Since Putin invaded Crimea, conservatives have been commenting on how President Obama should not have dismissed Mitt Romney’s label of Russia, claiming the regime as America’s number one geopolitical foe.
With the current actions of Putin and his power plays, many feel that Romney is a foreign policy expert and Obama as overwhelmed and naive. Those who didn’t respect and note that Romney’s world vision of conflicts were outdated were immediately shot down and ridiculed.
Now that Crimea has been annexed, the world community has replied with sanctions and isolation of Russia and top Russian officials. But it obviously isn’t hindering Putin, nor is he reversing his course.
Romney didn’t hesitate to blame Obama for the world crises due to his tentativeness, and “faulty judgment” with added criticism on “Face the Nation” stating Obama’s “naiveté with regards to Russia.”
In a recent press conference, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked President Obama if he thought “Mitt Romney had a point” when he said in 2012 that Russia was America’s “number one” geopolitical foe. Obama took advantage of the question to slam his current political opponent, Vladimir Putin.
Karl’s question was, “In China, Syria, and Egypt and now in Russia, we have seen you make strong statements and issue warnings that have been ignored. Are you concerned that America’s influence in the world, your influence in the world, is on the decline?” And, he added, in light of recent developments, have you rethought your critiques of Romney?
Russia, after all, invaded Crimea when Putin ally, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, was forced to flee that country because the masses had turned against Russia and toward Europe. How does that make Russia the world’s foremost geopolitical threat?
Obama’s response: With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness. Ukraine has been a country, [over] which Russia had enormous influence for decades, since the breakup of the Soviet Union. We have considerable influence on our neighbors; we generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them. The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates [that they have] less influence, not more.
And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned, when it comes to our security, with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan, which is part of the reason why the United States, showing its continued international leadership, has organized a forum over the last several years that has been able to help eliminate that threat in a consistent way.
Elegantly making the point that Romney had it wrong before, and still does.
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