, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. shane, Grand Junction, CO

    wow lots of complaining in the comment section, who cares if hitler or stalin were once POY times change (which means Time Magazine should change too!!)
    just because the US is no longer in cold war mode, doesnt mean we shouldnt be against communism, Putin has not made much world news. Everyone listens to namecalling so it should have been Chavez!! as for the General well just because the world knows about the war doesnt mean they care enough to know who is the petraeus is!! find someone humanitarian to be POY (no not Al Gore)
    And for all you whining about how we mistreat Prisoners of War and eavesdrop on the country taking away liberties... we only listen for the Bad guys so stop crying over the thought the govermnet might steal your weed stash someday...we dont care about American's we dont eavesdrop on ourselves just actual forieg threats within the US. And these extremist we capture are anti western civ and anti capitalist (Russia altough Communist very much depends on Capitalist by the way!!) so anyways these extremeist shouldnt be treated the same way we would treat are own simply because they dont believe in our ways...(duh you think they not going to torture us if they had a chance?) very simple logic...stop worrying about your rights and Liberties cause the truth is whats going on with the war has not in anyway or ever will actually effect your liberties!!

    December 20, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. Steve, Lyons, CO

    ...and geez...McCAIN. What a pathetic little arf dog he's become.

    December 20, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  19. Michael M. Metzgar, Stroudsburg Pennsylvania

    Time's man of the year is not necessarily an honor for the selectee. The "man" of the year is the person or entity that most effected the world that year. (One year it was the computer, one year it was Adolf Hitler.) To call the choice of Putin disgusting only shows true ignorance of the purpose of Time's selection. Do you want to vote for such a person for President? Think carefully.

    December 20, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  20. Tom, Iowa

    What insight into Romney's diplomacy skills! Thank God, he won't be president anytime soon. (Of course by the time the election rolls around, he'll probably change his mind on this too.)

    December 20, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  21. Joe

    The Republicans are just showing how terrible of a president they would make. From the Time website, the award goes to: "for better or for worse, the person who has done the most to influence the events of the year." If good old Mitt had taken 30 seconds to look up what the award is actually for then he wouldn't look like such a moron right now. McCain thinks Petraeus has brought success is Iraq? Is he already senile? All Petraeus has done is encite a civil war in Iraq.

    December 20, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  22. Jen, San Diego, CA

    Thank you Jake from NY. Mitt Romney is an idiot.

    December 20, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  23. elizabeth fenimore

    romney is an idiot.
    end of discussion.

    December 20, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  24. Al, Sacramento CA

    Mitt and McCain are making propaganda statements. Patreus brought peace? Our leaders just signed another 70 billion for the war!! Who are these two idiots kidding. At least Putin has a 70% approval rating unlike our president. I guess our next leader who pulls our country out of ruin will also get a 70% approval.

    Why don't these two idiots start focusing on domestic issues instead. By the way, if Mitt by any miracle is elected president, our country will see many dark days ahead. Scary!!

    December 20, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  25. Chris R, Pittsburgh PA


    Sometimes ignoring bad people wil make them go away. However, ignoring bad people who also happen to control a very large military, has a lot of influence in the world, and a host of nuclear weapons doesn't usually work out too well.

    December 20, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
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