SAN DIEGO, Ca. – Mitt Romney seized on President Obama’s remarks to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev during which he was caught over an open microphone saying that he would have more “flexibility” after the upcoming election, dubbing the conversation “alarming” and “troubling.”
President Obama, who was visiting with Medvedev Monday in South Korea during an international summit on nuclear weapons, was talking about the need for incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to give him “space” when it comes to missile defense when he told Medvedev, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Romney, who was in southern California to hold an event on health care, diverted his speech to pounce on the president’s remarks.
“Now when the president of the United States is speaking with the leader of Russia saying he can be more flexible after the election, that is an alarming and troubling development,” said Romney. “This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people. And not telling us what he’s intending to do with regards to our missile defense system, with regards to our military might and with regards to our commitment to Israel and with regard to our absolute conviction that Iran must have a nuclear weapon.”
“I will make it very clear that the relationship we have around the world is one where America will be strong, that America’s strength and commitment to our friends and allies will be unshakable and unwavering,” said Romney.
Ben LaBolt, the press secretary for Obama’s re-election campaign, issued a statement on Romney’s remarks noting, “Once again Governor Romney is undermining his credibility by distorting the President’s words. Governor Romney has been all over the map on the key foreign policy challenges facing our nation today, offering a lot of chest thumping and empty rhetoric with no concrete plans to enhance our security or strengthen our alliances.”
“Governor Romney once said that a president is not a foreign policy expert and that he would rely on the experts and defer to his lawyers on critical foreign policy issues,” said LaBolt. “Instead of passing the buck, it is time that Governor Romney shared his foreign policy agenda with the American people.”