Romney's campaign brings up 'Soviet' threat
April 26th, 2012
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney's campaign brings up 'Soviet' threat

(CNN) - On the same day Vice President Joe Biden knocked Mitt Romney for having a "Cold War mindset," two of Romney's national security advisers made references to threats dating back to the Soviet Union era.

The comments came in a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, ahead of Biden's speech targeting Romney on foreign policy later in the day.

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Attacking the Obama administration for "withdrawing in leading the free world," former Navy Secretary John Lehman argued on the call that the president's policies open the nation up to "huge new vulnerabilities."

An example?

"We are seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us. In fact the only response from us is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining ice breaker," Lehman said.

Also, in a discussion on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Pierre Prosper mistakenly referred to a country that no longer exists.

"You know, Russia is another example where we give and Russia gets, and we get nothing in return," he said. "The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia, yet Russia does nothing but obstruct us, or efforts in Iran and Syria."

Czechoslovakia split into two countries–the Czech Republic and Slovakia–in 1993.

Neither country served as a site for the proposed U.S. missile defense system. The U.S. wanted to put part of the system in the Czech Republic, but the country's prime minister canceled a vote in 2009 that would allow the move to take place.

Later that year, the Obama administration decided to scrap the plan in Eastern Europe, which was first proposed by the Bush administration.

The advisers' remarks came after Romney's campaign has had to beat back consistent attacks targeting the candidate as out of touch on matters of foreign policy. The criticism largely stemmed from Romney labeling Russia as the United States' "number one geopolitical foe" last month.

Team Romney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also see:

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Texas governor switches endorsement from Gingrich to Romney

Congressman calls Afghan president 'corrupt prima donna'

Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Mitt Romney
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Anon-i-mouse

    Romney and the GOP will have us at war with Iran, South Korea and Syria within 6 months of taking office. Trillions more dollars and thousands of American soldiers will be lost. People somehow think that this is a better strategy than what the President is doing?? Obama brings a level-headed, intelligent view to our foreign policy. Such a positive change from the Bush years!

    April 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. rs

    The GOP really does live in the past. How mant decades ago did the Soviet Union end? Romney appears to be every bit as clueless as Palin on foreign affais.

    April 26, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |

    Mitt McCain is clueless about history and the world. The GOBP are stuck with him.

    April 26, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    Repubs. NEED a threat to exist.

    April 26, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Willis

    The Bishop & the rest of the Pubs aint got a clue. Go Prez Obama

    April 26, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. pm

    Why does the Party of No always try to scare people into voting for them? They have No ideas and No clue as to what the average American has to face. Obama's policies are working and would show even more progress if it weren't for all of the pledge signers and the Tea Party obstructing Congress. The policies embraced by the current administration deelays instant gratification in favor of building a stronger economy over time. It took 8 years for Bush's trickle down economy combined with tax cuts nd two unfunded wars, to wreck our economy. It will take at least that long to undo all of the prior administration's blunders.

    April 26, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    I agree, CNN. A photo sometimes says more than Mitt could ever say for himself. Good pick. His comments are a bit, well ...not just a bit ... but, WAY off course...

    Ronnie might have got away with such anti-Russia talk. Mitt, not so much. Can't imagine wanting to drag America back into the cold war, but GOPers DO have strange notions these days.

    April 26, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Debra from Georgia

    Thank God we have a level-head, President, Vote Obama/Biden 2012

    April 26, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Bill, NY

    How behind the times can this nut be?!?! Don't worry Mitt we will destroy them with our cathode ray cannons.

    April 26, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    The criticism largely stemmed from Romney labeling Russia as the United States' "number one geopolitical foe" last month.

    Team Romney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Of course they didn't. Willard's foreign policy is simple: HE HAS NONE but with three easy payment plans and a working computer – he'll try and get some for the American people by November. The truth is there is not even one republican that can slightly touch our president on foreign policy and they know it. We are so much better off now than we were when W left office and if the American people are stupid enough to place Willard in as our president – GET READY TO DIE because you surely will but don't worry his family will be doing lots of photo opts to ease your pain. Please America think – can this man really be trusted given his twisted religious beliefs and anemic behavior?

