March 27th, 2012
09:38 AM ET
11 years ago

Russian president lobs 'Hollywood' charge at Romney

(CNN) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tweaked Mitt Romney for his characterization of Russia as the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the United States, saying the comments did not reflect the current relationship between the two countries.

"It is very reminiscent of Hollywood and also of a certain phase in Russian-U.S. relations," Medvedev said at the end of the nuclear security summit in South Korea Tuesday.

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Romney made the comment to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday while criticizing President Barack Obama over his open mic moment a day earlier.

"In terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that's on the Security Council, and as of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe," Romney said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "The idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he's not willing to tell the American people before the election is something I find very, very alarming."

Medvedev urged Romney to take the current climate into account if he hopes to win the presidential election.

"My first advice is to listen to reason when they formulate their positions. Reason never harmed a presidential candidate," Medvedev said. "My other advice is to check their watches from time to time: it is 2012, not the mid-1970s."

In response, Team Romney characterized Medvedev's comments as further evidence "the Kremlin would prefer to continue doing business with the current incumbent of the White House."

"In contrast to President Obama, Governor Romney is clear-eyed about the geopolitical challenges Russia poses," Romney Policy Director Lanhee Chen said in a statement. "The creeping authoritarianism of its government make Russia a unique geopolitical problem that frustrates progress on numerous issues of vital concern to the United States."

When asked about Romney's assessment, rival candidate Newt Gingrich said the world is "much more complicated than just any one country."

"I think there's at least three centers of gravity, or four if you count Mexico, that you have to pay attention to every day," Gingrich told CNN Tuesday.

Democrats were quick to pounce on Romney's original comments, issuing a string of press releases from military and security professionals.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Romney's statements sounded like a "rehash of Cold War fears."

"Given the many challenges we face at home and abroad, the American people deserve a full and complete explanation from Governor Romney," Clark said in a statement released by the Democratic National Committee.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig compared Romney's Russia analysis to his policies on domestic issues.

"This conclusion, as outdated as his ideas on the economy, energy needs, and social issues, is left over from the last century," Danzig, who served under President Bill Clinton, said in a statement.

The Russian relationship grew new legs on the 2012 campaign trail after a private exchange between Obama and Medvedev was caught by television cameras.

Obama told Medvedev he would have "more flexibility" on the missile defense system in Europe after the election.

Republicans, including the current White House hopefuls, accused the president of playing politics with national security.

The most recent CNN polling about Russia indicated that 45% of Americans considered it a friendly country to the U.S., while 28% considered them unfriendly. Sixteen percent said they were an ally while, 9% characterized the country as an enemy of the U.S.

Overall, 57% of Americans surveyed in May held a favorable view of the Eurasian country and 40% held an unfavorable view.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Dmitry Medvedev • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Romney is not My Hero

    Weak minded people such as Robo-Nut Etch-a-Sketch and his dimwitted supporters don't understand our President. He is a strategist. He is keeping the peace with the Russians and will pull a Bin Laden on them at any time, if needed. Remember the saying: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Dummies!

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. V in Chicago

    @Ann – Maybe he just calls out stupidity whenever he sees it. . . Mitt's comments were stupid!!

    March 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Wake up people

    Robmey doesn't even look intelligent and each and every time he opens his mouth, he makes himself look like even more of an idiot. I'm convinced Robmey is only the nominee because he has money, and the rethug women probably consider him good looking, even though he looks like as big of an idiot as baby Bush. As much as I despise Boehner, even he would have been better than Mittens Robmey.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 27, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Core republican Values

    Romney is a dangerous fool.

    March 27, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Dave

    The very thought of this mormon whackjob being Commander In Chief is a SEVERLY scary thing.

    March 27, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. clarke

    Boy, this GOP boys and girls scare me sometimes. If it weren't for Obama these boys and girls would have nothing to talk about, all words and no action. All blame the the other guy and no plan. At one time we were a country with respect and honor. We can still have that in 2012.

    March 27, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Larry L


    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am beginning to think Russia is more of an ally to our country than the republican party is.
    That's because the Republican party isn't communist.

    Gabby – you're correct. The Republican Party is better described as a fascist theocracy.

    March 27, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. funkymonkey

    Mitt is playing directly to his base. Many conservatives have the paranoid delusion that most of the world is plotting against the United States. It is a Republican's dream to have the entire world turn against us so that they will have an excuse to funnel all of our tax dollars into military spending.

    March 27, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Pete

    See Romney,the big mouth he is,got shot down today in a volley of words with a high ranking Russian diplomate.Hey Romney,watch your teacher, POTUS Obama do foriegn policy,something you hawkish rightwingers will never get a grasp at,because you'll never be presidential material,ya idiot....Don't you understand ,ya air head ,people view and hear what you say not just nationally,but globally.American politics is seen everywhere,brainless....Did you also go to Palins political school for idiots,seems you must be on the Deans List,arnt ya....

    March 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Maxx

    This coming from a man whose foreign policy experience is limited to going to France to avoid the Viet Nam war and having lots of money in overseas accounts.

    March 27, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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