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. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    There goes Romney, speaking without his brain again..... but then he's been doing that for about a decade now. He should go into stand up comedy if he's going to speak without facts... and so should the rest of the Republicans. Facts seem to be like kryptonite to these crooks.

    June 26, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Sebastian

    Good work John. This is in the spirit of Tim Russert ... always prepared with facts to refute the obfuscation of a politician.

    The rest of the media should be talking notes. This is what we expect.

    Mitt is lame.

    June 26, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Anita from Arizona

    If "liberal" is your only attack, then Obama have in the bag. Notice McCain's got others to stick their foot in their mouths on his behalf. Thanks Romney and Black. Don't make up lies to help your campaign. Ask Hillary about that. It won't work at all. You're fooling nobody.

    June 26, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Obama

    People, we are going to make the United States exciting again!

    June 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |


    By the way are related to Brian KnoxvlleTN

    June 26, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. MB

    Mitt Romney I hate you. I am throwing John McCain under a bus.

    June 26, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Man wtihout a planet....that was funny!

    June 26, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Rich

    I don't think I need to say much about this matter....LOL!

    June 26, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Peter

    Mitt Romney is attacking Obama after McLame did it to him and thats what killed Romney's campaign, the fact that he thinks its right to do now is why im not a republican...

    June 26, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Bruce

    He is soooo right. Fuel conservation and higher fuel economy standards are liberal crack-pot issues. So is nuclear proliferation, global warming, education, universal healthcare, and anything else that would actually benefit ordinary citizens. I guess the conservative agenda would include wasting fuel, encouraging a nuclear shoot-out, propping up the insurance, drug, oil, auto, tobacco and energy industries no matter what they do to us. How did Mitt ever lose in the primaries?

    June 26, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Blaine, NY

    I agree with Romney. Get off your high horse Roberts. Obama just voted with the Republicans to make himself look different.

    He's a fake and we all see it.

    June 26, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Obama Supporter from FL

    I'm not a mormon, but I really think it is offensive for people to criticize mormons by saying they are a cult or they are polygamists. The mormon church EXCOMMUNICATES polygamists!

    Look, I think Mitt Romney is a moron with bad ideas who comes across as fake, but that doesn't mean we can't be respectful to people of other faiths.

    June 26, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Marc PDX....I I guess you have been watching FOX news. Obama put his career on hold by turning down high paying jobs after Law school to help the less fortunate.

    So again.....McCain and his followers want to continue to demoralize Obama and name call every chance they get.

    So childish.........

    June 26, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. It's all about the oil baby

    On being Liberal

    I remember four years ago when the Republican Party called anyone and everyone who didn't follow G.W as being "liberal." Since that time, this once fine country has been trashed. Jobs being lost, jobs going over seas. Nothing done to secure the borders and ports. Over 4,100 killed in a sensless war where no one could possibly win and I can go on, and on, and on.

    Now there is a "Conservative" that want's to win the White House bid. This "Conservative" has spent five years in a POW camp. That does not make him Presidential material.

    I do not want a man, with such high family and moral values, that he thought so little of his wife and chose to flaunt his affairs in the public eye.

    Nor do I want a man who, because of his despicable behavior and high moral values chose to divorce his crippled wife and marry the rich tart just one month after the divorce was finalized.

    I am surprised just how many people think they can excuse this type of behavior but, unlike them, I will vote for the person that respects their spouse and family because that person would also respect their country.

    McCain is not that type of person.

    June 26, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Suziku

    mcbush and his talking heads are desperate! They don't even know what they're saying, IF they ever did!!!!! Thank you John Roberts for a good interview/article.

    June 26, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Jo Ann

    I do not care what Mitt Rommey thinks or says he is one of McCain's
    attack dogs and please somebody tell me what has he done since he
    could not buy himself into the whitel house.

    June 26, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. AHH

    Mitt Romney is as slimy as Jeb Bush. 2 horrible politicians I would not want to see in the white house.

    June 26, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. YOLA

    Romney is a loser on every front! He has the look of a very dishonest salesman and he just can't get beyond that.

    June 26, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Jack from California

    Interesting that the republicans would call the move to increase gas mileage for cars a "liberal view"

    I guess consuming more gas than is needed and causing a short supply which raises the price and profits for a few like Romney is just what the republican party stands for.

    We have seen what 8 years of republican leadership has brought the country in the form of $5/gallon gasoline and a stock market heading South. Will so called "liberal policies" do more damage then the conservative agenda of the past 8 years has already inflicted on America?

    June 26, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. EE

    Looks like the town in Texas is not the only one looking for it's idiot.

    June 26, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Jimmyapolis

    Mitt Romney is the biggest tool this nation has ever known. Give me a break. He literally makes me puke. Does everyone forgot what a rude scumbag he was toward McCain during the primary? Now he's his lap dog. What a tool. A tool that doesn't fit.

    June 26, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. An American

    Romney doesn't care about Americans, all he cares about is his stupid hair

    June 26, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Not surprising

    I saw the interview and I was very disappointed that Roberts did not
    follow this question up as it was an outlandish statement. Remember the primaries when Mitt was out everyday occusing McCain of sneaky underhanded tricks? Now that he wants to be VP, McCain walks on water. What does that tell you about this man's character?

    Romney is an extremely unlikable fellow, which is why he didn't win the nomination. I just hope that McCain selects him to be VP. I was very offended by Romney attempting to use his personal fortune to buy the election and I suspect that many other Americans felt the same way. He reminds me of a slick car salesman and it's hard to even look at his face.

    June 26, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Zed

    Thank you Gov. Romney for acknowledging that keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists is indeed a "liberal issue." Republican administrations have been doing just the opposite for the past 30 years (arming Iran, Iraq, the Contras, the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia).

    Who's tough on terror now?

    June 26, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Keith in Rhode Island

    Mitt Romney is another rich republican robot who lacks the smarts to do anything but parrot party rhetoric. He's a haircut with no charisma, and no real ideas. Why do we even care about his thoughts on this subject? He LOST his own party's nomination.

    June 26, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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