Ayotte: Romney foreign policy not stuck in Cold War
June 27th, 2012
01:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Ayotte: Romney foreign policy not stuck in Cold War

Washington (CNN) – New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, an early and ardent backer of Mitt Romney, defended the presumptive GOP nominee against accusations his foreign policy is backwards looking Wednesday, saying critics who label his views reminiscent of the Cold War were wrong.

"I've spent a lot if time with Gov. Romney. I think that he has a strong understanding of foreign policy, and he does not have a Cold War view toward Russia," Ayotte said after delivering a keynote address to a conference examining democracy in Russia.

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In March, Romney set off a small firestorm after describing Russia as America's primary enemy on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

"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. That remark spurred criticism from high-profile members of President Barack Obama's administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, who said the view was misguided.

"I think it's somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don't agree," Clinton said in a CNN interview soon after Romney made his remarks.

Biden struck a similar tone Wednesday in Iowa, saying at a rally in Dubuque: "I think his foreign policy is right out of the Cold War and his economic policy is just doubling down on the eight years of the last administration that put us into this God-awful mess in the first place. I honest to God believe that is the fundamental difference between us."

Since Romney made his initial remarks, his supporters have pointed to growing tensions between the United States and Russia, including disagreements between the two countries on dealing with violence in Syria and imposing new sanctions on Iran.

On Wednesday, Ayotte said she shared Romney's view that the Obama administration was engaging Russia in a policy of accommodation.

"He, like me, very very much disagrees with the accommodations we have toward Vladimir Putin," Ayotte said. "Vladimir Putin is an autocrat, he's someone we shouldn't be supporting, and I think this administration has been much too accommodating toward Mr. Putin."

Ayotte, who acts as a surrogate for Romney on the campaign trail and whose name is floated as a potential running mate for the former Massachusetts governor, said the GOP candidate's lack of direct foreign policy experience was bolstered by a strong team of advisers.

"He really has very strong foreign policy advisers, and many of our great leaders have served as governors first, including Ronald Reagan," Ayotte, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. "I know who his foreign policy team is, he's got the very best advisers on foreign policy, and the other thing I know about Gov. Romney is he's someone who does his homework, he's very thoughtful, and he will reach out to leaders in Congress."

Ayotte mentioned Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 presidential candidate and ranking GOP member of the Armed Services committee, as one of Romney's team of foreign policy experts.

Ayotte wouldn't, however, respond to a question about the vice presidential vetting process, indicating only she was "focused on representing New Hampshire" as the fervor surrounding Romney's eventual pick heats up.

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Filed under: 2012 • Kelly Ayotte • Mitt Romney
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. scmom

    Heard what Michael Steele said on Chris Matthews' show. Willard is just pacing himself after the convention he will have answers to all the questions and bold plans. NOT!!!!

    June 27, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Myviewis

    I'm the ex-foreigner her, US Citizen. You guys think you know foreign policy? I don't think any of you have left your state. Voters are supposed to believe that Obama (community organizer, author, professor/lawyer) had more knowledge on foreign policy? Seriously? Obama who had only traveled as a child to Indonesia and then to the USA. Guys, get on a plane, travel, get a job in a foreign country, live in a foreign country for 2 years so you can understand the culture, thinking, language.

    June 27, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there is no one advarsary the US faces with its allies. We have to worry about China, Iran, North Korea and a few other countries as well as non-state players like Al Qaeda. Romney and his campaign seem to think it is only one opponet.

    June 27, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Stohn Jockton

    And what makes a former State Attorney General qualified to say who is qualified in U.S. foreign policy? Yes, we know who is among his foreign policy advisers, and the American electorate soundly rejected the wisdom of those foreign policy advisers to the tune of a 7% popular vote mandate in favor of the current POTUS. So what's your point in pouring salt on the wounds of John McCain's Electoral College drubbing in the last general election?

    June 27, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    I wonder what Putin thinks of Hillary Clinton and Biden? Knowing foreigners ( including Latinos ) he is most likely laughing at them, yes Americans even Latinos are anti-Americans.

    June 27, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    Since Romney made his initial remarks, his supporters have pointed to growing tensions between the United States and Russia, including disagreements between the two countries on dealing with violence in Syria and imposing new sanctions on Iran.

    Gee, I wonder if Flip wasn't doing that intentionally.......well DUH. He and the GOP will sabotage, say anything, and do anything to put Obama in a bad position. If this were Duh Duh Duh-bya, all the tightie righties would be screaming about how the democrats werer undermining Bush's authority. Now they do it and say "who.....us?"

    June 27, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. cali girl

    It appears that Obama HANDLES Foreign Policy quite well.
    1. Bin Laden is dead, remember Taliban?
    2. Ghadaffi is dead, remember Libya?
    3. One War Ended
    4. Another one has begun to end
    5. Pleadges with Europe to provide information to avoid a financial collapse
    6. DREAM ACT and new immigration policies
    7. Work and funding to the UN
    8. Helped a Chinese man come here out of fear for their own life
    9. We are not at full blown wars with Syria
    10. Or North Korea for that matter
    And countless other relationships and treaties with many nations.

    June 27, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Hey Obama supporters! How's Obama's Arab Spring working out in Egypt?!! Sure glad he threw an ally under the bus so we could end up with the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of the country. Now we have another muslim country that'll soon be another Iran. Good work Obama!!

    June 27, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. scott

    Spot on she is right, unlike Obama's lap dog Biden who is a nut

    June 27, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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