Obama: `Transmit this to Vladimir`

President Barack Obama poked new fun at his inadvertent Russian `hot microphone` controversy.

Washington: President Barack Obama poked new
fun at his inadvertent Russian `hot microphone` controversy
on Wednesday, predicting months of gaffes and uproar as the US
election race hits higher gear.

Obama is still taking heat from Republicans after he was
overheard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul
last week that he could be more flexible on missile defence
after November`s election.

Medvedev promised to transmit his position back to
president-elect Vladimir Putin, prompting Obama`s foes to
argue the US leader was plotting a climb down on the
programme, opposed by Moscow, if he wins a second term.

Obama sought to laugh off the affair today at a lunch for
journalists and newspaper editors in Washington.
"It is a pleasure to speak to all of you and to have a
microphone that I can see," Obama quipped.

"Feel free to transmit any of this to Vladimir if you see
him," Obama said, predicting long lively months of gaffes and
minor controversies in the months to come, complete with hot
mic and "Etch A Sketch moments."

That was a reference to a row sparked when an aide to
Republican front runner Mitt Romney said his candidate could
wipe clean conservative positions taken in the party primary
as if he was using the popular child`s toy.

Obama told journalists at the Associated Press luncheon
that he knew reporters would cover every word the candidates
say as the fight for the White House ahead of the November 6

"We will complain vociferously about the unflattering
words that you write, unless of course you`re writing about
the other guy -- in which case, good job!"