Romney says Obama trying to cozy up to Kremlin

Mitt Romney hit back at Russia`s president and said President Obama is trying to "ingratiate himself with the Kremlin".

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2012, 00:33 AM IST

Los Angeles: Mitt Romney hit back at Russia`s
president Tuesday and said President Barack Obama is trying
to "ingratiate himself with the Kremlin" after the foreign
leader suggested the Republican presidential front-runner was
living in a bygone era and that all the candidates should "use
their heads."

"The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the
current incumbent of the White House," Romney wrote in an
opinion piece on the website of the magazine Foreign Policy.
The article represented an escalation of his attacks on Obama
after the president`s private remark to Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev was caught on tape. Obama told the outgoing
Russian president that he needed "space" to deal with missile
defence issues because he would have more "flexibility" after
the November elections.

Democrats have been aggressively defending the president
since his off-mic comment became public, citing foreign policy
experts who have called Romney`s comments potentially
dangerous or reckless.

"The level of naivety about foreign relations that Gov
Romney displays is astounding. Worse, it is potentially
dangerous for our country," said Timothy Roemer, a former
ambassador to India who served on the 9/11 Commission.

Romney drew criticism from Medvedev and House Speaker
John Boehner, the country`s top-ranking Republican, after he
said Monday in a CNN interview that Russia is America`s "No. 1
geopolitical enemy."

"While the president is overseas, I think it`s
appropriate that people not be critical of him or of our
country," Boehner told reporters when he was asked if he
agreed with Romney. "Clearly what`s going on in Russia over
the last couple of years raises some concerns."
The president was flying back to the US when Romney`s
opinion piece appeared yesterday.

Medvedev said Romney`s comments on CNN "smacked of
Hollywood." He advised the White House hopefuls, including
Romney, to "rely on reason, use their heads," adding, "That`s
not harmful for a presidential candidate."

"It`s 2012, not the mid-1970s, and whatever party he
belongs to, he must take the existing realities into account,"
Medvedev said.

In the opinion piece, Romney expanded his criticism of
Obama, calling his entire foreign policy "a sad replay of
Jimmy Carter`s bungling" and claiming that Obama has
"demonstrated breathtaking weakness." He also criticised Obama
for calling Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin to
congratulate him on winning the presidential election earlier
this year.

PTI