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. David, Santa Ana, California

    Undiplomatic of McCain & Romney to say the least. You both flunked the ability to be diplomatic statesmen of a man you may have to deal with someday, (if elected).
    And how can you lie to the American people ? when we know that the White House has also squelched public dissent and free press. You speak forked with tongues.
    And please do your homework next time before you speak. Time Awards have been given historically to people that have affected the world the most. If the awards were given to people whom you most like, probably Oprah Winfrey would have been picked. Sorry, neither of you qualify.

    December 20, 2007 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  2. Sad, SP, SD

    Here we go with another impressive display of judgement for someone who thinks they have the ability to represent this country on a world scale. Shame on you Mitt. ...does your faith say anything about who gets to judge whom? ...and if you by chance happen to be elected president, wonder how you will handle yourself in a summit with Putin after making such public statements. You aren't handling pressure very well at all...and the heat hasn't even been turned up yet.

    December 20, 2007 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  3. Steve in Charlotte

    This is so funny... If you don't like Time's choice for person of the year DON'T READ THE MAGAZINE.

    I guess the follow up story will be Romney's criticism for "Seventeen" magazine picking Paris Hilton as the Totally Cool Celebrity of the Year.

    December 20, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  4. Frank tulsa, ok

    Putin? You mean the man who headed the gov't that poisoned two people who opposed his tyrannical leadership? Did the new President of the Ukraine whose face is now permanently marred get to vote? That is truly special.

    Time just gave Romney and McCain easy political points. But McCain went juuuuust a bit to far with his Petraeus calling Iraq a 'SUCCESS'.

    Romney is a just being a political moocher with his comments as is McCain.

    Let's get back to the issues..shall we?

    And TIME magazine needs to be boycotted for sheer stupidity and bad timing. If Putin is the Man of The Year then Cheney is the Hunter of The
    Year. Get a clue.

    December 20, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  5. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    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 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  6. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    George W. Bush was times Man of the Year 2004. Now talk about "disgusting"!

    December 20, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  7. Joe, Ann Arbor MI

    First of all, it is PERSON of the year, not MAN of the year. Second... Time clearly states that this title is a dubious honor at best, acknowledging the most powerful or influential person, not necessarily the "nicest" or "best" person. Over the past decades many "infamous" people have received this title. Poor Mitt does not understand the title and he's just shooting his mouth off in ignorance.

    December 20, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  8. Katie, Birmingham, AL

    Ron Paul is my man of the year!!!

    December 20, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  9. Mohammad, LA CA

    well, man of the year is awarded to the most INFLUENTIAL man. Petraus may have succeeded in beating the insurgents a little bit, but Putin reformed Russia and put it back as a world power. He's going to annex Belarus next, further extending its territory. The guy is a genius in every word, I admire him.

    December 20, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  10. Dave Potts, Charlotte, NC

    It blows my mind that a presidential candidate would think that it's a good idea to antagonize a foreign leader before he's even elected to office. Way to open up the door for diplomacy for the Romney administration there, Mitt! Make no mistake, these people (the neocons) have utter contempt for the rest of the globe. Putin has a sorry record on human rights and civil liberties (which the article DID mention), but at the end of the day, if you believe we have to fight a global war on terror, you need the Russians on our side. Not to mention the fact that we are trying to ensure the security of all of the WMD's that the Soviets built or developed. How completely incompetent.

    December 20, 2007 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  11. Juan, Houston, TX

    Just wondering, but what are all you democrats going to complain about after January, 2009? You complained about Clinton for eight years, and now I hear & read, "blah, blah, blah, Bush this, Bush that, he's a bad guy, unjust war, blah, blah, blah." So- if Putin is such a great guy, then why you don't you all move to Russia?

    December 20, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  12. MormonInc, Salt lake city, Utah

    Having a member of a cult as man of the year is no better either.

    December 20, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. P.Catanzaro - Miami Florida

    Time magazine choice totally inappropriate, I don't know if they are living in another world or what! Is like to choose Fidel Castro as charitable icon instead of a murderer!Guys you have no credibility, just another bias mass junk paper publishers!

    December 20, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  14. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Everyone condemed Musharraf for imprisoning his judges and lawyers across the country, and engaging in a martial law that effectively distanced him from his allies.

    The Junta has killed [reportedly] over 200 people, jailed over thousands, and violently assaulted monks during a peaceful protest.

