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. Sam, IA

    The only reason violence in Iraq is down is that the ethnic cleansing has been for the most part accomplished and the aparthied of Sunnis and shia is completed. This is not the doing of Patraeus. It is the doing of assasinations and mass murders.
    There has been absolutely NO political progress and the wound is just festuring.

    December 20, 2007 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  2. Jean, Manchester NH

    Laura said: But 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?

    Because ignoring bad people doesn't make them go away, just like ignoring bad things doesn't make them not happen. Why put a bad person on the cover? Because that bad person had big effect on the world, and the results of what he did are news. News that's important for us to know about. Pretending he doesn't exist won't change that. Pretending there is no bad news won't make it stop. News is not all about cute fluffy kitties. Important news very rarely is.

    December 20, 2007 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  3. Penguinn, Edmonds WA

    With regard to Patrick's post above about the Bush administration's control of dissent and the media, I would point out that almost the entire White House press corps has been cowed into soft-balling questions to "our leader" for fear that, if they ask a real question, they will be blacklisted from access to any administration official. As for dissent, anywhere Bush goes protesters are relegated to so-called "free speech zones" where Bush (and the media) cannot see or hear them. LONG LIVE HELEN THOMAS!

    December 20, 2007 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  4. Jack, Atlanta, GA

    This pandering is disgusting. Mitt Romney is a tool. He will never get elected with this thinly veiled demagogy. As for John McCain. Well, his Iraq stance is somewhat ridiculous. He refuses to acknowledge that any success in Iraq could be related to anything but the surge. Why can't politicians compromise and acknowledge that both sides have some merit?

    December 20, 2007 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  5. Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco, CA

    Every single thing Romney says to describe Putin can absolutely be attributed to his hero, George W. Bush.

    December 20, 2007 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  6. Chris

    This is a terrible choice for person of the Year, why not make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or even George Bush the man of the year too while they are at it. What a Farce!

    December 20, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  7. Roy, Vancouver, BC

    I think TIME does not include the positive influence into the criteria is because it is a subjective one. I'm quite sure some of the Russians consider Putin the greatest leader of all and compared Bush as the worst ever. History will be determined by the winner.

    December 20, 2007 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  8. Sam IA

    Hmm I'll try again since the CNN censors have decided they will narrow the field of dissent. Putin has influenced world politics. Patreaus has moved in after the mass murders and apartheid of Sunnis and Shia has been accomplished. There is NO political progress in Iraq. It is the same old religous infighting it has always been.

    December 20, 2007 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  9. ZeShan, New York City, NY

    "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. " – this is a quote from Time Magazine. Mitt Romeney has thus proven to me how unreliable his character truely is. So goes for McCain. Both are incapable of reading between the lines.

    December 20, 2007 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  10. Abraham Medina, Hurst, Texas

    Time Magazine is CORRECT! Its about time we give justice in our choice for this matter. In a time when there is so much immorality and corruption on the Iraq war, Romney fails to see this number one problem in America. The impact of selecting a Russian instead of an American should be felt in Congress, The White House and ALL the presidential candidates, some of which are openly hypocrites or are simply imbeciles. More power to you- Time magazine.

    December 20, 2007 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  11. Kerry, San Jose, CA

    I also found it disgusting. Time may not intend Person of the Year as an honor, but many people will perceive it as such. Yes, he restored a sense of stability to Russia, but did so at the expense of personal freedoms.

    By the way, the next President will not have to deal with Vladimir Putin as a head of state. His term expires May 2008 and he cannot run again.

    December 20, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  12. Bruce

    Good grief, Romney sounds like Bush more and more everyday....I really don't want another 8 years of that. It is so obvious that this is a strategy by Republicans to make an issue from a non-issue. General Patreus?? It's like they are reading from a script. Not everything about Man of the Year has to be all touchy-feely good...when in the world will politicians come back down to Earth?

    December 20, 2007 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  13. Jango Davis

    Time bases it's selection on the person who had the most influence or signifies a turning point in world history. Hitler, for example, was selected as a Man of the Year, and not for all the good things he was doing. The fact that Rommney ignores that fact proves he is either ignorant or an idiot who expects us to forget 60+ years of Time's men (and women) of the year and the criteria for the designation just so he can score a few political points with what few remaining people in this country who think Bush's little war of opportunity deserves our support let alone General Petrayus' surge success, which will only be a minor footnote in the American wars of opportunity in the early 21st century.

    Rommney is an idiot for making such an assertion.

