Entries in Russia (12)


Obama’s Hot Mic Moment Turned '007' Movie Spoof

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- American Crossroads, the pro-Republican super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, is likening President Obama to a rogue James Bond in a new spoof video that seizes upon his hot mic moment with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in South Korea.

“Your mission is simple, Mr. Obama,” says a woman’s voice, channeling Judy Dench who plays “M” (the head of the British secret intelligence service, MI6) in the recent Bond films.

“Win one last election to gain unchecked flexibility. Weaken our defenses and fundamentally transform the world. Dmitry will transmit the information.”

The reference to Medvedev is clearly meant to mock his exchange with Obama in Seoul.

“This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama told Medvedev of negotiations over missile defense.

Medvedev replied, “I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir and I stand with you.”  Vladimir Putin recently recaptured the Russian presidency as Medvedev’s successor.

The clip is repeatedly shown in the Crossroads spoof, which the narrator says stars “Barack Obama as President Flexible” and “Dmitry Medvedev as Dr. Transmitkov.”

You can see the entire minute and a half web video HERE.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Dings Romney for Saying Russia Is Top Geopolitical Foe

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday took issue with comments from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stating that Russia was America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”

Carney, a former Moscow-based correspondent for TIME magazine, stated that “in a world where al Qaeda is so clearly the preeminent threat to the United States, and similar organizations, it seems a little inaccurate to make that statement about Russia where Russia is a county that we have been able to cooperate with on very important issues even as we disagree with them on others and that includes missile defense and Syria.”

Romney had been responding to the comments President Obama made on Monday to outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, unaware that a microphone was making the private remarks quite public.

On issues, “particularly missile defense,” Obama told Medvedev that incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needed to give him “space.”

“This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility,” the president said.

Medvedev said he would “transmit the information to Vladimir.”

Appearing on CNN, Romney said Russia “is without question our number one geopolitical foe.  They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors.  The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very very troubling indeed.”

He noted that “Russia continues to support Syria, supports Iran, has fought us with crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran.  Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very very troubling, very alarming.  This is a president who is telling us one thing and is doing something else.”

Carney said “the relationship that president Obama has established with Russia when he pressed the reset button in 2009 has born a great deal of fruit, including Russia’s cooperation with China at the United Nations in sanctioning Iran, Russia’s cooperation and assistance to the United States on our Afghanistan mission in terms of trans-shipment issues.”

On Tuesday, Obama responded to a question about what he meant by his open microphone comment, saying, “The only way I get this stuff done is if I’m consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I’ve got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations.  I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Russian Comments ‘Destructive of American Interests,’ Gingrich Says

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Newt Gingrich, the first candidate to campaign in Delaware, on Monday night pushed his $2.50-per-gallon-of-gas energy plan and jabbed President Obama about comments caught on an open microphone with outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Gingrich said that Obama’s suggestion that he would have more flexibility to negotiate on nuclear arms after winning the 2012 election was “destructive of American interests.”

“This is a president who is amazingly destructive of American interests, something by the way of which we were reminded of today, when he didn’t know there was an open microphone,” he said in a meeting of local Republican groups.

“He promises the Russian president as soon as he gets the election out of the way, he’ll sell out the American missile defense system. They need to give him a little ‘space’ so he can be flexible right after the election. I think this is a really alarming behavior and it makes me want to know how many other countries has he promised things after the election, if they’ll, quote, ‘give him a little space.’ What does that tell us about the Iranians or North Koreans?”

Gingrich continued to push the idea of $2.50-a-gallon gasoline as the signature platform of his campaign while in Delaware. He attacked Obama for sidetracking the Keystone XL pipeline as a means to help political ally Warren Buffet.

“If you build [the pipeline] for the Canadians, you also then can carry North Dakota oil. Today they have to ship it in a railroad owned by Warren Buffett. So you may wonder what some of the pressure is for not completing the pipeline,” he said to applause.

“If gasoline continues to go up, [Obama] can’t buy enough ads to convince the American people that it is cheap,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Says Russia Is No. 1 Geopolitical Foe

Bill Clark/Roll Call(SAN DIEGO) -- Mitt Romney said Monday that Russia -- not Iran or North Korea -- is the United States’ “number-one geopolitical foe,” adding that Russia “always stands up for the world’s worst actors.”

