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Russia’s aggressive position near the Ukrainian border has resurrected clips from the 2012 presidential election, when then-Republican candidate Mitt Romney was mocked by the Obama White House for warning that Russia was America’s greatest geopolitical threat.
“This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” Romney said in March 2012. “They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that [Obama] has some more flex in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.
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Then-President Obama hit Romney, now a Utah Senator, for his answer in their final presidential debate, suggesting that his invocation of Russia was foolish, 20th-century thinking.
“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” Obama quipped during their debate. “Because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
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Then-Vice President Biden similarly suggested the Republican was living in the past.
“Romney acts like he thinks the Cold War’s still on… I don’t know where he’s been,” Biden said at the time.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the same line of attack against Romney, telling CNN, “I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree.”
Having presented a few of those past remarks, CNN’s Briana Keilar asked CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod how those clips have “aged.”
“Well obviously not well,” Axelrod said on “New Day.” Axelrod previously served as senior adviser to former President Obama and was a chief strategist for his successful presidential campaigns. He too jumped on Romney at the time, saying the GOP candidate was in a “time warp.”
“Russia is a maligned force, and it’s especially, given some of the tools they have now…That they are a major, major problem,” he added. “And we’re going to experience the impact of that for some time.”
“So, yeah, looking back, he is a problem,” Axelrod continued. “And, you know, there’s no other way to look at it. Romney had a point.”
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The New York Times was among the liberal news outlets to leap on Romney at the time; its editorial board sharply criticized him and said his “comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics.” In 2017, in the midst of fervent Russiagate coverage in the mainstream media, the same editorial board savaged then-President Trump for not doing enough to counter the “rival foreign power” of Russia and its foreign election engineering efforts.
Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for an hour on the phone Saturday amid the rising tension and reports that suggest an imminent Russian invasion. Biden warned of “swift and severe costs” on Russia should it invade Ukraine, according to the White House. But the administration also said no major development came of the call.
“The call between the two presidents was professional and substantive [and] it lasted a bit over an hour,” a senior administration official said Saturday. “There was no fundamental change in the dynamic that has been unfolding now for several weeks.”
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnns-david-axelrod-romney-russia-obamas-comments