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. saga for Obama

    please watch this interview, we are witnessing the desperation of the Republican party, those who are the Rich white men clinging to power and greed at the expense of the American people. they will lie cheat and steal to hold on to their God...Money and Power. Romney clearly is sticking to the Republican script of lies, half truths and fear....
    well mr Romney, we have seen this movie, now America is choosing to write a new script.
    we will not how to the Lies of the republican party any more, we will not submit to the fear tactics you try to envelope us with. America was built on the courage of her people and this administration has caused us shame, we are seeing through Romney , Black and a host of the rich white men who support the millionaire Senator McCain that if McCain gets into office it will be business as usual.
    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Jim

    Lisa you're pathetic, get a job!

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. McGrinch

    You're a mean one, Mr. McGrinch.
    You really are a heel.
    You're as cuddly as a cactus,
    You're as charming as an eel.
    Mr. McGrinch.
    You're a bad banana
    With a greasy black peel.
    –adapted from Dr. Seuss

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. The Surly Scholar

    Of course, Mitt. Nothing smacks of elitist latte liberalism like trying to protect the human race from nuclear annihilation. You just go right on thinking that.


    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Drill Sgt Moss

    Don't expect Romney to make sense, EVER

    Good job, John- CNN needs more people to keep these idiots in check and not let them spew their talking points ad nauseam

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. patti

    Thank you John Roberts for doing your homework and reporting the facts of the story after the initial comments were made, proving again that the media can do it's job, serving the need for correct information, without taking sides. It's not the reporter's fault if erroneous information is being put out there by one side or the other.

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Don in Florida

    Too bad politicians just can't level with us Americans. They think we're stupid. We realize that we are going to have to make some very tough choices to get our country out of the mess it's in going forward. Yes We Can!

    June 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Casey in CA.

    McCain and Romney deserve each other – both are full of themselves and puppets for the Bush/Rove Regime.

    Come'on ya'll... say it with me.... NO BUSH THIRD TERM!! NO BUSH THIRD TERM!! NO BUSH THIRD TERM!!

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Jackie

    Romney is out of the race. He should stop sticking his foot in his mouth. Proliferation is a liberal issue? When did the conservatives decide they were in support of nuclear expansion?

    I love the way Republicans throw the word 'liberal' around like it's an obscenity.

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Annette


    He has no clue what he is talking about. Which by the way, is why he is not the presumptive nominee. This guy is all money with no substance.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. DB

    The republicans are already getting desperate as they have resorted to the Kitchen sink strategy! Unfoturnately this kind of strategy on works on low information voters as we saw in the democratic primaries. The Obama campaign has plenty of time exhibit Barack's true character. It does make things a lot easier when the Republicans look like idiots.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. be gone redneck republic

    can we just end the debate and recognize that republicans are the dumbest people alive?

    June 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. True

    You cannot trust Mitt Romney for anything. The man has no integrity.

    June 26, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. NoMcSame

    PUMA PAC people I hope that you are happy with your choise in this election. Hillary will not be voting with you this time. You all look so stupid in the eyes of all the world that I miss you guys on here sometimes. Your leader was on tv and he sounded about as stupid as you all do. Vote Mcsame what a shame. Give up and stop kicking against that stone and come on back home people. Help save our kids from McWAR. He loves the sound of body counts on the news every day. Don't be like him. Stand up to him. It's time to move on and put our house back in order. We must ALL stand behind Obama and change what is going on in Washington.

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Democrat

    O boy anyone see that add in Oregan with a repubican running for Sanate trying to ride on Obama's coat talils says he crossed over the isle to work with Obama one some legislation. What is funny is that he wants to run alongside Obama... why is that???????????????????????? Republicans for Obama YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Doris,Memphis,TN

    McCain needs a platform.
    Stop attacking Obama!
    Barack Obama will be a President for all Americans!

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. LJ in Cypress

    I watched the inerview on CNN this morning, and it left me flabbergasted!!!! When Roberts spelled out examples exposing the lie about Obama having no record of working in a bi-partisan maner, Romney quickly dismissed this info by stating that these were liberal issues. Non-proliferation???....the very foundation of the illegal invasion and overthrow of the government f Iraq...this is a liberal agenda. Come on Mit.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Citizen

    Why is a polygamist speaking against proliferation?

    June 26, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    Romney is a photo-op politician–but mostly just an idiot.

    This is why we need a third-party. These guys just won't admit anybody may have a better idea than them (that includes Democrats and Republicans).

    Want real change in Washington?


    Bob Barr/Wayne Root 2008

    Give us liberty, but please don't bore us to death with the current two party corruption and ideological dreamscape we are continually promised and never given.

    Got Liberty!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. John in Ohio

    "As far as Bush is concerned, he promised to be a Reagan Rebulican and he instead turned into a Democrat. He was far more a Republican when he was Govenor of Texas than he is today as President."

    2 questions
    What are you smoking?
    How can I get some?

    Anything that makes you think Bush is a Democrat is some powerful psychotropic stuff.

    June 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. sherry



    June 26, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. Luciann

    Oh My~ Romney has taken Liberal-bashing to a whole new level. Romney is certainly trying to win the audition for VP isn't he. His ineptitude on this and other issues epitomizes the core of the Republican Party....They have no platform to run on other than "fear and smear" and this just adds a new one.......ignorance!

    June 26, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |

    McCain / Romney = McMIllionaire / Mitt Millionaire with a couple Multi prefixes before the Millionaire.

    June 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Jim

    I think we should have a new holiday when Bush packs his bags and the republican party go into hiding.

    June 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Who does Romney think he is kidding? He is salivating about the possibility of being a Vice President and one step away from the presidency. What a puppet he is turning out to be.

    June 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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