Mitt Romney is still trying to rehabilitate himself by going before very camera and microphone he can and claim he was right all along on Russia and President Obama was wrong. But the president is standing is ground.
Asked if Romney had been right all along, he responded:
With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness. Ukraine has been a country, [over] which Russia had enormous influence for decades, since the breakup of the Soviet Union. We have considerable influence on our neighbors; we generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them. The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates [that they have] less influence, not more.
And so my response then continues to be what I believe today, which is Russia’s actions are a problem. They don’t pose the number one national security threat to the United States. I continue to be much more concerned, when it comes to our security, with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan, which is part of the reason why the United States, showing its continued international leadership, has organized a forum over the last several years that has been able to help eliminate that threat in a consistent way.
Calling Russia a “regional power” was, in all likelihood, a well-intentioned slight. As for the other part of the response, this wasn’t the president simply declining to say that his 2012 opponent had it right. This was him saying that Romney missed the point and continues to do so.