In their third presidential debate, President Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney when he said that Russia remained a threat to the United States. Here’s what Obama said in the debate:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaida’s a threat because a few months ago when you were asked, what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia — not al-Qaida, you said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
“But, Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s. You say that you’re not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now.
“And the — the challenge we have — I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong.”
Here’s how Mitt Romney responded. Notice how Obama tries to cut Romney off before he can make his point:
MR. ROMNEY: I’ll respond to a couple of the things you mentioned. First of all, Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe, not —
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Number one —
MR. ROMNEY: Excuse me. It’s a geopolitical foe. And I said in the same . . . paragraph, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin, and I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election he’ll get more backbone.
In an interview, Wolf Blitzer had asked Romney if he thought Russia is a bigger foe than Iran, China, or North Korea. Here was Romney’s response:
“I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world's worst actors. Of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and a 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 — who is it that always stands up with the world's worst actors? It’s 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 is a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe.”
It seems that Romney was ahead of the game when it came to understanding how Russia is still a major political player to be reckoned with while Obama was is in the dark. Will the media notice? Don't count on it