TNR: Romney got Russia right

They're not giving credit to Sarah Palin for also identifying our number one strategic foe, but at least The New Republic has grudgingly admitted that Mitt Romney's statement on Russia - widely mocked by both President Obama and the press - was spot on.

In the course of the last presidential campaign, Mitt Romney made a comment about America's number one "geopolitical foe," which Romney claimed was Russia. He was mocked by the president and many liberal commentators. Here are Romney's remarks, in their full context, which came during a conversation with Wolf Blitzer: 

ROMNEY:, without question, our number one geopolitical foe.  They fight every cause for the world's worst actors.

BLITZER:  But you think Russia is a bigger foe right now than, let's say, Iran or China or North Korea? Is that—is that what you're suggesting, Governor?

ROMNEY:  Well, 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.  A nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough.

But when these—these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when—when Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go—we go to the United Nations, and who is it that always stands up for the world's worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside.

And—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 couse, a—a massive nuclear power, Russia is the—the geopolitical foe.

This all seems...exactly right.

The Daily Caller reminds us what much of the press said about Romney's comments:

Romney’s comments on Russia were roundly mocked in 2012 by a press that did not seem to like Romney very much compared to his Democratic opponent Barack Obama, who told Romney in a debate that “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.”

“Governor Romney offered his judgment today that Russia is our nation’s number one geopolitical foe. This conclusion, as outdated as his ideas on the economy, energy needs, and social issues, is left over from the last century. Does Governor Romney believe that a Cold War foreign policy is the right course in the twenty-first century?,” said former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig in a statement distributed by the Democratic National Committee and featured on the blog of liberal anchor Rachel Maddow.

“I don’t know what decade this guy is living. It sounds like ’72, ’52 even. It’s not Stalin over there. It’s not Khrushchev. It’s not Brezhnev. It’s [Dmitry] Medvedev,” said red-faced MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews.

“If Mitt Romney has his way, the military-industrial complex will get its beloved Cold War back,” cried The Nation magazine.

Romney made the mistake of using common sense and his own two eyes to judge the actions of Putin and Russia. Silly man. Obviously, he didn't possess the nuance, the intellectual heft, to see past what Putin was doing and saying and judge him by liberal standards using wishful thinking and naivete.

Next time - he'll do better.

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