    Putin has jailed his opponents, alleged assassinations of journalists and critics, the main suspect in the Litvenenko poisoning is now part of the Kremlin, and effectively destroyed Chechnya, while showing off that his bombs are the largest in the world. And some people, without proof, would say that the attack in North Ossetia was orchestrated by him to justify his Chechnya action, though no proof is obvious.

    Putin has been newsworthy this year, and in turn has earned the distinction over those who would rather be humble about their achievements.

    Doesn't change the fact he's a humorless Tsar who has destroyed the democracy and freedom of his country, perferring to give his larger seats to those who work for his oil company while he spits on the allies who helped him get as far as he has made it.

    So, congrats to him with his notable achievement. He's definitely been newsworthy this year.

    December 20, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  15. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    What an interesting comment Mitt. This really demonstrates your obvious ignorance of foriegn affairs. If you are elected president, what will your first words to Prime Minister Putin be? "Will you sign this copy of Time magazine for me?"

    I personally would have picked Osama bin Laden. By avoiding capture and remaining free for the last five years he has exposed the incompetance of the current president and his administration. This is all the more embarrassing considering that the president has gotten everything he wanted from the Republican-controlled congress.

    December 20, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  16. Bryan, Scranton PA

    Interesting Mitt. Of course, you negelct to say that the US president and administration have illegally detained "enemy combatants" for years without justification, initiated an illegal domestic spying program that violates several articles of the constitution and basically bankrupted this country. Oh yeah, how many American's support Bush? How many Russians support Putin? Enough said. I think that it's disgusting that our "leaders" hold this country up on a pillar when we've they are the ones that have been shaming our name for the past 7 years.

    December 20, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  17. Paul, Philadelphia

    I guess they just dont understand that it is given to the person with the most influence or impact in a given year... morons.

    December 20, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. Scott, Gainesville, FL

    Several years ago, when Time magazine selected Ayatollah Khomeini as Man of the Year, the publication experienced a similar backlash. Time clarified that the "Man of the Year" designation represented, in their opinion, the person or persons who was the most influential in the news, whether that influence was primarily positive or negative.

    To many of us, the title "Man of the Year" would seem to be a positive conferral, which I'm sure is the basis for Mr. Romney's comments. I do think, however, he is going a bit over the top with his reaction. This is simply one publication's opinion as to who is the most influential person in the news for the past calendar year.

    December 20, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  19. Frank Johnson, Buffalo, NY

    Here comes the hypocrisy! Romney is upset because Putin has imprisoned people without granting them their legal rights, he has squelched individuals' rights and the free press, and his actions have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people? Wait a second, was he talking about Putin, or Bush???? Romney clearly wants to see his own mug on the cover of Time magazine one day, and I fear that he will do his very best to imitate our current king, in order to do so!

    December 20, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  20. Anonymous

    I Thought Mr Romney would be more knowledgeable of the international politics and that democracies around the world are different from the democracy we have in the US.
    We act like Ostriches in the US and claim to have a perfect system.
    At least Mr Putin was able to stabilize his country after almost 100 years of total chaos in a big and dangerous country like Russia.

    December 20, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  21. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Well, I have to agree with Mitt on Putin being a bad choice, but that is where it ends. I am surprised that Mitt didn't want the KBR rapists to be Man Of The Year.

    December 20, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  22. Joe, Florida

    He obviously does not know the meaning of The Man of the Year. Apparently, he didn't read the article. The Man of Year Award goes to a person who has truly done amazing things, for better or for worse. In my personal opinion, Putin has done more good things than bad things for Russia.

    Let's not forget he OPPOSED THE IRAQ INVASION.

    Anyways, just because an American didn't get the award, he shouldn't be pissed.

    My respect for Time Magazine has just gone up.

    Congratulations to Mr. Putin on his award.

    December 20, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. Jack, Washington DC

    Well I'm sure Romney has a copy of the issue with his mug shot superimposed on the cover. ... and what success in Iraq?

    December 20, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. Joe, Wayland, NY

    This kind of language is EXACTLY why Mitt Romney should NOT be president of the United States. Like it or not, we share the Earth with Putin and the millions of Russians who truly support and like him. We stand for democracy, right? Oh yeah, except when we disagree with what the "people" choose....

    December 20, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  25. ryan, Nashua NH

    I'm not voting for Romney, but I agree with him on this. Time must be keeping with the tradition of picking people like Hitler for this award.

    December 20, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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