Speaking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul, an open mic caught President Obama saying, "This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility." Medvedev responded, "I understand you. I transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you." Wolf Blitzer interviewed GOP candidate for president Mitt Romney about these comments. Here's a transcript of the discussion:
Wolf Blitzer: That is a factual statement that the president is making. If he doesn't have to worry getting reelected, he doesn't have to worry so much about domestic politics. Is there anything wrong when it comes to national security issues, to be saying something like that to the Russian leader?
Mitt Romney: Yes, there's something terribly wrong with that. It is alarming. It is troubling. The agreement that the president put in place with regards to nuclear weapons is one which I find very, very troubling already. The decision to withdraw our missile defense sites from Poland put us in greater jeopardy, in my view. The actions he's taken so far which he says are to reset relations with Russia have not worked out at all.
Russia continues to support Syria, supports Iran, has fought us with the crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran. Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage, and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility, where he doesn't have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very, very troubling, very alarming. I'm very, very concerned. I think the American people are going to feel the same way. This is a president who is telling us one thing and is doing something else, and is planning on doing something else even more frightening.
Wolf Blitzer: Well, when you say even more frightening, what he's planning on doing in your opinion?
Mitt Romney: Well, my guess is it has to do either with nuclear arms discussions, or it has to do with missile defense site. What he did both on with nuclear weaponry already and the new START treaty, as well as his decision to withdraw missile defense sites from Poland, and reduce our missile defense sites in Alaska from the original plan.
I mean, these are very unfortunate developments and if he's planning on doing more and suggest to Russia that he has things he's willing to do with them he's no willing to tell the American people, this is to Russia this is without question our number one geopolitical foe, they fight every cause for the world's worst actors, the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.
Wolf Blitzer: You think Russia is a bigger foe right now than, let's say, Iran or China or North Korea, is that what you're suggesting, Governor?
Mitt Romney: Well, I'm saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation which aligns with the world's famous actors. Of course, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran and nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough, but when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when Assad for instance is murdering its own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world's worst actors, it is always Russia, typically with China alongside.
And so, in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that's on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is, of course, a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe, and 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.