    December 20, 2007 05:59 am at 5:59 am |




    December 20, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  15. Brandon, Davis, CA

    To repeat the chorus: Person of the Year goes to whoever, for better or for worse, has affected the world the most during the year. To CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney: for the sake of fair journalism, could you please at least revise the article to mention that the "Person of the Year" is not necessarily the "Best Person of the Year"?

    Also, I agree that Bush is a terrible president, but this is not the forum nor the article to be Bush bashing. Save that for a ticker article with the title "George Bush eats Babies" or "George Bush does something unconstitutional, again..."

    December 20, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  16. Robin Dicken Springfield, Illinois

    Man o man! If this guy is Prez all bets are off! The only big difference between Putin and Bush is that Bush is bringing an empire to it's knees-ours

    December 20, 2007 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  17. Jeff lorton VA

    If this guy gets elected we going to go to war with Russia. Stupid person like this wants to be the leader of our great country and talks trash about another country leader shows no respect. God help us all if he is elected.

    December 20, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  18. Alex, Philadelphia PA

    See CNN, if you were still a responsible journalistic organization, you would have mentioned in this story a pertinent fact that several readers have already brought to light in the comments. Time's "Person of the Year" doesn't go to the best American who does really good things, it goes to the person who was the biggest newsmaker, either good or bad.

    Putin definitely falls under this banner, as his recent political actions have brought Russia just that much closer to the Soviet Union we used to know and fear. So instead of playing their game and regurgitating this sense of indignation implying that Time is less American or whatever because Petraeus isn't the person of the year, this article would have been far more informative if it would have mentioned the truth of the matter; either these Republican candidates will do anything to score cheap political points, or they are genuinely ignorant of the purpose of Time's "person of the year" title. I highly doubt that the latter is the case, since we went through this same song and dance in 2001 when Time attempted to name bin Laden their "person of the year."

    But either way, I don't want any such persons leading this country, and I would appreciate if CNN would do its part in at least trying to expose their misdirected attempts at patriotism so that the readers could decide for themselves.

    December 20, 2007 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  19. Jon, Boston, MA

    Romney is one of the most negative candidates for the presidency I have ever seen. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a negative comment about one of his opponents or issues. Romney will say or do anything to get elected. Definitely not someone I want leading our country.

    December 20, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  20. chris krapf virginia beach, va

    Uh...I can see how their republican-ness can cause their disappointment with Putin being selected when they feel someone like Petraeus should be man of the year. It's pure comedy. Man of the Year has always seemed to me to be a dubious honor anyways. I think it's a perfect selection. Just like if TIME had any backbone they would've made Osama Bin Laden MOTY in 2001, like they originally wanted to.

    December 20, 2007 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    So both Romney and McCain think Petraeus has "brought success in Iraq"? And just what is this success? Fewer deaths of American troops? Stability? Sucking another $70B out of America to throw down the Mideast toilet?

    December 20, 2007 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  22. Stefan, RI

    i wouldn't have a problem with Mitt and John wanting Patraeus as man of the year if they weren't so obviously looking for outside vindication of their iraq policy ideas. if they say that there is success in iraq, then it must be, because they said so. classic republican playbook.

    December 20, 2007 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  23. Gregory, ON

    Mitt Romney represents everything that is wrong with America–He is a surface dwelling fundamentalist Christian who will propogate fear in American culture and force the further merger of church & state to the point where the 'Will of God' will justify all his rule. I am so ashamed that America has allowed such a candidate to even set foot on the debating stage with Heroes like Ron Paul...Vote Paul 08' and learn about FREEDOM.

    December 20, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  24. DRH Kinston, NC

    I think the American people should not purchase Time Magazine. Let's see how many are purchased in Russia.

    December 20, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  25. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Now why would Time-Warner's Time magazine choose Putin as man of the year? He certainly has a trememdous effect on our world, stopping the old USSR's transition to democracy and re-establishing a Stalinist dictatorship, threatening to revive the Cold War, and providing the unsavory regimes of the Middle East and elsewhere with economic support.

    But, my instinctive distrust of gigantic corporations like Time-Warner makes me suspicious. These organizations never do anything for the reasons they make public. I suspect that surveys and focus groups were used to determine which "Man of the Year" would sell more copies. Time surely doesn't care if readers purchase the magazine because they love the choice or are outraged by the choice. Journalists no longer manage our news organizations. They are led instead by the inhuman graduates of our business colleges who calculate, focus-group, and survey their way to every decision.

    CNN, another Time-Warner child, changed its coverage of the Iraq War based on focus groups and surveys indicating that CNN was not seen as sufficiently patriotic. So, they got out the flags and started waving as advertising revenues poured in.

    December 20, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
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