Medvedev slams Romney for anti-Russia comments

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized Mitt Romney for his characterization of Russia as the United States' "No. 1 geopolitical foe," insisting his description of the current U.S.-Russia relationship was based more on "Hollywood" than on reality.

"Regarding ideological clichés, every time this or that side uses phrases like 'enemy No. 1,' this always alarms me, this smells of Hollywood and certain times [of the past]," Medvedev said in a press availability at the conclusion of a nuclear security summit in South Korea, according to Reuters.

The outgoing Russian leader advised Romney and other presidential contenders to "do at least two things."

"Use their head and consult their reason when they formulate their positions, and that they check the time—it is now 2012, not the mid-1970s," Medvedev declared.

His remarks come a day after Romney criticized President Barack Obama for getting caught on an open mic Monday telling Medvedev he'd have "more flexibility" in negotiations over a missile defense system and arms control issues after the upcoming 2012 election. Obama later said he was speaking to the reality of election year politics.

In an interview with CNN Monday, Romney slammed Obama's remarks calling them "alarming" and "troubling."

"Who is it that always stands up with the world's worst actors? It's always Russia, typically with China alongside. 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 told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "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."

Democrats immediately seized on Romney's remarks. In a statement issued by the Democratic National Committee, former NATO Gen. Wesley Clark accused Romney of trying to "rehash Cold War fears."

But the Romney campaign gave no signs of backing down. Asked for a response to Medvedev's remarks, Romney's policy director, Lanhee Chen, suggested it was more evidence that "the Kremlin would prefer to continue doing business with the current incumbent of the White House."

"In contrast to President Obama, Gov. Romney is clear-eyed about the geopolitical challenges Russia poses," Chen said in a statement. "Russia's nuclear arsenal, its energy resources, it geographic position astride Europe and Asia, the veto it wields on the U.N. Security Council, and 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."

But Medvedev and Obama's Democratic allies aren't the only ones criticizing Romney for the remark. Asked by NBC's Luke Russert if he agrees with Romney's remarks about Russia, Boehner deflected and it said was inappropriate to be critical of Obama while he travels overseas.

"Clearly while the president is overseas, he's at a conference, and while the president is overseas I think it's appropriate that people not be critical of him or our country," Boehner told NBC.

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