    April 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    LOL at Rmoney's lame attempts to pretend he knows something about foreign policy. He was way off about the European missile plans and the oil exploration. He tipped his hand on Iran and Syria, though. Like a good little goose-steppin' neocon, he wants a "my way or the highway" foreign policy. So, Rmoney, how do you and your fellow wimpy chickenhawks plan to "punish" Russia? Refuse to use their supply ships for our space station missions? Yer an idiot, Flipper.

    April 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Are youfreaking kidding me!?!?!? Can he see Russia from his La Jolla mansion?
    These idiots do know that right nownthentaliban and al queda are our enemies, right? The a russians did not fly commercial planes into buildings or are killing our soldiers in Afghanistan.
    You know, flip flopper, that you are the one who took jobs from the US and sent them overseas, right?
    Is the wifey now going to come out in your defense. You are such a spineless twit that you need to take the chains off the little woman to do your bidding and trynthe sympathy card. Younwould have us at war with every country around the world! You mannequin idiot!!!.

    April 26, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Cue "The Russians Are Coming" footage in his next commercials (with Yackety Sax background music).

    Is he high? No, seriously...because this sounds like someone who took one too many bong hits, got paranoid and started rattling off every delusional, imagined threat they could come up with. Is the GOP/Teatroll demagoguery machine really so starved for a bogeyman that they need to try to resurrect the dead Cold War in hopes it dovetails nicely with their mindless andinaccurate ranting about socialism/communism? When is the MSM going to start pointing and screaming "shenanigans!" at this kind of worthless, societally damaging BS?

    April 26, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    Pointless attacks. You recognize it's Willard's advisers speaking for him. Why is that? Because he doesn't know crap about foreign policy. End of story. Let's not for that Russia is a G8 member. If Willard views them as our biggest geopolitical foe, he's off his rocker. Medvedev and the President have a good working relationship. Elect Willard and you can scrap START and prepare for nuclear war.

    April 26, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What do you expect from clueless Mittens? He is surrounded by Bush advisors who never get enough wars.

    April 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Sandy

    How could someone like Romney be so clueless?

    April 26, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Czechoslovakia split into two countries–the Czech Republic and Slovakia–in 1993"

    In other words, Deputy Doublethink believes that not knowing that CR and Slovakia have been separate countries FOR 19 YEARS isn't a giant blot on his foreign policy street cred. Freekin morons.

    "Neither country served as a site for the proposed U.S. missile defense system. "

    Repeat after me, CNN: "HE WAS LYING." It's ok to call a blatant lie a lie, you know. Some might even argue that IT'S YOUR FREEKIN JOB.

    April 26, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Jorge UU Boosh

    I want to see Mitts SPECIAL MORMON LONG JOHNS!!!!

    April 26, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. G

    The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was dissolved on December 25, 1991. Enough said.

    April 26, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Gurgyl

    I think this bain capital is drunk....his jobs shipping to china a threat... Nasty brainless thugs of GOP....clueless. Are these idiots going to rule USA? Pathetic. America needs
    Education. Obama12.

    April 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    @Anon-i-mouse – I am sure you meant North Korea but you point is taken. The republicans are upset because President Obama is getting it right and they were supposed to be the SAVIORS when it came to foreign policy. They will continue to try the "fear-mongering" hoping that would work but in essence, no one is paying attention to that. They do not know what's going on behind closed doors and fortunately, they will NEVER find out!!

    Obama 2012 – The only Trusted Way Forward!!

    April 26, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    I won’t blame Mitt Romney campaign for this comments, I will blame FOX news because FOX never cover world news

    April 26, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Myviewis

    You guys are American and have no true understanding of foreigners' way of thinking. lifestyle, believes, habits, customs. It is obvious all of you have never lived outside the USA, I don't think any one of you is a foreigner. The things you guys write are based on your books, magazines, reports, friends not your own experiences in living in foreign countries. 2 entirely different things. The rest of the world moves in a very different direction than you guys. Try living abroad.

    April 26, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Its not even the soviet union that was disbanded years ago. It is or should I say part of it is now known as Russia
    Mitt knows his geography about as well as sarah.

    April 26, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Nice picture. "Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. We're doomed!"

    April 26, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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