Dealing with the Russian Bear

President Obama accused GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney of wanting to interact with Russia in an antagonistic Cold War-like manner. “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,” charged Obama during Monday’s presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla. He criticized Romney for recently characterizing “Russia, not al Qaeda,” as “the biggest geopolitical threat facing America.” Romney disputed that characterization, saying Russia “is a geopolitical foe,” but Iran is the greatest threat to US national security. Romney said the United States needs “clear eyes” with Russia. “I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin,” said Romney in referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Oct. 22 debate. Romney was critical of Obama for telling then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul in March that the Obama Administration would have more flexibility with Russia on missile defense issues after the November US presidential election, should Obama win a second term. An open microphone caught Obama saying that when the two leaders apparently thought they were having a private conversation. (Debate transcript)