June 26th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Roberts: Those 'Liberal' non-proliferationists


Watch John Roberts interview Mitt Romney.

(CNN) - Just when you think you’ve heard everything in this race for the White House, along comes something truly surprising. Such was the case on Thursday's American Morning. I was speaking with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about Sen. John McCain's new line of attack against Sen. Barack Obama. McCain hopes to paint Obama as a politician who puts party and self-interest above the needs of the nation, claiming that the Illinois senator has “never been a part of a bipartisan group that came together to solve a controversial issue”.

This morning, Romney faithfully repeated that charge. When I pointed out that Obama reached across party lines to work with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, on a non-proliferation measure, and with Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, on increasing gas mileage requirements, Romney shot back, saying that “Actually, on both cases, you’re talking about two liberal positions, non-proliferation as well as the gasoline mileage."

Watch: Romney attacks Obama

It struck me as rather odd – having covered five years of the Bush administration as a White House correspondent – that the governor would view non-proliferation as a “liberal” issue. I seem to recall a little ditty called the “Proliferation Security Initiative,” launched by President Bush on May 31, 2003. The aim of the initiative is to enlist the nations of the world to “stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern.” Whether the program is a success is very much in question (though the administration claims it is), but I’ve never heard anyone call it a “liberal” position.

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soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. JIM...TX

    More DUMBING up by the 2 biggest losers in that party 🙂

    June 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Ian

    Mitt Romney is a tool. If he's so for the war in Iraq why hasn't one single one of his sons gone over there to fight?

    June 26, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Mitt Romney's a tool.. but I'm glad to see he now considers national security as a liberal issue.. haha

    June 26, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. John McCain-McFlip-Flop-McBush is no "maverick"

    Keeping talking it up Romney! You know nothing about "nucular" proliferation which is why you aren't the nominee. Stick to what you know (i.e., nothing).

    June 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Loretta from California

    Wolf, It doesn't strike me as odd. It's more flip-flopping on the GOP side. It's what they do best while trying to get elected. But we simply will not be fooled this time. NOT THIS TIME!!!


    June 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    shut up romney you make my skin crawl go back to your hole you wanted to take elderly peoples social security away you slimy snake!!!

    June 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Amy Kathleen

    Doubt we've seen the last of it. A favorite tactic, Clintons used it as well, say anything in a decisive manner, regardless of how accurate, and your followers won't check it, and will then parrot it so much people will start to believe it was always true.

    June 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. CW4Barak

    They are drowning and grasping....they realize their method to win the election, damage Obama's reputation and feed the American people more fear about terrorism, is not working....so they are grasping...the ship is going down!

    June 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Down with Obama

    I think they paint a pretty clear picture of Obama....me, me, me!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Braden

    haha... umm OK Mitt. I guess proliferating nuclear weapons to unstable regimes and continuing to drive 12 mpg rated cars would be the conservative stance then? They never cease to amaze me.... typical Republican caught in a lie, so they just throw the word 'liberal' out there.

    June 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Romney is a fool. He tries to hit Obama on lack of experience, but he has even less.

    Romney, along with all McCain supporters, just echo whatever junk McCain is trying to throw at Obama at any given time.

    June 26, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Saul Alinsky

    Is ACORN the organization Barack Obama worked out of as a community organizer in Chicago conservative?

    June 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. JPK

    Rom who? The dude is just a looser.

    June 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Jim

    Wow this guy is great, John Roberts, I have to find out when he's on I'm gonna start watching his show! A man with a head on his shoulder, good to see!

    June 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Angie

    The republicans are desparate. Throwing mud on wall to see what sticks. It's not going to work this time. OBAMA 08.

    June 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Jason

    Romney only said that because he is, ahem, "A politician who puts party and self-interest above the needs of the nation." And above common sense, it would appear.

    June 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Neutral

    Romney needs as much help as McCain in his thoughtless outbursts. he is trying hard to be VP but it will not help the Republicans to have two people who don't seem to think before they speak.

    June 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. NYC


    June 26, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Lisa

    I ask Barack to borrow $30 to pay for gas, and he has yet to respond. That's rude considering $30 is not a lot of money.

    June 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. @everyamericans

    the republicans dont have a clue about the economy; so they throw the word 'liberal' around to scare american voters...even Romney, the soooooore Loser, can't speak on the issues other than calling names!

    Not This Time!!!!!

    Obama All The Waaaaaaaaaaaay To The White House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. jen

    McCain supporters...."The gift that just keeps giving".

    June 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Rob K

    So....the conservative position would be in FAVOR of nuclear proliferation?? Conservatives would like to see as many countries as possible with nuclear weapons? Well, in that case, Governor, fine. I'll concede the point. "Liberal" is now security-minded folks without suicidal tendencies.

    I'm glad we could all be set straight by an empty suit containing no heart, and an empty haircut containing no brain.

    June 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Perhaps Romney's "Holy Underwear" was in a bundle?!

    June 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. John

    The republican game is getting sickening nowadays. All they do is paint oponents as something or the other without facing the issues at hand. From Carl Rove(who i think shouldn't show his face anywhere for the Valerie Plame incident) saying Obama is proud and arrogant to Romney saying what ever pleases him. It seems like their antics never change.

    June 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. IAMWMD

    If working across the isles to increase fuel efficiency is considered to liberal by the rightwingers, I guess it would take an act of God to get the Republicans to help everyday Americans instead of big business.

    June 26, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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