Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is “stuck in a Cold War mentality” when it comes to working with Russia, Vice President Joe Biden said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Biden defended President Barack Obama’s “open microphone” remark to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, last week, and focused on Romney’s reaction. The former Massachusetts governor said last week that Russia was, “without question, our number-one geopolitical foe.”
“He acts like he thinks the Cold War’s still on,” Biden said. “I don’t know where he’s been.”
Microphones on March 26 recorded Obama asking Medvedev to let Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin know that he needed to “give me space” to deal with objections to the U.S.’s missile-defense plan.
“This is my last election, and after my election I have more flexibility,” Obama told Medvedev.
“I understand,” Medvedev replied in English, adding that he would “transmit this information to Vladimir.”
In his interview with CBS, taped March 29 and broadcast today, Biden said that Obama “just stated the obvious” and that “it’s going to be difficult” to work with Congress on further reductions of the U.S. nuclear arsenal between now and the November elections.
Romney, who has been criticized by his Republican rivals for shifting positions, has accused Obama of having a hidden agenda for his second term, calling the president’s words “alarming and troubling.”
“This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people,” he said at a campaign stop in California. In an March 26 interview with CNN, after Obama’s comment to Medvedev was reported, Romney said that Russia was, “without question, our number-one geopolitical foe.”
Biden told CBS that Russia was helping the United States get supplies to troops in Afghanistan and would increase oil supplies to Europe if there was an oil shutdown in the Gulf.
“This is not 1956,” Biden said. “It exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”
Last week Medvedev said that Romney’s description of Russia as his country’s enemy “smacks of Hollywood.”
The Republican candidates should “use their brains and check the clock,” refraining from obsolete attitudes, the Russian leader told reporters on March 27 at the conclusion of a two-day nuclear security summit in Seoul.
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