Romney’s remarks came during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, during which he spoke about the comments made by President Obama early Monday that were caught by an open microphone. During a conversation about missile defense, Obama told Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” after the election.

Romney said he was “very concerned” about the president’s remarks, especially because they were made to a Russian leader.

“Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very, very troubling, very alarming,” he said. “I am very, very concerned."

“This is to Russia,” Romney said. “This is without question our number-one geopolitical foe."

“They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed,” he said.

When pressed by Blitzer as to whether he truly believed Russia was a bigger foe than Iran or China, Romney sought to clarify his remarks, but did not back away from his argument.

“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 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, when [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors?” Romney asked.

“It is 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 a massive security power -- Russia is the geopolitical foe and the idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he’s not willing to tell the American people before the election is something that I find very, very alarming,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Seizes on Obama's Open Mic Moment

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- 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 on Monday, 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.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama to Nominate Mike McFaul as Ambassador to Russia

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will nominate Mike McFaul to be his next Ambassador to Russia, a senior administration official tells ABC News.

McFaul, director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Staff and a special assistant to President Obama, has been one of the key players in the president's attempt to "reset" the at-times rocky US-Russian relationship while also pushing Russia to embrace human rights and to respect the territory of neighboring countries such as Georgia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Signs START Treaty

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama signed the START nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia Wednesday morning.

Despite the great attention the president has devoted to this treaty -- and the vast coverage of the treaty negotiations by the media -- the White House refused to allow reporters or TV cameras in the room. Still photographers were the only representatives of the free press permitted to record the historic moment.

Those cameras captured President Obama signing the documents, seated at the Resolute Desk. Behind him stood Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Dick Lugar, R-Ind., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Vice President Biden.

The White House Correspondents Association protested the White House’s decision to refuse to permit reporters access to the event, in addition to the dearth of press briefings since the crisis in Egypt began to unfold, a crisis in which President Obama continues to celebrate the great freedoms and openness enjoyed in this country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama, Medvedev Celebrate Successful Year in U.S.-Russia Relations

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) –President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke by phone Thursday to discuss the new START treaty and to celebrate a productive year in U.S.-Russia relations.

In what the two sides called an historic event, President Medvedev congratulated Obama on the Senate’s approval of the treaty according to White House press release.

The sides also pledged continued cooperation and discussed the success of their work in the areas of “Afghanistan, Iran sanctions, the 123 Agreement, issues related to the WTO, and the situation in Kyrgyzstan."

The leaders pledged a continued partnership in the New Year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Senate's Number Three Republican Announces Support for START

Photo Courtesy - Alexander [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Another GOP senator came out in favor of the START pact Tuesday -- and it’s no less than the chamber’s number three Republican.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he will vote in favor of ratification.

“I will vote to ratify the treaty because it leaves our countries with enough nuclear warheads to blow any attacker to Kingdom Come,” Alexander said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“In short, I’m convinced that Americans are safer and more secure with the new START treaty than without it,” he noted.

Alexander said he and three other senators had written to President Obama earlier this week asking the president to include funding for nuclear modernization in his budget requests to Congress and Monday the president sent a reply letter agreeing to the request.

Alexander's vote is a big boost for Democrats -- the treaty now appears likely to pass later this week, barring a last-minute setback.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Top Senators on START: 'Believe it Will Pass,' 'Votes Are There'

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., (L) and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. appear on ABC's "This Week." Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate has turned its attention to remaining legislative priorities for the lame-duck session, including continuing debate on ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia, known as New START.

"I believe it will pass, and I believe there will be a vote," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour in a joint appearance with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Lugar, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has supported the treaty as well, working with Democrats to get the two-thirds majority of Senate votes required.

"Several Republicans will support it, and I join the chairman in believing that there are the votes there," Lugar said. "The problem is really getting to that final vote."

The Senate rejected an amendment Saturday seeking to remove language from the treaty's preamble, introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who argued the language would restrict the United States' abilities on missile defense.

"There is no restraint, zero, none, no restraint whatsoever on our missile defense capacity," Kerry responded. "Secretary Gates says it. Secretary Clinton says it. The intelligence community says it. All of our military leaders want this treaty." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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