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Obama Campaign Hits Romney on Russia

The Obama campaign is ratcheting up its attacks on Mitt Romney’s comment that Russia is the “No. 1 geopolitical foe” of the United States, reports Michael Hastings at Buzzfeed:

The Obama campaign has stepped up its mockery of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy views, continuing a theme rolled out at the Democratic National Convention to portray the Republican candidate, who has limited foreign policy experience, as out of his depth in international affairs.

The latest installment: a fake movie poster that uses the line Senator John Kerry debuted in his speech two days ago at the convention, where he compared Mitt Romney’s national security ideas to those of Sarah Palin.

“Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska,” Kerry said on Thursday. “Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.”

President Obama also piled on in his DNC speech: “After all, you don’t call Russia our number-one enemy — not al Qaeda, Russia — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.”

Admittedly, it was a dumb comment from Romney. On the other hand, the Obama campaign continues to insist that the Russian reset is going just swimmingly, so I’m not sure they have the authority to mock anyone else for delusions about the U.S.-Russia relationship.

Is this a smart strategy for Obama? He’s trying to brand Romney as a fumbling newbie on foreign policy issues, but Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence made a similar comment about the Russian threat in the past (which he was immediately pummeled for by Senate Republicans). Note that polls show Americans overwhelmingly view Russia and Putin negatively and do not view the country as an ally. By criticizing Romney on this issue, Obama is drawing attention to his own weak record on Russia and his troubling comment to Dmitry Medvedev about being “more flexible” after the November election.



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